New students looking for the chance to start their college career at the University of Nebraska at Omaha off with a little bit of food and fun should look no further than New Student Convocation.
According to the UNO’s website, New Student Convocation is held as part of Durango Days, which is a week-long event featuring activities, entertainment and free food during the first week of school.
According to Director of the Milo Bail Student Center, Bill Pickett, New Student Convocation is designed to welcome students to UNO and is viewed as a rite of passage by many students and their families.
“It’s [New Student Convocation] important because it helps students feel apart of the UNO community and connected to the campus as a Maverick,” Pickett said. “It also exposes them to all sorts of things associated with starting off their college career.”
Pickett said this will be the fourth year New Student Convocation has taken place at UNO, and many aspects of the event are quickly becoming university traditions.
“I’d say having the band and athletics involved in it is starting to become a tradition,” Pickett said. “We also have given students a UNO pad folio to start their UNO career.”
In the past, New Student Convocation has been held in the Sapp Fieldhouse, but this year it will be
held in Baxter Arena on Sunday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m.
Shuttles will be available for students and their families at pick-up locations near Maverick Village and Arts and Sciences Hall on Dodge Campus as well as Scott Village on Pacific Campus from 1 to 5 p.m. The UNO website recommends those planning to drive their personal vehicle to Baxter Arena arrive early.
Students should expect to have their purses and bags searched by Public Safety Officers before entering the program. Once inside, they will have the opportunity to meet their future classmates and staff, faculty and administration members.
Pickett said the program will run from 45 minutes to an hour and will feature student leaders, athletic team captains, a keynote speaker and UNO alumni as well as faculty members from all of UNO’s academic colleges and programs.
Several student groups, including the Maverick drum line, Maverick Maniacs and Durango, who is UNO’s mascot, will also be attending to enhance school spirit.
Junior graphic design major Connor Brandt cites the atmosphere at New Student Convocation as one of the many reasons to attend the event.
“I thought it was an exciting pep rally atmosphere that made me excited to start my college career,” Brandt said. “It makes you feel like apart of the Maverick family.”
Brandt encourages new students to attend both events so they can start the school year and their college careers off right by getting involved.
“First impressions mean a lot,” Brandt said. “If a student doesn’t attend events the first week, they are less likely to do so in the future.”
According to UNO’s website, students should expect to get tons of free Mav. gear at the event. The Locker Room store will also be open for those who want to purchase UNO athletic apparel.
A reception catered by Olive Garden and Jones Bros. cupcakes will be held in the Holland Ice part of Baxter Arena immediately following the New Student Convocation ceremony.