This year, Georgetown Weeks of Welcome (GWOW) replaced Welcome Week as the series of events welcoming students back to the Hilltop. The new festivities are now longer and incorporate a wide variety of on-campus organizations.
One of the most noticeable difference between GWOW and Welcome Week is the new program’s duration. “Welcome Week was one week of a lot of crammed-together activities and programs and events,” said Christina O’Brien (MSB ’17), GWOW’s Signature Events Coordinator. Instead, GWOW is six-weeks long, starting with the Welcome Back Jack BBQ and ending with Homecoming, according to GWOW’s Campus Collaboration Coordinator James McGrath (COL ’17).
New research about how student’s transition into university life drove the change in programming.
“At that six-week mark is when a student will come to decide whether or not they like where they are…so we decided to kind of help with that transition through our programs and events,” O’Brien said.
In order to accomplish this goal, GWOW has partnered with many different groups on campus, from the Georgetown Program Board to the Corp, to facilitate their events. “We’ve highlighted a really wide range of student organizations and put their events on our calendar as well and helped them with funding in some areas,” said O’Brien. They have also partnered with many resource offices on campus. GWOW will highlight these offices, O’Brien added, in a food festival called Taste of the Hilltop.
Although some of the events are catered more toward new students such as Help-a-Hoya in which students and faculty staffed stations around campus to answer questions, pass out maps, and distribute GWOW calendars, both O’Brien and McGrath said that everyone is welcome.
Despite only having held one week of events, both O’Brien and McGrath see room for improvement.
“Since we have a lot of new initiatives this year,” O’Brien said, “it’s a good time to have a trial and then kind of look back at what little problems we can fix and collaborate even more in the future.”
McGrath also mentioned working out some of the problems GWOW has encountered this year and is optimistic for the future of the organization. “A lot of people didn’t know who we were coming into this summer so I think once we kind of have this year and establish ourselves it will be easier to make things more efficient and grow in the next coming years.”