New Student Days and Welcome Week Kick Off Semester, Patriot Style

Posted: August 28, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Launch Pad image
The Launch Pad podcast and its team – Ednaline “Lynn” Concepcion, James “Jymm” Martin, Andrew Day and Aseel Al-Mudallal – will help students find out about the many exciting events going on during Welcome Week.

By Tara Laskowski

George Mason, the man, believed in both steadfast tradition and positive change, and George Mason, the university, is carrying out those beliefs. As the more than 30,500 students return to the campuses this week, old traditions will still be in place, but new and exciting changes also await.

Among these changes are a brand-new research building, new eateries and a large electronic event announcement sign on the Fairfax Campus, as well as a fantastic new way to get information: podcasting.

Jumping onto the scene is Launch Pad, a weekly university news podcast hosted by four student PJs – Ednaline “Lynn” Concepcion, James “Jymm” Martin, Andrew Day and Aseel Al-Mudallal. The lively and creative show is sure to create a buzz and help students navigate their way to the multitude of free events provided on campus throughout the school year.

Listeners can tune in at their convenience after downloading Launch Pad to their computer using iTunes or to a personal MP3 player such as an iPod. The service is free.

The first Launch Pad will be available on Monday, Aug. 28, at, and will highlight Welcome Week activities. After the first week, Launch Pad will be available each Wednesday throughout the semester starting Sept. 13.

New Student Daze

The roads leading into President’s Park and the other residence areas last weekend were alive with minivans and SUVs as mothers, fathers and their college students arrived for New Student Days. The university’s approximately 4,260 resident students hauled televisions, crates, books and family photos into Mason’s more than 20 residence halls, greeted by the friendly faces of Student Orientation leaders, deans, faculty members and Mason’s President Alan Merten.

Students moving in
Home, sweet home … Last weekend, Mason students settled in for a new academic year.

Overall, more than 2,473 freshmen and 2,208 transfer students have declared their intentions to enroll as new students this fall.

This year’s freshman class was selected from nearly 11,113 applicants, a more than 8 percent increase over last year’s record applicant pool. There has also been a 15 percent increase in applications from outside Virginia, and a 20 percent increase in out-of-state enrollees.

Mason Nation

Also helping new students to navigate are the friendly people of University Life, who will be hosting Welcome Week. With a theme of “Mason Nation,” Welcome Week will offer information about social activities, educational opportunities, entertainment and information on the campus, programs and community outreach opportunities, all in a spirit of fun and camaraderie.

Mason Nation includes themed days that represent a unique part of the Mason experience and give information on the academic, social, emotional, recreational and spiritual needs of students:

  • Monday, Aug. 28 – Patriot Life (general information)

  • Tuesday, Aug. 29 – Patriot Smarts (academic information)

  • Wednesday, Aug. 30 – Patriot Spirit (athletics and club sports)

  • Thursday, Aug. 31 – Patriot Involvement (student involvement fair)

  • Friday, Sept. 1 – Patriot Neighborhood (community connections)

  • Saturday, Sept. 2 – Patriot Pizzazz (comedy show)

  • Sunday, Sept. 3 – Patriot Adventures (exploring Virginia and D.C.)

Partnerships with programs and businesses such as CUE Bus, Zip Car, the City of Fairfax, Metro and WJFK-FM will provide students with information about the surrounding community, as well as connect these businesses with incoming and returning Mason students.

“It’s a great way for local businesses to celebrate with us,” says Nikki Elston, assistant director of programming for Student Activities. “We’re making an extra effort to make students aware of the surrounding community.”

For information on the Arlington Campus Welcome Week, click here. For the Prince William Campus, click here, and for the Fairfax Campus, click here.

Welcome Week activities
Welcome Week provides students opportunities to have fun and find out about all that Mason has to offer.
Photos by Evan Cantwell

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