There is nothing normal about the start of this academic year, but the message delivered to the more than 400 Lawrence University first-year and transfer students who arrived Tuesday for Welcome Week – some in person, some virtually – was plenty familiar.
You are now Lawrentians. The expectations and the opportunities are many, and through it all you will be welcomed, challenged, embraced, celebrated, and supported.
Challenges, excitement mix as Fall Term arrives: Read more here.
“You will learn from the academic endeavors you ace, and from the ones you struggle through; from the close friendships you develop and from the ones that fall apart; from successes in athletic competitions and in performances, and from failures,” President Mark Burstein said in a Welcome Week address delivered virtually to the incoming students and their families. “Your life at Lawrence will not always be easy, but study after study shows it will provide a lifetime of dividends through higher compensation and, even more important, a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. At each step you take, we will be here for you.”
For the nearly 80% of first-year students who opted to be on campus for Fall Term, masks, 6 feet of space, and a COVID-19 test upon arrival are among the most visible signs that this isn’t business as usual in September. But those in person and those accessing the term from a distance were assured they will find support at every turn as the Lawrence community adapts to these new protocols, as “we reinvent learning and community in this time of a pandemic,” Burstein said.
Photo gallery, from top left: Daniel Johnson ’23 hangs a banner for Welcome Week; students move into Sage Hall; Grace Fox ’24 gets an assist from her mother, Danielle Fox; signage shows the way outside Trever Hall; virus testing is done outside Alexander Gym; Kianni McCain ’24 carries boxes into Ormsby Hall; Amber Newman ’23 shows her CA mask; and Diego Leon ’24 gets a hug from his father outside Sage Hall.
Students and their families circled through the Alexander Gym horseshoe for drive-through COVID testing Tuesday morning before heading across the river to begin the process of moving into residence halls, all with the assistance of Lawrence staff and with tight restrictions on who could access the facilities and when.
Amid all the reminders to wear masks and maintain physical distancing, there were hugs and photos and tearful goodbyes.
The journey has begun
The Class of 2024 comes to Lawrence from around the country and around the world.
Ken Anselment, vice president for enrollment and communication, welcomed a class that hails from “families of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures.” Consider these numbers:
37: States, and the District of Columbia, represented in the class.
36: Countries represented by students who are citizens and dual-citizens.
24: The number of transfer students who have come to Lawrence from two- and four-year colleges.
21%: The percentage of first-year students from Illinois. Rounding out the top 10, in order: Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, Texas, New York, Colorado, Missouri, South Korea, and Michigan.
81%: First-year students pursuing a degree in Lawrence’s College of Arts and Sciences. The other 19% will pursue a course of study in the Conservatory of Music (28 students are pursuing a double degree in both).
116: First-year students who will compete as student athletes (once athletics competition resumes). That’s about 28% of the class.
“All of us are here to learn”
In the President’s Welcome ceremony, typically held in Memorial Chapel but moved to a virtual format this year, Christopher Card, vice president for student life, said “welcome” is the key word in this very special week. And just as Lawrence welcomes its newest students, he urged those students to also welcome their classmates and their new community with open hearts and open minds.
“Communities like ours are at their best when we engage each other with mutual respect in our attempts to form lasting and meaningful relationships,” Card told the students. “We fail the educational process and ourselves when we draw conclusions from fear, stereotypes, or a refusal to engage. Fundamentally, all of us are here to learn – with each other and from each other.”
Being an intellectually honest and vibrant institution that values “open inquiry, free expression, and the respectful community that gives such inquiry and expression purpose and meaning” is part of the foundation that is Lawrence University, said Catherine G. Kodat, provost and dean of the faculty.
“These are tried and true principles for learning in community,” she said. “In this extraordinary year, though, we need to go beyond the tried and true, because the challenge facing us all in this moment is making the commitment not only to learn in community but also to learn new ways to be a community.”
A willingness to be creative and flexible and inclusive will play out in a myriad of ways as students find their rhythm on campus and online, all with the uncertainties of the pandemic and the ongoing pain of racial injustice front and center. It will be evident in in-person and virtual classrooms, in performance spaces, in faculty interactions, in athletic competitions, in residence halls, and in other social exchanges.
“Our community mirrors the world in which all races, ethnicities, and religions are represented,” Burstein said. “Take advantage of this rich diversity. Befriend someone who comes from a different background than yours. And please join us as we work to become an antiracist, equity-minded campus community. These experiences will enrich your time here and prepare you for life after Lawrence.”
Fall Term will begin on Monday.
Ed Berthiaume is director of public information at Lawrence University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, incoming students! We know transitioning to independent living at college is a big leap, and you’re going to get plenty of information during Welcome Week. But we’re here to talk student to student. While a successful life at Lawrence can’t be boiled down to a simple set of rules, we’ve learned a few important things in our first two years here. We hope it’s helpful as you navigate your new surroundings.
Communicate openly with your roommate. And do it from the start.
Isabella: As they say, you don’t have to be
best friends, but you have to at least be able to talk to each other about
boundaries, and you need to show them respect. In my first year, my roommate
and I never really spoke to each other about anything. The result was that I
avoided being in my room, and that was not a good feeling.
Awa: I agree 100 percent, communication with your roommate is key. No matter what, at some point you have to go back to your room. You wouldn’t want your room to be a space that you don’t feel comfortable in. I got really lucky and had great relationships with both roommates that I’ve had. I think the reason my roommates and I worked well together is because we were not afraid to talk to each other.
Isabella: Wow, that’s ideal. Simply talking to each other right off the bat can prevent any discomfort as the year goes on. Everybody is nervous about their roommate. That’s normal. You have to be open, up front and honest in order to have the best possible roommate experience.
Curious about Andrew Commons and the food offerings? In this video, Awa Badiane ’21 takes you on a mini-tour of the dining hall in the Warch Campus Center:
Keep up with your assignments. That’s
now, not later.
Awa: I remember this one time at 3 a.m., while opening a second Monster, I thought to myself, “Why do professors assign assignments so early if they know we’re going to just wait until the last minute?” Then I realized there are students who don’t wait until the last minute. This is not how assignments are supposed to be done. And it was like a portal to another realm opened for me and I realized I’m doing this all wrong. I still procrastinate, but not to the extent that energy drinks have to be involved.
Isabella: You’re so right. It’s great that
you realized that and you’re aware of your procrastinating, because a lot of
people realize it too late. My experience is different. Since coming to
Lawrence I’ve become pretty vigilant about starting assignments early and
getting them done. But I’ve seen those good habits get out of control and make
me really high-strung. I got so obsessive about making sure I got assignments
done early that I’d panic if I took an afternoon to myself where I wasn’t
working on anything. Basically, yes, please be proactive with your assignments,
but work in the balance between academics and your personal life. I’m still
trying to find it.
Can we agree we all need to be healthy?
Isabella: If you have two 100-page readings and a paper due and you feel like you’re going to explode, drop everything you’re doing and talk to someone about it. A friend, a family member, maybe a professor. Try not to let stress break you down. There are always resources for you. You just need to reach out.
Awa: Going to talk to a professor if you’re feeling overwhelmed was the best advice I have ever received. Professors are not evil; they understand we are trying and sometimes we bite off a little more than we can chew. When this happens, just talking to your professor about what you are going through helps a lot. Chances are they’ll understand.
Isabella: Definitely. Teachers are so accessible in college. And Campus Life has all sorts of resources to help. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Go to your classes. All of them. Well, most of them. Really.
Awa: I remember the first time I skipped
a class. It was a really nice day spring term my first year. It was Friday and
it was probably one of the first days during spring term where it was REALLY
spring. I threw on a dress, curled my hair, and I even wore sunglasses. I got
ready expecting to go to class, but the second I stepped outside, that glorious
spring sun hit me and I didn’t want to go to class. I convinced myself that I
didn’t have to go to class because it was just too nice out and I deserved to
spend that time outside. So, rather than going to class I went to the café, got
a buffalo chicken wrap, and sat outside to eat it. I am not going to lie. Despite
feeling a little guilty, I really enjoyed my “ditched day outside.” That was
until I went to class on Monday. It turns out, my professor also thought it was
too nice to be inside a classroom and she decided to have class outside that
day, and they learned about 40 new vocab words that the whole class then knew,
except for me. I was lost in class and I ended being lost for that entire week.
I had to spend the next weekend learning the vocab words they learned on that
Friday and trying to piece together what was taught during the week. I never
deliberately skipped another class after that day; it’s not worth it.
Isabella: It’s true that sometimes you don’t
know what the next class will bring, so you shouldn’t miss it. And skipping
classes can quickly become a bad habit, that’s for sure. Once I skipped one of
my winter term classes, it was hard not to do it every day. I wish I was like
you and could control my urge to skip. Here’s the other thing I’ll say. Every
professor has their own attendance policy, and I’ve had a lot of them who offer
a few free absences to use in the term. If that’s the case, I believe in using
some of those for those spring days at the end of the year when you’re needing
a break. Just saying. Mental health is important. But be smart about it.
Go to those office hours. They can
Awa: The first time I went to office hours was not by choice. My Freshman Studies professor made it a requirement. In order to turn in our first essay, we had to go to his office hours and discuss our essays with him. I was so scared at first. The idea of sitting in an office and having my first college professor critique my work was the scariest thing I could think of. In the time leading up to the one-on-one, I think I re-read that essay at least 80 times. But when I got there, I forgot I was nervous. My professor talked to me about my essay for about 10 minutes. He told me I was going in the right direction and he helped me organize my thoughts so that my essay had a better flow. We had an hour blocked off for it, so we spent the rest of the time just talking. He was asking me about my adjustment to Appleton from New York and he was telling me how he had spent some time in New York. I created a bond with my professor that made me more comfortable in his classroom, and when I had questions about my work, I wasn’t afraid to talk to him.
Isabella: Yeah, being comfortable with your professors is super important. Office hours is definitely a great place to build those relationships. I’ve honestly only been to office hours a couple of times in those mandatory one-on-one meetings. But they were similar situations to yours, I think, where I sort of realized that professors are real people who want to get to know you and help you succeed. It’s one of my goals going forward to make more use of office hours.
A little food in your room goes a long
Isabella: You should always have a little food
in your room for when you’re short on time and can’t get to the café or the commons.
Especially at the end of a term when things are hectic.
Awa: My first year, my dad bought me a 96-pack of Nature Valley granola bars. At first I thought it was ridiculous. What am I going to do with 96 granola bars? But by the end of the term, I ended up finishing them all. Whether it was because I woke up late and missed breakfast or if I was staying up late and got hungry, having some good snacks in my room came in handy.
Isabella: Having bulk snacks like that in
your room is the way to go, I think. Especially stuff that’s easy to take to
class with you, like a granola bar. I would say, make sure it’s not super
unhealthy stuff, otherwise you might get stuck in a rut of eating junk food in
your room instead of a real meal in the commons.
Resources like the writing center and career center can be helpful right from the start.
Isabella: They’re there for you all the time, at any stage of the process, not just when you’re struggling at the last minute. I was glad it was mandatory for my Freshman Studies class to go to the writing center in the Center for Academic Success for our papers. I had never received that kind of assistance before, and it made me open to going again on my own time.
Awa: Don’t think that because you are a first-year it is too early to go to the career center, known as the Center for Career, Life, and Community Engagement. They have lots of resources available for all years. Plus, it is important to have someone in the career center who knows you. When opportunities you have expressed interest in come along, you will be one of the first to know.
Isabella: That’s something I recently realized. I’ve met with the same person in the career center twice; once at the start of my first year and once this summer before my junior year. When I met with them recently, they remembered what kind of music I liked back then and how I brought my stereo system up to school with me. That small personal detail made me a lot more comfortable with coming back if I ever needed anything, because I know they just want to get to know you and guide you on the path that’s right for you. Give them the opportunity to do that.
The Con is pretty cool. Attend some plays, musicals, concerts.
Isabella: You should definitely go to some Conservatory performances, even if you’re not involved in the production. It’s a great way to spend an evening, alone or with friends, and it feels good to support your peers. I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve been to. For me, going to a performance in the Con has always felt like taking a little break from the term for a night.
Awa: The performances on campus are actually really good, and they are free! I went to my first show on campus because it was a requirement for class, but I loved the first show so much that I kept going back.
Athletic events also are a fun part of campus life.
Awa: If theater or music productions are
not your thing, games and matches are just as fun. Football and soccer games at
the Banta Bowl, basketball and volleyball games at Alexander Gym, baseball and
softball games at Whiting Field all can be a blast, not to mention hockey, track
and the other sports. And it’s all free.
Isabella: That’s true. I’m not a big sports fan, but one of my goals during the next two years is to do more of that. It’s really the same idea as supporting the Con productions. You’re having a great time while also supporting the talents and efforts of other students.
Get off campus once in a while. It’ll
Isabella: In the fall and spring, I like to
take walks to get groceries or personal items. Or going to some of the coffee
places to do assignments instead of my room or the library. It’s refreshing.
Awa: I try to get off campus at least
once every two weeks. I don’t know how to drive yet because I’m from New York,
so it helps having things to do off campus that are walkable. Appleton has a
lot of things to do downtown that are just a few blocks away from campus. There
also is a shuttle on campus that can take you to things that are not walking
Isabella: That’s true, you do not have to
have a car here. Even though you’ll feel like you’re in a bubble, Lawrence’s
location promotes integration with the surrounding community. And Lawrence
gives you resources like the shuttle to make that possible when it gets too
cold to walk or you’re going somewhere that’s too far to walk.
Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21 are student writers in the Communications office.
Alexander Gym is often referred to as Alex. What other Lawrence phrases, words or nicknames do you need to know?
NOTE: This list was written pre-COVID-19. Some of the experiences referenced in this article may be different this term as a result of health precautions and COVID-19 protocols.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21
There are two commonly used phrases on Lawrence’s campus. One, the Lawrence bubble, and two, the Lawrence difference.
The Lawrence bubble refers to the Lawrence campus, which is nestled in the heart of downtown Appleton, and the culture Lawrentians all share. The Lawrence difference, meanwhile, refers to the often interesting, creative, wacky, unpredictable, quirky things that happen in the bubble. And life in the bubble can sometimes be a little confusing if you are not aware of “the difference.”
Thus, as an assist to incoming students, we have created this list of 15 additional words or phrases you will most likely come across while at Lawrence. It might just help ease your transition into life in the Lawrence bubble.
Honoring the Honor Code: Yes, there’s an acronym for that.
1: IHRTLUHC (i-hart-luke): This is the acronym used to reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code: “No Lawrence student will unfairly advance their own academic performance or in any way limit or impede the academic pursuits of other students of the Lawrence community.” Students are required to reaffirm the honor code on all assignments and exams by writing IHRTLUHC, or “I hereby reaffirm the Lawrence University Honor Code.” Don’t worry about forgetting the acronym, it’s too catchy.
Ex. “Don’t forget to reaffirm the Honor Code before you submit that assignment.”
2: Café (ka-fey): Refers to Kaplan’s Café and Coffee Shop, the casual dining establishment near the entrance of the Warch Campus Center. Here students can use “cul cash” to purchase an array of foods and beverages, including sandwiches, coffee, juice, pasta bowls and ice cream. A lot of ice cream.
Ex. “What did you get for lunch?” “I just got a bowl from the café”
3: Corner store (Kawr-ner stohr): Also known as C Store, Kate’s, or Kate’s Corner. All referring to Kate’s Corner Store located on the second level of the Warch Campus Center. This is where students can purchase bulk food, fresh fruits and vegetables, snacks, sack lunches, beverages and various personal items. This also is where you can get your Lawrence spirit gear. Think sweatshirts, hats, and mugs. It’s a one-stop shop.
Ex. “I’m going to grab some pretzels from the corner store before we go.”
4: Turnaround (turn uh-round): Also called the Wriston Art Center Turnaround, located adjacent to the Wriston Art Center. The turnaround is a common pickup spot for campus shuttle services. So, if you want to get to the grocery store or the mall, or you want to catch a ride to the Banta Bowl or Alexander Gym, you’ll want to know where this is.
Ex. “They’re picking us up at the turnaround.”
Meet me at Banta: The Banta Bowl is home to Lawrence football and soccer.
5: Banta (baahn-ta): Short for the Banta Bowl, home of Ron Roberts Field. It’s the stadium where Lawrence football and soccer teams play. Also, students who have cars but don’t have a campus parking spot can park in the Banta Bowl parking lot. Pro tip: If you’re at the Banta Bowl and don’t want to walk across the E. College Avenue bridge to get back to the main part of campus, there’s a beautiful bike trail that goes past the parking lot that will take you near campus. It’s a little longer hike, but much more scenic.
Ex. “I can drive us to the store; my car is at Banta.”
6: Bjork (be-york): Our affectionate name for Björklunden, Lawrence’s 441-acre estate on the shore of Lake Michigan. The property boasts a 37,000-square-foot lodge where Lawrence students stay for weekend seminars in their areas of study. The scenery is gorgeous. Oh, and it’s in Door County. It’s like you’re on vacation.
Ex. “I can’t wait to go to Björk this weekend.”
7: Viking Gold (vahy-king gohld): Viking gold is currency in a debit account that students can use at the corner store, most vending machines and to do their laundry. Students can replenish Viking Gold through their Voyager account, at the ID office in the Warch Campus Center, and at the cashier window in Brokaw Central using a cash or check.
Ex. “Come with me to Warch, I need to add Viking Gold so I can do laundry later.” “You know you can add Viking Gold on your phone, right?”
8: SLUG Hill (sluhg hil): The steep hill behind Memorial Hall, at the base of which lies the Sustainable Lawrence University Garden, known as SLUG. It’s a tradition to go sledding down this hill in the winter months.
Ex. “It’s snowed last night. Let’s meet up at SLUG Hill.”
9: Alex (al-iks): Short for Alexander Gym, located across the Fox River from the main part of campus. It’s the home of Lawrence basketball and volleyball teams, and houses the athletic offices. Go Vikes!
Ex. “Are you going to Alex to watch the game tonight?”
10: Culinary Cash (kul-i-nary kash)
Culinary cash, or cul cash, is used to purchase fare from Kaplan’s Café and food items from Kate’s Corner Store. Students have a set balance of cul cash for each term.
Ex. “I need to budget my cul cash so I don’t run short.”
Andrew Commons is better known as the Commons. Here you’ll learn to use swipes.
11: Commons (kom-uhns): Short for Andrew Commons, this is the all-you-can-eat buffet-style eating establishment located in Warch Campus Center. Whether you’re there for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the Commons offers a variety of specialty food stations. They also host the ever-popular weekend brunch at 10:30 a.m. Get there early to beat the lines and grab a table.
Ex. “Are you going to the Commons for breakfast?”
12: Swipes (swahyps): Swipes, or meal swipes, are used to get meals at Andrew Commons. The swipe refers to the action of swiping your student ID card to pay for the meal.
Ex. “I still have two swipes left to use.”
13: The Con (th-uh kon): This is what everybody calls the Conservatory of Music. Performance spaces and classrooms for the Conservatory are mostly located on the north side of College Avenue in the Music-Drama Center and Memorial Chapel.
Ex. “We’ll catch up later, he’s at the Con practicing.”
14: Voyager (voi-uh-jer): Voyager is the online system Lawrence students use to access important personal and academic information. It’s really the nucleus of life as a student. Here you register for classes, see your class schedule, request transcripts, change your meal plan, view housing assignments, view financial aid statements and much more.
Ex. “How do I check my financial aid for spring term?” “It’s on Voyager, let me show you.”
15: Senior Experience (seen-yer ex-peer-e-ince): Also called a capstone, the Chandler Senior Experience is the culminating project that completes a student’s major. Capstones range in nature and requirements depending on the area of study. From research projects to art exhibitions, the projects are all about demonstrating what you’ve learned on your Lawrence journey.
Ex. “I can’t go out tonight, I have to work on my capstone paper.” Or, “She’s giving her Senior Experience presentation in Warch in 10 minutes.”
Awa Badiane ’21 and Isabella Mariani ’21 are student writers in the Communications office.
NOTE: This list was written pre-COVID-19. In addition to the student-recommended items below, we recommend bringing extra face masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and other personal items to keep you safe and well. Students living on campus will be provided with reusable face masks, a thermometer, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer upon move-in.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21
If you are anything like me, the weeks leading up to your first college move-in day are hectic and filled with excitement, nerves, a full Amazon cart, and hours on Pinterest. However, there is no need to stress over move-in day. Your room will come together! And to ensure that it does, I have created this list of 14 dorm-room essentials every new Lawrentian will need to pack.
1) Power strip / extension cords
Power cords are a MUST. You’ll have lots of things that will need to be plugged in throughout your room. There will come a time when you need to blow-dry your hair and charge your phone at the same time. To avoid having to choose between wet hair or a dead phone, get some power strips. Your room will not come with 20 outlets, but some days you’ll need that many. It will make dorm life so much easier if you have multiple outlets for all your electronics.
Tip: Having one or two power strips is a lot more useful than a bunch of extensions cords.
2) Shower caddy
You have probably heard of the joys of a shower caddy from the dozens of college starter packs you have been seeing. But just in case you have not given it proper consideration, trust me, owning a shower caddy is very important. This will be the home to all your shower items. College bathrooms are communal, meaning we have to share them. This also means you can’t leave all of your shower stuff in the bathroom. People typically bring what they need to shower with them using a convenient shower caddy.
Tip: I find the mesh shower caddies to be a lot more convenient than the plastic ones. With the mesh shower caddy, you can hang it up on a hook while you shower. With the plastic ones, you have to leave them on the floor.
3) Shower shoes
Again, with communal bathrooms you have to share showers. Sometimes you’ll find that someone just finished using your go-to shower and it’s still wet. You’re not going to want to step in someone else’s shower water; get shower shoes.
Tip: No need to waste money on “specially designed” shower shoes. Flip flops work just fine.
4) Laundry bag with straps
If you don’t get anything else on this list, please do yourself a favor and get a laundry bag with straps! No matter how disciplined you are, you will not do laundry once a week. Your laundry will pile up and that’s OK. And when your laundry does accumulate, you will be very happy to have a laundry bag with back straps. How else will you be able to carry the three loads of laundry you told yourself to do last week when it was only two loads?
Tip: Tide Pods make laundry a breeze.
5) Reusable water bottle
We love sustainability at Lawrence. Because Lawrence is a campus that supports sustainability and reducing waste, bottled water is not available for purchase in campus stores. Instead, we have lots of water stations all around campus. With a reusable water bottle, you can fill up throughout the day to ensure that you stay hydrated.
Tip: A water bottle with a wide opening is easier to clean.
6) Storage bins
You will need storage bins! Not only do they make it easier to organize your room, but they also make life so much easier when you have to pack up your room at the end of the year.
Tip: Having storage bins that can fit under your bed is ideal.
You are going to be here for nine months, and that’s a pretty long time. We hope you don’t get sick during this time, but if you do catch a sniffle, you’ll want to be prepared. I recommend having some Dayquil, ibuprofen, and Emergen-C’s on standby just in case.
Tip: The Wellness Center does provide free ibuprofen and aspirin. You can get some from there if needed.
Your room does not come with bedding, so you will have to bring your own. Make sure you find Twin XL sheets for the extra-long beds. Our rooms don’t get too cold, so you won’t need too many blankets. A few sheets, a comforter, and a couple blankets will be just fine.
Tip: Invest in a good mattress topper! It will last you all four years, and your back will thank you for it.
Do not stress over décor. This is the fun part. Make your room a space you enjoy being in, but don’t lose sleep over what to put on the walls. Do not let Pinterest make you spend hundreds of dollars because you think your room is not good enough; your room is good enough.
Tip: Command Strips are gold. And remember: the more décor you have, the more stuff you have to worry about packing at the end of the year.
10) Cleaning supplies
You will be living in this space for about nine months … yes, you’ll need to clean it eventually. I suggest having a broom, dustpan, and lots of Clorox wipes.
Tip: You can clean your whole room with just Clorox wipes. Believe me.
Scented plug-ins are not necessarily a must, but I do highly suggest one. Spray air-fresheners are not banned, but they are frowned upon. Having a plug-in means you don’t have to worry when you have guests over because your room will always smell like your favorite scent.
Tip: If the scented plug-ins are not your style, diffusers work great, too!
12) School supplies
For some reason, when people go back-to-school shopping for college, they forget they need school supplies. (Honestly, the only reason I remembered to get school supplies my first year was because I saw my little sister picking out pencils and markers.) Three 3-subject college-ruled notebooks, two packs of pens, index cards and some Post-It notes is all you’ll really need.
Tip: You can wait until after the first day of classes to get all your school supplies. See what your professors say you’ll need on the first day, and then go to the store and get exactly that. Still bring a pen and some paper though!
13) Winter coat
Winter is coming. When winter is here, you’ll need a coat. You won’t really need your heavy-duty winter coat (if you don’t have one, get one) until winter term though. If you can, wait until winter to bring your coat because it takes up space. Beware, there is a period near the end of fall term where it’s too cold for a sweater, but not cold enough for your real winter coat. I would suggest getting a jacket for when that time comes.
Tip: Invest in layers that you can wear in winter.
14) Mini Fan
Contrary to popular belief, it does get warm in Wisconsin. At the start of fall term and the end of spring term, you will be very glad to have a fan in your room.
Tip: Get a box fan and put it against an open window. It will feel just like air conditioning.
OK, that’s my list. I hope it’s helpful. Good luck. Move-in day is almost here.
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
Are you about to move in and start classes at Lawrence? We know there’s a lot on your mind as Welcome Week draws near. We want to address some of your concerns as best as we can right here in this list. Here are eight things you need to know before you start your life at Lawrence.
1. Hello, Welcome Week
Welcome Week is all about getting settled into life at Lawrence alongside the rest of your incoming class. The week is full, and I mean full, of optional and mandatory opportunities to get to know Lawrence and the Appleton area. From the time you move in on Sept. 9 to the first day of classes on Sept. 16, you’ll get to meet your classmates and Community Advisors (CAs), spend time with your CORE group, tour campus, take the class photo and begin Freshman Studies, to name just a sliver of your itinerary. Even though it’s a busy week, it’s no time to stress — have fun and feel confident in your ability to take on your first year of college. It’s easy to make friends when everyone else is new, too! Learn more about Welcome Week here.
2. Use Handshake to get a campus job
Handshake is like Lawrence’s version of Indeed. This is the site you’ll use if you want an internship or a job on campus or in the Appleton area. You can easily sort by location and hour preference to help you find a job that’s right for your academic schedule. It’s an intuitive platform, but the Center for Career, Life and Community Engagement is always ready to help you out. Take the time to decide if you’re ready to manage your classes and a job right away. If you are, visit Handshake.
3. Get your course materials at the LU Online Bookstore
The online bookstore is a convenient place to start shopping for books. All your classes for the whole year are registered there under your student account, so it will show you what books you need for each class and all your books can be purchased from one place. It’s very important to order your books with enough time in advance of the start of the term so you’re prepared for the class. Visit the bookstore here.
4. You have access to counseling and medical services
You can receive a range of medical care at the Wellness Center on campus. Within the designated hours, on-site doctors and nurses can provide examination and treatment for illnesses and minor injuries, over-the-counter prescriptions and more. Counseling is available by appointment at the Wellness Center and is free to students who have paid their student health fee. Counselors will do their best to help you through academic or personal stressors and can guide you to the best option for ongoing care if necessary. They also provide a simple, judgment-free zone where you can feel free to tell them whatever is on your mind. Some students find this to be a very valuable resource. Learn more about wellness services here.
5. Making sense of units vs. credits
Don’t get too confused when you hear units instead of credits when talking about course credit; the difference is simple. Each standard course at Lawrence counts for six units instead of one credit. A standard term in our trimester system consists of three courses, adding up to 18 units per term. If you’re interested in music ensembles, those are worth one unit in addition to those 18 units. Just like credits, you will need to have accumulated a certain amount in order to graduate.
6. Tutoring can be your friend
Lawrence strongly encourages students to make use of
tutoring services. That’s why we have a system of peer tutoring. Each year, the
Center for Academic Success (CAS) employs approximately 200 Lawrence students
who have been selected by faculty to tutor their peers in ESL, oral
communication, writing, quantitative reasoning and content-specific
Connecting with your roommate might be the most
nerve-wracking thing on your mind as move-in day approaches. Here’s the key to
easing that stress: Once you find out in mid-July — via Voyager — who you’ll
be living with, get in touch with them per their provided contact information so
you can get to know each other before move-in day. You also can discuss what
you need to have in the room and who’s bringing what.
After you’ve moved in, your CA will give you each a roommate
agreement form, with which you can establish understandings of cleanliness,
bedtimes, the need for quiet study time, sharing food and belongings, and other
concerns. This opportunity for discussion will help you to understand and
respect each other and hopefully avoid disagreements on those topics in the
It’s also important to note: Your roommate does not have to be your best friend. You don’t have to do everything together. Sometimes it works out that way, but other times you will have different social circles, schedules, and interests— and that’s totally OK. Don’t put too much pressure on that one relationship; there are lots of interesting people to befriend.
8. Meal plan 101
First, the meal plans at Lawrence are built on meal swipes
and culinary cash. Meal swipes are used at Andrew Commons and each is good for
one all-you-can-eat meal. Culinary cash is used at Kaplan’s Café and Kate’s
Corner Store and it works like a debit card — if you order a $5 sandwich, $5 is
deducted from your culinary cash balance. The meal plan options offer a combination
of swipes and culinary cash based on your personal meal preferences. You can
select a new meal plan at the start of each term if you so choose.
Second, you should know that this year’s meal plans are
brand new; you’re not the only one with questions. Here’s how it works:
First-year students are assigned the standard meal plan of 14 swipes and $225
culinary cash with the option to change their selection to the plan with 19
swipes and $100 culinary cash. The meal swipes replenish at the start of each
week, but your culinary cash must last you through the term. Unused swipes and
culinary cash will not roll over into the next term. So, whatever you
choose, use it wisely!
Finally, think strategically when choosing a meal plan. You
might want fewer swipes and more culinary cash if you plan to frequently eat
meals in your dorm room or off campus. Or, more swipes and less culinary cash
if you like the sound of all-you-care-to-eat rather than a la carte meals or if
you’ll be getting dinner regularly with your friends in the Commons.
Isabella Mariani ’21 is a student writer in the Communications office.
The welcome mats will be out in abundance Tuesday, Sept. 5 when 385 new Lawrence University students, including 17 from the Fox Cities, arrive for that traditional rite of passage known as Freshmen Move in Day and the start of new student orientation activities. Classes for Lawrence’s 169th academic year begin Monday, Sept. 11.
Freshmen members of the Class of 2021 were drawn from a school-record number of more than 3,600 applicants, building on a five-year upward trend. Since 2012, first-year applications to Lawrence have increased 39 percent.
While Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota remain first, second and third, respectively, in sending the most students to Lawrence, more than half of this year’s total of new students hail from outside those traditional big three. California and New York round out the top five Lawrence student-producing states. Some of the incoming students from Texas are still coping with the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which has brought out the best in their fellow Lawrentians.
“We’ve had parents of current students from unaffected parts of Texas reach out to those families of first-year students in the hurricane areas,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid. “They’re offering help to any fellow Lawrentians who may need it. That’s so Lawrence-like.”
Thirty percent of the new students identify as domestic students of color: African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian-American or multi-ethnic.
“This is one of the most ethnically diverse classes we have seen in decades,” said Anselment. “This continues a trend we’ve seen over the past five years during which roughly a quarter of our new students have identified as domestic students of color.”
China, with 12 incoming freshmen, leads Lawrence’s traditionally strong international student make-up, with six students matriculating from Vietnam. Thirty-four students representing 19 countries, including Bangladesh, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates are among this year’s first-year students.
“As the population of college-bound students in the United States has been declining, especially so in the Midwest, we have been increasing our national and international recruitment focus,” said Anselment.
Academically, first-year students averaged 29 on the ACT, with nearly 40 percent of them graduating in the top 10 percent of their high school class.
“This class is noteworthy for its strong academics, its geographic and cultural diversity and its athletic and musical talent,” said Anselment. “We have some exceptional student-athletes and exceptional musicians. It’s one of the stronger years we’ve seen.”
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.
As one of Lawrence University’s academically talented incoming freshmen, it is no surprise Paige Witter is a quick study.
But with an epee and a laser pistol?
Witter, a budding standout pentathlete, will be among 400 Lawrence freshmen and 17 transfer students arriving on campus Sept. 10 for the start of Welcome Week new student orientation activities. Classes for Lawrence’s 165th academic year begin Monday, Sept. 16.
An accomplished swimmer (a three-time state meet qualifier), Witter decided to try her hand at fencing after her sophomore year of high school. Two weeks later, Witter found herself at a modern pentathlon camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She so impressed, she was invited to participate in the 2011 U.S. Youth Nationals Competition.
Competing in swimming, fencing and the biathlon (laser pistol shooting at a series of targets with three, 1,000-meter runs in between), Witter placed fourth at the national championships, earning an invitation to the Youth World Championships in the process.
Opting to train rather than compete in the world championships, she returned to the 2012 National Youth Championships, finishing second among 20 pentathletes. Her silver medal earned her a trip to the Modern Pentathlon Youth World Cup competition in Tata, Hungary, last September, which attracted 80 female and 90 male competitors from 27 countries. Completing a 200-meter swim, a one-touch fencing bout with all 79 other athletes and the combined biathlon, Witter finished second among four women representing the United States and 60th overall at her first taste of international competition.
“I’m definitely competitive,” said Witter, 18, of Denver, Colo., who cites swimming as her strongest event, but fencing as her favorite. “With pentathlon, you’re doing so much and every sport challenges a different part of you. I was a little bit scared—actually I was a lot scared—the first time I competed, because there were a lot of people who were a lot better than me, but that just got me really interested in training more and trying to get better.”
Despite her passion for fencing, and the fact the captain of Lawrence’s fencing team, Mariah Wilkerson, is from the same Denver, Colo., high school Witter attended, she will compete for the Vikings in swimming, not as a member of the Lawrence fencing team.
“That was a really hard decision,” said Witter. “I talked to my coach about it. She tells the people who train with her full-time you have to swim every day, but you can get away with fencing just a couple of times a week. It’s obviously preferable to train more, but you can get away with less fencing if you keep up with your swimming.”
Witten is a member of Lawrence’s 400-member freshman class drawn from 292 different high schools from 30 states and 22 countries. A snapshot of the Class of 2017:
• Approximately one-fifth of the freshmen are domestic students of color, continuing a seven-year increase in ethnic diversity.
• China, Bangladesh, Canada and South Korea collectively account for nearly half of this year’s class of international students (47). This year’s international students represent the largest percentage (12 percent) of a Lawrence freshman class since at least 2000.
• Academically, the plurality ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating class, including more than one-quarter of them in the top 5 percent.
• The average grade point average among the freshmen tops 3.61 with an average ACT score of 28.
• Approximately 80 percent of the freshmen are enrolling in Lawrence’s college of liberal arts and sciences while 20 percent are enrolling in the conservatory of music.
• Ninety-six percent of incoming freshmen received need- or merit-based financial aid with need-based financial aid packages averaging $33,000.
“One of my favorite times of year is our convocation during Welcome Week,” said Ken Anselment, dean of admissions and financial aid. “All of us get to greet, for the first time, the entire class of new students in Memorial Chapel together at once. You could light Appleton for weeks if you could harness the energy that comes from that event.”
Understandably excited for the start of classes, Witter admits she has “no clue” as to what course of study she wants to pursue at this point.
“It changes literally every day, sometimes every hour,” Witten says with a laugh. “I found Lawrence because it was a small liberal arts school that had fencing and neuroscience, but now I’m doing swimming instead of fencing and I’m still interested in neuroscience, but I’m not sure if that’s going to be my major.”
As for a possible future date with an Olympic Games venue, Witter is keeping an open mind.
“That would be amazing. I know I would have to put in a lot of hard work to do that, and it would be a goal for after college. It’s something that’s still in the back of my mind as something I would love to have the opportunity to train for. I’m lucky to live in Colorado, so I’m in pretty close proximity to the Olympic training center. I got to meet and train with the pentathlon competitors who went to the Olympics last year.”
AboutLawrenceUniversity Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.