Tim Danube
associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union, 308.865.8523

“Wild About UNK” is the theme of Blue & Gold Welcome Week as the University of Nebraska at Kearney kicks off the 2011-2012 school year.

Blue & Gold Welcome Week, which takes place the first week of school, gives students a chance to meet faculty, staff and fellow students. The students will get to know the UNK campus as well as the Kearney community through a variety of events.

“Blue & Gold Days are important for accommodating the needs of the incoming students’ adjustment to campus, and developing a sense of ownership, belonging and Loper identity,” said Tim Danube, associate director of the Nebraskan Student Union.

Activities begin Friday, Aug. 19, when students move into UNK residence halls. Chamber of Commerce volunteers and others will be available to help students move in from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lunch will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Market @ 27th Street in the Nebraskan Student Union. Students will be able to eat lunch using their dining plan, and experience the new features and upgrades in the dining commons.

Students who are new to campus will also attend a welcome convocation in the Health and Sports Center at 3 p.m., at which Chancellor Doug Kristensen, Student Body President Jordan Gonzales ofMorrill, UNK administrators and upper-class students will speak about getting the most out of UNK.

New student college orientation, which will be held from 4 – 5 p.m., at locations across campus, will allow students to meet with deans and faculty to discuss their area of study.

Friday from 5 – 8 p.m. will be the traditional Blue & Gold Community Showcase on the UNK Campus Green. More than 200 vendors from UNK and the Kearney community will be present. The showcase will include music, free food, giveaways, community business and service opportunities, campus information and entertainment such as a dunk tank, a caricaturist and games.

The annual Chancellor’s Picnic will begin at 5:30 p.m. near the bell tower. The picnic, which is free to students and their families, as well as UNK campus and the community, will run until 7 p.m.

From 7 – 8 p.m., the UNK Pride of the Plains marching band will march through the showcase and picnic. The band will then assemble on Foster Field where they will perform their 2011 pre-game show and season-opening half-time show.

Freshman residence hall meetings will begin at 8 p.m. in the UNK residence halls. At the meetings, students will engage with roommates, floor-mates and hall-mates while resident advisers and graduate assistant hall directors explain upcoming activities geared toward making the halls a home away from home.

Friday night activities will conclude with a Welcome Back Comedy Night featuring Taylor Williamson at 9 p.m. Williamson has been featured on The Late Late Show, MTV TRL, NBC Last Comic Standing and Comedy Central Live at Gotham.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, off-campus new student meetings will be held in the Nebraskan Student Union Ponderosa Room, and on-campus freshman floor meetings will be held in the residence halls. These meetings will allow students to network and introduce various activities and tips for students’ time at UNK.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Student Success presentations will be given in the Nebraskan Student Union and Copeland Hall. Five sessions will be held at each of the presentations with topics regarding lunch time, intramurals, general studies, the library and academic skills.

Many UNK facilities and offices will be open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., giving students a chance to explore the UNK campus and get assistance if needed.

Among the offices that will be open are: Academic and Career Services, Academic Success, Admissions, Antelope Bookstore, Calvin T. Ryan Library, Finance (Saturday only), Financial Aid, Health Care, Information Technology Services – Help Desk and UNK Connections (Saturday only), International Student Services, Nebraskan Student Union, UNK ID Card Office, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Police and Parking Services, Registrar’s Office (Sunday only), Residence Life and Student Employment Services.

In addition, the Frank House, located on UNK West Campus, will be open for tours from noon – 5 p.m. on Saturday, but will be closed on Sunday. On Monday, the Frank House will return to regular hours, which are Monday – Friday, 2 – 5 p.m., and Saturday noon – 5 p.m.

From 2:30 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, “Playfair!” will be held on the UNK Campus Greens. “Playfair is an interactive way to meet new students and build relationships, while developing unity and school spirit,” Danube said.

Saturday night activities will consist of Lopers Under the Lights from 8 – 11 p.m. at Cope Stadium. Lopers Under the Lights gives students the opportunity to meet UNK athletes, practice sports drills, listen to music and win prices.

Sunday afternoon from 5 – 7 p.m., students have the opportunity to swim during the UNK Splash Down at Harmon Park Pool. Admission is free with a UNK student I.D.

That evening, Residence Life, Residence Hall Association and Community Assembly Night will host Flip Flop Fun Night in the Nebraskan Student Union Courtyard. The first 250 students to attend will receive free flip flops. Free Tropical Sno, popcorn and drinks will be available at the event, which will be held from 8 – 10 p.m.

UNK fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 22. Monday night, students receive a special discount and free popcorn when attending a movie at the Kearney Cinema 8 Theaters.

Beyond the Wall poster sale will be held in the Nebraskan Student Union Courtyard on Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Workouts and Wellness will be held in the Cushing Coliseum from 8 – 10 p.m. At the event, workout facilities will be available to students, as well as information on workout options, nutrition, health, campus and other Loper topics. The inaugural UNK Floor Tug O’ War will also be held at Workouts and Wellness. Winners will be awarded the first intramural championship shirts of the year. Students must register their team of six by 8:30 p.m. in Cushing. There is a limit of one team per floor. There are three divisions – men, women and coed – for the competition.

On Wednesday, Aug. 24, Campus Ministries will host a Root Beer Float Party at Cope Memorial Fountain from 5 – 7 p.m., where students will be able to learn about ministry and other civic opportunities in the Kearney area, while having free root beer floats.

From 7 – 10 p.m., a game tournament will be held in the Learning Commons in the Calvin T. Ryan Library. Students will meet Learning Commons tutors while competing in games including Trivial Pursuit, Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Scrabble, Guesstures, Pictionary and Twister. Cake and ice cream will be served at the event.

On Thursday, Aug. 25, Destination Downtown will take place from 8 – 10:30 p.m. in downtown Kearney, on “The Bricks.” Trolleys will provide free transportation to and from downtown from the Nebraskan Student Union and University Residence South to “The Bricks” all evening. Students can expect live music, student discounts, prices, free food, minute-to-win-it games, food eating contests and other activities at the eighth annual event.

On Friday, Aug. 26, an adventure race will be held at the bell tower from 7 – 8:30 p.m. Students will run though campus to find clues needed to finish first and win prizes. Watermelon and water will be available after the race.

Loper Programming Activities Council (LPAC) will host an outdoor movie on the south side of Copeland Hall beginning at 9 p.m. or dusk. Free pop and popcorn will be available at the showing of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”

The week will conclude with the Blue and Gold Rock and Skate on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Viaero Event Center from 8 p.m. – midnight. Students can ice skate for free with a student I.D., listen to music and win door prizes, including a TV and iPod.