by RUBY GO
The sun was shining, the wind was blowing and the bees were buzzing. Music – from The Who to Katy Perry – echoed through the speakers. Some people have met face to face for the first time. The WCC Welcome Day had begun.
Welcome Back Day was held in the community park on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and dozens of clubs and organizations were stationed in the area. There was a free water and soda station, and free ice cream was also distributed. Gift bags and prizes were handed out at many, if not all, stations, and students were quick to seize the opportunity.
“Everything is so cool… My favorite part was winning a free T-shirt,” said Arianna Van, a ninth grade student at Washtenaw Technical Middle College (WTMC), a high school on the WCC campus.
The clubs and organizations that attended Welcome Back Day included a wide variety of interests. The National Guard and the Alpha Scholars are just a few.
The National Guard table staff was Sgt. Ciara Wright. Anyone between the ages of 17 and 35 is eligible. Those who are interested in joining but are not sure whether they are eligible should educate themselves further, according to Wright.
“Don’t disqualify yourself, let us disqualify you… there is no such thing as a perfect person,” Wright said.
Alpha scholars is a new program that the WCC is offering this year. Only full-time first-year students are eligible, but membership lasts throughout their time at WCC, according to Earle Jackson, Alpha Scholars’ Success Coach. If you are a full-time first year student, you are already considered an Alpha Scholar. However, if you do not register by October 15, you will not be accepted into the program. Life skills and career development opportunities are part of the benefits of becoming a member.
“This is a program that will provide students with a full college experience. We give them the tools they need to be successful in their academic endeavors and outside the classroom, ”Jackson said.
Parked on the outer edge of the park was SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary, a Manchester-based non-profit animal rescue organization. They handed out free samples of vegan jerky and chocolate almond milk to advocate for their cause.
“We are trying to reconnect people with compassion,” said Brece Clark, an employee of SASHA Farm. “Most people don’t believe in cruelty to animals… but subconsciously, they pay the price. “
For Welcome Back Day, the farm aimed to educate the student body about animal agriculture and alternative food options. Scenes of killed farm animals were played out through virtual reality headsets.
“It’s our way of showing how animals are killed in an immersive way, almost like you’re there,” Clark said. “People really reacted positively, they just didn’t realize how bad (the situation) was.”
A COVID-19 vaccination station was set up outside the Business Education (BE) building and it was open to all who entered. The number of people who showed up was relatively small, according to Susan Bocks, operations manager at Visit Healthcare.
The welcome day usually takes place twice a year, once during the fall semester and once during the winter semester. If you missed this one (or want to attend other events), a list of events can be found on the Campus Connect website.