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Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Welcome Week at IU South Bend

A new-student induction ceremony and welcome festivities open the 2011-12 academic year at Indiana University South Bend. Ceremonies, laser tag, an ice cream social and even a performance by a hypnotist combine to make for a big week before all of that studying starts.

The induction event at 11 a.m. Aug. 26 will include addresses by Chancellor Una Mae Reck, Executive Vice Chancellor Alfred Guillaume, songs from IU South Bend Gospel Choir, explanations of the academic regalia and a pinning ceremony for all incoming students.

More than 150 students, plus guests, are expected for the brief ceremony, which was inspired by similar ceremonies at IU Bloomington and IU Southeast.

Rick Dennie, director of student support, coordinated the first-ever induction event on the South Bend campus. "It was something we considered for a few years and it was on the back burner," he said. "The goal is to have a formal opening of the school year and to reinforce the importance of academics."

IU South Bend's Welcome Week begins Aug. 29 and 30 over the lunch hour, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with free food, games, vendors and organizations on the pedestrian mall. Tables will be set up along sidewalks, and vendors, departments and student groups will pass out information, candy and food. Sam Centellas, director of student life, expects 125 participants, a number that has grown each of the past three years.

Hypnotist Chris Jones will perform on the evening of Aug. 30. A casino night, cookout and a "car smash" sponsored by the math and actuarial clubs (students pay to hit an old car to relieve some start of the semester stress) are scheduled for Aug. 31 at the River Crossing community building.

Closing out the week on Sept. 1 will be laser tag and an ice cream social from 5 to 9 p.m. at the housing recreation field.

Centallas said the housing director Paul Krikau and his staff support the activities and realize the importance of making the connections with residential and non- residential students. "We're doing thing that students wanted to do," Krikau said. "They are creating their own fanfare to celebrate coming back to school. We want them to make friends and connections."

--Kathy Borlik