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Welcome Back: Students Return as SBU Looks Forward to Fall

210816 move in day 531
210816 move in day 531
President Maurie McInnis talks to parents at the New Seawolf and Family Welcome BBQ on the Staller Steps. Photo by John Griffin

Resident students unpacked their bags and moved back to campus this week, joining faculty, staff and the rest of the Stony Brook University community as the Fall 2021 semester begins with a sense of hope and excitement.

“It is wonderful to be fully returning to in-person work, teaching and learning,” President Maurie McInnis said in her Aug. 11 message to the campus community. “Already you can feel the excitement as people reunite with their friends, thank their colleagues and plan together for the future.”

President McInnis continued a long Stony Brook tradition on Aug. 16 by assisting students as they moved into their residence halls, providing a helping hand at Mendelsohn and H Communities. She also joined students and their families at the Family Lunch on the Staller Steps.

International students moved in on Sunday, Aug. 15, with first-year students returning Monday for the first of two days of moving into their assigned residences. Resident transfer students will move in Thursday, Aug. 19.

The move-in days kicked off “New Seawolf Welcome Week,” a revamped program led by New Student Programs and the Division of Student Affairs. The multi-day experience is geared toward getting new students acclimated to Stony Brook University and to introduce them to faculty, staff and fellow students. Each student has a unique schedule of assigned workshops and “Choose Your Own” workshops, all managed on SBEngaged, the online platform that houses campus events, organizations and involvement opportunities.

“This year’s New Seawolf Welcome Week offers a wide range of fun and educational activities for new students to help them get adjusted to the campus and introduce them to faculty, staff, and fellow students and build connections,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Rick Gatteau. “In the past we had one weekend to offer these activities, but now we have a whole week, which will help ease their transition into college life before classes start.”

The list of Welcome Week events also includes:

  • Commuter Student Expo, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 5-6 pm, Union Ballroom
  • First Night Out, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 7-11 pm
  • New Student Convocation, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2-3:15 pm
  • Transfer New Student Convocation, Friday, Aug. 20, 2:15-3 pm
  • Campus Resource Fair, Friday, Aug. 20, 3-5 pm
  • Wolfie’s Welcome FY Pep Rally and Dinner, Saturday, Aug. 21, 5:30-7 pm, LaValle Stadium

Campus Dining is hosting a variety of events during Welcome Week, including a Farm to Table Dinner at East Side Dining from 5:30-8 pm on Aug. 16 with guest chef Budd Cohen; a lecture, workshop and dinner with celebrity chef Barton Seaver on Aug. 18; and Global Night dinners at East Side Dining and West Side Dining on Aug. 19.

The Zuccaire Gallery is celebrating Welcome Week with activities and tours Aug. 17-21 from 1-3 pm. Meet other art enthusiasts, join arts and crafts, and play a scavenger hunt for special prizes.

More than 600 student volunteers, managed by faculty and staff, will take part in Community Service Day on Saturday, Aug. 21. Described as “the most ambitious single-day service program ever attempted by Stony Brook,” the event features a variety of service projects that will improve both the campus and the surrounding community.

SBU will continue to follow CDC and New York State Department of Health guidance. The Stronger Together website contains all of the latest COVID guidance, as well as information on vaccines, testing, screening and FAQ pages for a variety of areas.

President McInnis noted that Stony Brook has consistently assessed the situation and adjusted campus response accordingly. “We have learned a lot about how to keep our campus safe and now have the addition of effective vaccines to help in this effort,” she said. “I’m confident that we will thoughtfully navigate our return to the campus safely. And there is plenty of important work for us to do, together.”

Added Gatteau: “Based upon our careful planning this year and our extremely high vaccination rate, coupled with current  continued indoor mask mandates, we’re confident in our ability to ensure a safe campus.”


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