California Baptist University welcomed a class of approximately 190 new freshmen and transfer students who are starting their first semester this spring, an increase from last spring.
Community Life welcomed the newcomers with Spring Welcome Weekend, starting with a move-in day Jan. 10 and followed by Spring Welcome sessions Jan. 11-12.
During these sessions, students were highly encouraged to ask questions. Amy Lima, sophomore photography major and new transfer student at CBU, said she learned a great deal from Spring Welcome Weekend.
“(Spring Welcome) taught me to ask questions,” Lima said. “Don’t be afraid to ask a stranger where your classes are or where you can go to see Financial Aid. If you don’t know where the Campus Store is, just ask. People are nice. And I also learned to check my email a lot because professors email you through the school email.”
Lima said she thought Spring Welcome was informative, providing her with vital information about the Student Success Center, tutoring and financial aid.
The events, which primarily took place on Jan. 11, included CBU’s traditional Kugel Walk. Daniel Garcia, assistant director of new student programs, said the new students experienced their Kugel Walk a little differently than students this previous fall, and he anticipates a possible change for this upcoming Fall Welcome Weekend, as well.
“We are reconsidering the way we do the Kugel walk,” Garcia said. “We separated (the new students) into their First-Year Experience groups, and their leaders took them to the Kugel. They let them know the importance of it, that we are a school committed to the Great Commission and Dr. Ronald L. Ellis’s vision behind that.”
Garcia also noted that this new version of the traditional Kugel walk is a more intimate experience for students and student leaders.
“They were able to do it in a more intimate way, rather than just walking by and touching the Kugel. It was a ratio of about two leaders to 10 students and it was a little more heartfelt, and that’s the direction we’re probably going to go in the future,” Garcia said.
Garcia said he hopes Spring Welcome will ease students’ nerves and make them feel welcomed as they begin their new journey at CBU.
“A verse we go by is Romans 15:7,” Garcia said. “It says: ‘Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you for the glory of God.’ That is what we want to do for our students; welcome them as Christ has welcomed us, no matter our background, no matter our story, he welcomed us, so we want to do the same for them.”
CBU students welcome the new students to the school this semester. Rakiesia Snyder, freshman English major, offered her advice to students coming in this spring.
“I can say that it’s very important to balance everything,” Snyder said. “Don’t play more than you study or study more than you play. It may be difficult at first but you really can have the best of both worlds.”
Snyder also stressed the importance of socializing. She said having people around can make college life easier, in her experience.
Apart from the Welcome events for new students each semester, Community Life, Residence Life, the International Center and Spiritual Life has many activities for students coming up this spring, including free concerts, cultural excursions and a picnic this spring for commuter students.