Opening our wings to new Jayhawks
There's more to attending KU than going to class. So each
August the University welcomes freshmen to the nest, transforming
them into Jayhawks even before the first day of classes.
Hawk Week, a 20-year tradition, teaches students not only
where they can do research or park their cars but also how
to sing the KU fight song and recite the Rock Chalk chant
like experienced alumni.
Kristen Trendel, director of New Student Orientation, said
Hawk Week sprang from an older, less-educational tradition
known as Country Club Week. By the 1980s, Country Club Week
had evolved into a disorganized, unsanctioned circuit of parties
during the week between the residence halls' opening and the
beginning of classes.
David Ambler, the recently retired vice chancellor for student
affairs, seized the opportunity to better use those days and
created Hawk Week.
"If the students were going to move in early, there
might as well be something constructive for them to do with
their time and help them get acclimated to the university,"
Over the years, the program has grown to include Hawk Days
to cover academic and logistical orientation at KU, and Hawk
Nights to allow students the chance to get to know one another.
The combination, Trendel said, has been very successful.
"We must be doing something right because attendance
over the past five years has continued to increase,"
she said. "It's a fun and festive atmosphere."
Between Sunday, Aug. 18, and Monday, Aug. 26, students have
open invitations to attend daily informational sessions on
the libraries, sports venues, student employment, volunteer
opportunities and finding classes. At night, students are
invited to the Student Alumni Association's Ice Cream Social,
Traditions Night, free movies, concerts and arts festivals.
"If you're coming from a small school or don't know
a lot of people, KU can be intimidating," Trendel said.
"Hawk Week welcomes the students and lets them know we're
glad they're here.
"I think it really helps students to feel like they
haven't just been left here. It tells them that somebody is
excited about them being at KU."
For more information about Hawk Week or to look at a schedule
of events, visit http://www.hawkweek.ku.edu/.