In mid-August, the Creighton community welcomed its newest class of Bluejays to campus with its annual Welcome Week. 

The second largest class in Creighton’s history began moving in on Friday Aug. 13, and was welcomed to Omaha by New Student Orientation and Creighton’s spirit squads. 

Erin Brown, a freshman in the Heider College of Business, was elated to finally get to Omaha.

“[Omaha] was everything I expected and more,” Brown said.

After a year in which move-in and Welcome Week had to be modified in order to conform to restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several members of NSO were excited to return to the traditional format.

“I was really excited because they were really excited,” Justin Stoeckle, Assistant Director for Transitions, said. “The energy was just unmatched.”

Much of NSO was staffed by sophomores who did not receive a traditional Welcome Week last year. Last year’s Welcome Week was replaced with a longer move-in process and the cancellation of several events. 

Traditional Welcome Week events returned to their pre-pandemic form, such as the March to Morrison, along with others like CU Survival, which still happened despite the pandemic. 

Faith Geis, a sophomore in the Heider College of Business, said she had a greater appreciation for the event after not getting to do it herself. 

“It was fun to see the Creighton spirit in full swing in a way we didn’t get,” Geis said.

The peer leaders and guides for Welcome Week spent a week preparing for the event, moving in early and spending that week in various meetings and presentations.

“We covered everything from simple issues, like someone being homesick, to serious issues, like sexual assault or domestic violence,” Amy Wenzel, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said. 

Several Welcome Week executives praised the sophomores for their dedication. 

“I was incredibly proud of [the sophomores]”, Stoeckle said. “They went above and beyond to make our students feel welcome. They didn’t hesitate to do anything that was asked of them. They did it in a way that was admirable for not having seen or experienced it themselves-- it was exceptional.”

Several members of the NSO staff discussed their excitement to be back on campus, welcoming the freshmen back with them.

Courtney Schmidt, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Welcome Week Mission and Ministry Executive, said it reminded her of the reasons she chose Creighton in the first place. 

“To see all of our PLG’s get so excited to move the freshmen in, it made that sense of community feel so much stronger,” Schmidt said.

Several students reported their exhaustion as the week went on. Their schedules lasted from their move-in process through the following Tuesday, with other events peppered throughout the following couple weeks. 

The final event of the week, the Freshmen Block Party, was celebrated by College of Arts and Sciences freshman Hannah Graff. 

“We had fun activities on the mall, I met new people, and it was really fun,” Graff said. 

The training and events lasted almost three weeks in total, with several of the Welcome Week executives celebrating the event as a success. 

“I was just like ‘thank god we made it here,’” Schmidt said. “It was all really heartwarming.”

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