IRONTON — Students started the fall semester at Ohio University Southern on Aug. 26 with a full slate of Welcome Week activities.

On Monday, students visited an information tent in the Shafer Courtyard for campus maps, free snacks and bottled water, and other need-to-know information as the first day of classes got underway. Tuesday activities included a Bobcat Party, welcoming students, faculty, and staff with games, food, music, and prizes.

"The Bobcat Party is a fun way to welcome new students as well as returning students to campus," said Nicole Pennington, dean of Ohio Southern and interim executive dean of Ohio Regional Higher Education.

Wednesday, the campus held a Student Organization and Involvement Fair to encourage campus and community engagement, with clubs and groups recruiting new members and planning activities for the school year. Thursday, the Student Resource Commons staff provided free, homemade ice cream floats in the Shafer Courtyard. Friday, Ohio Southern promoted "College Colors Day" for students and employees to wear green and white to show university pride.

Feeling connected and understanding campus resources are important for student success, said Robert Pleasant, associate director of Student Resource Commons for Ohio Southern.

"Student engagement helps aid learning," Pleasant said. "It provides ways for what's learned in the classroom to translate into real world experience through volunteerism, leadership development, mentoring, and service in the community."

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