By Katie Laquidara
On Saturday, September 2nd, President Machtley and Kati Machtley eagerly awaited the arrival of the Class of 2021 bulldogs. Cars were lined up full of anxious first-year students awaiting to meet their roommates and move in to their dorm rooms. Resident assistants, football players, and student ambassadors were coordinating an efficient move-in and happily welcoming over nine hundred new faces. Only one day later would the campus be greeted with the remaining upperclassmen students, thrilled for a new year. Soon, the natural buzz of students reuniting and reminiscing, would make Bryant University back to its full and happy norm. The sense of community associated with Bryant’s campus returned in a matter of two days. Students arrived refreshed and excited to take on a new semester.
Saturday was packed with many welcoming activities for the freshman class, including a Bulldog win for the first football game of the season. The stands were packed full of fans along with the Bryant cheerleading team, dance team, and pep band. Later that evening, the freshmen class said good-bye to their families and headed to the Fisher Student Center to meet their peers over food and activities. Once the weekend concluded and all the Bulldogs were fully settled in, the campus was busy with students preparing for the new semester. Tuesday, September 5th, was a beautiful fall day to kick off the academic year with the first day of classes. The Rotunda was full of students chatting and socializing with their friends in between classes.
The next day, the Class of 2021 was formally welcomed with the tradition of Convocation. Convocation is an opportunity to set the stage for the next four years. The freshmen are now well prepared to start a new adventure full of motivation and determination. They would hear speeches from President Machtley himself, the deans of both the business and Arts sciences schools, and prestigious faculty. Learning about the University and the potential each student has in the very first week of college, is a special way for Bryant to inspire their new students. The freshmen paraded to the gym where they would learn more about their class and their school. Unfortunately, due to weather, the clubs and organizations were unable to line up and welcome the new students. Thus, Freshmen would have to wait one more week to officially meet all the extra-curricular activities at the annual Organization Fair.
Subsequently, making it through the first week of classes, students relaxed with an exciting weekend packed full of activities put on by the Student Programming Board. Big B Weekend was a successful weekend full of fun and welcoming events. There were food trucks, inflatable obstacle courses, caricatures, and an assortment of games. The day ended with the traditional Big Bingo event, offering tons of luxurious prizes, including a new TV, iPad, and Apple Watch.
The first week of classes flew by and a fun weekend came and went quickly. At the start of week two, reality began to set in as classes were now in full swing. Students were found busy at work in the Uni-structure, the Academic Innovation Center, and the library. To end the second week, Bryant hosted the annual Org Fair on Friday, September 15th, which all clubs and organizations use to recruit new members for their clubs and organizations offered on campus. Students looking to get involved
were sure to find something of interest from club sports, language clubs, Greek life, and more. It was a wondrous sight to see students showing their interest in involvements and dedication to growing their programs.
Overall, the fall 2017 is off to a great start at Bryant. Likewise, the Class of 2021 was welcomed with open arms right from the beginning and the feeling has remained throughout the first two weeks. Upperclassmen have returned rejuvenated and excited for another year on campus. The Bulldogs are officially settled in and are inspired to make their mark this year on campus.