Opening Weekend ceremony urges first-year students to be leaders

The kickoff for Opening Weekend began in the Doyt athletic center this past Saturday. The incoming freshman class of 2019 was packed into the seats to be encouraged by current students, orientation leaders, alumni and upper administration.

Victor Senn, Undergrade Student Government president, began by encouraging the first year class to become strong leaders on campus. He urged that by becoming a leader, you are and will become important.

“At BGSU, it’s all about you,” he said.

Following Senn’s remarks, President Mary Ellen Mazey spoke to the incoming students about how the University fosters a family and concrete friendship through leadership and classes.

“You are now a part of the BGSU family,” she said.

President Mazey encouraged the new students to make academics a priority over everything else on campus. By having a strong academic record, leadership can be developed on campus, she said.

Both President Mazey and the director of athletics, Chris Kingston, encouraged students to watch and support athletics.

Kingston said, “My job is to work for you,” after he spoke about how students are the biggest influence on University athletic teams.

“Get in the door, get in the Doyt, get in the Stroh and be a Falcon,” Kingston said.

President Mazey encouraged students to be proactive on social media by taking a poll of how many students use outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. She asked that students promote the University and the athletic teams through the social media that they own in a positive and healthy way.

Dino Babers, the University football coach, challenged the incoming first year class to raise the bar.

“We need you guys here,” Babers said in reference to the Doyt stadium. “When we’re in here, everyone should know who we are.”

Babers engaged the students in a leadership exercise, where each section of the stadium followed his instructions to create a rain pattern. He then led the students in University cheer to “beat the team up north.”

Senn took the microphone once again to ask students to be diligent in their schoolwork.

The theme of the evening was leadership and University pride.

Kelsey Rutter, a sophomore transfer, said that opening weekend and the opening ceremony was helpful in encouraging her to do more on campus.

“Everyone has such a positive and open attitude,” she said. “I give kudos to the leaders.”

Laura Hohman, an incoming first year, said that all the leaders and students she has met were “very welcoming.”

The opening ceremony and opening weekend was set to help integrate incoming students to get excited about their first week of school.

Monica Yost, first-year, said that she was excited to jump into her classes.

“I’m [eager] to have my set schedule,” she said.