Alexis Peterson, Ad Rep

Triton Take-Off Weekend is a three-day, multi-event program designed by the University of Missouri–St. Louis faculty and staff. It ensures students can begin to find their way around what may seem to be a monstrous campus and are able to feel at home at UMSL.

Ashlee Roberts, associate director of Student Involvement said, “Triton Take-Off Weekend is just a really great way to get a jump start on the school year whether you are a new student and you’re acclimating to the university, or you’re a returning student and you’re trying to get back into the mindset of being back on a schedule and rigor and just, reconnecting with your peers and new people.”

Moving to college can be a frightening and new experience for students, being away from home parents, or friends for the first time. UMSL makes the transition as easy as possible for new students. Both by having friendly students to welcome them, and events that can bring them together before the first day of class. Triton Take-Off Weekend gives students a chance to mingle and meet people they may be seeing quite a lot this semester.

The turnout was high this year for Triton Take-Off, with a majority of new freshmen attending at least one of the many events. It certainly did not hurt the numbers that freshmen move-in day is one of the activities.

In this three-day event there were, “lots of great ways to get connected and get reinvigorated about being a Triton,” Said Roberts.

Friday was full of opportunities for students, as well as their parents, to learn about and experience the parts of South Campus their children will be frequenting. This includes the dining hall in Provincial House and the dorms in Oak Hall. In addition, the students were able to spend time together, post-parents, at the Kick-Off Welcome and Meltdown, both of which allowed students to meet new friends and hopefully, feel a lot less awkward and alone on their first night away.

Saturday was more geared towards allowing the, now parentless, freshmen to make connections across campus, and hopefully meet some new friends.

Xavier Blackwell, the coordinator of Leadership Education, said, “It’s an opportunity for UMSL students to explore the rich culture that is UMSL. We’re extremely excited to not only put on such an amazing time for our students, but it’s even more pleasing to see the outcome of the work that goes into it.”

Saturday’s events included: Doughnuts with the Deans, a networking event in which students could meet campus deans, Books, Business and Brunch (with WOW crew leaders), and the very popular welcome picnic, which was located in front of the Mercantile library . The free food helped draw students into the events, but it was the welcoming attitudes of staff and faculty that really made students want to have UMSL as their home away from home.

Students who attended these events often found it isn’t all business for the hard-working staff and faculty, as well as student organizations who showed up and organized the events.

Nichole Caldwell, freshman, political science, shared some thoughts on the Dean of the Honors college after meeting him at one of the Take-Off events.

“We got to get personal with him and he didn’t seem like some scary authority figure, and he was telling us about where he used to teach and how he’s glad that he can focus on academics now, and it’s a close-knit community,” said Caldwell.

Everyone wanted the new students to be informed about UMSL’s campus, but the goal was for them to have fun, too. In addition to showing students how and where to utilize UMSL’s many resources, the intention was to show them what a fun and welcoming campus UMSL is. The idea isn’t to throw students in the deep end and see if they sink or swim. Ideally, they are given the resources and support system they need to succeed, and from there students can run with it.

Here at UMSL everyone is here to help, and hopefully students will find success easy. And if you missed the fun and food, don’t worry, you’ll probably find some offered for free at some point in the semester. The free food doesn’t end with the Triton Take-Off, students should keep an eye out for events all year because UMSL’s campus loves to cater.

To students who are new or returning, welcome and welcome back!