Campus Life

Class of 2017 calls university new home

Correction: In the Aug. 28 print issue of The Echo, the article titled “Class of 2017 calls university new home” incorrectly reported that PlayFair was sponsored by the Student Orientation Staff. The event was sponsored by the Resident Housing Association. 

Move-in Day

Aug. 18 was a day of moving into campus housing and getting acquainted with the campus for freshmen. The students new to UCA are now prepared for more first-year college experiences.

University administrators, including UCA President Tom Courtway and Executive Assistant to the President Gilbert Baker, were on campus to help freshmen move into residence halls. Student Orientation Staff members and community volunteers also assisted with the move-in day process.

UCA changed the setup of move-in day this year to help with traffic flow, creating two different moving times for freshmen on Sunday.

Freshmen received a welcome throughout the week with events intended to make the students learn what it means to be a Bear and to lessen any worries about college.


The Resident Housing Association sponsored PlayFair and encouraged freshmen to break out of the comfort zone on their first night at UCA from 9:30 to 11 p.m. in the HPER Center.

SOSer sophomore John Patterson said freshmen were broken up into large and small groups to give them the chance to meet each other.

“The idea for PlayFair is for [students]to meet as many people as possible in a short amount of time,” PlayFair representative Nina Czitrom said.

Students participated in several ice breaker activities, starting off by separating into groups of two and three.

Czitrom also had the students separate into large groups across the basketball courts depending on their birthday month so students could participate in a birthday-month wave.

Greek Stroll Off

The Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity was the overall winner in Bear Den’s 2013 All-Greek Stroll Off on Aug. 20.

Delta Sigma Theta sorority took first place in the National Pan-Hellenic division, and Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority won the PanHellenic category.

About 700 students attended the second annual All-Greek Stroll Off, Fraternity Life Director Scott Isenga said.

Isenga said that figure was “low-balling it” and added the event was bigger than the 2012 inaugural dance competition.

“I think honestly the Bear Den did a lot of great PR, especially online,” Isenga said about why the event was successful. “They had a lot of social media presence; [that was the]most helpful thing.”

Isenga said he was proud of all the Greek organizations that performed and said that they did a great job.

Conway Daze

Recognized Student Organizations, local businesses and university programs welcomed new residents with booths set up at the UCA Practice Field on Aug. 21.

Junior Amber Baker, pharmacy sales associate, invited attendees to visit the newly-opened Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Senior Yesenia Piña of the Latino Student Association encouraged people to try horchata, a traditional Mexican drink made with rice, milk and cinnamon.

“We actually had someone come back for seconds,” she said.

Battle of the Halls 

Arkansas Hall claimed the 2013 Battle of the Halls Champion title for a second year Aug. 20 on McAlister Hall Lawn.

The winner was announced at following a series of outdoor games that challenged residence halls Aug. 20.

Each residence hall competed in teams through activities such as an egg toss, three-legged race, the “spin relay” and “personal bubble teamwork.”

Junior Ashley Hopper said they are the defending champions.

“I feel super excited that Arkansas Hall came together as a team and brought this back to where it belongs,” she said. “I think the residents just decided that they wanted to win it again and they just came together as a community, like we like to build at Arkansas Hall, and that’s just what they did.”

Freshman Ethan Bly won as most spirited at Battle of the Halls.

Bly said he is excited about joining track and that he came to UCA several times before becoming a student to watch athletic events.

Closing Ceremony

About 500 students celebrated the end of Welcome Week at Wet-N-Wild on Aug. 21, Resident Housing Association adviser Amanda Kuster said.

The event started at 8 p.m. and lasted until 10 p.m. A line of students quickly developed outside of Arkansas Hall before the event started. Students were required to fill out a waiver to participate on the inflatable obstacle course, water slide and bouncy house.

“To be here, it feels like we’re at a summer camp right now and it’s just impressive,” freshman Billy Buck said. “It’s interesting. It’s fantastic. We’re all having a great time so far.”

At the amphitheater, a DJ played popular top 40 songs on stage — such as Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” and V.I.C.’s “Wobble” — that students danced to while standing on benches and around the stage.

Three student organizations sponsored the event, the Resident Housing Association, Sophomore Year Experience and the Social Justice League, RHA adviser Amanda Kuster said.

Kuster said attendance at this year’s Wet-N-Wild was at least double than of the 2012 event.

She said she enjoyed Wet-N-Wild, and she believes the event will “be better and better every year.”

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