WESTFIELD- Westfield State University has opened for the new school year as students returned to campus over the weekend.
Returning students moved into their new dorms on Saturday while freshmen students and new transfers began moving in on Sunday and continue to do so on Tuesday.
New students and their parents could be seen giving their goodbyes, in some cases it is the students’ first away from home. Many parents were seen crying, while others seemed prepared as if they knew the drill.
The new and returning students were given a few days to get their bearings before classes begin on Wednesday. Many events and activities were held over the weekend to help acclimate new and returning students to the campus culture.
One of those events included a ‘Welcome Back Bash’ at Scanlon Banquet Hall where students could pick up various items that they inevitably overlooked when moving into their dorm room.
Another event on Monday was the Labor Day block party on campus. Local food trucks, lawn games, and live music was available for students to enjoy the day.
On Tuesday, beginning at 4:30 p.m., WSU will host its annual barbeque on the school green. Each year, the school takes advantage of the waning nice weather to have a cookout with classic barbeque food outside of the dining commons.
On Tuesday afternoon, the new class of 2023 will be welcomed onto the campus by university leaders for the annual First-Year Convocation. The new class includes 1,071 first year college students and 314 transfer students, according to data from WSU. Approximately 75 percent of the new students are campus residents while a quarter of them will commute to class.
Some new students began the year quickly by participating in HOOT Day Tuesday morning. HOOT Day (Helping Out Our Town) is a day in which volunteers from WSU go out into the city and do various community service projects at several locations.
The students participating in HOOT Day are typically first year students.
“Westfield State’s HOOT Day reinforces our strong connection and commitment to the City of Westfield and provides the opportunity for the university to give back to our community and neighbors,” said WSU President Ramon S. Torrecilha prior to a previous HOOT Day. “For our first-year students, this popular event provides a fitting introduction to the Westfield community.”
Along with the return of the students comes the return of WSU sports. Student athletes have been on campus for the last two weeks preparing for the coming seasons. Westfield State Football returns on Saturday, Sept. 7 with an away game against Union College in New York. Their first home game will be next Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. against Western New England University.