The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

All hands on deck

Welcome Week volunteers take a break between moving in freshmen and a kickoff event in Benson Great Hall, settling down in the grass for a quick dinner of burgers, corn and watermelon. | Photo by Soraya Keiser

Welcome Week 2023 kicked off with a series of rapid move-ins, ushering in the 991 new freshmen, transfers and PSEO students.

By The Clarion Staff

The heat was high on Freshman Hill Thursday morning, but the energy was higher. 

Student leaders helped welcome new members of the Bethel community as part of the highly-anticipated tradition of Welcome Week, hauling carloads of essentials into their dorms. Though the move-ins came on the tail end of a heat wave, they marked only the beginning of a jam-packed weekend.

On the curb, Student Body Vice President Mild Du screamed the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer.” A pop-filled playlist served as the backing track for students decked out in white and blue bandanas, fanny packs and a variety of Bethel-sponsored shirts milling around the Hill, hyped up on adrenaline and Liquid I.V.

BSG Clubs, Orgs and Intramurals Executive Abby Rau grabbed a drink of water in preparation for the next freshman. She had moved 40 fridges for incoming freshmen so far and would not stop there. Dozens of fridges in, one hand was cracked and bleeding, but she still smiled.

“We just wrap it up and keep going,” Rau said.

Bethel Student Government Clubs, Orgs and Intramurals Executive Abby Rau carries her 41st fridge of the day to Getsch 116, new home of freshman Emily Erickson. Rau set the school record Thursday for 53 fridges moved by one person in a day. | Photo by Bella Haveman

Her 41st fridge came in a load headed for Getsch 116, new home of freshman basketball player Emily Erickson. The third sibling to attend Bethel University, she stood in her first-floor room with Fridge #41 and everything else from her car. 

“All of a sudden it was just all down here,” she said. “I’m really excited. And nervous.”

Erickson’s resident assistant RyleeAnn Andre, who has decorated her floor with paper stars and planetary posters, loves move-in day. She sat beside second-floor RA Andrew Hansen and passed out room keys and candy, striking through checked-in names in thick blue marker.

“I’m feeling great,” Andre said. “I love move-in, I love my residents and I’m so excited for this year in Getsch.”

When all was quiet on the Hill, the party picked back up at Nelson Hall. 

“N2-60, everything goes!” 

That’s Welcome Week lingo for “take everything in this car up to the second floor of Nelson.” To make sure that nobody forgets the message, Welcome Weekers repeated the chant in unison as they swarmed the blue minivan’s trunk. It was emptied within minutes. Student Body President Trey Adelsman and Du each took an end of a futon and hauled it up a side staircase to the backtrack of Justin Bieber’s “Baby.” 

Shortly after, Rau trekked up the stairs with her 53rd fridge. 

Roy the Lion did not speak to the humid weather, only raising the roof and giving two thumbs up as a status report.

Welcome Weekers and Roy the Lion wait for students to arrive at Nelson Hall between 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Throughout the afternoon, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the “Encanto” soundtrack, “Fix My Eyes” by For King And Country and “Baby” by Justin Bieber blasted from the patio speakers. | Photo by Molly Wilson

At 1:45 p.m. the photo ID line trailed from the Admissions Guest Center past Royal Grounds. A back-of-the-line spot offered prime viewing for a game of Spikeball out in Kresge Courtyard.

On the other side of the Egg, the campus store bustled with parents and students picking up fall semester textbooks. Three PSEO students picking up supplies for an array of classes from a chemistry lab to How Stories Change the World chatted near the storefront while waiting for another friend.

High school juniors Addison Herrmann and Amberly Tran plan on taking part-time class loads while Bianca Purdy is preparing for a full class list. PSEO students have a schedule of events scattered from Thursday to Saturday, including a joint connection event with other commuters Saturday afternoon. 

To the left of the campus store,  cue sticks thwacked balls across the pool table in the Underground, sending a ruckus of sound down the hall to the Egg.

A pair of brothers competed against one another before switching over to shuffleboard and then Skee-Ball. They were waiting for their older sister to mark items off her Welcome Week to-do list.

“I would like to go to Bethel someday,” the eldest brother Jace said.

Jace slides the shuffleboard puck in a game against his younger brother in Bethel University’s Underground Thursday afternoon. After moving his older sister onto campus, Jace is considering coming to Bethel for his college education. | Photo by Alyssa Malyon

After spending the day meandering around Bethel’s campus and getting a feel for the student life atmosphere, Jace was feeling optimistic about following in his big sister’s footsteps.

Jackson, the younger sibling, was not too keen about including a college education in his list of future endeavors. For now, a victory over his brother was at the forefront of his mind.

By 2 p.m., Hannah Addink and Avery Verhoef had already started making their dorm feel more like a home and less like the end of a baggage check-out line. The two freshmen in Nelson 308 had made their beds, started setting up their closets and were almost done unpacking all their boxes. 

Addink and Verhoef are like many roommate pairings this year — randomly assigned. Unlike most roommates, the two girls found out they are actually third cousins. 

Over dinner their grandmas, who are cousins, recognized the Dutch names and realized both their granddaughters are attending Bethel.

“It was crazy!” Addink said. “[my grandparents] recognized her last name.”


After a muggy day of moving futons and fridges into to0-small freshman dorms, the class of 2027 and their parents were directed to the CLC Circle for a picnic-style dinner of burgers, corn, watermelon and Bomb Pops. The Dining Center was shut down and moved outside for the evening, meaning early move-ins joined the freshmen for a dinner by the lake. Welcome Week volunteers and Bethel Student Government members took a moment to relax between events, some stretching out on the grass as they ate.

“It was a good kind of overwhelming.”

— Reanna Cruz, freshman

Freshman Reanna Cruz sat criss-crossed alongside three other new Edgren residents, reflecting on the “energetic” move-in experience. 

“It was a good kind of overwhelming,” Cruz said. “I was thankful for the help. I thought move-in would take forever, but I blinked and my stuff was moved.”

Freshman Reanna Cruz poses outside of the Community Life Center during the Lakeside Picnic Thursday afternoon. She looks forward to studying biology and running track this year. When reflecting on move-in, Cruz said that experience was “overwhelming” but that she is “thankful for the help.” | Photo by Soraya Keiser

The new Eddies made note that activities weren’t over for the day – in an hour they would attend a kickoff event in Benson Great Hall for incoming freshmen, followed by the first night sleeping in their lofted beds, then a commissioning service in the morning and a goodbye to parents.

With nine months of school ahead of them, the newly-arrived Bethel students made small talk at the kickoff while simultaneously worrying about communal shower etiquette, opening PO boxes, making an entirely new set of friends and deciding a career path. For now, Cruz and her dormmates expressed excitement in meeting new people and getting a feel for college classes. The rest can be saved for later.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Clarion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bethel University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Clarion

Comments (0)

All The Clarion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *