UM-Flint will welcome back students with revitalized fall programming

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Students moving in to First Street Residence Hall
While move-in day is a highlight for campus residents, UM-Flint has created a fall schedule that engages every kind of learner.

The fall 2022 semester at the University of Michigan-Flint is poised to be the most vibrant in recent memory, thanks to a diverse lineup of events that empower and welcome students while offering opportunities to engage with the larger Flint community. Programming kicks off Aug. 25 with student move-in at First Street Residence Hall and continues throughout the semester, with UM-Flint homecoming activities taking place for just the second time, Sept. 23-24. Classes begin Aug. 29.

This year's return to campus is intentionally designed to be reinvigorating and inclusive, according to Chris DeEulis, associate director of Student Involvement and Leadership at UM-Flint. 

"We aren't just planning a welcome, we are creating a welcome back that many of our students have yet to experience," he said. "We are building on our learning of virtual engagement from past years while bringing back longstanding campus traditions. By mixing the old with the new, we are creating exciting ways for our students to reconnect and find their path to belonging at the university." 

There is plenty of demand from students to engage in both new and returning events. Wolverine Welcome, the annual event which lays the foundation for incoming first-year and transfer students in key areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion, has the highest number of registrants in the program's history. This surge in popularity can partly be attributed to the event being offered with a virtual option for the first time, creating opportunities for distance learners and others who can't be on campus to take part. 

Students playing giant Connect Four in MicKinnon Plaza.
Events like the MGagement Fair help new and returning students alike learn about the variety of clubs and resources available to them. New this year, community organizations will be present at the event, expanding on the theme of closer "town and gown" partnership. 

Key to this year's programming is acknowledging the diverse population of learners served by the university, according to Julie Snyder, associate vice chancellor and dean of students. More than 40% of UM-Flint students are 25 or older and an increasing number are turning to online learning.

"We've been intentional in creating events that acknowledge who our students really are and that cater to their needs. What that means is that not every event is built for your traditional 18- to 22-year-old college student," Snyder said. "We've tailored events for students who are parents, or our graduate students, to get involved." 

Close to 300 students will move into UM-Flint campus housing this fall, split between First Street and Riverfront Residence halls. Students living in both halls take part in residential learning communities, which are tied to common academic courses and interests. The leadership learning community, for example, offers students from Genesee County scholarships to live on campus and gain experiences they wouldn't have without additional support. 

While these welcome back events are designed to help every type of student connect with the university, there are also offerings to connect UM-Flint and the community. The "My Flint" series will help students learn about Flint attractions such as Art Walk and introduce them to Service Saturdays, in which they meet at a selected service site to volunteer their time and reflect on the issues they help to address. 

A parade with both university and community floats will take place downtown during the second annual UM-Flint homecoming, with the Mass Transportation Authority partnering to help residents attend the event. Community stakeholders are also invited to work alongside UM-Flint faculty and staff to "cultivate a sense of belonging" during this year's pre-convocation workshop, an event usually reserved for faculty to reengage with campus at the start of the academic year. 

In keeping with broadened convocation activities, UM-Flint is reintroducing new student convocation, which last took place in 2016. With many events focused on student life and other engagement opportunities, new student convocation is the official "launch" of a student's academic career at UM-Flint, with remarks from professors and university leadership. Parents and families are invited to attend the Aug. 28 event which is followed by the Blue Bash barbecue. 

The variety of events on offer has energized the entire UM-Flint community, a feeling DeEulis believes will continue throughout the year. 

"I am already seeing so many students excited about this welcome schedule and we are working with every unit on campus to keep that excitement going throughout the fall and winter semesters," he said. "My focus is helping students find connections and putting them on the path to belonging – there is so much learning and growth that happens as a result of that process." 

To see the full list of events, visit Applications for fall semester enrollment are still being accepted

Logan McGrady is the marketing & digital communication manager for the Office of Marketing and Communication.