The 2022-2023 school year has officially started at Pacific Union College, and the first week was nothing short of eventful as students were welcomed back on campus.
New students arrived on Welcome Day, Wednesday, Sept. 21. Staff and student workers greeted them and their families at the check-in station to register them for orientation and give them their name badges and welcome bags. Dorm workers, resident assistants, faculty, staff, and PUC President Ralph Trecartin greeted them at the residence halls, assisted them in moving in, distributed water, and answered questions. Student Life hosted a prayer station by the Campus Center where faculty and staff could pray for new students and their families.
Classes began on Monday, Sept. 26. As students got back into the swing of a class schedule, they were given a food truck dinner at the Campus Center so they could socialize and take a break from a first busy day of school.
At 10 p.m. on Wednesday, students, staff, and faculty gathered together at the Pacific Auditorium for Pioneer Madness—a pep rally that takes place every year during the first week of school to support the student-athletes. On the bleachers, participants brought out their pom-poms, signs, and school spirit to cheer the Pioneers and pray for them.
A gathering titled Community is held at the church every Thursday morning, when the entire PUC family congregates in worship. During the first Community of the year, the Student Association officers were introduced, the PUC Chorale performed, and Trecartin and some faculty members spoke. After Community, the Dining Commons treated everyone to some esquites (elote en vaso) outside. On Thursday night at the gym, students had the opportunity to participate in Club Rush—a chance to check out the 30-plus clubs at PUC to see which ones they wanted to join.
The first week of school also included dorm worship, where students could step away from their studies and spend time with God in praise and worship. Department chairs and professors also hosted vespers for their students to welcome in the Sabbath and fellowship with others in their majors and programs.
Kharolynn Pascal Smith—director of orientation, transitions, and retention—played a major role in organizing the week and guaranteeing that new students and their families had a smooth move-in day and start of the school year. “My hope for students is that they will experience PUC as a place of belonging that helps them to grow in the purpose to which God is calling them,” said Smith. “My goal is to do what I can to provide the service, structure, and support that will help them in that pursuit. The first week of school for me actually started last week with Fusion Orientation, and what I enjoyed the most was meeting new students, hearing their stories, and helping them begin to integrate into the PUC community.”
The PUC family was excited to welcome the newest Pioneers and returning students. From student workers to faculty and staff, everyone worked incredibly hard to ease students back to school and plan great events to start the year on a fantastic note.
By Ally Romanes