The Emory College Class of 2018 joined the campus community this past weekend, bringing increased diversity to campus and marking the beginning of the first year of Weeks of Welcome, a month-long program that facilitates student involvement on campus.
Throughout the past week, first-year students have attended academic advising sessions, received information about campus life and opportunities for involvement and participated in discussions on diversity and sexual assault.

Orientation also included a number of other events, such as the annual Coke Toast, orientation group meetings, the Creating Emory diversity training, Convocation and Songfest, all of which were intended to welcome students to campus and help them transition to life at Emory.

In addition to orientation week, a group of students led by Goizueta Business School senior Brian Diener launched Weeks of Welcome, a program that presents events, such as auditions, interest meetings or social gatherings, during the first month of the semester to new students.

Upon arriving at Emory, each first year student received a printed calendar with around 100 events, Diener said.

Additionally, the Orientation and Weeks of Welcome Guidebook, a free mobile application, includes over 250 events hosted by various campus organizations, according to Diener. He added that the guide already has over 1500 downloads.

While Weeks of Welcome culminates with Student Programming Council’s (SPC) Homecoming Week, Diener said the program also starts off strong with big events this weekend, including the Men’s Soccer Game Pre-BBQ Concert on Saturday, the Residence Housing Association (RHA), Greek Life Block Party on Sunday and Lullwater Day on Monday.

Significant funding for Weeks of Welcome came from Emory College, Campus Life and the Office of the President, Diener said.

Diener, who worked closely with College junior Adam Goldstein and College senior Berit Reisenauer said he felt the new program would facilitate first-year involvement on campus.

“There are some freshmen who would get involved anyway,” he said. “But [Weeks of Welcome] will help out the freshmen who aren’t sure what they want to do get involved early on.”

Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Enrollment and Dean of Admissions John Latting said that while he expects the Class of 2018 to take away a lot from their time at Emory, he also expects them to contribute to the University.

Dean of Enrollment Services for Oxford College Kelley Lips agreed, saying she believes the Class of 2018 will use their talents and skills to give back to Emory and the larger community.

According to Latting, the larger applicant pool for the Class of 2018 allowed Emory to accept a more geographically, nationally and ethnically diverse class.
Oxford College received a record number of applicants this year, which resulted in a diverse and academically competitive first-year class, Lips said.
Twenty-six percent of the Emory College Class of 2018 comes from the southeast, according to an Aug. 20 University press release. Latting said that the number of students from outside the Southeast increased this year.
Twenty percent of the first-year class comes from outside the United States, according to the press release.

While the percentage of international students is bigger this year than in previous years, it is also more diverse and includes students from 45 countries, indicating that Emory is attracting students from across the globe, Latting said.
Additionally, 22 percent of the Emory College Class of 2018 is comprised of underrepresented minorities, according the press release.

Finally, Latting said the College class includes a greater number of prospective humanities and arts majors.

While the Class of 2018 performed well in high school, Emory values motivation and energy level in addition to a strong academic record when considering an applicant, according to Latting.

“We strive to understand the difference between an application and applicant,” he said. “We’re thinking about the applicant and who the person is.”

–By Elizabeth Howell