Even though a few online graduate courses have already started, the new semester officially begins on Saturday, Aug. 20, with weekday classes starting Monday, Aug. 22.
After a summer of less-than-normal activity around campus, many departments have been working hard to prepare for the new school year.
Campus safety is something that Director of Security Morris “Mo” Floyd takes very seriously. “We have, throughout the summer, reviewed what went right and what went wrong with the other security officers. We’re trying to fix things that we see need fixed, or adjust things so we can provide a better service.”
Floyd spends a lot of time talking to students on campus, whether it’s during one of his many group sessions during orientation days, or just a daily conversation while patrolling campus.
“I give general crime prevention tips, tell some stories. I inform students what security can do, such as jump start their car, provide them safe escort to their car or class at night, or even during the day,” said Floyd. “I also talk about what we cannot do. For instance, we cannot get keys out of a car or write traffic tickets. During orientation, I talk about what their role is as students on campus and how they can help us, too.”
If anyone on campus observes anything suspicious, or feels like they need safe escort somewhere, they can call the campus security cell phone number, 316-253-7580, or simply dial extension 2911 from any campus phone. Floyd encourages everyone who is on campus regularly to store the security’s phone number in their own phone.
Of course being a college student means shopping at the University Bookstore. Manager Larry Williams said they have been doing a lot of stocking to get ready for this semester.
“The biggest thing is getting in a lot of new merchandise, text books of course for fall classes and a lot of new clothing and gift items,” said Williams. “And just this last week, we’ve been stocking food, toiletries and other items.”
The bookstore will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 to accommodate the students and families who will be here for Jet Days and freshmen orientation. Scooters will also be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon for new students and guests to enjoy some drinks and snacks.
Regular bookstore hours will resume on Aug. 22 and will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 3.p.m. and closed on Sunday.
Students can also look forward to a special back to school sale with discounted merchandise from Aug. 16 through Aug. 29. “We’re really excited and looking forward to having the students back on campus,” said Williams.
Another department highly impacted by the start of the new year is Student Life. Director of Student Activities Lauren Fontarum said, “I organize student leadership retreat. We take more than 60 student leaders and advisors off campus for three days to focus on workshops about leadership and how to make their year great. It takes a lot of organization so we are ready for the beginning of the year.”
Fontarum’s job is big, but the biggest part involves very important research. “I spent a good part of July doing donut research so we can improve Jet Friday this year. From the price of donuts, to the quality of donuts, and just deciding which donuts we should serve week after week was a lot of fun.”
Every Friday, different departments at Newman host a Jet Friday where students can come to the Student Life Center inside the Dugan Library and Campus Center sporting their Newman gear and enjoy a free donut and coffee.
“I tasted a lot of donuts,” Fontarum said. “It’s hard work, but somebody had to do it.”