GW comes alive during first week

A popular half-baked comedian and sex doctor will help GW kick off a new year during Welcome Week through Sept. 3.

Comedian Dave Chappelle, known for his stand-up routines and roles in movies such as “Half Baked,” will perform Sept. 1 in the Smith Center. Dr. Drew, host of MTV’s “Loveline,” will speak to students about “health and wellness,” relationships and drug and alcohol abuse Aug. 30 in Lisner Auditorium.

During the first official event, more than six packed buses of mostly freshmen made a late-night run to the Target store in Crystal City, Va., to purchase college essentials.

“I got everything I needed,” freshman Shannon MacDonald said.

With more than 50 activities scheduled, including many unofficial events sponsored by student groups, Welcome Week will have something for everyone, said senior Sara Prohaska, summer events coordinator at the Student Activities Center.

For this year’s broadcast theme, local modern rock/alternative radio station WHFS 99.1FM will broadcast live at GW. The radio station also sponsored other events such as “TRL: Hard Rock Caf?,” “Gilligan’s Island Luau at Mount Vernon” and “The West Wing” in the Marvin Center.

The “TRL: Hard Rock Cafe” event included music and free food at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown D.C., and “Gilligan’s Island Luau at Mount Vernon” featured a pig roast, barbecue and a New York City trip giveaway.

“The West Wing” is an open house of the Leadership Enrichment Achievement Development Center in Marvin Center 401 Tuesday.

Hillel, the Arab Student Association, Program Board and many other student organizations are holding events during the course of the week. Events sponsored by student organizations consist of parties, orientations, socials, barbecues and cultural explorations.

Events such as the shopping trip to Target and the “TRL Hard Rock Caf?” dance party helped freshmen explore the city and socialize, Prohaska said. These events give freshmen something to do during the first week when they don’t know where to go or what to do, she said.

Some Welcome Week activities, such as free Hippodrome bowling and billiards, specifically appeal to returning students, Prohaska said. These events give returning students a “good chance for people to socialize, and (to) see people they haven’t seen all summer.”

For seniors, the LEAD Center will hold a senior tea August 30 at the Alumni House. A “high tea service” is being held outside the house with tea and cookies.

Rodney Salinas, a recent GW graduate who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at GW, will speak about life after GW and the variety of options available to seniors. Salinas started his own consulting firm and was recently appointed to the Alexandria Human Rights Commission.

Welcome Week also has a large health and wellness focus, said Amy Riesner, special events coordinator at the Student Activities Center.

A free “Healthy Choices and Healthy Living Fair” will include defense demonstrations, massages and giveaways at the Health and Wellness Center Tuesday. The grand opening of the new exercise facility takes place Wednesday.

The “Extreme Sports Challenge,” a Zilo TV event originally scheduled for Sept. 3, was cancelled August 20, Prohaska said. Monica Jara, director of communications for Zilo Networks, said Zilo was unable to pool its resources and talent in time and plans to reschedule.

The Student Activities Center formed a “Welcome Week Committee” comprised of GW students on the Program Board, Student Association and Residence Hall Association, as well as other selected students to plan the events, Riesner said.

Riesner declined to comment on how much money GW spent for Welcome Week activities, but said it has a “large budget.”

Riesner said she hopes Welcome Week will create a GW community, with “a whole array of programming for students” so students will have the chance to “meet kids who have similar interests.”

OFFICIAL WELCOME WEEK EVENTS

Monday WHFS 99.1 FM “Van on the Road College Tour”
H Street by Kogan Plaza, 12-2 p.m.

The Iron Chef
Kogan Plaza, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuesday Health, Wellness and “Sex and the City”
Kogan Plaza, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mount Vernon Student Involvement Fair
Mount Vernon Quad, 5-7 p.m.

GW Unplugged
Hippdrome, 8 p.m.

Wednesday Body by George
Health and Wellness Center (2301 G St.), 4-6 p.m.

The West Wing (L.E.A.D. Center open house)
Marvin Center 401, 2-4 p.m.

“O”- Screening of new film based on Shakespeare’s play “Othello”
Lisner Auditorium, 9 p.m.

Thursday “The GW Files,” student involvement fair
Quad, 12-2 p.m.

“Loveline” with Dr. Drew
Lisner Auditorium, 7 p.m. (free tickets required)

Friday- “Kids in the Hall,” performance by GW comedy group Recess!
Betts Theater, 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. (two shows)

Saturday- “Saturday Night Live.at the Smith Center!”
Comedy by Dave Chappelle
Smith Center, 10 p.m. (tickets required, $5)

Sunday “Ed’s” Stuckey Bowl, free billiards and glow bowling
Hippodrome, 8 p.m.- 12 a.m.

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