Welcome Days expands despite cuts

By Michael Berg

Although general revenue funds for New Student Welcome Days have been reduced, the event will still continue next year and will be expanded.

NIU Associate Provost Lou Jean Moyer said about $6,500 in general revenue funds used to support the Welcome Days was put in a reallocation pool. “The money in the pool is reallocated according to university priority,” she said.

However, Moyer said the event will probably not be high on a priority list, especially since it has outside revenue sources.

“People besides Academic Affairs put in dollars for the event,” said Moyer. “There will be funding coming from local accounts to cover the cost.”

Assistant Director of Orientation and Student Assistance Chris Porterfield said there is some additional funding.

“The Student Association gives us over $2,500 for programming purposes,” Porterfield said. “My office funds background support and helps with some activities.”

Porterfield said in an effort to make up for the absence of Cornfest, usually held during the week students return in the fall, more events are being scheduled for Welcome Days.

He said some of the new events planned include entertainment at the Holmes Student Center and a food fest at the Huskie stadium in conjunction with a football team scrimmage.

He said he hopes the extra events help keep students on campus, rather than moving in and then going home.

“Unfortunately, in the past, people move in Wednesday and Thursday and then go back home until Sunday,” Porterfield said. “We don’t want people to do that.”

Welcome Days begin on the Wednesday students can start moving back in the residence halls and runs until Sunday before classes begin.

To avoid conflict with the Welcome Days, DeKalb Administrative Secretary Pam Blickem said Cornfest was changed to be held Aug. 28 to 30 this year because downtown merchants wanted it moved to avoid competition with the DeKalb County Fair.

“Business is good for them (the merchants) that weekend (the weekend students return) anyway,” Blickem said.

“The Cornfest committee wanted to hold the festival when the whole population is here, and that includes NIU students,” she said.

“Welcome Days has a very positive effect on new and returning students,” Porterfield said. “Returning students get a good feeling out of being a part of school and helping new students.”