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Back on Campus

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By Calen McKinney

Campbellsville University students went back to class yesterday but not before getting to know each other and having a little fun first.

CU is hosting Welcome Week through Sunday with several events planned for new and returning students to have some fun before hitting the books.

Dave Walters, vice president for admissions and student services, says the events are an opportunity to help students get involved in campus life.

"Our director of student activities, Andrew Ward, uses every opportunity to help students engage in campus life," Walters said. "The students love the interaction and these events serve as a spring board for several other activities throughout the year."

Last weekend, the CU Baptist Campus Ministry hosted a Sunday Night Explosion with skits, songs, games and more. An ice cream social followed.

Students volunteered with Kentucky Heartland Outreach on Monday and Tuesday to help out with community service projects.

A Welcome Back Block Party on Monday night gave students a chance to learn about various CU clubs and organizations and play games, eat free food and pick up a few new dance moves.

Tuesday night featured a BCM picnic with free food and a free movie night.

Students enjoyed free bowling last night and free food today at The Snack Attack in Powell Athletic Center.

Tomorrow, students will get the chance to show off their athletic skills at the Xtramural Xtravaganza featuring Frisbee, dodgeball, pool, ping pong and cards.

Saturday offers students sand volleyball games and a kickoff to the CU intramural season. Also on Saturday, students can gather at the Gathering Grounds Coffee House at the Campbellsville Baptist Church Christian Life Center to hear live music featuring Glen Yoder with homemade desserts, board games, air hockey, smoothies, ping pong, basketball, specialty coffee, racquetball, card games, hot chocolate and more.

Ultimate Frisbee is planned for Sunday.

Freshman Week, sponsored by the Student Government Association, is Aug. 25-30.

To start the week, on Monday freshmen will play putt-putt golf and have fun at batting cages.

Water Wars are Tuesday, Aug. 26 where freshmen will compete in water-related events and games for prizes.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, freshmen are invited to attend an open house with CU President Michael V. Carter. Events that day also feature a movie on the lawn with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Krystal Skull" being shown.

Thursday, Aug. 28 is the first night of campus worship for the semester with Oasis, sponsored by BCM.

Though the CU fall semester officially began yesterday, registration was Monday and Tuesday, with many moving into dorm rooms this past weekend.

Walters said he believes students are glad to be back.

"There is a great spirit on campus," he said. "As much as students enjoy leaving campus to go home for the summer break, they are equally excited about returning to campus.

"Seeing their friends and engaging in student life always seems to bring [a] spirit of excitement."

CU freshmen Melinda Davis and Chase Padgett both said they enjoyed Monday's block party.

Davis, an elementary education major from Glasgow, said she chose CU because of its "homey" feel and small town atmosphere.

"It's like my hometown," she said.

Padgett agrees.

"I like the campus. It's a small school."

Padgett, an education major from Lincoln County, says everyone has been nice to him and he thinks he's going to enjoy college.

"I think it'll be good," he said. "Some fun times."

Dorm life, however, Davis said, is a bit different.

"It's definitely different than home," she said. "You never have to wait for the shower."

Davis says she has wanted to be a teacher since she was little and is excited to begin her classes. She says she hasn't gotten homesick yet, though she has already called home to talk to her mother.

Padgett also says he has always wanted to be a teacher and one day hopes to become a principal.

He comes to CU as a tennis player on an academic scholarship and having already completed nine hours of college credit while in high school.

CU registration, which was Monday and Tuesday, was a bit different this year than in past semesters, with much of the process being completed online.

Walters said the process appeared to work well.

"No more long lines waiting to get to this office or see a particular staff or faculty member," he said. "Campbellsville University has gone to great lengths to provide a seamless approach to registration through online services. Buying books, picking up parking passes and mail box keys still call for students to visit particular areas on campus."

Though final enrollment figures won't be available for about two weeks, Walters says he anticipates an increase from last semester to set another record-breaking final enrollment figure.

Enrollment for the fall 2007 semester totaled 2,405 students.

"Currently, we are seeing more students return and more new students across the board," he said. "Our undergraduate programs are doing very well with both freshmen and transfer students, and our graduate level programs are also growing wonderfully."

- Staff Writer Calen McKinney can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 235 or by e-mail at reporter@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.