K Week 2 welcomes transfers, new freshmen to campus

By Stephanie Short

As rain poured yesterday afternoon, some students braved the storm and participated in events designed to welcome new students to the university.

K Week 2, organized by the K Crew, is a weeklong event for students beginning at or transferring to UK for the spring semester.

“I think in the years past a lot of freshman and transfer students have come in (the spring semester) unnoticed,” said Alex McIlvaine, an agricultural biotechnology senior and K Crew member. “We just want to let them know we are excited that they are here, and we want to help them feel more comfortable and get more involved.”

Yesterday’s events included the Student Involvement Fair, Lexington Link Blue and the “Can’t Stop and Won’t Stop: Amplifying the Voice of UK Students” workshop.

The Phi Sigma Rho engineering sorority was one of about 60 student organizations to participate in the Student Involvement Fair in the Cats Den and the Center for Student Involvement. During the event, Phi Sigma Rho members answered questions about their sorority and upcoming recruitment events.

“If you get involved, you will feel like you belong,” said Phi Sigma Rho member Alisha Hawks, a chemistry and biology freshman. “That’s why most students leave; they don’t feel like they belong.”

Low participation at some K2 events might result from a lack of advertisement, said Lisa Rogers, a mechanical engineering sophomore and Phi Sigma Rho member.

“I think K2 can be a good idea for freshman who didn’t get involved in their first semester,” Rogers said. “Maybe it will be better next year when it is more publicized. They sent e-mails, but I think everyone ignores campus-wide e-mails.”

The Kappa Alpha fraternity was also represented at the event.

“I think it was a good idea to have it in the Cats Den, because even if people didn’t know about, they can still stop by and see,” said accounting sophomore Brandon Fuller.

Lexington Link Blue, sponsored by the UK Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, featured local establishments such as banks, hair stylists, cell phone services and churches.

“We hope to assist the students in fulfilling a better connection with Lexington,” said K2 committee member Miranda Martin. “We want to make the connection that it’s not just UK; it’s the community also.”

Free T-shirts designed by Jeremiah Muwanga were available to the first students at the event.

“(The T-shirt) links the Lexington skyline with UK,” said K2 committee member Vernida Emerson. “We want to try to make students feel not so homesick and help them feel part of the community.”

Though this is the first Lexington Link Blue, many students present agreed it was beneficial.

“I knew there would be a lot of good information here,” said physiology sophomore Alaina Hancox, who added that she is not from Lexington.

The day’s events ended with a workshop taught by Mahjabeen Rafiuddin, director of Student Diversity Engagement, assisted by junior Andrea Dyer.

Rafiuddin said the purpose of the workshop was to help students understand diversity and how to adapt to a diverse college setting.

Rafiuddin also encouraged students to attend the upcoming Diversity Dialogues events. “Talk from Appalachia,” the next in the monthly series, will be held in the Student Center Small Ballroom on Jan. 30.

K2 events continue today with Sea of Blue, when members of the UK community are encouraged to show school spirit by wearing blue.

Video games will also be free in the Cats Den from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Make Your Mark at UK, which aims to inform students on the various leadership roles offered at UK, will begin at noon in the Center for Student Involvement.

For a complete list of events, visit UK’s Web site for new student and parent programs (www.uky.edu/nspp).