Big Rapids is buzzing with the return of students to Ferris State University.
During the first week of classes, Bulldog Beginnings, an organization comprised of representatives from several Ferris groups, hosted events to welcome students and encourage new friendships.
Some events on campus included movie night in South Quad, juggler Nick Pike in Williams Auditorium, an Instagram scavenger hunt and Founder’s Day in North Quad.
Junior early childhood education major Alicia Sell, who recently transferred to Ferris, attended multiple Bulldog Beginnings events this year.
“I liked the Bulldogs Beginning events and feel they did help me meet new people on campus,” Sell said.
As part of Bulldog Beginnings, students were encouraged to attend Founder’s Day celebrations on Aug. 29 and experience some of what Ferris has to offer. Ferris faculty, staff and community members also took part.
Founder’s Day festivities spilled into North Quad where tents, blowup obstacle courses and grills were set up. Registered student organizations manned tables and provided attendees with information regarding how to get involved on campus.
Participating RSOs included Colleges Against Cancer, Circle K, student government and Bulldog Radio.
Students had the chance to win prizes, including complementary massages, by using the Instagram hashtag “#imabulldog” while taking photos with Brutus the Bulldog around campus.
At every event, which usually included food and games, students were encouraged to socialize in different settings.
“A lot of people from my hall always go together to the events, and we do the games together and also meet new people as well,” Ferris pre-optometry freshman Jessica Arnot said.
The events give students a chance to step outside their comfort zones and engage their peers.
“I see Bullldog Beginning Events as very helpful but also awkward because you’re so close to people in a small area,” Ferris freshman criminal justice major Ashleigh Kipen said. “But since it’s awkward, you kind of just turn to the person next to you and say, ‘hey.’”