Welcome Week

The Host: Hello everybody and welcome back to the Student Affairs Podcasts Series. My name is Maria Sumida, and I will be your host today. In this episode, we will be talking about the upcoming Welcome Week, what that is, what the purpose of it is, and why new students should participate in it. We are joined by Assistant Director for Student Activities Center and Special Programs, Jessica Combess.

Hello Jessica, how are you today?

Jessica Combess: I'm doing well. How are you today?

The Host: I'm good too. Thank you for asking. The first question we would like to know is what Welcome Week is, and what is it for?

Jessica Combess: Yes. So UofL Welcome Week is a series of events that welcomes students to campus, kicks off the school year, but also shows students just a sampling of how they can get involved on campus, how they can be successful both in and outside of the classroom, and what it truly means to be a Louisville Cardinal. And so, it is for all students now, primarily our first-year students to attend. However, all students are welcome to attend the events, and it's a good mix of very specialized programs, all the way to programs that are available for everybody and a little seriousness, a little fun, and a little bit of everything.

The Host: That's really nice. I haven't heard about it. Like we do some stuff for the athletic department, but this is actually really nice. That's actually the first time I've heard about it. So, I'm hoping that this year is going to be really good.

What message do you want to send to our students? Like what should we tell the students about? Well, can we tell how that impacts them in their future?

Jessica Combess: Yeah, I would say Welcome Week. I completely understand the fact that our students coming in, especially our first-year students, can be nervous, right? A lot of times it's the first time away from home. They may not know anybody and a lot of times people stay in their rooms, or stay at home if they're a commuter student. But I would just encourage students to get out and come to these events. There will be students just like them, students they want to be with—that they can sit with. It's a big community of first year or second year students just to essentially welcome everyone to campus. So, I want to tell them that I know it's scary, but to push through, but also to have a little fun and test out some waters. And when I say that, I mean there will be some sessions that possibly you may not think that you may be interested in, but you go and you can maybe find a new passion, or you may find that student group that you're really interested in, or maybe there's a part of your identity you've never explored and you would like to know more about that. That was the time. Welcome Week has those programs that are ready and available for them.

The Host: Perfect. That's awesome. I completely agree with you, and I feel like, especially when they're so young, like coming into college and not knowing anyone, especially if like they're not from town or they're foreign. So that could be a really good opportunity for them just to get themselves out there and get to know different people—and just like experience that first week of school. You know, so really, really important. Why do you think it would be important for them to attend? I know you touched base a little bit about it. But why do you think it's important for them to attend?

Jessica Combess: I think it's a part for them to attend in order to truly understand what it means to be a part of this campus community. Going to UofL is more than just going to class and going back to your room. It's more than being a part of one student organization. It's a part of being a part of the entire campus community and maybe that you meet somebody that you may have never met before. Maybe there's something about them that you've never experienced before from where you're from. Where it's just understanding what's available for you. We have services and programs that are open to all students that a lot of our students don't even know exist and we are really striving to be welcoming —to highlight those. But to also understand what the physical layout of campus looks like. We're going to have some sessions about how do you get to and from your classes? What does it mean to be a part of these? Maybe some difficult classes, and how do you really succeed in those and understand what it is to be in the city of Louisville as well. For the first time this year, we're actually taking welcome week a little bit further out than campus. We've actually rented Kentucky Kingdom right down the road, the amusement park. So, it'll be our UofL night only. Only students with student IDs can get in, and they have full run of the park for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours on Saturday night of Welcome Week. We're experiencing a little bit of Louisville there. We're going down to the football stadium to have a glow night. We're going to have a big, silent disco.

And a big class photo and hear from our athletic coaches. So just a little bit of everything that I think students are able to maybe pick and choose some of the sessions they come to but experience some things they haven't before and understand what it means to be a Card.

The Host: That's awesome. That seems so fun. I wish I was a freshman, and I could experience all of that all over again.

Jessica Combess: I know! Exactly. And that's the big thing. Also, we haven't been able to have a traditional Welcome Weekend so long. So, we're really excited to get it back off the ground.

The Host: Yeah, that's definitely going to be really, really good for this upcoming class. Well, thank you so much. And we're happy to have you here. I hope you have a good day and take care. Thank you for taking your time and telling all this to us. It was really, really nice to hear it. And I truly hope that all these freshmen go and attend because it seems like it's going to be really fun.

Jessica Combess: I hope so too, and we'll see you all at Welcome Week.

For our listeners: for more information about student services go to louisville.edu/studentaffairs.

Did you know that we have a suicide prevention program, CardsSpeak, that helps students in crisis and provides all of the necessary resources and information for students, faculty, and staff? For more information and a directory of campus resources go to https://louisville.edu/cardsspeak.

The summer is almost over, and we are getting close to the start of classes.

Hope you are all excited!

That was it for today. I hope you enjoyed today’s episode and be sure to come back next week for another episode.


Student Affairs

SAC W302

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Office Hours

M-F 8:30am to 5:00 pm

No holiday hours


tel (502) 852-6933

tel (502) 852-5844

Inclusion Statement