The 1,092 members of Xavier's Class of 2016 began moving into their dorm rooms on the Xavier campus on Thursday evening, Aug. 16, with the majority arriving on Friday, Aug. 17. Classes begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, and the first full day of classes is on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
This year’s freshman class was chosen from more than 11,000 applicants, the largest application pool ever. The class continues the national trend of more women than men attending college with 46 percent male and 54 percent female students. It is also highly diverse, with 22.3 percent being African-American, Hispanic, Asian or other, and 24.5 percent of the class are the first in their families to attend college.
More than half the class is from outside Ohio.
Aided by the Xavier Move Crew—hundreds of upper-class students plus faculty and staff volunteers—the new students were welcomed individually as their belongings were whisked from their cars and into their rooms. All but 72 students are living on campus this year, bringing the total to more than 2,300 living in student housing. Xavier has five residence halls and five apartment buildings for 2,319 students.
Later in the day, after a welcome from President Michael J. Graham during a community celebration with their families in the Cintas Center, the students began the orientation program known as Manresa. Named after a town in Spain important to the founding of the Jesuit order, Manresa includes informational programs and entertainment, offering students the chance to get to know each other, meet faculty and learn about life at Xavier.
During Manresa, students discussed the required summer reading assignment. This year’s book is The Dew Breaker by Edwige Danticat. The book’s main character is a former torturer for the 1960s Duvalier regime in Haiti who hides his past while living as an immigrant in present day New York City. Danticat’s stories convey love, hope, compromise and redemption. Students were to submit a written assignment after reading the book so they can participate in discussions during Manresa and with Xavier faculty. For more on Manresa, visit the Manresa website.
Manresa is followed by a Week of Welcome, which is a week packed with free events to welcome new and returning students to campus. Free food, music, movies, games, a trip to a Reds game, T-shirts, sports activities and other events are offered to all students by dozens of clubs and departments sponsoring events throughout the week. For a list of events, visit the Week of Welcome website.
New to campus this year is a car-rental program available to students, faculty and staff. Xavier is the first college to offer WeCar by Enterprise in the Cincinnati area. Xavier is partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to offer car sharing to those who sign up for the program. Registered members have access to two Kia Souls parked on campus.
Also new this year are several academic offerings including a new nursing concentration for graduate students studying for the Master of Science in Nursing. The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration prepares nurses to apply family-centered preventive care, diagnosis and treatment, as well as health maintenance and management of chronic illness to individuals across their life span in predominantly ambulatory primary care settings.
Another new health offering is the Bachelor of Science in biophysics, which combines biology and chemistry with physics. It is the application of physics standards to biological processes and can impact the health field with drug therapies and analytical techniques and tests for conditions and diseases.
Other new areas of study include a minor in political thought, inspired by students' interest in the numerous courses in political philosophy offered by the philosophy and political science departments; graphic design and photography; and a certificate in applied computation.