Xavier’s newest and largest class of freshman students begins classes at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. The first full day of class for all students begins Tuesday morning. The new students moved into the residence halls beginning Thursday evening, Aug. 20, and continued on Friday, Aug. 21. Because of the large class size, Xavier allowed about 300 first-year students to move into Brockman, Kuhlman and Husman residence halls early on Thursday from 6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
This year’s class of approximately 1,200 students is 40 percent larger than last year’s class of 860 students and is among the largest—7,152—to apply to Xavier. Xavier’s total student population this fall is 6,355.
The class continues Xavier’s reputation of academic achievement with an average high school grade point average (GPA) of 3.54, 24.3% ranking in the top 10% of their high school graduating classes and 20 ranked number one. The class is 46 percent male and 54 percent female, 13 percent minorities and 19 percent first-generation. A little more than half are from Ohio, but 47 percent are from outside the state and represent 40 states and 12 countries.
About 90 percent of this year’s freshmen are living on campus with 2,078 undergraduates living in campus housing. The residence halls are located on the residential mall between Victory Parkway and Herald Avenue.
The traditional Xavier Move Crew, dressed in bright green tee-shirts, assisted new students as they moved in. The Move Crew, consisting of more than 200 upper-class students, ROTC, faculty, staff and alumni volunteers, descends on each car and welcomes each new member of the Xavier community. They unload the cars and carry the new students’ belongings up to their rooms.
Many first-year students already know each other and about life at Xavier because of Xavier’s award-winning web site, the Road to Xavier. Accepted students chatted online with each other, current students, and administrators and faculty. Parents and family of accepted students have their own site as well.
The Class of 2013 also got acquainted with Xavier through a special web portal. The new students saw the same information as current students plus important details about beginning their Xavier academic careers. Prior to arriving at Xavier, new students received e-mails about safety, health and transitioning. Parents and family received similar e-mails.
Xavier’s site received this year’s Grand Gold Award as part of the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards program. Web sites from 94 colleges and universities were judged, and Xavier was chosen in a category that has never before named a Grand Gold winner.
On Friday afternoon, after the new students moved in, they and families attended a welcome session with President Michael J. Graham, S.J., in a community celebration at the Cintas Center. The students then are spending the weekend in an orientation called Manresa, referring to a Spanish town where St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuits (the religious order that runs Xavier) reflected on his life. This parallels the process of reflection new students experience as they begin their college career.
Manresa offers students a variety of activities to help them prepare for the challenges of college life. During Manresa, students meet in small groups to discuss the transition to college, including finances, safety, diversity, academics and service. They also enjoy entertainment and social activities and may attend a Mass or interfaith gathering.
The students are also discussing author Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, the summer’s required reading. The 1953 futuristic novel about a society in which books are outlawed and burned was distributed at the summer Priority Registration Program (PREP) for new students, who then submitted a written assignment via the Road to Xavier web site. During Manresa, students discuss the book with Xavier faculty who have read their essays.
The freshmen also participate in Welcome Week, a week of activities for all Xavier students that range from multicultural and athletic events to food, films, spirituality and hypnotism. For a list of events, please visit the web site.
For the 13th year, Xavier alumna Kara Kantner Barr, who graduated in 2000 with a business degree in entrepreneurial studies, is selling her Space Maximizer to incoming students. As a Xavier freshman, she designed this shelving unit especially to fit university dorm rooms and is introducing a new smaller model this year to fit into triple-occupancy rooms. The shelves sell for $158 for the full size model and $95 for the smaller model.
New paint and floor treatments are greeting students returning to campus in the Commons apartments, Hoff Dining Hall and Cintas Center conference rooms. Interior door locks have been installed in all classrooms for safety, and Brockman Residence Hall has a new elevator.
In keeping with ongoing campus sustainability efforts, old mattresses and carpeting have been recycled. The Hoff Academic Quad, under construction along Dana Avenue and Ledgewood Drive, is being built to Silver LEED Standards, and the new Central Utility Plant will distribute and control air quality more efficiently. The University will use 20 percent less water when it’s complete. Also, the Hoff Cafeteria is doing away with trays completely, which saves water in washing and wastes less food.
The new Quad features the Conaton Learning Commons, a new Williams College of Business and the Central Utility Plant. A new residence hall and classroom building are in the works. For updates, including a live webcam, please visit the web site.