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Thursday, March 23, 2023

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New Student and Family Convocation is the official welcome to the SDSU family. New Student and Family Convocation is the official welcome to the SDSU family.

Welcome, New Students and Families!

New Student and Family Convocation will be held virtually on Aug. 22.
By Lainie Fraser

Full of tradition, community building events, programming and resources, the first couple of weeks at San Diego State University are both busy and crucial for students. SDSU is ensuring new students get those experiences this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Student and Family Convocation will be held virtually for the first time in its 18-year history. 

“Convocation serves as the official welcome to SDSU,” said Francisco Velazquez, director of New Student and Parent Programs. “Without it, there would not be a welcome and that is just not who we are. At SDSU, we take care of one another, just like families do.”

“This cohort of students and families has gone through so much and has shown its resilience and strength,” said Velazquez. “It was important for us to demonstrate that we, at SDSU, are proud of them and excited to welcome them to our SDSU family.” 

The ceremony will be livestreamed at noon PDT on Aug. 22 on the SDSU homepage and the SDSU Facebook page

With the shift to virtual, Velazquez felt it was important to keep several Convocation traditions intact. The event will include remarks from SDSU President Adela de la Torre, Provost Salvador Hector Ochoa, and student body President Christian Holt to name a few, as well as a blessing from Kumeyaay bird singers, the SDSU Fight Song and the Alma Mater. 

The virtual event will also be used as an opportunity to get students and their families more directly involved than in the past. On social media, the hashtags #NewToSDSU and #SDSUConvocation2020 will allow students to submit  photos and posts, which will be shared during the event’s pre-show at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The ceremony will also include a personal virtual surprise for both the students and their families.

Additionally, Velazquez hopes a virtual event means more students and families can be involved than usual. 

“A unique aspect of going virtual is the possibility for more students and families to join us from all over the globe and be connected as a community — no matter where they are attending SDSU from this fall semester,” said Velazquez.  As of Aug. 12, more than 13,000 new students and families had RSVP’d to the virtual event.

Welcome Week(s)

In the days leading up to and following the start of the fall semester, SDSU students are invited to a variety of events during Welcome Week. Welcome Week is intended to help students connect and begin their college experience.

This year, Welcome Week has been turned into Welcome Week(s) and will feature different themed weeks with corresponding events and programming. All Welcome Week(s) events will be available to students virtually. These include, but are not limited to, the traditional event Templo del Sol, the One SDSU Kick-Off, and a variety of community welcomes and receptions.

“It is more important than ever in our virtual environment to keep these programs going,” said Velazquez. “These welcome events create a sense of belonging and connection for students and I see it as a continuation to orientation. They’ve learned about the involvement opportunities, but now they are taking the action step and are getting involved.”

Additional virtual engagement opportunities will be available to those on campus for the fall 2020 semester.

For those on campus, it is important to note the university has instituted a facial covering requirement for all individuals when they are in public and in the space of others. Also, everyone on campus must adhere to public health and healthy habits guidelines, including physical distancing.