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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Funding no guarantee for Wildcat Welcome

    Wildcat Welcome officials are not guaranteed funding for welcoming events in fall 2007, but they are hoping to gain financial support from the new administration.

    The service, which is designed to orient new UA students, received funding each year under former President Peter Likins.

    However, without a permanent source of funding, the money is not secured in the future, said Kathy Adams Riester, assistant director for the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership.

    Although the Wildcat Welcome officials must make yearly budget requests, Adams Riester said in the past, the program had “”great support,”” receiving $10,000 from the president’s office along with $10,000 from the vice president of campus life.

    This year, leadership in both offices has changed.

    “”We are hopeful that this support will continue under (President Robert) Shelton and Melissa Vito,”” Adams Riester said.

    Wildcat Welcome, which costs $25,000 to $27,000 to operate, obtains funding through yearly requests made to UA administrators in addition to seeking sponsorships from various organizations, such as the Arizona Student Unions, the UA Department of Campus Recreation and local businesses.

    Offered for the past eight years, Wildcat Welcome hosts back-to-school activities such as barbecues, open houses and movie viewings to help students become more acquainted with one another and with the different services offered on campus, Adams Riester said.

    “”The purpose of Wildcat Welcome is to welcome both new and returning students to campus,”” Adams Riester said. “”We offer a variety of activities so that students have something to do before class starts.””

    Events are offered to all students, although certain events are aimed at freshmen and incoming students, such as the Freshmen

    Most Wildcat Welcome events are free, with the exception of the Wildcat barbecue and CatFest, which both cost $5, Adams Riester said.

    Sandra Culic, a pre-pharmacy freshman who attended the Residence Hall Association block party Saturday, said she feels the events are a great way to meet people and know campus better.

    “”We don’t really know how U of A runs yet, and we need these events to get more comfortable here,”” Culic said.

    Krista Irwin, a political science freshman, said the events are a fun and beneficial way for incoming students to get more familiar with campus.

    Turnout for these events has been good so far, according to Adams Riester.

    More than 950 students and families registered for the Aug. 18 Wildcat Welcome barbecue, and about 150 students attended the Wildcat sizzle at the Park Student Union on Aug. 17.

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