This year, College of Charleston students will be welcomed to campus before they even get there! With online classes beginning Aug. 25, 2020, and in-person instruction delayed until Sept. 14, the College of Charleston Weeks of Welcome (WOW) will kick off virtually on Aug. 24, 2020.

“Things might look a little different this year, but WOW is still on,” says Christine Workman, director of student life, adding that – while the WOW schedule for the first three weeks (Aug. 24–Sept. 10, 2020) has gone completely virtual via Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other online platforms – the second three weeks of WOW will be on campus when in-person classes resume on Sept. 14. “The start of the fall semester is always such an exciting time for everyone, and we didn’t want students to miss out on that energy just because they’re not starting out on campus physically.”

Meant to engage the College community in the CofC culture during the first six weeks of the academic year, WOW is an annual tradition full of programs, events and activities that allow students to connect with one another, faculty and staff, clubs and campus organizations and with the College as a whole.

“Until we can be back on campus and pick up those connections in person, we’re providing plenty of opportunities for them to connect with each other and with faculty and staff online,” says Workman. “Going virtual has taken some creativity, but we’re pretty excited about all the opportunities we’re offering students this year.”

It all starts with the virtual edition of the annual street festival, Maroon Mayhem, from 12 to 3 p.m. on Aug. 24. With a live magician, playlist BINGO and creative crafts opportunities, this year’s welcome-back fest will be followed by the world’s largest icebreaker, Playfair. Other virtual WOW events include involvement fairs, game show and escape room competitions and a Netflix party.

To register for events, students should use their CofC credentials to log onto CougarConnect, the virtual platform for student organizations and programs. Workman encourages students to check the schedule of events on CougarConnect often, as it is constantly being updated.

“As with everything right now, we have to be flexible and adjust plans according to the situation,” she says. “But the good news is that – one way or another – WOW will go on!”