COLUMBIA — For freshmen, the first few days at a big university like MU can be rough.
They don't know many people, and are still learning their way around a vast campus.
To help freshmen feel more at home from the start, MU has established Fall Welcome, a set of events during the first few weeks of the semester.
Organized by the Department of Student Activities, events are held every day from Aug. 15, through Aug. 19. Each event is free and may offer food and prizes.
1. Midnight BBQ: To kick off Fall Welcome, Missouri Students Association hosts an outdoor party with free food, prizes and live music. Rollins Street outside the MU Student Center will be blocked off Aug. 15, for the party.
Last year, more than 10,000 students attended. Caterers provide free barbecue to students with IDs, and funnel cakes, cotton candy and other items will also be available.
If free food isn’t enough to get you to this outdoor bash, fear not. Games and dancing will also be provided.
The party runs from 10 p.m. to midnight.
2. Outdoor movies: If you missed “The Avengers” or “The Hunger Games” in theaters, you can catch the movies on campus. On Aug. 16 and 17, Lowry Mall will be transformed into an outdoor theater with movies projected on a jumbo screen. Chairs will be available, but students and the public are welcome to bring their own. Free food will also be provided.
3. Outdoor concert: On Aug. 18, the Missouri Student Association, Graduate Professional Council and the College Music Committee will stage a free outdoor concert on Mel Carnahan Quadrangle. Although the artist for this year’s concert has not been confirmed, MU has signed up Jason Derulo, Ludo and The Spill Canvas in the past.
4. Shakespeare's Pizza Party: On Aug. 19, Shakespeare's will distribute its legendary pizza free to MU students. The give-away takes place in the Shakespeare’s parking lot from 4 to 6 p.m.
5. Tiger Walk: Sponsored by the Alumni Association Student Board this tradition gives freshmen the opportunity to feel officially accepted into the MU way of life. They gather on the north side of Francis Quadrangle where Marching Mizzou plays music while students run through the MU Columns. On the other side, faculty and staff scoop out MU’s own tiger stripe ice cream.
Fall Welcome is not the only time during the year for free events. Look for events, concerts, and activities sponsored by Student Activities, Mizzou After Dark, and other campus organizations.