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Wintersteen speaks on value of Cyclone Welcome Weekend on 801 Day

New+and+old+students+walking+towards+Lied+Rec+Center+for+the+Iowa+State+Welcome+Cookout+on+Aug.+18%2C+2023.
Joseph Dicklin
New and old students walking towards Lied Rec Center for the Iowa State Welcome Cookout on Aug. 18, 2023.

With the streets littered up and down with people looking for a party, police and the occasional beer can, for some, the last Saturday before the start of classes is celebrated as 801 Day, named after the tradition among fraternities and sororities to begin drinking at 8:01 a.m. For others, the weekend is celebrated with events like goat calisthenics and raffles at Cyclone Welcome Weekend.

Transfer student Corbin Hughes, a junior in animal ecology, said he has been enjoying Cyclone Welcome Weekend, though he finds it a bit overwhelming. He added that while the plethora of students out and about overwhelmed him, it also has been helping him integrate into the Iowa State community.

“I think it’s definitely helped me be less stressed about figuring out classes and stuff and where everything is and how I’m gonna get around, and it’s also just showing me that a lot of people are a lot nicer than I thought they would be,” Hughes said.

Hughes said his favorite event throughout the weekend was silent disco.

“It was just like a sense of community,” Hughes said. “I don’t go to a lot of dances and stuff like that, so it’s just fun to see all these people just dancing and singing and just all together. It’s just a cool experience.”

Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen said the second iteration of Cyclone Welcome Weekend has been a success while taking time to thank all the parties involved in the organization of the event.

“You have to realize, to put on a show like this is a phenomenally big effort from an organizational standpoint–this just doesn’t happen,” Wintersteen said. “So for me, Cyclone Welcome Weekend is an opportunity to thank [faculty].”

Wintersteen said as part of the university’s efforts to improve Cyclone Welcome Weekend as well as divert attention from 801 Day, the university implemented feedback given from students.

“One of the things we did was we added a Saturday night event,” Wintersteen said. “We’ll be back in Hilton Coliseum tonight and really be celebrating with the athletics department…They’re a big part of Cyclone Welcome Weekend this year.”

The Cyclone Magic Experience featured Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard and Head Football Coach Matt Campbell.

“That’s [a] really unique experience [and] really exclusive experience for students to come and enjoy time with seeing the sights and sounds of Hilton,” said Katy Cran, a strategic communications advisor for the senior vice president of student affairs. “They have the opportunity to get on the floor to shoot some hoops [or] go into Johnny’s Lounge, which is [a] really rare experience.”

Helen Koester, a sophomore in event management who is relatively new to Iowa State’s campus having arrived in the spring 2023 semester, echoed sentiments similar to Hughes’, adding that the university’s event helps combat the stereotype that all college students like to drink and party constantly.

“I think this is a good way to connect with the community, and I know especially coming into college [there is] the idea that everyone’s drinking and out and partying constantly. This helps you realize that that’s not the only thing that’s available,” Koester said.

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