It’s a new year, a fresh start, and a clean slate. Everyone — no matter if you’re a freshman or transfer student or a Class of 2013 member counting down to graduation — knows that the new academic year at University of San Diego has arrived.
As USD students adjust or re-adjust to their first days of classes — law school has been in session since Aug. 20 — perhaps the best advice is to take time to grasp all that this university can offer.
A great place to start is USD’s Student Leadership and Involvement Center’s Welcome Week list for Sept. 5-16. This list spotlights a diverse offering of on- and off-campus activities to provide a great first introduction to the USD community. Want to go deeper? Here are additional places to find what’s available:
• Get connected through organizations and programs such as Torero Program Board, Torero Life, the Center for Awareness, Service and Action (CASA), Outdoor Adventures, the Center for Inclusion and Diversity (CID), Women’s Center, University Ministry, United Front Multicultural Center and Greek Life.
• Be a Changemaker. The university’s designation as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus is an invitation to the entire USD community to strive for innovative ways to make the world a better place for everyone. Applying to the Center for Peace and Commerce’s annual Social Innovation Challenge is one example.
• Connecting through USD’s social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and more. For a more complete list, check out our social networking site. Student media sources include The Vista, USD Student Radio and USDtv.
• Founders Chapel, USD’s main space for worship, has a daily mass at 12:15 p.m., the Mass for Peace is at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and the popular student masses are Sundays at 7 and 9 p.m. University Ministry hosts two special campus masses at the start of each semester — the fall’s Mass of the Holy Spirit (Thursday, Sept. 13, 12:15 p.m., The Immaculata) and spring’s All Faith Service (Jan. 31, 2013, 12:15 p.m., Shiley Theatre).
• Residential Life has social events and develops strong connections through its Living-Learning Communities and a USD sophomore-exclusive Second-Year Experience study abroad program.
• Attend USD’s Fall Alcala Bazaar from 11:30-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11 along Torero Way to learn about student clubs, organizations, programs and services that can provide you a wonderful balance between schoolwork and student life.
• Attend special events, including lectures, conferences and more, that are hosted by the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, such as this fall’s 10th anniversary of the Women PeaceMakers program.
• The International Center in Serra Hall is a place where students can learn about undergraduate study abroad opportunities (summer, semester, Intersession and the Second-Year Experience trip) and is a valuable resource to learn more about international on-campus activities.
• Attend and cheer for fellow Toreros participating on one of 17 NCAA-sanctioned sports teams in the West Coast Conference (12 sports), Pioneer Football League (football), Pacific Coast Sports Conference (softball) and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (swimming). Women’s track and men’s rowing compete as independents. USD Athletics has won the WCC Commissioner’s Cup five consecutive years for the program’s overall success.
• Learn about events in which you can connect with USD alumni for networking experience and to ask them questions about their time at the university. Join the Student Alumni Association and also seek them out during USD’s Homecoming and Family Weekend, Oct. 12-14.
• Check out the USD Campus Recreation website to learn about free recreation and fitness classes offered now, personal training sessions, and fun recreation sports leagues to stay fit, active and meet new people. There are also club sports teams for rugby, lacrosse, soccer, water polo, dance and more.
• Learn more about USD’s sustainability efforts, including the Be Blue, Go Green team. Also, if you have any electronics you’d like to properly recycle, be sure to visit USD’s E-Waste Center, located west of the campus at 5330 Linda Vista Blvd.
• Visit Career Services. The main office is in the Hughes Administration building (Room 110). There are also career services offices for School of Business Administration and the School of Law. These centers are wonderful resources for job interview tips, resume assistance, ToreroLink to employment opportunities and more.
While USD has ample resources available, it’s still up to students to decide their path as Toreros. Welcome to a new year of exploring.
— Ryan T. Blystone
Photos by Chris Keeney