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Check out these tips and events for #ASU move-in and #ASUFallWelcome.
August 10, 2016

Here's what new students need to know about move-in, ASU Welcome

Every year, new students arrive at Arizona State University's campuses excited to start a new chapter in life. Some will even blaze new paths in innovation and research, but it all starts at move-in.

This fall, nearly 14,000 students will move into ASU’s 21 residence halls across ASU’s four campus locations Aug. 12-14.

“This is an exciting time for incoming freshmen,” said Kellie Cloud, executive director of University Housing. “Living on campus is a huge first step into adulthood, and we take great care in ensuring freshmen successfully acclimate to college life. It is here where students will form lifelong friendships, engage in student activities and find support networks, crucial components for student success throughout college and beyond."

ASU’s residential college model is designed to help students succeed academically by housing students together based on academic major. First-year students form connections and create a network of friends with similar educational interests. Additionally, students benefit from collaborative living spaces that offer on-site tutoring and multi-use rooms that can be used for study groups, workshops and events

During move-in, campuses are alive with music and energy as volunteers greet both parents and students with an ASU welcome. With the help of volunteers, move-in can take as little as 20 minutes, allowing parents and students more time to give hugs and to explore the campus

Want to make move-in faster? Remember these tips:

• arrive at the assigned date and time

• complete the pre-check-in process

• bring a printed boarding pass and ASU ID

• follow specific directions to your assigned residence hall

• stay hydrated!

• wear comfortable shoes and clothing

With all that help, students can relax, get comfortable in their new home and explore the campus before the first day of class Aug. 18. Fall Welcome Week is the perfect time to explore campus, connect to ASU services and resource, and make new friends.


Fall Welcome

ASU kicks off the beginning of the school year with free events for new and returning students. Nearly 200 events give students the opportunity to explore everything ASU has to offer.

Don’t miss out on the must-attend signature events:

Sun Devil Welcome
4:30-5:30 p.m., Aug. 16, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe campus

Experience Sun Devil pride at its finest. This is a high-energy, exciting event to introduce you to what it means to be a Sun Devil. This annual event is the perfect way to officially welcome all of our new Sun Devils to ASU.

Culture Festival
5:30-7 p.m., Aug. 16, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe campus

Celebrate the diversity that students bring into the ASU community. Enjoy performances, activities and food from a variety of cultures found at ASU. Need a ride to the Sun Devil Welcome and Culture Festival? Free shuttles will be provided to transport students living on the West, Polytechnic and Downtown campus locations.

But make sure to catch other fun events at every ASU campus. Activities include:

Sparky’s Day of Service
Dates and times vary by campus location

Sun Devils have an impact on the local community and make a positive change in the world. Join this university-wide initiative to participate, volunteer and make a change.

ASU Parent and Family Events
Dates and times vary by campus location

Hear from university leadership, meet fellow ASU parents, faculty and staff and learn about upcoming campus-specific events. Parents are encouraged to attend family events at the location of their students major. Refreshments will be served.

Involvement Fairs
Dates and times vary by campus location

Passport to ASU, Sparky’s Carnival, WestFest and Club Hub are opportunities to learn about student clubs and organizations at ASU. Check out what students are doing, enjoy free food, fun giveaways and join a club!

Student Employment Job Fairs
Dates and times vary by campus location

Attend a Student Employment job fair and secure a part-time job on or off campus. Pre-registration is not required for students.

Whitewash the “A”
9-11 a.m., Aug. 20, Hayden Butte (“A” Mountain)

One of the oldest traditions at ASU — students have been whitewashing the “A” since the 1930s, a ritual that marks the start of the new year and a fresh start.


Download the ASU Events app and cross all the events off your Sun Devil bucket list. Share your photos, videos and the excitement using #ASUFallWelcome on social media. For more information, visit


Top photo: Cynthia Rivera helps her son, freshman Calvin Rivera, during move-in at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus Aug. 17, 2015. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU News

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August 12, 2016

ASU program gives Native American students the tools to make the transition from reservation to university

Native American students who go from a reservation or rural community to a large university such as Arizona State University often face issues that others on campus can’t fathom. 

Feelings of culture shock, isolation and difficulties adjusting to big-city life can be enough to derail college dreams. Just ask ASU sophomore Catalina Flores, a first-generation college student from the Pascua Yaqui Tribe near Tucson.

“It’s a completely different environment and like stepping into a whole new world,” Flores said.

Recognizing the unique challenges, ASU’s American Indian Student Support Services organizes an early start program geared specifically toward Native students making the rural to urban transition. The program, Student Preparedness Initiative: Readiness Inspired by Tradition, gives students two weeks to acclimate to the university, connect with friends and mentors, and learn about resources and student organizations before the start of the fall semester.

Students in the 2016 SPIRIT cohort will also hear from peer ambassadors such as Flores, who will be able to share how she navigated the emotional struggles of her first year at ASU: “Always remember where you came from and stay focused on your mission for coming to college in the first place.”

Laura Gonzales-Macias, associate director of American Indian Student Support Services, said the purpose of SPIRIT is to “create a successful environment for Native American students and to strengthen their confidence as well as give them a sense of belonging.” That includes giving equal attention to students’ intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

The program started July 31 and ends Aug. 12. It includes 79 participants, representing 24 Indian nations and tribes across 31 states.

Native American and indigenous students who grow up on reservations often find themselves suffering from more than run-of-the-mill homesickness. Beyond being separated from friends, family and familiar routines, many are also an ethnic minority for the first time in their day-to-day lives. The number of adjustments can be staggering, but Gonzales-Macias said SPIRIT can help. The first cohort of students in 2014 had a 7 percent higher retention rate than their first-time freshman peers who didn’t attend the program, she said, adding that the 2015 cohort had a 100 percent retention rate into the next school year.

Making connections to other American Indian and Alaska Natives was important to bioscience major Andrea Smolsey, who was born on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in eastern Arizona but attended high school in Louisiana. “Growing up in the military, I felt disconnected to my heritage. Coming here and being around other natives who know my family feels good.”

The program featured several group activities and more than 30 presentations and workshops by alumni, Native graduate students and administrators from many ASU student-support units and student organizations.

students doing lunge excercises


Art studies freshman Celeste Hubbard (right),
of the Navajo Nation, practices lunges along with 
fellow SPIRIT cohorts, at the Sun Devil Fitness 
Complex on Aug. 10.

Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

An appearance by ASU women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne resonated with Makayla Roman, a 17-year-old from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

“She had a great way of connecting with us and didn’t sugarcoat anything,” Roman said. 

SPIRIT participants also completed ASU 19, a one-week course designed to set them up for academic success by introducing electronic tools and processes such as Blackboard, Digication e-portfolio and Writing Pal. They also completed an argumentative writing assignment and practiced attending office hours.

Pomo Tribe member Mica Sanchez traveled from Alameda, California, to attend ASU. He found ASU 19 especially helpful. “It teaches you etiquette with instructors and staff members, how to find homework and that almost everything is done online.”

Fitness instructor and ASU alumnus Dion Begay (pictured below) visited the Tempe campus on Wednesday to remind students not to spend all of their time on the computer and to incorporate exercise into their daily routines. 

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Dion Begay instructs students in the seven primal moves that will support their bodies with strength and flexibility in the Staying Active program during the SPIRIT workshop at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on Aug. 10. Begay, an ASU alumnus who is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer, taught half the 70 students about taking care of and strengthening their bodies while they transition to their first year at ASU. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now


“Everybody knows about the freshman 15, and I fell into that trap, too,” said Begay, a Navajo Tribe member who studied kinesiology at ASU. “In that first year of college, students get away from regimented eating and exercises. Sometimes they overindulge, lead sedentary lives and work out a lot less. Over time that will lead to health problems.”

Flores, a member of last year’s SPIRIT cohort, said joining clubs, organizations and participating in social experiences is also important for students’ overall well-being, and helped her get through her freshman year. She said she no longer feels homesick. 

“I now have two families,” she said. “One here at ASU and one at home.”


Top photo: Criminology and criminal justice freshman Kealoha Kuamoo (left), of Hawaiian and Navajo descent, practices pushing and pulling with exercise and wellness freshman Megan Silversmith, of the Navajo Nation, as part of the Staying Active program during the SPIRIT workshop at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on Aug. 10.