PHOTO ESSAY: An Eventful First Week Back for the Class of 2025

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Published September 8, 2021
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The Montclarion
Freshmen dine and socialize at the Student Center during Red Hawk Day. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

After a year and a half hiatus, it seems like Montclair State University is returning to its usually busy campus life.

Students unpacking and moving into Machuga Heights. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students unpack and move into Machuga Heights.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Many students were eager to be back out socializing on campus after being stuck at home away from friends for what felt like forever.

Students dancing at the Hawaiian Bash outside Blanton Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 30th. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Students dance at the Hawaiian Bash outside Blanton Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 30.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

On the evening of Tuesday, Aug. 31, the university organized their annual Hawaiian Bash Party outside Blanton Hall, complete with a live DJ and a bubble machine. Students were told they must keep their masks on during the event.

Freshmen at the Community BBQ hosted at the Student Center during Red Hawk Day. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Freshmen at the Community BBQ hosted at the Student Center during Red Hawk Day. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

The following day, Sept. 1, the university hosted Red Hawk Day, a series of on-campus events for new freshmen to not only make friends but to familiarize themselves with what the campus has to offer.

New Montclair State freshmen dancing on the stage of the Memorial Auditorium. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

New Montclair State freshmen dance on the stage of the Memorial Auditorium.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

The day started with freshmen gathering in the Memorial Auditorium. Music was playing and students came to dance on stage. Nearly every student was wearing red and riled up with Red Hawk spirit.

New Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell introducing himself to the new freshmen. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

New Montclair State President Jonathan Koppell introduces himself to the new freshmen.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Soon after, the new Montclair State president Jonathan Koppell came on stage and was met with a round of applause from the visibly red crowd.

A group of friends conversating after the Community BBQ. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A group of friends conversate after the Community BBQ.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Following the address, students headed to the Student Center, where they were met with a complimentary barbecue, filled with hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob. Many students enjoyed their meal while making new friends.

The host of the Playfair event in the Panzer Athletic Center. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

The host of the Playfair event in the Panzer Athletic Center.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Friendships being made during the Play Fair in the Panzer Athletic Center. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Friendships are made during the Playfair in the Panzer Athletic Center.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Next was the Playfair, dubbed ” The Ultimate Icebreaker,” which was held at the Panzer Athletic Center and emphasized making new friends. It was open to both new and returning students. Students were put into large circles where the host would ask them to move towards the center circle if they liked a topic the host brought up.

A Montclair State freshman introducing herself as a guest on the Think Fast Game Show. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A Montclair State freshman introduces herself as a guest on the “Think Fast Game Show.”
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Around an hour later, the “Think Fast Gameshow” was held in Memorial Auditorium. Students got together in groups of five to compete in a quiz-style show for a chance at winning prizes. The host also had one student from select groups dance on stage, where the crowd decided who has the best moves.

A student looses at Jenga during Rec Fest. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A student loses at Jenga during Rec Fest.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Towards the end of the day, Rec Fest was held at the Student Recreation Center. Many games were set up, including Jenga, a test-your-strength game, basketball and hamster balls in the pool, among many others.

A student playing in the Hamsters Ball at the Student Rec Center pool. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

A student falls victim to the hamster ball at the Student Recreation Center pool.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Many intramural and club sports also had information stands set up for students curious about on-campus sports.

Antonio Talamo (far left), coordinator for Commuter Life, standing alongside freshmen commuters in the Class of 2025. John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Antonio Talamo (far left), coordinator for Commuter Life, stands alongside freshmen commuters in the Class of 2025.
John LaRosa | The Montclarion

Red Hawk Day was a peek into how different campus life is shaping up to be this semester, compared to what it was like just one year ago. With the vast majority of students and faculty vaccinated, everyone can hopefully have a safe fall 2021 semester and future.

 

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