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FHSU students set to return





As the campus explodes with returning students, Thursday will mark a new beginning for approximately 900 students gearing up to start their freshman year at Fort Hays State University.

Tiger Impact is a four-day fall orientation program designed for incoming students. Events range from social to academic and aim to help students succeed in college.

"We try to have a good mix of social events to allow that social transition," said Brett Bruner, director of persistence and retention. "We do have some academic elements to introduce students to the faculty."

The class of 2018 opening walk will take place for the first time this year. Students will convene on Custer Lawn and walk across Jellison Bridge into Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

"We looked at some best practices at other universities," Bruner said. "This seemed like a good way to revitalize and bring new energy and ideas to Tiger Impact. The walk is symbolic because it links the residential side to the academic side."

The student and family induction ceremony is a new event this year, serving as the opening highlight of the orientation weekend.

"The components of Tiger Impact change a bit each year," Bruner said. "After each year, we evaluate what areas worked and what areas we need to revamp."

Before taking part in the activities, students will begin moving in to the dorms Thursday morning.

"I think my favorite part is the move-in experience -- seeing the excitement, a little bit of nervousness," Bruner said. "I love the conversations I have with families on that day."

Becky Peterson, director of residential life, tries to create a fun move-in environment.

"We know it's a really stressful time and hard on families," Peterson said. "So, we try to make it a really fun atmosphere. People get so excited, and we want their first day to be one of their very best days."