Josh Allen

Despite power outages and Texas heat, UTD’s first full week of classes witnessed a campus overflowing with activities.

Welcome Week 2004, sponsored by a number of departments within Student Life, featured events to help students escape from academics and get better acquainted with fellow Comets. Activities ranged from Capture the Flag and Sex Bowl to a pool tournament and barbecue.

“We’re really happy with the attendance at all the events,” said Stella Mulberry, coordinator for the Student Union and Activities Advisory Board (SUAAB) and chair of the Welcome Week 2004 Committee.

“Everybody seems to be more aware of Welcome Week every year,” Mulberry said. “We must be doing something right.”

A campus wide Capture the Flag competition Aug. 22 kicked off the week’s activities. Students met at the Activity Center to enjoy free pizza, then scattered as the game commenced. This traditional event, organized by Residential Life, allowed students to use the entire university as a “playing field.”

Students filled The Pub Aug. 23 in the Student Union for Sex Bowl. UTD Health Education sponsored the event. The football-themed battle of the sexes tested students’ knowledge with questions concerning facts about rape, violence and sexually transmitted diseases.

During the contest, women were asked obscure questions about sports trivia, and men were challenged to recall scenes from such “chick-flick” movies as “Grease” and “Dirty Dancing.” The competition was close, but the men pulled away in the end, winning 12-6.

“We’re trying to educate students about sexual responsibility, to promote health and just to have some fun,” said Kristie Westmoreland, UTD Health Education coordinator.

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) followed Sex Bowl with its opening meeting in the Galaxy Rooms. Keynote speaker Mike Dunphy gave a martial arts-based speech intended to increase personal empowerment and self-confidence.

Dunphy has previously addressed ELP, according to Mulberry, and is a student favorite.

Welcome Week continued with two successful events Aug. 25. An estimated crowd of 500 gathered in the Student Union mall for the Cometville Carnival. Attractions included miniature golf, rock-climbing and other midway games.

“The rock-climbing wall is always a favorite,” Mulberry said.

The carnival gave students an opportunity to look into student organizations at UTD. An estimated 50 organizations participated by setting up information and recruiting booths.

Later that night, SUAAB hosted the “Old School” Pool Party. Students congregated on the lower level of the Student Union for a billiards tournament while the movie “Old School” played in the Comet Cafe. The 400 students in attendance were rewarded with free pizza.

Two more events took place Aug. 26. The Road Warriors, an organization of commuter students at UTD, hosted a barbecue in the Student Union mall. Forty-five minutes after it began, every hamburger and hot dog had been served.

Following the cookout, the Galaxy Rooms housed an energetic block party, co-sponsored by the Multicultural Center and International Student Services. Featured at the party were a disc jockey, a performance by the Power Dancers and door prizes. About 250 students attended the party, Multicultural Center Adviser Danny Cordova estimated.

Finally, on Aug. 27, The Patio hosted a root beer “keg” party. The event was well attended during one of the hottest days of the year, according to organizers at The Pub. The Pub offered free root beer floats to students caught in the heat.

The first meeting of Leadership UTD, led by the Office of Student Development, wrapped up Welcome Week. Speaker Jonathon Sprinkles addressed students about leadership and communication skills.