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A Welcome Week of activities

Welcome Week kicked off Monday, giving way to five days of celebrating the beginning of the fall semester.


Getting acquainted and establishing goals on the first week of class is what Welcome Week is all about. The week-long event takes place Aug. 25-29 during the first week of classes for UTPA students. This year’s events include the Food Pantry Ribbon Cutting at the University Center Lobby, taking a picture with the Bronc Statue for the “Capturing the Moment” event and will culminate with the seventh annual Bucky’s Block Party at the Field House parking lot.



The new UTPA Food Pantry will host its ribbon cutting event at the University Center Lobby at 10 a.m. Aug. 28. The pantry is sponsored by the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley and will be located in room 104 of the UC and will be open eight hours a day, four days a week. Former UTPA President Robert Nelsen will be attending the event and will make the pantry’s first donation. The pantry is meant to help students facing hunger or food insecurity by providing them non-perishable foods once per week. The UTPA Food Pantry’s mission is to help students with their academics and well-being by providing a campus-based pantry to address those with limited funds for food. The pantry’s day-to-day operations will be run by students, including social work majors.



Students will be able to take a picture with the Bronc statue, located in front of the UTPA Visitors Center, Aug. 28 for Capture the Moment at noon. The picture will be included in a time capsule with other UTPA items including a UTPA graduation ring, a University pin and an issue of The Pan American newspaper. The 2,000 pound bronze statue was unveiled at UTPA’s 75th anniversary in November 2002 where it now greets visitors and incoming freshmen.



Local vendors, student organizations and University departments will arrive at the Field House parking lot Thursday 6-9 p.m. for the annual party. The event encourages new students to familiarize themselves with several organizations and departments. Companies participating in the event will include Wells Fargo, Applebees and Gamestop. Contests, prizes and free food will be also be provided


UTPA Program Coordinator for Student Involvement Carina Alcantar has been overseeing the event for seven years and expects more than 2,000 students for Bucky’s Block Party.


“The first time we did Bucky’s Block Party it was only one hour and at the Quad,” the UTPA alumna said. “In 2008 we held it for the first time in the evening and around 1,000 students came, now that number has doubled and we couldn’t be more excited.”


Alcantar said the community-oriented event is a great opportunity for students to get involved on campus, in the community, learn leadership skills, form lifelong friendships and have a little fun.


“Bucky’s Block Party is exciting and fun,” the Edinburg native said. “Plus students should come out to get all the free stuff.”


Other activities earlier in the week included the ‘DIY: Welcome Back Trucker Hats,’ the on-campus job fair and the UTPA Women’s Soccer Opener.


Welcome Week is coordinated by the University Program Board, the Student Union and the Office of Student Involvement with support from the Office of the Dean of Students.


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