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Freshmen will arrive on campus for Southwest Minnesota State University’s Gold Rush Days orientation Aug. 22-25.

Classes begin for all students on Monday, Aug. 26.

Orientation is an opportunity for students to meet fellow first-year students while participating in a number of activities that help acclimate them to college life at SMSU.

“We are excited to extend a warm Mustang welcome to the Class of 2023. Gold Rush Days offer a variety of opportunities to connect with campus, the Marshall community, and fellow freshmen,” said Director of Admission Matt Suby.

Move-in Day is Aug. 22, and plenty of individuals will be on hand to help new students carry belongings into the residence halls. SMSU athletic teams, students, faculty, staff, and community members will assist in moving students into the residence halls, continuing a tradition started by the late President Doug Sweetland.

Residence hall check-in begins at 8 a.m. on Aug. 22. Schwan’s ice cream treats will be handed out from 10 a.m. until noon, followed by the US Bank Campus Cookout in front of the Conference Center from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The Campus Religious Center will host an ice cream social from 2-4 p.m., followed by house meetings and dinner with orientation leaders and RA’s starting at 6 p.m. After dinner, students can play Laser Tag in the Lower Conference Center or watch the Mustang volleyball team play an exhibition game. A pool party will end the evening.

Convocation will be held at 10 a.m. on Aug. 23, where students will hear from SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya and Josh Spreiter, a 2014 alumnus and current morning anchor for News 3 Now, the Madison, Wis., CBS affiliate.

Following convocation, students will meet their advisors. Various activities are planned during the day, including PLAYFAIR, a program for campus unity and school spirit; a bean bag tournament; a sand volleyball tournament; slip-n-slide kickball; and Student Success sessions to learn more about some of the services available at SMSU.

The evening will conclude with an interactive demonstration of wheelchair basketball, and a foam party at the Schwan Regional Event Center Plaza.

Activities continue on Aug. 24 with a scavenger hunt at 10 a.m. The Gold Rush Days staple, mud volleyball, begins at noon. “What is The MAZE” will be held in the RA Facility. Sex Signals will, a high-energy and humorous exploration of culture, sex, and the issue of bystander intervention, will follow and be  presented in the SMSU Theatre. The STAT Bonfire will complete the day.

On Aug. 25 there will be bus and biking tours of Marshall. Campus and classroom tours are also available. A soccer tournament will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Schwan Regional Event Center. Afternoon activity options include clay target shooting at Shooters Sporting Clays, and a Drama Club Improv Show. A Mustang happy hour with Student Body President Muna Mohamed and other student leaders will be held at 5:30 p.m., and the Mustang family photo will conclude Gold Rush Days at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about Gold Rush Days, call the Office of Admission at 507-537-6286.

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