Welcome Week not needed for all

Many PSEO students are already well acquainted with campus.

The University of Minnesota’s Welcome Week program likely helped many incoming freshmen, giving them a chance to meet other students, get a feel for the campus, explore the Twin Cities and get acquainted with their new school. 

However, for many Post-Secondary Enrollment Option students, participating in required Welcome Week activities is unnecessary. Some PSEO students began taking classes at the University while they were in 11th or 12th grade. Many of them graduated from high school with significant amounts of college credits already finished. They are familiar with the campus, and they know many people around the University.

Despite this, Welcome Week remains a strict requirement for them. Many elements of Welcome Week are redundant for PSEO students. For example, a tour of Coffman Union and supervised course registration are of little value to them because they know where to go and how to register for classes. It’s the equivalent of asking a sophomore or junior student to be treated as a freshman for a week.

The Office of Undergraduate Education describes Welcome Week as “only for first-year, first-time, freshmen attending the U.” PSEO students do not fit that description, and they should not be grouped with those who do.

The University should acknowledge the experience of PSEO students rather than treating them like incoming freshmen. If PSEO students want to participate in Welcome Week, they should be able to — but for many, it’s an interruption in their busy schedules.