Welcome New And Returning Students

Welcome to UW-Madison. All of us in Student Affairs are glad you’re here.

Student Affairs is comprised of Recreational Sports, Student Life, University Health Services (UHS), and the Wisconsin Union. Our top priority is to support your success and strengthen your educational experience at UW-Madison. Bottom line: We’re here for you.

I’d like to offer some insight on how to make the most out of your time on campus …

  1. Immerse yourself in the university and make this your institution and eventually your alma mater. College is more than the time you spend in class. I hope you’ll consider what you want your Wisconsin Experience to be. Get started by exploring and joining in the Winter Wisconsin Welcome events and use #wiwelcome to join the conversation on social media. Also, be sure to attend the Student Organization Fair in the Kohl Center on February 6. We want you to have an amazing experience at UW-Madison — to succeed academically and to get involved in the campus.
  2. Be prepared, ask questions, and use the resources here for your success. Read your class assignments. Spend time understanding the material. Seek assistance or help early if you are struggling. Go to office hours. There are many resources to help you succeed. Take advantage of them.
  3. Be open, unplug, and be present. Introduce yourself to new people and truly listen to their voices. I challenge you to take a break from social media and have an in-person conversation. You’ll never know what you might learn from others unless you put yourself out there and make real connections.
  4. Help create a welcoming campus climate. Join the effort to make our campus more inclusive for all Badgers – UW-Madison is committed to creating a community where all feel welcome and belong. We are all UW.
  5. Make your health – physical and mental – a priority. Did you know that University Health Services (UHS), your student health service, has been named the top college health service three years in a row by The Princeton Review? They’re dedicated to your well-being. In spring, UHS will launch two important surveys: the AAU Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault Climate Survey and Healthy Minds. Be sure to participate – your input will help shape campus programs, services, and policies. If you need assistance, just ask. Support is available through UHS and the Dean of Students Office, or reach out to a faculty or staff member. We’re all here to support your success.
  6. Play outside! That’s what we do in Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Union’s Winter Carnival is a longstanding tradition. Or, participate in the Pond Hockey Tournament with Recreational Sports. Rec Sports also offers free group fitness classes during the first two weeks of every semester. From January 22 – February 3, you and your friends can try out Zumba, cycling (with a new format called Rhythm Ride), yoga, and more. Keep the good times rolling for the rest of the semester with a $30 pass. Don’t miss #ActiveBadger Day on February 28. Take part in a variety of (mostly) free activities hosted by Rec Sports, Outdoor UW, and other campus partners throughout the day. There are plenty of opportunities to take a pause and embrace the cold!
  7. If you choose to drink, be smart about alcohol use. One of the leading predictors for students performing poorly academically is high-risk alcohol use. Consider the consequences of high-risk drinking and the impact your choices have on your surroundings.
  8. Finally, be mindful that we are on Ho-Chunk land. The Madison area and UW-Madison specifically, contain many archaeological sites, which reveals the thousands of years that the Ho-Chunk Nation and other Native Americans have lived and called this land home. Please join me in honoring and respecting this history.

Whether you’re a returning student, or new to campus, you’re a part of the Badger family and you belong here. Each one of you enrich our campus community with your experiences and background, and I can’t wait to get to meet you.

I hope to see you around campus and at different events. I have rotating office hours every week: Please stop by and say hello. You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram.

On, Wisconsin!

Lori Reesor, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs