At Winona State, one of the pivotal experiences as an incoming student is Welcome Week. And although the COVID-19 pandemic has put many plans on hold, we’re happy to announce that Welcome Week is on this Fall!


Read on to learn more about this deep-rooted tradition.


What Is Welcome Week?


Welcome Week is an annual event that gives first-year Warriors an opportunity to get to know their peers, their classes, and our beautiful campus through a variety of fun activities. You’ll be paired with an Orientation Leader who will show you around and give you advice for college success. 


In order to participate in Welcome Week, you must be enrolled in OR 100 – Intro to Higher Education. This is an orientation course that will introduce you to time management and study tips, research opportunities, and everything in between. The emphasis of the course is to prepare you for your academic success at Winona State.


This year’s Welcome Week will be held Aug. 20 – 23, so mark your calendar and get ready. Here’s a preview of what’s scheduled:

Aug. 20

This is the first day you can live in the residence halls and arrange your on-campus home exactly as you like it. 

  • Show up to your floor meeting run by your RA (if living on campus) or other housing personnel (if living off campus)
  • Play to win Bingo Bash for cool prizes

Aug. 22

  • Enjoy another picnic lunch on the courtyard
  • Jump into even more courtyard activities, from Bean Bag Toss competitions to brick painting
  • Stretch your legs during a downtown Winona walking tour
  • Locate helpful on-campus resources and your classrooms with the scavenger hunt
  • Take in an outdoor movie at our Campus Stadium
  • Relax and prepare to laugh at the comedy show

Aug. 21

  • View the official University welcome
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch on the courtyard
  • Choose from several courtyard activities sponsored by Campus Ministry Collaborative
  • Attend the hypnotist show featuring the great entertainer Jim Wand

Aug. 23

  • Hike up Sugar Loaf Bluff, then satisfy your sweet tooth with treats after
  • Challenge your peers to a game of ultimate frisbee on the courtyard
  • Pick up your textbooks if you pre-ordered them from the WSU Bookstore

Login and view your customized schedule before arriving on campus, so you know what times your group events take place.


How Will Protective Measures Be Enforced?


To ensure that Welcome Week abides by safety guidelines, students and staff must wear masks and follow physical distancing. Within our residence halls and on-campus distribution events, Winona State will provide you with one protective mask. We encourage you to bring your own, however, so you can clean and rotate your supply.


Most activities on the schedule are planned to be held outdoors. However, regardless of where activities end up, larger groups will be split up. Some events will be digitally broadcasted to multiple locations. All these measures combined will help decrease risk for exposure. 


Although these experiences will be a little different, we’re ready to make them happen because you deserve to have the same opportunities for making first-year memories. 


What’s the Value of Welcome Week during a Pandemic?


You may be hesitant to see the value of Welcome Week this fall, and I don’t blame you. 


But I believe it’s more important than ever for incoming students to branch out and partake in these events. Sure, making friends may require a little more effort, but the payoff will be huge–you’ll feel a part of our community.


Translation: you don’t have to sacrifice your social life because of COVID-19!


Need some more convincing? I’ll let Ron Strege, who was a part of the team that created this year’s schedule, take this one:

I ultimately want to show new and prospective students that it’s worth their while to come to Winona State and that there are, in fact, things to do to get them out of their rooms safely. 

Many students are grieving the loss of their senior year, and we understand that most high schools weren’t prepared to adapt this past spring–but we are uniquely prepared for this. 

Our goal with Welcome Week is to build that sense of community during a time when it’s appreciated most.

Ron Strege

Director of Warrior Success Center

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of a long-standing tradition. We are here for you and we will get through this together.


Make sure to check the Welcome Week schedule for any important updates–we can’t wait to see you this Fall!