Warsaw, NY- Knowing that getting back into the college arena can be challenging after the holidays, the staff at Genesee Community College’s Warsaw Campus Center planned a uniquely themed “Week of Welcome” for both new and returning students. Following the fun and festive theme of a carnival under a big tent, everyone who entered the Campus Center was greeted by caged “wild animals” in the lobby, which were spunky, adorable and very adoptable shelter cats from the local SPCA.
The ringmaster was Patty Chaya, associate dean of Warsaw and Lima Campus Centers, who stopped into classes to welcome and encourage students and professors to not only enjoy the week’s festivities, but also make the most of their GCC experience.
Sideshow mystic and Tarot card reader, Madame Chaválle (known as Val Hoffman, student activities advisor during her day job), settled into her booth in the student lounge accompanied by a gentle giant—the equally mystical shelter dog, Lola, who lovingly shadowed her mistress throughout the day. As the spirits were not ready to rest, another fine Tarot card reader, Jaélle, (also known as Angel Wright-Sackett, GCC tutor and proctor) burst onto the midway to entertain students with agents of another dimension preceding evening classes. Meanwhile, Kate Wasik set up her Artist Shoppe in the lobby for two days as the Amazing Caricaturist, impressing and entertaining all as she sketched and captured the whimsical essence of willing subjects in black and white portraits. Carnival foods of Cracker Jacks and cotton candy were plentiful and enjoyed by all during the first week of classes.
Most importantly, students, staff and faculty alike expressed their appreciation of the Big Top by recognizing the loftier intention which was collecting donations of supplies and money to support the local animal shelter. And to kick off the new semester and 2016 like real aerialists, at least two shelter cats found new homes with attendees of Warsaw Campus Center’s “Big Top” Week of Welcome.
“The staff at the Warsaw Campus Center allowed their creative juices to really flow when planning this semester’s Week of Welcome. Maybe a little of their inner Cirque du Soleil got out too,” Ringmaster Chaya said. And, with that, “the show and semester must go on!”