The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Macalester welcomes new students to campus

Macalester welcomes new students to campus

On Thursday Aug. 31, the Macalester campus bustled with energy as the members of the class of 2027, along with transfer students, were welcomed to their new home. Some arrived early for various pre-orientation events, but all 530 new students gathered together for the first time that afternoon for orientation opening. 

These new students bring diverse experiences to campus. According to data from the Office of Institutional Research & Assessment’s 2023 First-Year Survey Profile, 41 US states and territories and 59 countries of citizenship are represented in this new class. While all commit to Macalester for different reasons, many highlight the location, size and academic rigor in their decision.

“I decided to come to Mac because of the college’s focus and involvement in international studies and politics, and the kind and welcoming community I met on campus when I visited last spring,” Catherine Jardini ’27 wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “I’m so confident in my decision to come to Mac since arriving on campus last week, and I know it’s the best place for me!”

Macalester’s emphasis on internationalism draws students from around the world, including Laura Neal ’27, an international student from Norway.

​​“I came here because I wanted to have the freedom of studying liberal arts, but also going to a college with a lot of international students,” Neal said. 

The liberal arts focus, and the people the liberal arts attract, is a driving factor for most students on campus. One first year, Maria Hadjiyanis ’27 from Edina, recognizes Macalester students’ shoe game as an influence on her decision to attend.

 “Shoes can say a lot about the population of a school, [and] when I got to Mac and saw a swarm of Dr. Martens and Birkenstocks, it was just the icing on the cake,” Hadjiyanis wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly.

40% of incoming first years said they were nervous about fitting in and making friends in the First-Year Survey, and post move-in, many specified how welcoming the community is, especially at the beginning when emotions are high.  

“I’ve been surprised by how nice everyone is,” Sofia Kainz ’27 wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly. “I was super intimidated by the idea of meeting new people, whether it be people in my class or in classes above mine, but everyone smiles at everyone when they’re walking past each other.”

Beyond the students, staff and faculty have gone above and beyond to make this new group of students feel at home in their first week.

“[I’ve been surprised] by how people-oriented the staff are. It’s not [at all] a bureaucracy and people have been very nice [as I’ve] settled in,” Cade Klein ’27 said. “There’s so much going on around campus. It’s nice to have something to do every day.”

The Center for Student Life and Engagement, with 72 Orientation Leaders, led a five-day orientation to ensure everyone knew the campus and had support they could turn to. Here, students were able to bond with others as they acclimated.

“It was super easy to bond with everyone in my Scottish House and all of the activities with them made it super easy for me to find my way around campus,” Kainz wrote. 

Orientation experiences varied as the week was packed with activities such as Macalester student life lectures, learning about various campus resources, field trips out in the community and bonding activities such as the annual first night bonfire.

“Orientation was a bit of a whirlwind. With all of the activities and constant meeting of new people, it was absolutely exhausting.” Hadjiyanis said.  “I’m glad we’ve moved past that and are into the real stuff, but I did meet lots of really cool people.” 

Already, the class of ’27 are making connections amongst themselves and with the overall campus community.

“I have made so many great friends and I have an endless amount of friendly faces around campus. I can’t walk from one location to another without saying hi to a friend, which was never the case in my tiny high school,” Joanen said. 

As everyone settles in and grows accustomed to the happenings of the school, many are noticing the programs, clubs and quirks that make Mac, Mac.

“I’ve been super surprised by the amount of squirrel activity on campus, and by the albino squirrel in particular,” Jardini wrote.  “I’m really excited to join clubs this semester and to get more involved around the St. Paul area, and I can’t wait to eventually take advantage of the study away programs at Mac.”

A common trait for Macalester students is their desire to be involved in everything. The class of ’27 is no different, as they already look forward to the Org Fair and beyond. This year, the Org Fair is taking place Friday, September 15th at 4:30pm on the Great Lawn. 

“I’m really looking forward to the involvement fair this week. I’ve already gotten involved in Concert Choir, but I’m excited to sign up for more things and meet even more people,” Hadjiyanis wrote. “I’m hoping that it will help me expand my horizons and turn the small group of people that I know into a much larger number.”

With their first year under way, the class of ’27 can look forward to the rest of their Macalester journey, making new friends, trying new things and making the college their home. The Mac Weekly wishes the class of ’27 the best in their first year.

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About the Contributors
Lucy Wing, Features Editor
Lucy Wing ’26 (she/her) is a Media and Culture Studies major from Vashon Island, WA (near Seattle). She contributes the lack of bridges in her adolescence to her interest in pop culture and entertainment media, which bridge people together.
Audrey Milk, Opinion Editor
Audrey Milk ’26 (she/her) is the opinion editor from Mars, Pa. She is a history major with a minor in political science and a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarianism. Audrey has been doing competitive color guard for five years and is attempting to learn how to juggle.

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