Midyear convocation and move-in brings campus together
With the conclusion of this year’s midyear convocation, the Class of 2022 midyears and transfer students moved into residence halls and bade farewell to their families last Sunday.
Led by Area Coordinators, six groups of Community Advisors and Orientation Leaders endured the cold morning air to help the new students and their families move their belongings to from their cars to their Village and Ziv residences. Each group would descend upon a car to help the new students get settled in. In between helping, they enjoyed snacks and warmed up in the Village lounge.
Midyear student David Pollack ’22 told the Justice that he was “excited for that independence and really the ability to kind of make [his] own path and journey” that starting college represented.
After settling into their rooms, the new students and their families convened in the Shapiro Campus Center theater for the midyear convocation address.
The Midyear Core committee members introduced the event’s speakers: University President Ron Liebowitz, Provost Lisa Lynch and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Rabbi Liza Stern.
Liebowitz began by thanking the Orientation Leaders for their hard work, then discussed his understanding of Brandeis.
“Brandeis is an institution with world-class scholarship and opportunities for graduates and undergraduates to participate in such pursuits, as well as an institution whose commitment to education in the liberal arts remains firm and unyielding,” he said. Liebowitz emphasized that the strength of the University’s undergraduate and graduate research is a powerful asset to the Brandeis community.
Liebowitz also observed that “there is an openness among students, faculty and staff to engage one another, even on some of the most difficult topics, with a passion to advocate for the underdog.” This liberal arts tradition of openness is a wonderful privilege, but Liebowitz warned that it must be defended. “This passion for inclusion, openness and debate is something that has become tenuous among college and university campuses, and [that it] was seriously tested here during our some of our discussions, too, should not come as a surprise.”
Next, Lynch took the lectern to tell students and parents how best to deal with the adjustment to college life, saying, “It’s not easy to give good advice, but here goes my attempt.”
“Go to every event your CA organizes! … They know how to help you through all the rough moments, and they really know how to help celebrate the wonderful ones, too.” She also asked students to share their stories, to take interesting classes and to get to know their professors.
Stern concluded the ceremony by first asking the students in the room to turn and thank their families. “They got you here. Not just by car or plane today, but they got you here,” she said. “They’ve probably been getting you here a very long time.”
Stern urged students to love and support each other through their time at Brandeis and to reflect on their experience as part of a new community. “You are going to be that family that shows the world how to care about, and care for, one another,” she said.
She finally urged the students to consider the importance of the convocation in their life journey. “You will probably not remember my words here,” she said. “But I charge you with the responsibility of remembering this moment.”