Tiger Kickoff welcomes new students to FHSU


Crowding into Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center, hundreds of students gathered for the Tiger Kickoff event Thursday night. 

“T-I-G-E-R, Tigers, Tigers, who we are,” the group chanted.

This event, one of the many events of Welcome Weekend, allowed students to get to know each other while also learning more about campus life. 

“Don’t wait to make the most of your time,” Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Taylor Kriley said.  “Go out and be great Tigers.”

Student Government Association President Ryan Stanley talked about why he loves Fort Hays.

“Like all things in life, it is important that you go out and seek what you want,” Stanley said. “And this university is full, full of people who want to help you and provide you with resources and ideas.”

It’s understandable not to have everything figured out Stanley said, but he encouraged students to take some chances and try new things.

“I can’t express that enough; whether it’s internships, professional experiences, study abroad, hands-on learning, or social engagement, they can be found here,” Stanley said.  

Stanley also said that new students might not realize just how supportive the Fort Hays community is and how important it is to ask questions. 

“Make sure you’re asking questions,” Stanley said. “Ask tons of questions. If you ever feel lost physically, academically, emotionally, spiritually, there are people who can help.”

Stanley admitted feeling lost his freshman year and decided to join the Student Government Association because he asked a question and started a conversation. He’s now SGA president.

Director of Student Engagement Shianne Cokely also said she was also nervous about adjusting to college.

“I’m from a small town,” Cokely said. “I knew everybody. It’s not the case when you go to college, right? It’s kind of scary. There’s a lot of new people.”

Cokely said she was successful in college because she got involved and had staff members who were invested in her and her success.

“We have people who invested in us, and cared for us and believed in us,” Cokely said. “And we want to be those people for you. All the staff that are here, we believe in you. We care about you.”

Students were then dismissed by degree programs to go play games on the quad. There, volunteers led activities and students were given T-shirts to wear for TGOF. 

“I wasn’t sure exactly what I expected from this,” student Gavin Tuttle said. “I liked the balance between information and fun activities like the chants and the rock, paper, scissors. I’m looking forward to the school year.”

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