A Safer and More Personalized Thunder U Experience

Southern Utah University is adding the finishing touches to the Thunder U event that will begin on today, Sept. 3 and run through Tuesday, Sept. 8, putting in all they can to make the orientation something first year students won’t forget. 

Before the fall semester begins, Thunder U is usually a three-day long event that is provided for incoming students to help them adjust to campus and get a feel for their new home. 

SUU’s Assistant Coaches for Academic Success (ACES), Student Success Advisors, the First Year Experience Office and many others have been working all summer to create a more personalized and safe Thunder U experience. 

“The goal of Thunder U is to help students find a home at SUU and to help them feel connected and excited about spending their years here. It’s a compilation of informative and fun events to help them meet new people,” said Madi Maynard, the Coordinator for Orientation and First Year Experience. 

This is still the goal of Thunder U, now more than ever with many students facing the challenge that the pandemic has brought. But with the guidelines surrounding COVID-19, there have not only been more optional days added for the students during the orientation, but adjustments have made activities themselves safer and more personalized. 

In the past, Thunder U has been three days long, with all days required for students to attend. This year, only Tuesday, Sept. 8 is required for students and Sept. 3-7 are optional for students to complete at their comfort level, with many activities being offered virtually. 

Along with the requirement of masks and making sure activities are socially-distance appropriate, the university hopes to keep from spreading the virus to help keep campus open during the fall semester 

SUU has added days onto the orientation to help students obtain all the information they need before school starts. With orientation starting Sept. 3, students who will be moving down a few days early to adjust will now have activities to attend while they’re here. 

“We’ve planned this out in a way that students can participate in different options, and I’m excited for students to come and participate because this year will be especially special and personalized” said Maynard. 

Thunder U has been adjusted to provide much more than keeping students safe. As they participate, students will learn of resources to help them, find a home in SUU and have fun. 

For more information on Thunder U and to view the schedule, click here.

Story by: Elizabeth Armstrong
Photos courtesy of: suu.edu