Cougar Kickoff 2014 Welcomes Back New Students

COLUMBUS, Ga.  — A weeklong Cougar Kickoff — a series of recreational and informational programs designed to welcome new students and reacquaint returnees with campus — begins the fall 2014 school year as classes begin again at Columbus State University.

The fall events starts Sunday, Aug. 17, with “First Stop: RiverPark,” the annual RiverPark campus picnic. There also will be a picnic on main campus Aug. 20 that will feature a zip line stretching from the back of the clock tower to the Greek Center. Over the course of Cougar Kickoff, university officials expect 3,000-3,500 students to participate.

“The picnics are always amazing,” said Johniqua Williams, CSU’s Cougar Kickoff coordinator. “The Bike Ride with President (Tim Mescon) and Color Party were an instant hit last year and are returning this year. It’s a fun-filled bike ride from main campus to Woodruff Park. Then at the park, students faculty and staff have a ball with throwing color bombs and listening to great music.”

One special event especially for first-time students and their families is the ninth annual Freshman Convocation at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 in University Hall. The event serves as a rite of passage, introducing new students to the university’s community of scholars.

To help students get around to all events, Columbus State buses will run shuttles between RiverPark and main campuses, as well as to off-campus activities. Breaking from tradition, cougar kickoff events will only last one week this fall, but – by student demand – will be repeated at the beginning of the spring semester.

The fall Cougar Kickoff agenda includes: (EDITOR’s NOTE: These events are NOT open to the public, but media coverage is welcome.)

  • Sunday, Aug. 17: “First Stop: RiverPark,” 5-8 p.m., RiverPark picnic at Woodruff Park, including free food and drink for students.

  • Monday, Aug. 18: “Lost and Found #BaggageClaim,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Ask Me Tent at clock tower. ROAR Team Members will be there to answer questions about financial aid, residence life, dining, finding classes and more.

  • Monday, Aug. 18: “Presidential Tour” Bike Ride with the President, 5:30 p.m., departs from Lumpkin Center.

  • Monday, Aug. 18: “Splish, Splash Color Bash” Color Party, 6 p.m. at Woodruff Park.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 19: “Service Safari,” Volunteer Opportunities Fair, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at clock tower.

  • Tuesday, Aug. 19: “Channel to the Chattahoochee,” 2 p.m. at Whitewater Express, whitewater excursion down the Chattahoochee River. (Sign up at Student Recreation Center.)

  • Wednesday, Aug. 20: “Checkpoint Chow Down,” Main Campus Picnic, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the clock tower.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 20: Fall into Employment Job Fair, 2-4 p.m. in Davidson Student Center lounge.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 20: “Let’s Get Greeky: Just Kickin’ It with the Greeks,” 7-10 p.m. at Courtyard 1, Greek Life Block Party.

  • Thursday, Aug. 21: Movie screening: “2 Fast, 2 Furious,” Y2@CSU event, 12:30-1:30 p.m. at clock tower.

  • Friday, Aug. 22: “Set Sail to Callaway: Bon Voyage,” Callaway Beach Bash, 2-6 p.m. at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. (Transportation provided by CSU.)

  • Friday, Aug. 22: “Final Destination: Greek State of Mind,” Meet the Greeks, 7-10 p.m., front entrance parking lot, a student networking opportunity with CSU’s Greek life system.

  • Saturday, Aug. 23: Day of Service, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Mock Pavilion. This is a community outreach that brings together faculty, staff, and students to enhance Columbus through various projects.

  • Saturday, Aug. 23: Kickoff Cooldown: End of the Road Ice Cream Party, 1-2 p.m., Mock Pavilion, CSU Intramural Fields.

  • Sunday, Aug. 24: Freshman Convocation, 4 p.m., University Hall auditorium, with hundreds of students, families, faculty and staff gathering to welcome freshmen into the college environment.

For more information about these events, visit

# # #