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FHSU back to school party breaks the ice

8/17/2014

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Lewis Field Stadium turned into a giant dance party Thursday night as approximately 1,000 Fort Hays State University students stormed the field.

Tiger Impact is the four-day freshman orientation that mixes together social and academic elements to jumpstart bonding with fellow classmates.

As part of Tiger Impact, Playfair is a massive icebreaker event hosted by a company from Berkeley, Calif. The company travels to various universities for its orientation event.

"It's difficult to articulate what Playfair is until students actually go through it," said Brett Bruner, director of persistence and retention at FHSU. "The freshmen leave Playfair and have met so many new people, and students really like it."

From an extreme version of rock, paper, scissors to a massive dance party, Playfair attempted to allow every member of the freshman class to interact with all other members of his or her class.

"Who needs to go to Disney World," said Jacob Patrick, graduate assistant in charge of overseeing the event, "college can be just as fun."

The event was required for all 1,004 incoming freshmen. This is the largest class ever to enter FHSU.

"I've been here since Sunday and this is definitely the most people I've seen," said Amy Hayes, Arvada, Colo.

"This is really exciting because everyone is here."

The event concluded with every freshman walking in a circle, shaking hands with every other freshman.

"It's a lot of fun," said Ike Anderson, Wichita, "with all these people I've never met before."

In addition to Playfair, this was the inaugural year for the Class of 2018 walk, where all class members walked across Jellison Bridge Friday morning to be greeted by cheering faculty and staff.

"We've been putting a lot of tradition building into the program," Bruner said. "We wanted something that would really get students excited. This year has been a lot about how we can revitalize and bring new energy and ideas to Tiger Impact."

The students were grouped by major, giving them more of a chance to interact with students who have similar interests.

"The best part is meeting new people," said Cody Ellis, Norton. "These people are going to become your friends, so it's good to meet people you're going to graduate with."