For first time, celebrating the end of the beginning: Freshman Finale

| Staff Reporter

Freshmen can take a study break at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Graham Chapel for what may become a new Washington University tradition: Freshman Finale. Following the spirit of Freshman Orientation and Convocation,  Freshman Finale will provide closure for students’ first year at the University and prepare them for the upcoming sophomore experience.

Events include speeches from Alix Simnock, president of the Freshman Class Council; Beth Palmer, a freshman nominated by her class to speak; and Associate Director of Residential Life Mary Elliot, head of the sophomore kickoff. Senior Danny Gaynor, who also spoke at Convocation, will be the featured speaker.

According to Simnock, the Finale will provide students a chance to relax before finals and celebrate the end of the year.

“I’d like to see us reflect on what a great year we’ve had here at Wash. U.,” she said. “[The freshman class is] are an amazing group of people. I’m constantly meeting members of our class that I’m blown away by.”

JR Davis, next year’s sophomore class president, will also speak to students. He hopes the finale will be another chance for the class to come together and show spirit.

“That’s what class councils really try and do…bring groups together that may not have an opportunity otherwise,” he added. “I think that benefits the individual and the community as a whole.”

Davis acts as the freshman class’s internal vice president. Next year, according to Davis, students can look forward to Sophomore Class Council events regarding housing, internships and study abroad programs. A new initiative still in planning phases is a Wash. U. fair that would include pie-eating contests, dunk tanks and live music, among other activities.

This year’s Freshman Class Council consists of Simnock; Davis; Stephen Wagner, external vice president; Mary Pat Sinclair, secretary; and Ammar Karimajee, treasurer.

With an aim to unite the freshman class, the council has sold class T-shirts, organized trips for freshmen to SkyZone, offered free snacks at Ursa’s for students and collaborated with Sophomore Class Council to put on Sunday at the Swamp.

“Our main goal for putting on these activities was to create a sense of community for our class,” Simnock said. “We want [students] to feel as if their freshman class is their family at Wash. U. and give them a chance to…meet other freshmen going through the same experiences.”

Freshman Joshua Kim said he had enjoyed his first year.

“It was a new experience,” he said. “This was a bigger community than what I was used to, and I had fun meeting new friends.”

Other students shared Kim’s sentiments.

“I really enjoyed getting involved with different things on campus,” freshman Charlotte Weinstein said. “Freshman year has been so awesome!”

Freshman Finale will also include a ceremony awarding best residential adviser, WUSA, professor, class, member of staff and member of Bon Appétit. According to Simnock, there have been more than 100 nominations for the awards. Students can also look forward to a slideshow featuring pictures of the Class of 2013, and a raffle.

Along with their floors, students can come to the event wearing their residential college T-shirts. And just like at Convocation, the event ends with Ted Drewes frozen custard.

“[Freshman Finale is] hopefully going to be a lasting tradition—a footprint for the future here at Wash. U.,” Davis said. “I can assure everyone that they’re going to have an absolutely fantastic time.”

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