Many events welcome new students at UC Merced

MERCEDAugust 21, 2012 

This week, UC Merced welcomes more than 1,400 new first-year, transfer and graduate students to campus. Special programs are happening campuswide to provide information and ensure new students have a smooth transition to the campus and the community.

"We've been looking forward to the arrival of our incoming class of Bobcats all summer," said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jane Lawrence. "Groups across campus have worked diligently to coordinate events and activities geared toward providing them with the knowledge and resources they will need to flourish at UC Merced."

For freshmen and transfer students, UC Merced held its second ASCEND: New Student Success Conference on Tuesday. New students started the day with the annual Scholars Lane Bridge Crossing and then had the opportunity to learn about essential academic skills, university expectations and campus resources.

This year, the campus has its largest group of graduate students. As a major research university, graduate students are integral to the UC's mission of research, teaching and public service. All new graduate students are encouraged to attend Graduate Research Orientation Week events, taking place through today, to learn about key components of their graduate education experience, including department and program resources, the graduate groups and other campus resources.

Welcome Week, sponsored by the Office of Student Life, begins today and offers events and opportunities for all new and returning students to become familiar or reacquainted with the campus.

Events will culminate with a community involvement fair Sept. 5 and community business fair Sept. 6. These fairs provide an opportunity for community organizations, nonprofits and businesses to set up displays and materials to advertise products, services, volunteer positions, events and activities. Registration is available at studentlife. For more information, contact (209) 228-2582.

Campus ranks among greenest schools in U.S.

The Sierra Club released its list of the top 100 "Cool Schools" -- the greenest campuses in the nation, and UC Merced ranks 25th.

"UC Merced's goal is to be green from the ground up and we've made giant strides since the campus opened seven years ago," said Jim Genes, special assistant to the vice chancellor for administration. "The Cool Schools ranking helps us measure our success and set our sights on improving our ranking next year."

UC Merced made a "Triple Zero Commitment" to consume zero net energy through efficiency and renewable energy production; to produce zero landfill waste by reducing excess consumption and composting or recycling as much as possible; and to produce zero net greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting as much carbon emissions as it produces -- all by the year 2020.

The campus is committed to sustainability through its much-lauded long-range development plan, including constructing LEED certified buildings, conserving water, promoting recycling and reuse, and through many other programs.

UC Merced Connect is a collection of news items written by the University Communications staff. To contact them, email

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