[+VIDEOS] MTSU students keep making ‘connect...

[+VIDEOS] MTSU students keep making ‘connections,’ this time to ‘Meet Murfreesboro’

Maybe it was the free slices of pizza or hot dogs and chips. Possibly it was the $5 T-shirts, Smoothie King samples, opportunities to join off-campus student ministries or other goodies.

With bright, warm sunshine as a backdrop, Middle Tennessee State University’s “Meet Murfreesboro” Connection Point event drew a crowd in the Student Union Commons on the first of its two days Tuesday, Aug. 29.

A trio of MTSU freshmen women look for T-shirt bargains at Meet Murfreesboro.

Freshmen Brianna Camacho of Clarksville, Tenn., left, Lauren Crass of Knoxville, Tenn., and Kaley Walker of Cleveland, Tenn., comb through the Raider Tees T-shirts Aug. 29 during Meet Murfreesboro in the Student Union Commons. Camacho is a prepharmacy major, Crass is studying interior design and Walker is an early childhood education major. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)

The annual New Student and Family Programs and Center for Student Involvement and Leadership welcome event introduces off-campus businesses, restaurants, ministries and more to students and MTSU employees. Meet Murfreesboro will continue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30.

“This is cool. It’s nice to have stuff to get involved with on campus,” said Lauren Crass, 18, a freshman interior design major from Knoxville, Tennessee, adding that she also found “a very good deal on T-shirts” at the Raider Tees display.

Holding a smoothie sample in her hand, Keisha Burton, 21, a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, majoring in child development and family studies, said she had just gotten out of class, “but this looks welcoming.”

Insurance companies State Farm and Acceptance, Redstone Federal Credit Union, Bethel Community Church, LYFE — Liberated Young Focused Empowered — Campus Ministry, Freebirds World Burrito and Paul Mitchell were among the businesses spotted under two large tents.

The MTSU Department Fair is set Thursday, Aug. 31, from11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, call 615-898-5812 or visit

— Randy Weiler (

Keisha Burton of Memphis, Tenn., receives a free smoothie sample.

MTSU senior Keisha Burton of Memphis, Tenn., receives a free Smoothie King sample Aug. 29 during the first day of the two-day Meet Murfreesboro Connection Point event in the Student Union Commons. Burton is a child development and family studies major. (MTSU photo by Randy Weiler)


Connection Point becomes new face of welcome week at MTSU [+VIDEO]

Aug. 24, 2017

MTSU Division of Student Affairs administrator Danny Kelley wants incoming students revved up and ready to kick off the fall semester with a string of fun activities.

What was formerly known as “Week of Welcome” at MTSU now has a new but familiar name — Connection Point. The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership is teaming with New Student and Family Programs to merge Week of Welcome and Connection Point together with a few minor changes and new additions to the event list.

Connection Point provides programming that gives students opportunities to engage in campus life and better “connect” with True Blue Community.

Dr. Danny Kelley

Dr. Danny Kelley

“The Student Affairs staff ultimately decided we should probably be more structured in what we present entering students as far as involvement opportunities,” said Kelley, assistant vice president for student affairs.

Thousands of MTSU students returning for fall semester will be able to participate in a series of events beginning Friday, Aug. 25, with the We-Haul move-in to campus housing, followed by a dinner and carnival the same day. More events are slated the following week and beyond, until Connection Point ends in October.

This year, instead of hosting University Convocation and the President’s Picnic on Sunday afternoon, the university will hold the events beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug 26, giving students’ families more time for safer travel home and students more time to prepare for the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 28. “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance is the guest speaker at Convocation; you can learn more here, and the event will be livestreamed for those who can’t attend in person.

To see the complete list of activities, visit

As Connection Point enters its fifth year, student involvement programs will continue promoting a “welcome week” theme each year — 2017 is “Raiders are Out of this World” — but now under the Connection Point umbrella.

“Since it’s a semesterwide initiative, why not just call it the same thing?” said Gina Poff, director of New Student and Family Programs.

Cheryl and Martin Watts help son Caleb mov into campus housing in 2016.

Cheryl, left, and Martin Watts help their son, Caleb, move into Corlew Hall as an MTSU freshman in this August 2016 file photo. We-Haul move-in will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 25-26. It is one of the early Connection Point activities. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)

Research shows the more involved students are with campus life, the more likely they are to graduate, as compared with the graduation rates of students who chooses not to participate in any extracurricular activities.

New additions that are part of the fun-filled social celebration for students also include MTSU’s “Freedom Sings” — a partnership between musical artists and the First Amendment Center to teach about the nation’s most fundamental freedoms. The free public event is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, in Tucker Theatre for the first time since 2011; you can learn more here.

Another new event on the schedule is a #MTBAEWatch beach party, hosted by the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, educating students by providing information in the following areas: definition of consent, campus resources for students who have experienced sexual assault or violence, ways to be an active bystander, safe consumption of alcohol, and healthy dating habits.

Students need to bring their IDs for all Connection Point activities to capture attendance, Kelley said.

— Jayla Jackson (

Connection Point 2017 flyer