Armed with a campus map, Laura Corpus, a freshman broadcast journalism major, traversed The University of Texas-Pan American on the first day of class with little difficulty.
"It's not as confusing as I thought it would be. You just have to follow the maps," Corpus said.
Preliminary figures indicate 16,804 students have registered as of Thursday, Aug. 26. This number is expected to increase to more than 17,000 as students continue to register through Sept. 1. Last year the official fall enrollment was 15,914.
Dorothy Owens, a concurrent enrollment student who was home-schooled, said it was going to be hard adjusting to the college environment because she has always been taught at home.
"I've figured out my way around the University though," Owens said. "It helps that I only have classes in one section of the campus."
Other students attribute their success of finding buildings the first day to the kindness and good-heartedness of fellow Broncs willing to offer directions.
"It wasn't difficult because I had someone to show me around," said Ruben Cantu, a freshman kinesiology major.
To continue the welcoming spirit of UTPA, the University Program Board and the Student Union are encouraging students to participate in "Welcome Week 2004" - a week of free events, live music, food and games.
"Welcome Week is intended to be a pre-stress reliever," said Edna Zambrano, assistant director of the Student Union. "We hope the activities will also encourage students to stay on campus."
The weeklong events on campus will give residents and commuter students something to do between classes when they have a break, she said.
Activities for "Welcome Week 2004" include the "Bronc Brain Freeze" - free ice cream at the Quad - donated by the UTPA Alumni Association; the "Poker Run to South Padre Island" - a scavenger hunt resulting in cash prizes for the winners; and a "Merchant Mall" - where local businesses will give away freebies to students.
The week culminates with the "New Bronc Celebration," a Bronc spirit activity, and a "Luau" at the Quad featuring the band Sugar Iced Tea.
For more information about "Welcome Week 2004," contact Zambrano at 956/381-2266 or via e-mail at Zambrano@panam.edu