First-ever Welcome Weekend Celebration with Goat Yoga, Free Meals & More – Daly, Iowa


Daniel Jacobi II

Students doing yoga poses during goat exercises at the Best Breakfast Ever on August 20

The Student Affairs Department hosted Iowa State University’s first Cyclone Welcome Weekend in the days leading up to the first week of classes.

The festivities kicked off on Friday night with a cookout full of hot dogs, burgers and brats served by Hibie at the Reed Recreation Center.

“It was a last minute decision to move [the cookout] Indoors because of the weather,” said Toyia Younger, vice president of student affairs. “But I think it was a great decision because … everyone spread out over the whole [Lied Center]”

Over 3,000 students attended the cookout. While enjoying their meal, the students played volleyball, basketball and bag throwing to the music.

At 7:45 am on Saturday, a group of students started lining up for the “best breakfast ever.” Breakfast officially started at 8am. Early estimates indicate that about 1,000 students were in attendance.

The complimentary breakfast included several sessions of goat gymnastics. Students continued with a yoga instructor in a pen with 14 goats.

“Some of the goats were a bit sly, but sometimes they were just standing on the mat, working around and staring,” said a first-year engineering student. Mason Freest said. “It was quite an experience and I would definitely do it again.”

Students also had the chance to ride mechanical bulls, play with air, and win raffle prizes like soccer tickets and AirPods.

Other welcome weekend events included two film screenings, bingo, and a performance by hypnotist and former “America’s Got Talent” contestant Chris Jones.

While creating the Welcome Weekend, the Student Affairs Office worked with members of the Student Union and several advisory committees. Students, city officials and local businesses were all involved in creating the event.

For the past few years the university has hosted the Destination Iowa State (DIS). This is a series of events held for new students the weekend before class. The university still hosted his DIS, but the addition of the Welcome Weekend gave incoming and returning students access to campus activities.

Some of Welcome Weekend’s first conversations stemmed from the observation, “Some people choose to go out and party or do other things because they don’t have anything planned.”

Whether or not the Welcome Weekend will be held again next year has yet to be officially decided, but many event coordinators are happy with this year’s results.

Haley Cook, Strategic Engagement Coordinator at the Office of the President, said: “It was really cool to see the connections and how people were sitting and seeing each other.”

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