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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI's First Night 2000 to kick off
Same Planet, Different World program

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 28, 2000 -- To welcome the 2,350 members of the class of 2004 to the Kingston Campus, the University of Rhode Island will hold a celebration of campus life at Keaney Gymnasium and the Memorial Union on Sunday, Sept. 3.

Called First Night 2000, the program will get the new academic year at URI off to a rousing, safe start. The opening event is part of Same Planet, Different World, a month-long program that offers students a wide range of alcohol-free events.

The kickoff takes place Sept. 3. in Keaney Gym from 7 to 8 p.m., and includes a slide show of URI students and campus highlights, and entertainment by the URI cheerleaders, the Ramettes and That Ram Band.

In addition, there will be a talk by Titus Dos Remedios, a new student orientation leader, and Bob Cormier, student body president, will offer brief remarks. Master of ceremonies, Doug Cureton, a private training consultant, will involve the audience in several fun, thought-provoking exercises, to help the new students realize they are all going through the same nervousness and anticipation.

Resident hall advisers will lead the new students to the gym, where they will then be ushered to their seats by student leaders.

Jayne Richmond, dean of University College and special academic programs, said the event in Keaney is focused on bringing the new community of first-year students together.

"We want to give them a spirited message about how to join a new community and talk with them about the values of the URI community," Richmond said.

Richmond said the program emphasizes that their world changes when they arrive on campus, and knowing what to expect is an important first step to welcoming those changes.

Following the one-hour program in Keaney, the Memorial Union and its surrounding grounds will be turned into a block party until midnight. "We're turning the area into a street fair," said Frances Cohen, dean of students. "It will be so exciting to have 2,400 new students enjoying themselves. I also know that a lot of upper-classmen will be helping out as volunteers. Everyone's welcome."

"We want to let our 2,400 new arrivals know that they can enjoy meeting people and having a good time without drinking and without drugs," Cohen said. "We are encouraging students to take part in the academic and social life of the campus; both are legitimate."

During the Union event, students will be able to tackle an obstacle course, enjoy popcorn and cotton candy, eat a one-ton Sunday, have their fortune told by a Tarot card reader, have their handwriting analyzed, and play the URI Survival Game, among the many activities.

Cohen has invited community leaders from Narragansett to attend the events to witness the effort being made by URI and its students to be good neighbors.

The fun doesn't end on Sunday night. On Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be a bus trip to Narragansett Town Beach, and from 4:30 until 6:30 p.m., there will be a barbecue on the Quadrangle for all students. On the new semester's First Friday, Sept. 8, there will be a Hawaiian Luau on the Quad from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. And throughout the month there will be other events.

All events are free and open to all URI students and the general public.


For Information: Jayne Richmond 401-874-5505, Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116


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