Iona Officially Welcomes Sophomore Class

Ionas Homecoming to Sophomore Class

Iona’s Homecoming to Sophomore Class

Jocelyn Arroyo-Ariza, News Editor

The class of 2024 was the most impacted by the sudden transition to remote learning in the pandemic. These Gaels did not have a proper send off to their high school years or a normal freshman year experience. A lot has changed since then. Hence, the Sophomore Welcome Ceremony was held at noon on Sept. 1.  

Usually, freshmen are given an orientation before the fall semester begins to prepare them for college. This significant college experience introduces students not only to their college, but to their fellow peers. However, because of COVID-19 the class of 2024’s orientation was held virtually through Zoom and Blackboard modules.  

Students gathered in the Mulcahy gym for the event to be greeted by members of the college administration and campus student leaders. They were also treated with complimentary t-shirts and other giveaways such as rain ponchos.  

As students huddled into the gym to get the best seats, some of them reconnected with classmates they missed over the summer, while others made new friends. Gaels waited eagerly for the ceremony to begin as rows started to fill up.  

Kadiann Lindo, a sophomore biology major expressed concern and excitement.  

“It’s nice to be welcomed like this,” Lindo said while waiting in line for her shirt. “However, this school year looks so scary.”  

Throughout the several speeches by faculty and student leaders, Gaels were informed about what life at Iona should look like and what is expected of them. The ceremony reminded Gaels that although these past few years were not what they expected all things will pass and eventually get better. The switch back to in-person classes may seem odd but eventually students will grow accustomed again. They were also advised that although college may be difficult, especially in these troubling times, higher education is worth the sacrifice.  

The ceremony also served for the sophomore class’s introduction to Killan’s Kickoff or alternately the first 50 days of fall fun at Iona. Along with merch, Gaels were given a packet that encloses all the fun activities planned for the semester, including the Welcome Back Gala and Sophomore Saturday. These events will reunite the student body and celebrate school spirit as the world returns to the before days.  

Once the ceremony concluded, inspired Gaels walked to class feeling welcomed and excited for what is to come.