Free food. Most college students will go for that.

That makes for a great opportunity this week, as more than 220 departments and organizations will participate in UNM Welcome Back Days.

Ryan Lindquist, associate director of the Student Activities Center, said the Welcome Back Days provide an opportunity to spotlight the diverse departments and communities on campus, as well as a free meal for students.

“It’s an excellent way to welcome students back and ease them into the craziness of the semester,” Lindquist said. “We provide them great resources and information that will help make them successful here at the university.”

Each day is centered on a different theme that encourages students to interact with administration. Ice cream, green chile stew, watermelon, hot dogs and pizza will be provided throughout the week, he said.

Cecy Velasco, who is a member of the UNM Dream Team that will be a part of Welcome Back Days, said her organization focuses on the needs and rights of immigrant students through outreach to high schools.

“It is definitely a time to really see what the UNM campus and community has to offer to students,” Velasco said. “It offers students the opportunity to get engaged and find something they feel connected to.”

The UNM Dream Team participates in Welcome Back Days because they are the only student group that focuses on immigrant students, she said. Its booth will be by El Centro de la Raza on Wednesday and Thursday.

Terry Davis, Popejoy Hall’s marketing manager, said Welcome Back Days are a way for students to peek into what the campus has to offer.

“It’s a great way to get everybody from the UNM community into one sort of joint area where you can discover things together, see things you didn’t know and even discover new or old friends again,” Davis said. “It’s a great communal experience.”

Popejoy Hall will be involved in the Safety, Health and Wellness Day — Welcome Back’s Tuesday feature — because part of being healthy is participating in a social environment, he said. They will also take part in the Campus Community Day.

“We are certainly part of the community,” Davis said. “We are set up by our former president John Popejoy, and he said that Popejoy Hall should serve as a handshake with the community. That’s exactly why we want to be there.”

Tony Quintana, Community Health Resources manager, said the UNM Truman Health Services will be a part of the celebration as well.

Quintana said THS is a patient center and medical home that treats people with HIV and offers complimentary massage therapy, chiropractors and acupuncturists.

“I think the Welcome Back Days are great. It introduces students to the wide variety of resources available to them,” Quintana said. “It gives students an introduction to things and opportunities for them and just helps students get linked to those different avenues.”

The UNM Truman Health Services will participate in Safety, Health and Wellness Day in order to spread awareness of their services, he said.

For more information on Welcome Back Days and other UNM events visit

Lauren Marvin is a freelance writer for the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @LaurenMarvin.


Food offerings during Welcome Back Days


UNM President’s Ice Cream Social. Food of the Day: Ice Cream


Safety, Health, Wellness and ROTC. Food of the Day: Watermelon


Campus Community Day. Food of the Day: Green Chile Stew


Student Organization Day. Food of the Day: Pizza


Campus Employment and Community Service Day. Food of the Day: Hot Dogs

Music and Food will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. each day.

Information Booths will run 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.