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APU Comes to Life for the Fall

by April Overholt '11

As the sleepy summer months come to a close, the first day of the semester is just around the corner. Departments all across campus, from the Office of Facilities Management to APU Theater, work to get every detail in place before students return for fall.

The Office of Student Success dedicates this time of year to preparing for New Student Orientation. Much effort goes to planning and executing a week of events to introduce incoming students to the APU experience before classes begin.

Hospitality Services helps out with orientation by providing the food for some of its events. Each eatery is also stocking up to get ready for the thousands of students, faculty, and staff that look forward to eating on campus.

The Office of Communiversity is also gearing up, devoting their preparations to ensuring that students make the most out of their experience at APU this year. “We’re working to plan events where we explain to the students what Communiversity is,” said Chuck Strawn, director of Communiversity. “We want to introduce ways for students to get plugged in and be engaged in the community.”

In addition to helping with orientation, the Office of Chapel Programs is focusing on spiritually equipping students and staff for the coming year. Every summer, two special training events take place: one for the worship bands to connect and rehearse with each other, and one for office staff to spend time together training and planning. Chapel Programs also provides another great resource, Imago Dei, to coach and energize students who hold leadership positions on campus, such as SALT team participants, D-Group leaders, and student government members.

Many students are already on campus, including the theater students who are dedicating their last weeks of summer to rehearsal for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Utilizing the beautiful amphitheater behind the Wynn Academic Center, the theater program promises to kick off the season with a unique experience of a classic Shakespearean play.

Although most of the work for a smooth transition into a new year happens behind the scenes, many staff members are undertaking the physical maintenance of campus. Facilities Management is gardening and restructuring the landscape to keep it looking pristine. Across campus, chairs, tables, and vending machines are shoved in unusual places as Cornerstone Coffeehouse and the Quikimart endure deep cleans and minor remodeling before fall brings long lines of hungry students. Additionally, the Office of Housing is coordinating the redistribution of beds, dressers, and desks throughout on-campus living areas to keep up with our ever-growing student population.

And the back-to-school preparation is not limited to APU's campuses—the city of Azusa is also putting the finishing touches on its remodeling project. Portions of Foothill Blvd. and Citrus Ave., streets well worn by the APU and Azusa communities, received a complete repaving. Campus driveways were also smoothed over by Facilities Management. The changes should make traffic flow between campuses much more manageable.

Life at Azusa Pacific is returning steadily. As the temperature rises, the steady murmur of a college campus grows louder. In a matter of days, the university will be in full swing as the preparations finish and students reappear for another fall semester.