4 things to know about Mercer’s Opening Days and Bear Beginnings


Mercer University will welcome the Class of 2025 to campus during two move-in days Aug. 19-20.

Here are four things to know before arriving in Macon.

1. You’ll need a COVID-19 Clearance Card

Before you can move in to your residence hall, all students, regardless of vaccination status, will need to visit the Campus Health Center to be screened for COVID-19 and receive their COVID-19 Clearance Card. Because parking at the health center is limited, drivers will be directed to park in the upper baseball lot, and students will take a shuttle to the Campus Health Center.

“Whether you’ve been vaccinated, not vaccinated, submitted test results, need to be tested, all of those pieces will happen at student health,” said Pablo Valentin, coordinator of new student programs at Mercer.

2. We’ll help you move in

After receiving your COVID-19 Clearance Card and returning to the upper baseball lot, you’ll be directed to your residence hall. There will be lots of signs and peer advisers to help you find your way. Once you arrive at your residence hall, go inside to check in. Meanwhile, your parents can start putting boxes on the curb. Mercer volunteers and peer advisers will help bring your items inside. Pro tip: Make sure all your boxes are labeled with your last name and room number.

“In order to move the process quickly, we want to be able to just grab boxes and get them to your room, so make sure you’ve labeled them clearly,” Valentin said.

3. Your O-Group will become part of your Mercer family

Before arriving on campus, your peer adviser will add you to your Orientation Group, or O-Group, on GroupMe, so go ahead and download the mobile app. You’ll meet your O-Group and peer adviser on Aug. 20 and will have several group sessions Aug. 21-22.

“O-Group Sessions are really time in and out of the Bear Beginnings classroom where your peer adviser has subject matter that they need to go over with you,” Valentin said. “Some of it is more on the fun side, a lot of bonding and activities, and then we’ve got a lot of important things like the Title IX conversations happening throughout the weekend, time management workshops, health and safety panels.”

4. Be prepared to have fun and join in on traditions

In addition to the sessions during the day, including a Class of 2025 group photo, Bear Beginnings includes nightly activities Aug. 21-22. On Aug. 21, there will be a first-year lawn party on Cruz Plaza, featuring a DJ and photo booth. On Aug. 22, the movie “In The Heights” will be shown at Five Star Stadium.

Also, mark your calendar for 2-3 p.m. Aug. 23, when Convocation will be held in Hawkins Arena. The long-standing tradition “symbolizes the kick off of your academic journey here at Mercer,” Valentin said.

Finally, attending Bear Fair, which is 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23 in the University Center, is a great way to get involved on campus.

It’s a jam-packed weekend, but your fellow Bears will guide you through it.

“Your peer adviser will be with you throughout all of these events, so they’ll be guiding you through that experience,” Valentin said. “So know that you’ll never be left alone during this.”


Do you have a story idea or viewpoint you'd like to share with The Den?
Get in touch with us by emailing den@mercer.edu or submitting this online form.
Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.