It’s all fun and games as Northeastern students kick off Welcome Week with campus celebration — and King Husky!

A person kisses a husky puppy.
Puppy kisses greeted students attending the Northeastern DIY Arts and Games Festival on the Boston campus. Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

There was cornhole and lawn chess, tie-dying and mural painting, mascots both canine and costumed, and much more at the Northeastern DIY Arts and Games Festival held on a beautiful Labor Day afternoon on the Boston campus.

“It’s nice to go out and do something like this — to meet new people and walk around and get to know the campus better,” first-year student Brady Horgan said as he painted a panel to a mural. 

Kiley Giordana, a second-year student who spent her first year on Northeastern’s London campus, agreed. 

“It helps people to be social,” Giordana said at a booth where students could decorate a rock with a positive message and then exchange it for another rock whose message they found inspirational. 

Giordana left a rock inscribed with the phrase “Positive Mental Attitude.”

“It motivates people to go out and meet new people,” Giordana continued. “I have a group of people from London who I could gravitate to, but I’m also trying to meet new people and not miss the boat.”

The DIY Arts and Games Festival is one of the major activities of Northeastern’s Welcome Week, a period between move-in and convocation that includes more than 300 events to make sure new students have plenty of opportunities to make new friends and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of campus life. It was held Monday on Centennial Common and Library Quad under bright blue skies and amid summer-like temperatures.

“Our overall goal is for students to connect with each other and learn how to be engaged in our community,” said Lisa Commendatore, senior director of Student Orientation and Family Programs, which organizes events including orientation and Welcome Week.  

“Our programming is very intentional; we try to have something for everyone,” Commendatore continued. “We believe an engaged student becomes a successful student.”

There were plenty of opportunities to be engaged on Monday. The festival also offered opportunities to decorate Husky Glow shirts for the Huskies After Dark on Monday evening, which included a Barbie-themed dance party with lots of fluorescent accents and LED performers.

And while the DIY Fest was an arts and games event, no artistic skills were necessary.

“Not at all,” Horgan answered when asked if he was artistic. “But if you tell me to draw on the lines, I can do it.”

First-year students Jesse Andersen and Aiden Rim enjoyed Italian Ices nearby.

“I just want to meet random people, eat Italian Ice,” Rim said, laughing. 

Andersen said that having such student activities like the DIY Festival was “necessary.”

“Classes and clubs haven’t started yet,” Andersen said. “So, it’s nice to go out and do something.”

But perhaps the most popular meeting to be had was with Moses, the official King Husky mascot and the two husky puppies, Mike and Ike.

“I enjoy coming, he enjoys coming and I like giving back to the university — they were good to me,” said the dogs’ owner Margaret Cook, a member of the class of 1964. 

Cook said that she has been bringing her huskies to the campus since 2005, and described the breed as “the closest thing to a human being as a companion that you can get.”

“Students enjoy having the dog here,” Cook continued, while Moses nosed his way into a snuggle. “They most often say ‘I miss my dog at home,’ and it becomes a connection between their home and here.”

As if on cue, first-year students Keira Lowden and Indiana Lee asked to pet Moses. Lowden has two mini Australian Shepherds named Tika and Echo. Lee has a German Shepherd named Grace at home. 

“I’m very open to what’s going on — I’m always able to find something to do and meet new people,” Lowden said of the first few days of activities. “And there’s good food,” Lowden added.

Lee similarly said that she had met a lot of nice people. 

“We haven’t had classes yet, so it’s kind of like extended summer camp,” Lee said.

Cyrus Moulton is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email him at Follow him on Twitter@MoultonCyrus.