The initial meeting of each class is, perhaps, the most important one of the semester. It sets the tone for the course. This is your chance to get students excited about the course.
Along with giving students the syllabus and your contact info, be prepared to get them involved with the material right away. A brainstorming session about what they know and don’t know, a short video clip that illuminates some aspect of the course content, or a brief in-class writing exercise can serve to whet their appetites and solidify their desire to be in the class.