A first-year’s guide to O-Week

Serena Austin / WLUSP President & Publisher
Students enjoying one of the night programs at last year’s O-Week.

This year’s O-Week at Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford will be running from Sept. 3 to Sept. 9. 

The approximate 400 first-year students will be welcomed by 80 to 100 icebreakers. Icebreakers are upper-year students who are “role models and people you can talk to,” said Ben Avetissian, the head icebreaker, who is a third-year humanities student.  

The students will be divided into five teams, one for each of the residence buildings and an off-campus team. First-year students will have a busy week with the following O-Week activities. 

The first day, Sunday, is move-in day with opening ceremonies and a hypnotist at night. 

“You’ll see us crazy people running around in bright yellow shirts, chanting and getting everyone excited to be a Golden Hawk,” Avetissian said. 

On Monday, the icebreakers will welcome off-campus students and provide campus tours. Meeting a crowd of new people may seem intimidating at first, but a warm welcome can come in many forms.  

“If you’re maybe a quieter person and you don’t want someone screaming, shouting in your face, then there’s a few quieter icebreakers,” said Lisa Fehr, the orientation program facilitator of O-Week. “There’s kind of an icebreaker for everyone.” 

The night programming will include a mentalist and drag show. Students can visit a rage room and learn more about student success on Tuesday. There will be a room burn, which is a demonstration put on by firefighters to show how quickly a dorm room can burn down. Night-time activities will include a glow dance and movie. 

Wednesday includes a mayor’s lunch with Brantford’s mayor, Kevin Davis. The mayor will answer questions from first-year students about the City of Brantford. There will also be a canine circus and comedian at night. The first day of classes, Thursday, will have a Get Involved Fair.  

“I definitely recommend the Get Involved Information Fair which we have, that’s when all the clubs and associations come,” said Avetissian.  

Students can learn about the many “different services on campus,” said Avetissian.  

The night program has a headphone disco. On Friday, there will be a petting zoo. The O-Carnival will be held at night and includes carnival games.  

“Everyone gets to come out, meet more first years,” said Fehr. 

The last day, Saturday, will hold a Shine Car Wash and the closing ceremonies. The car wash is a charity event for cystic fibrosis research. Last year, it raised about $6,000.  

“This year, we’re hoping to get close to $10,000,” said Fehr.  

Avetissian said the car wash is “a lot of fun.” 

“We do wash some cars, but we also just spray each other with the hose,” said Avetissian. 

The icebreakers give “first-years an outlet for all the questions they may possibly have,” said Fehr. 

The fees for Orientation Week are funded by the Students’ Union and included in first-year students’ tuition.

Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
O-Week schedule breakdown.

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 1 on Thursday, Aug. 31.

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