On Monday Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. Laurier Off –Campus University Students (LOCUS) and Brantford Residence Council (BRC) hosted First Years on Ice at Harmony Square. Tons of first-year Laurier students gathered to skate, hang out and share stories late Monday evening. The event provided first-year students the opportunity to have a good time and  reconnect as the semester takes off. The students were also offered hot chocolate and cupcakes made by the BRC.

The event began with Locus and BRC contributing their time and effort in helping set up, bake and plan the event. Residence council leaders wanted a fun event that would be inclusive to everyone, with different events that can attract a wide demographic. Pasquale Centritto, a third-year criminology student and member LOCUS for the last three years, helped plan this event.

“The event would not just be about skating but also about getting everyone in the community together to have a good time, and leave the stressing behind,” said Centritto.

This time of year is the time were students often become overly stressed and mental health awareness is on the high. Many clubs, programs and groups at Laurier try to create events that help de-stress students as well as allow students to bond and create new healthy relationships.

“Students should know that they shouldn’t always be stressed but have time to mingle and network. Networking is important and essential to developing through a student’s university career,” said Pasquale, leader of LOCUS.

Despite the cold, students and families in the Brantford community had a wonderful time on the ice. Tiffani Hailstone, a member of the community, was “glad to see the Laurier students out and having fun”.

LOCUS and BRC have been hard at work creating activities and events for first year students, allowing the transition to university to be a smooth one. They have many more events planned for first year students through the year such as the Red and White night – an event for Valentine’s day. Students can dress semi-formal and will have the opportunity to indulge in karaoke and dancing.

Monica Azevedo, a member of BRC, commented that the weather wasn’t the best at first, but as time passed more and more students came out and braved the cold. It is clear that the First Year on Ice event was a success. A common denominator amongst all the individuals who attended the event were warm and happy smiles.

“It was great to see the Laurier community coming together and having such as great time bonding,” said BRC member and first-year Honours Arts student Amanda Lockhart.

Locus team members find it “important for students to get together and mingle to meet each other and get involved. It’s a great opportunity to meet great people, learn amazing leadership skills and network. It helps give back not only to the Brantford community but to Laurier’s community as well.

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