For many first year students, move in day and the first day of Orientation Week can be incredibly daunting. Starting a new chapter in a new place can be scary. But O-week ice breakers, residence dons, and other first year students all come together to make the transition a little less intimidating. During O-week all participating first years are split up into four teams. This year the teams are the Red Timbers, the Green Renegades, the Gold Aces, and the Blue Legends. Each team competes in a series of events throughout O-week to win as many points as possible. At closing ceremonies, the winner of O-week is announced.  

Many first years aren’t entirely sure what to expect from O-week, so who better to explain than Nick DeSumma, the Head Icebreaker of the Green Renegades. DeSumma said, “First years should expect a fun and comforting atmosphere for their transition to university. Moving to a new city or a new school is always a scary thing – O-Week is here to make that transition period as smooth and enjoyable as possible.” DeSumma also explained if and why he would recommend first year students take part in O-week by saying, “Yes! Many of the relationships and experiences you make in university stem from O-Week. I highly encourage and recommend all first year involvement!” 

This year O-week starts on September 4, beginning with all on campus students moving into their residence buildings. When asked what part of residence life she was most excited about, first year Criminology student Neely Birch explained, “I’m really excited to meet my roommates and to meet new people. Setting up my new room and decorating it the way I want is going to be awesome. I also can’t wait to experience living on my own and growing up.”  

In addition to residence move in, the first day of O-week includes opening ceremonies, meeting your teams ice breakers otherwise known as team leaders, and the rest of your teammates. The rest of O-week includes a variety of activities. Some are helpful and informative such as the Know Your Campus event and the Student Success Sessions. Others are just a lot of fun, like the Glow Party at Club NV, the Concert Night, Carnival Day, Taste of Downtown, Hypnotist Ryan Joyce, and of course the famous Cheer Off Competition.  Shine Day, which focuses on each team raising money for Cystic Fibrosis is another favourite amongst first years. Shine Day involves a lot of cheering and involvement from the Brantford community, and is the kind of event that brings a lot of people together. When asked what events he was looking forward to the most, DeSumma said, “Definitely the Athletic Showcase. Hopefully it sparks some more intramural involvement. And who can forget Cheer Off? I’m pretty excited for Beyography on Friday night, because who doesn’t want to learn how to dance like Beyonce?!” 

There are so many events happening during O-week it’s hard to list them all, but there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.   

In comparison to previous O-weeks, there are always a few different events to keep things fresh and interesting. One change DeSumma mentioned, which is arguably the most exciting was, “A noticeable change in this week’s schedule is the later start to each day’s events. How can you not be excited about more sleep?!” So first years rejoice, there won’t be any icebreakers banging and yelling at your doors at 7 am.  

For upper year students one of the most exciting ways to be involved on campus is to be an icebreaker.  Icebreakers get to experience O-week each year and help get first year students comfortable around campus and excited to be a Laurier Golden Hawk. DeSumma explained his favourite part of O-week saying, “The atmosphere is easily my favourite part about O-Week. The positive and fun environment, the cheers, the friendly competition, and the creation of new friendships is what kept me involved year after year.” 

The spirit and friendly competition during O-week are something many students remember throughout the rest of their years at Laurier. Last year the Red Rouges were crowned the winners of O-week. Now the question is, will the Red Timbers be able to continue the legacy, or will someone new win the trophy? 

Avery McIsaac
Avery McIsaac

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