Wilfrid Laurier University offers every new batch of students that arrive at during the first week of September, Laurier Orientation Week offers a chance for them to transition into university life through their participation in a week of events, social activities, bonding opportunities, playful competition and — most importantly — lots of fun.
This year, Brantford’s O-Week will introduce about 800 new students to the campus.
Because of Brantford’s unique campus layout, it can sometimes be a bit difficult for new students to find their way around, and become properly transitioned into Laurier. O-Week attempts to bridge that gap, giving students a guidebook around the campus.
“Orientation Week is filled with activities and events to help integrate incoming students into the Laurier and Brantford communities,” said Adam Lawrence, dean of students for the Brantford campus, in a press release.
“The Students’ Union, Student Affairs staff, faculty members and senior student volunteers have been working extremely hard to create a transition program to help prepare students for academic and personal success in the coming year.”
Upon arrival, and after moving into residences, first-year students will be divided into their four “teams” based on their residence locations. Each of the teams: the red rivals, green cyclones, blue riptides and gold infinities will be working to be crowned the most spirited of the O-Week teams during Friday’s Cheer Off ceremony.
Because the Laurier campus is split between Waterloo and Brantford, Brantford students will have a different experience with O-Week than their Waterloo counterparts.
However, Brantford students will get the opportunity to go to the Jazz Cartier concert, presented by the A-Team on the Waterloo campus, if they wish.
O-Week will begin on Monday, Sept. 2, with Move-in Day, residence floor or community meetings, opening ceremonies, the comedic, inspirational stories of Andy Thibodeau and finishing off with a chance to experience the campus nightlife with other members of the Students’ Union.
On Tuesday, Sept. 3, students will get to participate in “Student(ing) 101,” a workshop on how to be successful in university and use your time wisely; a reception to meet with other members of the Brantford faculty, professors and talk to them about the first few weeks of university; the ever-classic “room burn” with firefighters, to promote fire safety standards; an athletic showcase, presented by Laurier Athletics, a glow-in-the-dark paint party and gaming event.
Wednesday, Sept. 4 will begin with “Positive Pulse,” a health and wellness event aimed at promoting accessible and healthy lifestyles for students; brunch with the Mayor of Brantford, Kevin Davis himself; a Bob Ross-esque painting session, dodgeball and will finish off with a lip-sync battle.
On Thursday, Sept. 5, students will get the chance to go to an information fair, to find out more about campus and community partners and what they have to offer students; a “taste of downtown” lunch to find out more about what food Brantford has to offer, a hypnotist, the Jazz Cartier concert in Waterloo, and will finish off with a movie night in Brantford.
Friday, Sept. 6 will feature the “Get Involved Fair”, your opportunity to find out more about all of the various student clubs and associations on campus, and how to volunteer with them; the annual O-Week picture, the Cheer Off, Carnival and Headphone Disco events — it is worth noting that some events, like Carnival and Headphone Disco, are only accessible to those with Golden Tickets.
For Saturday, Sept. 7, Shine Day will be taking place throughout Brantford, with students washing cars and raising money for Cystic Fibrosis research, and will finish off with the closing ceremonies.
With all the work that has gone into preparing for O-Week on the Brantford campus, its coordinators from the Students’ Union are anxiously awaiting its reception from incoming students.
“I have never been so excited for O-Week! Lizzie Smyth, our Orientation Programming Facilitator and her team have done an excellent job in the creation and preparation for this week. I truly am spoiled to be working alongside an individual who is so driven, passionate, and committed to the Students’ Union and the Orientation Program,” said Andre Thames, vice-president of services and programming for the Brantford campus, in an email statement.
“Orientation Week has been a huge part of my life here at Laurier Brantford. From my first year, to my various O-Team experiences, it has been incredible to close out my time here at Laurier as the Orientation Programming Facilitator,” Smyth said in an email statement.
“I hope that our programming will inspire students to enjoy each day of University, rather than counting down until their next break. O-Week would be nothing without every member of the team involved and we are incredibly grateful for the dedication and passion that they have brought to this fantastic programming.
The Students’ Union has been preparing for O-Week with the intent to tackle the issue of “multi-campus isolation” that has been noted by Brantford students, and was a significant platform issue during last year’s Students’ Union elections.
“In order to nurture an inclusive atmosphere and to emphasize the ‘multi-campus’ model, the student executive team will be present in both Brantford and Waterloo during O-Week opening ceremonies,” said Zemar Hakim, president & CEO of the Students’ Union, in an email statement.
“Additionally, 200 tickets for the Jazz Cartier concert are being reserved specifically for Brantford students. We will continue to support robust, exciting programming on our Brantford and Waterloo campuses. Life is a party that students on both campuses are invited to!”, the statement concluded.
Orientation Week is critical in establishing the precedent of student life at Laurier, and is an important step in the university creating the sense of “student experience” that has Laurier ranked number one in student satisfaction for the third consecutive year.
“Student life defines the privilege of being a Golden Hawk,” Hakim said in a press release.
“There are countless opportunities for students to enhance their own experiences and