GSA prepares for ‘Graduate Student Orientation’

File photo by Paige Bush

File photo by Paige Bush

Things are gearing up for Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Students’ Association’s ‘Graduate Student Orientation,’ which is set to take place on the Waterloo campus over September 6 and 7.

Programming over those two days is open to all of Laurier’s graduate students and will be packed full of informational opportunities.

September 6 will include a community lunch open to incoming students as well as their returning peers and other members of the graduate community, as well as afternoon sessions on achieving success while at Laurier and a panel presentation called ‘Getting the most out of your Graduate Student Experience.’ The following morning will feature a rotation of sessions covering topics such as gendered violence, mental health and professional development, followed by an afternoon services fair set to introduce students to the services they can access throughout the course of their studies.

“Because it’s only two days, versus where the undergraduates stretch it out to the full week there, we really try to make the most of the two days,” said Sam Deeming president of GSA.

While this programming will be taking place in Waterloo, the GSA are actively encouraging students from all Laurier campuses to attend, as the purpose of these two days is not only to welcome new students but to share with them the community aspects of life at Laurier.

“We really wanted to get new graduate students and returning graduate students to buy into the idea of the Laurier community,” said Deeming. “Really what it means to be a Golden Hawk and all the stuff that the Laurier community values.”

We really wanted to get new graduate students and returning graduate students to buy into the idea of the Laurier community. 

-Sam Deeming, GSA President

Even Laurier’s masters of business and administration students, whose program begins long before orientation kicks off, are incited to the lunches over both days as an opportunity to connect with their fellow students. These days of community orientation are in addition to faculty specific programming that is offered in Kitchener for the faculty of social work on September 8, in Brantford on September 9, as well as by the Seminary on September 2 for doctorate students and the 9-11 for master’s students.

International students additionally had the opportunity to enjoy orientation activities catered to their unique needs from September 2-5.

Activities this year differ from last, when multi-day Explorientation programming was introduced with the aim of familiarising students with the K-W region. Explorientation this year will begin with the GSA’s annual patio party and then continue with programming throughout the month of September.

This will range from family-friendly activities such as a Blue Jay’s game to a park picnic to wellness activities including yoga and free fitness classes, as well as a graduate specific homecoming experience.

“We’ve decided that orientation shouldn’t just be that first week when students are back on campus, so we’re actually going to be spreading it out over the entire month of September,” said Deeming.

“During those first two days we really wanted to, like I said, focus on that community feeling and the departmental stuff. But we also wanted to then say that, here’s things that you can do within Laurier, within the community, to better get an understanding of your surroundings.”

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