Keeping it all in control
Every year, throngs of first years come to Wilfrid Laurier University and are quickly bombarded with high-spirited icebreakers, new friends and crazy events.
Orientation Week is a time for students to meet one another and get used to Laurier’s campus. However, with any event of this size, there are sure to be problems mixed in with events.
Josh Proksch, vice-president of campus experience, spoke to the positive aspects of Orientation Week.
“I think this year’s O-Week was a massive success,” he said. “I think we put across a very solid message to the first years.”
The theme of “balance your worlds” was prevalent throughout the week.
“We implemented a number of new projects this year,” continued Proksch.
One of these new aspects of O-Week was the inclusion of a presentation by former Barenaked Ladies front man, Steven Page.
Page personally experienced issues with mental health in the past and spoke to its prevalence among students.
“It really brought forth the topic of mental health on campus,” explained Prosksch.
However, O-Week wasn’t all cheers and friendly rivalries. There are always a number of incidences during O-Week that warrant extra work from Special Constables Services (SCS). Rod Curran, director of SCS explained that, “this is our busiest time of the year”.
Over the week, SCS was called in for over 300 incidences on campus.
“Our people were pretty much going the whole time,” said Curran.
Among these incidences there were three occasions resulting from offensive weapons.
“This was at the on-campus party, and the knives were turned over to us,” Curran explained. “It’s not a crime to have a knife, we just care about safety.”
Other incidences included intoxicated students, alcohol violations, theft, and breaking and entering. Despite the extensive disruptions, Curran said that he was impressed with student behaviour.
“Our students are really well behaved, and we really only make sure that they get the students home safely… and that everyone has a good time,” he continued.
Michael Onabolu, president and CEO of the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union, was also a very prominent figure in orchestrating O-Week.
“It went incredibly well,” beamed Onabolu.
“I’m so proud of my team.”
“Everything went off very smoothly, without any issues at all,” he continued.
Onabolu also spoke to the topic of disruptive incidences.
“We had Emergency Services on site, and this year they only had to take two people, as opposed to last year when they took 18,” he said.
He also felt that there are always things to be improved upon during O-Week.
“That is definitely a conversation I need to have with my executive team, because there is always something to be improved upon.”