Orientation Week in review
Orientation Week has always been about getting first-year students acquainted with Laurier, the community and each other, as well as about raising money and awareness for cystic fibrosis.
This year, a total of $110,848.80 was raised.
The fundraising was approached differently; with no monetary goal there was no pressure and the students were able to give whatever they wanted and enjoy their experience.
“We essentially just were very honest and upfront from the get-go, saying if you’d like to donate then that’s fantastic and its well appreciated but there is in no way at any time an obligation to donate at all,” said Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union vice-president of first-year experience Burton Lee.
In the past, color team auctions have been problematic, as students were encouraged to purchase items at prices much higher than its value.
Students also bid on intangible items such as movie nights or dance lessons with icebreakers, and many promises were never fulfilled.
“[This year] we capped costs for items on their actual retail value,” said Lee.
“For example we had an iPod as one of the items, if that iPod was valued at $80 then a student couldn’t pay more that $80 for the item,” said Lee about their efforts to alleviate the pressure to spend.
Items that did not have a specific monetary value, such as a color team flag, were raffled off, so students could purchase tickets instead of spending hundreds of dollars on something that, sentimental value aside, was a piece of cloth.
Shine Day also proved to be successful, as students traveled out into the community to spread awareness and raise money for the cause. In that alone, they were able to raise $88,276.50.
“They did a fantastic job in terms of how much money they raised, and I know even better … we raised a ton of awareness in the community,” said Lee.
An O-Week tradition is movie night, which for the past few years has been hosted on Alumni Field. A-team contracts out a company to play a movie on a big screen over the field, where students gather together to watch.
This year movie night was plagued with a hitch; the audio equipment brought in by the company didn’t work properly, leaving the film playing without sound.
“The general impression that I got was students just had a fun time hanging out on the field anyways,” said Lee.
“People just started hanging out and playing sports.”
The movie was put on in BA 201 for any student who still wanted to watch, but most remained on the field to hang out with friends.
“We were about to [go to the movie] but then it got shut off,” said first-year student Taha Muhammad.
“Instead we were just sitting with friends.”
Despite the difficulties with the film it didn’t seem to diminish the overall experience of the week.
“It was organized amazingly, I’d love to do it next year too,” said Muhammad.
This year the A-Team decided to run Uh Oh as the first year game show instead of The Price is Right, which had been used in previous years.
“Everyone enjoyed that, there was more involvement from first-year students and volunteers as opposed to The Price is Right, which only had a few people involved,” explained Lee about the decision to change the event.
The A-Team also added new student success sessions this year that helped first years adjust to student life and learn how to be a student.
“Hopefully it will translate into success from those students in the next three, four or five years,” said Lee about the reason for including these sessions.