Orientation week roundup 2023

Organized by Laurier’s Students’ Union, orientation week 2023 saw a multitude of fun events, shows and experiences for new students on Wilfrid Laurier’s Waterloo campus.  

When asked about the takeaways of orientation week for first-year students, Jason Verhoeve, Director of Student Experience at Laurier, said: “First is that we help to prepare them further for their academics here at Laurier.” 

Second, Verhoeve stressed the importance of “connections with campus and connections with each other” alongside helping students to “understand why Laurier is such a special place.” 

Here are some of the highlights of Laurier’s 2023 orientation week.  

The week opened on Monday Sept. 4, with Rage Room and the Shine BBQ for Shinerama taking place between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.  

Following these events, two welcome sessions took place from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Monday closed with the famous headphone disco in the quad. When asked how she was enjoying the event, first-year student Katie stated that she felt the event was “a really good way to interact with people if you’re scared of talking.” 

“Because as I know, conversations can be really tough. So, this is a really nice way to just be involved with other people.” 

Another student, Caprice, echoed similar feelings: “This is such a great atmosphere to meet new people and get out of your shell.” 

Tuesday evening saw more community building events with Pleasure Principles with Farrah Khan from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and A Night with Comedian Hannah Berner from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. 

Wednesday saw the busiest evening of the week, with Fitness Marshall from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m, Room Burn from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and a Magic and Comedy Show with Alex Boyer and Wes Barker from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  

On Thursday, students gathered excitedly for this year’s O-week concert starring Steve Aoki.  

When asked about the concert, Verhoeve said that the event helped to “show some of the Laurier spirit that we have, where students can come gather together and celebrate the start of the new term. It’s an opportunity, I think, for us to showcase that we’re here for students. We want students to really learn here and grow here, but also to be able to enjoy themselves in a safe environment that we’ve helped kind of establish for them.” 

Friday hosted an action-packed evening from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with drag queen Tynomi Banks taking the stage. First-year student Rupert had this to say about his experience at the show: “It was definitely a really welcoming and fun environment. It felt like there was like very little judgment around – and it was, I don’t know, it was kind of like a good sense of community.” 

To close the week, Saturday saw the return of Shinerama, a well-known feature of Laurier’s orientation week history. When asked about the event, head icebreaker Emma revealed her passion for the event: “Because it [Shinerama] was started at Laurier I’m super passionate about it. Because I think if we made this pledge so many years ago and look at all the work we’ve put into it. Like – let’s keep it going, let’s keep searching for a cure.” 

Laurier’s 2023 orientation week officially closed at 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 9with the conclusion of the Shinerama Shine Carnival. 

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