Rad Week: Offering different programing

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Graphic by Lena Yang

Rad Week is on for its third year, providing Wilfrid Laurier University students with alternative programming during their orientation week. Laurier Students’ Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG) is responsible for organizing the programming, and this year they are expecting participation numbers to rise.

Samantha Estoesta, executive director at LSPIRG, explained that in the past their numbers have traditionally been smaller. But this year is LSPIRG’s most expensive and extensive Rad Week yet.

“Our biggest event is we have RJ Mitte, who plays the son with cerebral palsy on Breaking Bad as our guest speaker,” Estoesta said.

This is the first time Rad Week has had a guest speaker. According to Estoesta, they are expecting 600 to attend. This is including community members, as the week is open to the Kitchener-Waterloo community as well.

New this year as well is an event in Kitchener and morning yoga.

Much of their programming is geared towards providing students with a quieter option.

“I know especially with my time working at orientation at Waterloo how overwhelming [it can be] and the burn out rate,” Estoesta explained. “So we want to help WLUSU [Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union] to make sure we don’t get that burnout.”

This partnership with WLUSU is another new addition to this year, part of which involves vegan detergent being put in first years’ laundry bags. They will also be helping out with Shinerama events and be present at the get-involved fair.

Estoesta hopes that these partnerships will also help bring presence to LSPIRG.

“Laurier students don’t really know who we are,” Estoesta said. “We’ve been an island in the past and I want that to stop.”

“We should have that part in O-week where a student who is interested says ‘yeah that’s what I want’ just like a student who finds the Athletic Complex will think ‘yeah that’s what I want to do,’” Estoesta continued.

Other universities have similar alternative programming, though these are generally called dis-orientation week. According to Estoesta, LSPIRG is the only alternative crew that has partnered with their Students’ Union.

“I think that’s what’s going to make it so much more successful and so much better for our students,” Estoesta said.

“Because we spent that time really trying to foster the understanding of what our students need and how can we make sure that happens without overlapping all those events.”

Other dis-orientation weeks, she explained, will put events on while larger events are going on from the main orientation week.

“It’s not about butting heads, it’s trying to come together to do what’s best for our student population,” she added.

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