Reviewing the events of O-Week


Photo by Jessica Dik
Photo by Jessica Dik

After a week of team bonding, student engagement and sleepless nights, the 2015 instalment of Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union’s Orientation Week came to a close on September 12.

2,883 registered students participated in the O-Week festivities in Waterloo and 394 registered on the Brantford campus.

As well, the Waterloo campus had 526 volunteers, including 304 icebreakers and 222 committee volunteers.

According to Olivia Matthews, president and CEO of the Students’ Union, first-year students and volunteers have already shown positive feedback about this year’s O-Week.

“I think all-in-all we offered some really good social programming and I think the academic sessions went really well,” said Matthews.

“At the end of the day, as long as first-year students had a great time and that volunteers feel valued, that’s success for me for the week.”

Kaipa Bharucha, vice-president of programming and services, found O-Week to be a success for both the students’ union and first-year students.

“This year I think was really great just because we decided to introduce students to a [broader] variety of events than we usually do,” Bharucha said.

With this year’s O-Week being Matthews’ first as president and not as a Residence Life don, Matthews found the students’ responses compare similarly to last year.

With the three BB pellet gun incidences on King Street area during Orientation Week, Matthews was pleased to find out volunteers were helping first-year students, as well as upper-year students, get back to their residences safe and unharmed.

Foot Patrol also offered their van for students in that area.

“I think it’s pretty cool to be a part of a community where students will volunteer their time over hours until three in the morning to make sure students are getting home safe,” she said.

Matthews believes the O-Week volunteers were the sole reason there was no BB gun incidents on the Tuesday night.

“That’s pretty cool to be a part of a community that helps keep each other safe, so I think first-year students enjoyed that too.”

According to Matthews, the enhancements made to this year’s O-Week were a success, such as replacing Wednesday’s Comedy Night with a carnival night and having first-years explore uptown Waterloo on the Friday.

The carnival on Wednesday experienced a large volume of students in a small area as it took place in the parking lot of University Stadium.

“For the carnival specifically, I think we weren’t prepared for the volume of students we’d had. That being said it’s great to know that it’s going to be that successful next year. We’ll have to make a few tweaks but it was hugely popular.”

“It still has a way to go but it was a great start and it seems to be what students want,” Bharucha said.

Matthews continued to say it is beneficial for first-years to get out of the Laurier campus and explore the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

“[Uptown Waterloo] have really good events on the weekends and stuff, so as much as we love the Laurier campus it’s good to get involved in the actual community,” Matthews said.

The Students’ Union will be looking for feedback about this year’s O-Week from both first-year students and volunteers.

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