With Frosh Week in full throttle, orientation leaders are rushing to make sure all events fall into place — despite forecasts that call for thunderstorms later in the week.
The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science’s highly-anticipated Grease Pole event is at risk of cancellation due to the storm warnings, Matt Slavin, the Orientation Chair said, adding that the committee is scrambling to make sure events run safely and smoothly.
“We can clear that site out in a matter of minutes if it looks like there’s a problem,” Slavin said.
With nearly 720 participants expected, police, ambulances and Queen’s First Aid will all be on site.
Similar to last year, the event may be moved to later in the month in order to accommodate the expected rain. Last year’s rain forced the Engineering Society to reschedule the Grease Pole for two weeks after Frosh Week.
Other stresses of the week include the School of Computing doubling in size, which Lucas Marcelli, this year’s High Tech, said creates pressure that wasn’t previously accounted for.
“The program was supposed to stay at 70. That’s the number [administration] gave us but significantly more people accepted their offer than they were expecting, so we didn’t find out until August, ” Marcelli, who’s working with 20 techs to oversee over 100 first-year students, said.
This year’s Head Gael, Daniel Goncalves, said he’s tweaking the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Orientation Week to make sure there is something that appeals to everyone in a group of 2,200 students and 460 Gaels.
“We want to make sure that they find something in one of the events that sticks out to them, and that creates a foundation to start calling this place their home,” he said.
A Heritage Fair has been added to this year’s festivities, which Goncalves said will better acquaint the incoming class with Queen’s history and culture, giving students the opportunity to view memorabilia set up in Grant Hall.
Traditional activities such as Frosh Olympics, Shinerama bottle drive and the tamming ceremony will also take place this year.
Chase Heinemann, the Chair of Commerce Orientation Committee, said the week’s restructure this year is due to negative feedback drawn from last year.
“We had a couple too many dances during our week, so … we booked a comedian group [Absolute Comedy] from Ottawa,” Heinemann said.
With an incoming class of 454 students, almost all of the Commerce class of 2017 is registered for orientation.
The Concurrent Education Orientation Week has also been restructured because of growing admission numbers, Mike Young, this year’s Head Teach, said.
Each year, the faculty goes to a camp in a mystery location but according to Young, an unexpected surplus of students registered without time to plan accordingly.
“Up until two weeks before Frosh Week [last year], the numbers that the executives had been given was 190 and then two weeks before they were told there would actually be 247,” he said.
This year he said there was more space booked at the mystery venue in order to accommodate for the larger number of participants.
The Engineering and Nursing faculties, which are traditionally paired with each other for certain Frosh Week events, are watching the weather in hopes that their collaborated Tournament of the Century (TOC) and Thundermugs activities will resume.
As last year’s TOC was cancelled due to rain, the thunderstorm warnings are forcing the School of Nursing to create back-up plans for events, much like other faculties. “We’re really hoping that TOC won’t get cancelled,” Andrea Vandepol, this year’s Head Cape said.
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