Led by about 1,000 upper-year student leaders, approximately 5,000 students participated in Orientation Week activities last week.
Undergraduate orientation is coordinated by the Orientation Roundtable (ORT), which encompasses nine undergraduate orientation committees including Arts & Science, Engineering, Commerce, Nursing, Con-Ed, Computing, Phys. Ed & Kinesiology, First Year Not In Residence Students (FYNIRS) and New, Exchange, and Worldly Transfer Students (NEWTS).
ORT Coordinator Erin Maguire said preparations for the week began after committees were hired last fall.
Most of this year’s challenges were similar to previous years, she said, including logistical matters such as fitting all students in locations on campus or in city parks for various activities.
Students, organizations and the University used the Twitter hashtag #QOWeek2014 to share their orientation week experiences online.
“I think that’s a really great part of orientation week, is you learn about the other people who are in your faculty and your residence, and establish that feeling of connection both with your peers and with the school and Kingston community,” Maguire, ConEd ’15 said. “Social media can play a large role in that.”
She said a policy and procedures document was passed by Senate last term to “officially shape the policies and procedures that go into all of the planning”.
This regulation represents a change in Orientation Week from past years, as this document was previously nonexistent.
The Senate Orientation Activities Review Board (SOARB), a regulatory body, is tasked with setting policies to be implemented by groups such as the ORT. SOARB also observes orientation activities as they unfold, and reports on them afterward.
Troy Sherman, co-chair of SOARB, told the Journal via email that the document made planning Orientation Week activities easier for those involved.
“For decades, Senate has accepted and passed numerous recommendations made by SOARB regarding Orientation Week but these recommendations were never codified within a single document,” Sherman, ArtSci ’14, said.
He said the new policy manual outlines Senate policies relating to the planning and implementation of Orientation Week activities.
According to the document, these policies fall under 15 categories, including “Approvals for Orientation Week Activities”, “Academic Events during Faculty/School Days”, “Orientation Week Fees” and “Orientation Committee and Student Leader Training”.
Sherman said that, like previous years, Deans and Designates act as signatories — alongside the ORT and respective faculty society presidents — to events proposed by the Orientation Week Committee.
He added that SOARB is a unique Senate committee in that its mandate dictates that it be composed of a student majority and have a student as co-chair.
“Looking forward, further discussion regarding membership of the Board is planned for the months ahead,” Sherman said.
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