Surprise performers will welcome incoming first-year students to Queen’s in the return of the Orientation Week concert this September.
Following tradition, the concert will be held in the Miller Hall parking lot on campus. The Orientation Roundtable (ORT) planned the event in conjunction with the City of Kingston and the University. Attendance is included in the first-year Orientation fee.
The performers will be announced two days before the concert, which helps “keep everyone in the dark and the surprise very exciting,” Katie Browne, ORT coordinator, said in an interview with The Journal.
Browne said that the event plays a big role in helping first-year students form interfaculty relationships and make new friends.
“It’s really wonderful to see the first-years of all different faculties, meeting new friends, getting to do events together, seeing the whole entirety of the incoming class of 2026,” Browne said. “It’s a fun low-pressure situation where they get to have a night of entertainment.”
Students from other years can get involved in the event too. Applications for concert volunteers and volunteer managers are open on the AMS’s website until June 26.
“We would love to have people from all faculties, all years of their undergrad come and apply,” said Browne.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the concert hasn’t been held since 2019. Browne said that the ORT committee is monitoring KFL&A guidelines and policies to accommodate possible changes, and that contingency plans are in place.
ORT has worked closely with university administration to ensure the concert—and all Orientation events—follow safety guidelines. Staff from Queen’s and the AMS will be in attendance to ensure safety and comfort, including Queen’s First Aid, Walk Home, and Student Constables.
“They’re also there if anybody needs a hand or just needs someone to chat with. It’s really great to have all of Queen’s on board and making this event happen,” Browne said.
According to Browne, student and staff policy states Orientation Week is both an alcohol and substance-free week. This policy is consistent across all Queen’s faculties. Most first-year students are also under the legal drinking age.
“The safety of the first-year students is of the utmost priority, so that’s why we have a team there ready to support everybody if there’s anything that comes up,” Browne said.
Browne also expressed ORT’s excitement for the return to in-person orientation.
“We have so very many passionate orientation volunteers that are ready to pull off this week. We are very excited to bring [in-person events] back, and just very excited to see all of the wonderful things that will happen for the incoming class of 2026.”
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