Roundtable: Meet Your Frosh Leaders

Orientation leaders answer questions about the first week at Queen’s

Image by: Auston Chhor

While everyone’s frosh week is a unique experience to themselves, it never hurts to know beforehand what it might be like. 

Every year, nine unique Orientation Weeks are run that welcome new students to Queen’s, frosh or not. Passed down through the tradition and passion of years past, Orientation Week is the first true impression students get of their university, as it is often considered their fondest memory of their time on campus at their graduation. To get a snippet into what this week and year will be like, The Journal asked some of Queen’s Frosh leaders about their take on the first week back. 

Q1: What is your favourite memory from your own frosh week?

Q2: What do you hope the Class of 2021 gets out of their frosh week?

Q3: Any advice for first year in general?

Q4: If you had to describe your frosh week in a sentence — how would you describe it?

Q5: Why is frosh week an importance experience?

Arts and Science’s Head Gael Conor Gallant

Q1: My favourite memory from my first year was at coverall painting, looking up and seeing so many students all together, all excited for an exciting chapter to start, it was a very cool moment.

Q2: I hope that they get the confidence early in their time at Queen’s to make their experience their own and to contribute all of their unique skills to making this school a better place.

Q3: Enjoy everything. University flies by and tomorrow you’re going to realize that you’re going in to fourth year. Take advantage of the many opportunities this places offers you and always strive to leave things better than you found them.

Q4:A group of unique individuals coming together to create something much, much bigger.

Q5: Orientation Week is an important experience because you never have a second chance at a first impression and Orientation Week, in my opinion, introduces students to the best Queen’s has to offer while having a ton of fun.

Computer Science High Tech (Orientation Chair) Alex Wojaczek 

Q1: One of my favorite memories was going to the Wolfe Island Corn Maze. With a corn toss, bonfire and a starry ferry ride home, it’s a pretty unique experience, solidifying in my head thatKingston was going to be my home for the next four years and it was going to be pretty awesome. 

Q2: I really hope that everyone gets to do one silly thing they haven’t done before. University is really a time to try new things, meet inspiring individuals and find the things that make you passionate, and orientation week is the start of it all. So I hope that they will get to learn at least one new thing, make one new friend, have one new experience and (hopefully) learn all the words to our Soulja Boy inspired “Crack that Java Code”. 

Q3: Ask lots of questions, be open minded, be kind and always work hard. University is a big change, and, like all of life, it’s going to have its ups and downs. You are going to have amazing experiences with interesting new people, while at the same time going through hard, lonely and frustrating moments. Just remember that you are never alone. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you keep trying. Tell people about the things that bother you and share the things that make you happy.

Q4: There are some 1s, some 0s, some hip thrusting, lots of puns, some mud, some corn, some paint, and a heck of a lot of fun. 

Q5: Frosh week is an important experience as it facilitates the transition into University. Frosh week exists to help you meet your future classmates, and maybe your future friends. It helps to build a sense of community, to give guidance and to show you what opportunities exist for you at Queen’s.

Concurrent Education’s Head Tech Chloë Demizio

Q1: My favourite memory from my own Frosh Week would have to be the way that I felt both during and after the week ended. I was extremely shy when I started at Queen’s and my Orientation group showed me that I had a second home and family here at Queen’s. My group’s support was not finished when I left the last event of the week either. They have become some of my closest friends, and that love, support and sense of security is still a huge aspect of my life today. 

Q2: I hope that they see that there’s a place for them here at Queen’s. Orientation Week has the power to open you to many new like-minded people and exposes you to a small portion of the potentials of involvement at Queen’s. Providing students with the opportunity to form connections and find their niche is what makes Orientation Week so unique. 

Q3: First year is often accompanied by many new experiences. I think the best way to deal with all this is to always remember that you are not alone in going through any of this. Turning to a floor mate, a Don, a friend or even your family can make a world of differences in times of uncertainty. Also, never be afraid to put yourself out there and join a club, you’ll never know the opportunities it will bring you.

Q4: Con-Ed Frosh week is an incredible experience, filled with many events and traditions that will leave you with new connections and memories that will truly last a lifetime. 

Q5: Being able to have a positive, welcoming and exciting beginning to University could potentially shape the rest of a students’ time spent at Queen’s. As cheesy or cliché as this might sound, without Frosh Week, I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today. The experience that I had opened up so many opportunities for friendships, personal growth and involvement both within the Faculty of Education and with Queen’s itself.

Engineering Orientation Chair Matt Whittle

Q1: I’ll never forget sitting in Grant Hall at the very start, then the lights went dark and I thought to myself “Okay, this is where the fun starts…” What followed was such an amazing experience I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world – and it definitely was way better than anything I had imagined.

Q2: Engineering isn’t an easy program and coming to Kingston means leaving behind your support and social network for most of us. In Frosh week, we try to fill that gap, help students make new friends, learn about the program and create a relationship with upper year students who will become mentors and supports for the entire year to follow.

Q3: Realize that you are some of the most important students on campus. It might not seem like it now, but some of the most important discussions that we have on campus today won’t affect the fourth-year students leading those discussions, they’ll affect you.

Q4: The best investment that five days of your life can get you – amazing new friends, incredible upper year support and the opportunity to experience legendary traditions.Q5: While you can never replace your support network from home, you can definitely find a new one at Queen’s and Frosh Week is the first and best way to start doing that. 

Nursing’s Head Cape Alexi Honsberger

Q1: On the first day of Nursing O’ Week, upper years and alumni meet at Summerhill and showcase their year dances, ending with the Orientation Leaders and Executives showing the incoming class their own dance. During this I found a family in my small faculty and began to truly feel at home.

Q2: Nursing Orientation Week will prepare students academically for the next four years of their undergrad, but also help them create amazing friendships and grow in ways they never thought possible. These four days will inspire them, surprise them and help create memories to last a lifetime!

Q3: First year is about balance. With all the changes in your life, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so try to make time for yourself. Grades are important, but do not define you or your university experience — join a club, try a new sport or get involved in student government. 

Q4: Crazy, messy, fun, and memorable.

Q5: Orientation Week gives students from all different backgrounds a place to grow and become comfortable in their new home in a safe and supportive environment. University can seem overwhelming at first, but it helps to show that Orientation executives, leaders and everyone else at Queen’s wants to see students succeed.

First Years Not in Residence Students (FYNIRS) Student Chair Libby Wentz

Q1: My favourite memory from my FYNIRS Orientation Week was the semi-formal boat cruise event. This was a great time to just have fun, relax and dance to some awesome music with some awesome people. 

Q2: I hope that the Class of 2021 becomes comfortable with their surroundings at Queen’s and that they connect with people who they can continue to maintain a relationship with during the academic year and the entirety of their degree.

Q3: Whether it be readings, essays, or labs, do your homework. Trust me, your mental sanity will thank you during exam season and so will your GPA.

Q4: FYNIRS Orientation is an incredibly awesome and close knit community having a great time meeting other people in a similar situation and cheering our faces off.

Q5: Orientation Week is an important experience because you can make some of the best friends of your undergraduate degree and give back to your university, program or group you’re a part of.  

New Exchange Worldly Transfer Students (NEWTS) Orientation Head Gecko Marisa Madigan

Q1: My favourite memory would have to be the “warm and fuzzies” section at the end of the Concurrent Education Frosh Week. It brought our year closer together and showed me the extreme impact that a few days is able to make on a variety of individuals. 

Q2: Since NEWTS is the only inter-faculty, upper-year orientation at Queen’s, the week is structured to provide less focus on academic orientation, as all the students participating are new to Queen’s. Our goal is to make students feel comfortable and supported within their University experience. I want students to feel equipped with the resources and friendships to make their Queen’s University experience exactly what they want it to be A student from NEWTS Orientation could be at Queen’s from 4 months to 4 years and we want to make that time the best it can be.

Q3: Queen’s prides itself on being a campus that offers so many student extracurricular and employment opportunities. I encourage all incoming students to take part in resources fairs such as Queen’s in the Park or the Clubs fair in the Arc during the first few weeks on campus! You can find friends anywhere! 

Q4: New(t) and unforgettable experiences!!! 

Q5: Orientation Week provides incoming students with the stepping-stones of creating their own unique Queen’s experience. It’s the personal experiences, opportunities and sense of comradery that make Queen’s so unique compared to other universities. 

All responses were edited for length and clarity. Commerce and PheKsa Orientation leaders were reached out to but didn’t reply.


Orientation Chairs, Roundtable

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