AMS VPUA petitions to bring back full O-Week

Sieg hopes a longer orientation week will benefit students and orientation leaders

AMS VPUA says structured O-week can deter student parties. 
Journal File Photo

A petition to “bring back Orientation WEEK” is gaining traction among Queen’s students.

Ryan Sieg, AMS vice-president (university affairs), established the petition on Feb. 11 in hopes of securing a full week of orientation events for next year’s incoming class by pushing move-in dates back by a week.

With a goal of 1,500 signatures, the petition surpassed 1,000 as of Feb. 17.

“When I was in first year back in 2017, we had orientation dates start on Sept. 3, and then classes started on Sept. 11,” Sieg said in an interview with The Journal.

“Slowly, due to a couple of things—the addition of the Fall term break, and then also changes made due to the COVID pandemic—the dates have changed. This past year was probably the most drastically different. It happened over the first two weekends of the academic year.”

According to Sieg, a full-length Orientation Week would benefit first-year students by giving them more time to acclimate to the Queen’s environment.

Orientation leaders would also be given more time to fully focus on their activities before school starts, rather than have their events interrupted by days of school.

“A lot of the outreach has come from leaders engaged in the orientation activities, so they've gone through their channels and been able to kind of accumulate some of the perspectives from leaders and executives,” he said.

“The general goal for [the petition] is to gain as much traction as possible, and then present it to show that students’ opinion kind of leans in this direction, to anyone engaged in the decision-making process of the orientation dates.”

Sieg also believes a longer and more structured Orientation Week may deter partying in the student district.

Eric Sikich, AMS president-elect and head gael of ArtSci’s 2021-22 Orientation Week, commented his support on the petition’s page.

“Orientation Week is an essential part of engaging incoming students. Fragmenting the week into two parts stops students from being able to build meaningful connections and necessary support systems before the start of the semester. Queens [sic] needs to re-evaluate its priorities, as this should be one of their top ones,” Sikich wrote on Feb. 11.

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