Over 6,000 March Gala guests discover York University

York University showcased its interdisciplinary programs and research, comprehensive student services and vibrant student life on Saturday, March 11 during the March Gala recruitment event. It was a day of fun for over 6,000 gala guests. The event provided applicants and their families with an extraordinary educational adventure and opportunity to review everything York University has to offer. Guests embraced the day with excitement and enthusiasm. “I now know even more that York University is for me and I look forward to my educational experience there,” said one student when asked for feedback.

Right: Early bird guests arrive at the March Gala

New and notable events this year included eye-popping way-finding signage, a student club and talent showcase, library tours, sport and recreation tours, student clubs, entertainment on the main stage and a mock-ceremonial photo opportunity, complete with 2010 grad gown, with the costumed Duke and Duchess of York, offered by York’s colleges. The Circle of Scholars Breakfast – an exclusive event for top-achieving applicants – provided guests with an opportunity to meet and mingle with York’s Vice-President Students Rob Tiffin, along with professors and current students from each faculty. Michael Sefcik, a fourth-year Faculty of Arts student and winner of the University of Cologne’s 2005 international essay competition, spoke compellingly about why he chose York University.

Left: Fourth-year student Michael Sefcik

The most popular components of the day were undoubtedly campus tours and the nine undergraduate Faculty Zones. Here’s a sample of what guests had to say. Their comments were taken from the more than 800 follow-up surveys gathered in a 24-hour period:

“The Arts Zone was very organized. It was an excellent opportunity for me to meet York professors and students that are involved in my program of interest and interact with them. They were able to provide brief yet accurate answers to all of my questions. Most importantly though, they made me feel welcome at York.”

“I have fallen in love with the Glendon campus. I always was a fan of York, but going to the Glendon campus did it for me. I’ve never felt so at home when I was so far away from my home.”

“The professors at the Science & Engineering Zone were very helpful. They cleared confusion just by answering a few questions.”

“The Fine Arts Faculty was amazing! I was very impressed with the buildings and everything about the whole Faculty!”

“When I visited Osgoode, the recruitment officers as well as the first-year student I spoke with were very helpful. They explained in detail how to apply for law school. They also helped me to better understand a lot of other little things about the university; it was very informative.”

“I really liked the presentation made by Atkinson. It was really informative and gave me a good sense of what I will be doing in the future at York.”

“The people in the Education Zone were very friendly”

“I was very impressed with the Schulich Zone, the readiness of the staff and the students as well as the information that was available to me about school programs and student life. “

“I absolutely loved the Environmental Studies Faculty. I was impressed with the dedication this school has to the environment.”

Right: Navigating York’s Keele campus was simple for March Gala guests

Guests visiting the Student Service Information Fair received tips on succeeding at university in the Student Life Zone. More than 150 members of the Student Spirit Team handled questions, guided students and their families on the tours, and spoke candidly about their impressions and experiences at York. Guests took a break from the flurry of activity by settling in the Experience the Rainforest Café and the Parents’ Lounge in Vari Hall. The day was punctuated with fencing and cultural dancing demonstrations from student clubs.

York University’s Office of Admissions worked with a host of partners to make the event a success. The March Gala participants included: York’s nine undergraduate faculties, Student Financial Services, Career Centre, Counselling & Development Centre, Office for Persons with Disabilities, Student Community & Leadership Development, York’s Colleges, Advising Centres, Marketing & Communications, The Office of Alumni, York Is U, York International, Student Housing, The Underground, York Lanes, Sport & Recreation, Facilities Services, ITC, Scott Library, Student Centre, Parking & Transportation, Hospitality Services, Security Services, The York University Bookstore, GO Transit, York Region Transit/VIVA, Greyhound and the Toronto Transit Commission.

Left: Volunteers celebrate a successful March Gala

How to measure the day’s success? In the words of one satisfied Gala guest: “I knew I was making the right choice about York as soon as we entered the campus and saw the smiling faces of so many volunteers! Good people. Great events. I can’t wait to join York University.”