York’s RED Zone sets an attendance record

Returning for a triumphant second year, York’s RED Zone continues to bring the best of York to incoming students. This year, with just about a month to go before the start of the fall term, the RED Zone has already welcomed more than 5,200 visitors (1,200 more than last year’s total). This figure represents about half of the incoming class for 2007-2008.

The RED Zone offers a valuable resource for new students and their parents. One third of the students visiting the RED Zone brought their parents along, many of whom came prepared with their own questions about life at York University.

Above: York’s RED Zone

The response from visitors has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with the vast majority of respondents reporting that they were "impressed" or "very impressed" with how they were welcomed to the RED Zone. Statistics acquired through a post-visit survey showed that nearly 93 per cent of those who visited the RED Zone now plan to attend Orientation. Eighty per cent of those who visited the zone stay for up to one hour. More than 83 per cent were impressed or very impressed with their overall experience in the zone. Equally positive were reactions to the friendliness of the staff, to the layout and comfort of the space and to the food: with more than 3,800 slices of pizza (part of the complimentary lunch for visitors) and approximately 38 kg of cookies consumed since May.

The top five topcs (in order) encountered by students visiting York’s RED Zone are: YU-card, transportation, Orientation, clubs and student government, and learning to navigate York’s Web site and to use Passport York. Some interesting questions asked by incoming students include:

  • Are cell phones banned at York?
  • What school supplies do I need at university?
  • Is first year hard?
  • How do I get a job on campus?
  • When can I buy my books?
  • How do I register for Orientation?

Melissa Wynter (left), one of the RED Zone’s student ambassadors, points out that since it can be hard for new students to remember all the questions they have, "the RED Zone is a great place to come back to if they think of something else". Another ambassador, Caitlin Crawford (below, right), says that she realizes the RED Zone is "having an effect on students’ lives…new students tell us how glad they are to have us, and as much as we impact them, they impact us."

York’s RED Zone was conceived to provide students with the opportunity for meaningful engagement on campus in the summer, immediately following admission and prior to Orientation. Designed to coordinate with Faculty advising, the RED Zone provides new students and their parents with a facilitated experience of "all things York" in an interactive and relaxing atmosphere.

"The RED Zone also serves as an excellent model of partnership at York," said Brian Poser, manager, student success & retention. "Student Community & Leadership Development, Faculty advising centres, Admissions & Recruitment, the Colleges and student services work together to help students make a smooth and successful transition to university life and studies."

Members of the York community are invited to visit the RED Zone and experience the excitment first hand. The RED Zone is located in the Complex 1 Computer Lounge, located on the basement level of Founder’s College, (enter through Vanier College).

For more information on the RED Zone, see the May 7, 2007 issue of YFile.