Parents Orientation 2011 boasts a capacity crowd of proud York moms and dads

It was a true York welcome for the newest members of the University’s extended family on Friday morning as a capacity crowd of York parents filled the Price Family Cinema in Accolade East.

Lecture in progress
Above: A capacity crowd of newly-minted York parents attended Friday’s orientation session

The newly-minted York parents, armed with The Parent Guide to York University handbook, were there to learn more about how their children would grow and change as they moved from being high-school seniors to first-year university students.

Organized by Student Community & Leadership Development, the half-day orientation session featured a warm welcome from York President  & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and remarks by Vice-President Students Rob Tiffin, York dance Professor Norma Sue Fisher Stitt and Ken Withers, director of recruitment & applicant relations.

“I do have a sense of how you feel today as I am a father,” said Shoukri. “One thing that I can assure you is that your son or daughter will change and become a very different person in university and you will probably see that change as early as the Thanksgiving long weekend.”

 York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri speaks to parents at Friday's orientation session Right: York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri speaks to parents at Friday’s orientation session

Shoukri said one of the great things about York University is its strong commitment to a broad academic program. “York makes absolutely sure in the early years that students have an opportunity to take a variety of subjects. There is a great balance between this broad education and the in-depth education they need to be specialists.

“One of the most important indicators of success in the future is a student’s capacity to work and live in an global environment,” he said. “York has a strong commitment to internationalization and students are exposed to so many opportunities.”

Shoukri highlighted the more than 290 student clubs operating at the University and urged parents to encourage their sons and daughters to take part in the clubs and extracurricular activities. “Our objective is to train the future citizens of the world,” he said. “My number one job is to ensure that York students experience the best learning environment possible. You are now part of the York family and we welcome you.”

Tiffin echoed Shoukri’s comments and added his own welcome. “Dr. Shoukri spoke about the importance of the classroom experience. One of the things that I have been talking to students about this week during their academic orientation is the importance of being an engaged student both within and outside the classroom. This has a tremendous impact and according to research, the sooner a student feels grounded and connected and makes friends, they actually perform better.”

The rest of the program focused on how parents could help their sons and daughters succeed in university, including a presentation by Fisher-Stitt about what students might experience as they transition into university learning and the support services available to support this transition.

The parents were also treated to a quick fitness session delivered by peer health educators from Health Education & Promotion, the presentation of the play, Experiencing the Possible, by the actors of Vanier College Productions and an information fair offering parents the opportunity to speak with providers of food, housing, parking, transportation and security services, counselling and disabilities services, financial aid and more. Parents even had a chance to sign up for their own York University lecture experience through The York Circle’s fall Lecture and Lunch and Prestigious Performances series.

For more information on the Parents Orientation 2011, visit the York RED Zone website.