York University is a big place and it takes a while for incoming students to learn how to find their way around campus.
To help welcome new students and assist them during those first few days on campus, York University’s Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) is launching YU Belong, a new welcome-to-York-University campaign.
YU Belong will have faculty and staff volunteers wearing YU Belong buttons to identify them as a resource to new students and their families. As YU Belong volunteers, they’ll help with wayfinding and answering questions.
“Anyone is welcome to volunteer,” says Ross McMillan, assistant director, student community, SCLD. “The University has done similar, very successful, campaigns in the past and volunteers have worn ‘Ask Me’ T-shirts and welcome buttons and we are building on that work.”
New students, their families and friends have lots of questions, he says.
“Friendly faces and answers do a lot to help lower the anxiety associated with starting university,” says McMillan. “Volunteers will wear their YU Belong buttons while on campus Sept. 3 to 16. Anyone new to the Keele campus will then know who to ask if they have a question.”
The personal little bit of extra help really means a lot to new students, says McMillan. “Many faculty and staff are already assisting students. The YU Belong campaign brings everyone together.”
To volunteer, start by filling out the YU Belong sign-up form.
After signing up, volunteers will receive a visit from McMillan and student volunteers working in the Red Zone. They’ll personally deliver the YU Belong button and an information folder, containing a map and some key information, to volunteers.
How will students know who to ask? “We are actively promoting YU Belong through Facebook and on other social media channels, and students are also learning about it on the orientation website,” says McMillan. “They will come to campus knowing that someone wearing a YU Belong button will be able to answer their questions or give them directions. By wearing a button, volunteers are showing students that there is a real community at York University.”