Orientation is an important week at York University. It is an opportunity for new students, transfer students, mature students, international students and even parents to learn about the school, discover academic and learning resources, and participate in fun social events to break the ice and make new friends.
An extensive amount of planning and preparation is currently underway to create this warm welcome. Over the coming weeks in YFile, Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) will highlight several key events and resources as they relate to orientation.
Orientation Week will run from Sept. 1 to 7 and include an integrated mixture of academic and social events. SCLD is currently working with student college councils, masters’ offices and other strategic partners from across campus to coordinate the planning. A blog and video series launched recently to introduce the community to the people behind the planning and to keep everyone informed about all the excitement and new details as they become available.
Academic and social orientation events are sorted according to college affiliation and each college handles registration for their particular events. A handy tool on the orientation website helps students to determine what college they belong to. From there, students can link to their college and correct orientation events. Separate registration is required for academic and social events on each college’s website.
YU START is a new student transition program that is designed for more than 6,000 eligible students in specific programs of study. This summer-long program assists students coming from high school to enrol in courses, connect with peers, and become familiar with campus life and the various support services available to them. The first step of the program, enrolment, took place in May and June. Students are currently taking part in step two of the program, which is an online learning community that runs throughout July and August. Step three of YU START is an on-campus event called Making Connections that takes place on Sept. 2.
YU Belong is a welcome-to-York-University campaign by faculty and staff for the incoming class. It was introduced as part of orientation last year and was met with great enthusiasm by more than 500 volunteers.
Because York is a big place, new students and their parents usually have a lot of questions during their first several days on campus. Staff and faculty can volunteer to help them by wearing a highly visible and identifiable YU Belong button. When new students and parents see an individual wearing this button they’ll know they can confidently ask them for assistance. It’s a really simple idea, but it makes a big difference and creates a solid sense of community and belonging. The YU Belong program is promoted to new students as part of orientation via various social media channels and information sessions. Staff and faculty can register to be a part of YU Belong by filling out the YU Belong sign-up form, which will be active in early August.