Staff and faculty of York University are encouraged to volunteer to give incoming students an insider’s look at campus this fall.
York U’s welcome campaign, YU Belong, is now in its third year and helps new students navigate the campus during their first few days.
The program relies on volunteers from the University’s staff and faculty to help students by answering questions and helping them find their way around the campus.
“New students, their families and friends have lots of questions,” says Ross McMillian, assistant director at the Centre of Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD).
The purpose of YU Belong is to ease student transition, and offer increased accessibility to campus information.
YU Belong volunteers are identified around campus by a highly visible and identifiable YU Belong button and lanyard.
“Friendly faces and answers do a lot to help lower the anxiety associated with starting university,” says McMillian. “The personal little bit of extra help really means a lot to new students.”
Volunteers from the 2014 campaign were enthusiastic about the initiative, with more than 97 per cent of participants expressing interest in signing up again.
After signing up, volunteers receive a package via internal mail containing a map, button, lanyard and some key information.
YU Belong participants can also sign up to volunteer for York Orientation Day to support the largest gathering of incoming students in York’s history. It takes place on Sept. 8.
“We know that many faculty and staff are already assisting students,” says McMillan. “The YU Belong campaign brings everyone together into an easy-to-identify group.”
Staff and faculty can learn more and register to be a part of YU Belong by visiting orientation.yorku.ca/yu-belong.