Countdown to Frosh Week: A sneak peek at this year’s social orientation

Lions Pride Orientation event 2014

Chanting, cheers and the start of university years – that’s what Frosh Week is all about.

It’s a rite of passage for first-year students, and at York U it all begins on Sept. 5.

First-years at last year's McLaughlin frosh party
First-year students at last year’s McLaughlin frosh party

The perennial weeklong event, this year running until Sept. 13, gives new students the opportunity to participate in social orientation activities designed to get them acquainted with the places and faces of York University.

Organized by the college councils of Bethune, Calumet, Founders, Glendon, McLaughlin, New, Stong, Vanier and Winters, as well as Lassonde, Frosh Week includes pan-university activities as well as events specific to each college, and some events co-hosted by two or more colleges.

Thousands of frosh will mix and mingle with their peers during the week – also known as O-Week or Welcome Week – and while making new friends (and, at times, making a lot of noise), they’ll learn all about life at York.

Led by Frosh Bosses (trained orientation leaders), events and activities for the week instill a sense of pride and excitement for those new to the Keele and Glendon campuses.

Orientation events are dry, meaning there is no alcohol, and have an emphasis on safe and inclusive fun. Both residents (who kick off the week on Sept. 5 with move-in day) and commuters take part in Frosh Week activities. There is even an option for commuter students to stay on campus for the week in specially designated commuter rooms.

The Lion's Pride event generally draws a huge crowd during orientation
The Lions Pride event generally draws a huge crowd during orientation

Several pan-university events are on the books to amp up the hype and #lionpride within the York U community. Here’s a look at what campus-wide events are planned for the week:

  • Saturday, Sept. 5 – Opening Ceremonies, 3 to 4pm
  • Tuesday, Sept. 8 – York Orientation Day, full-day event (including Lions Pride/You Had Me at Consent, 2 to 5pm)
  • Thursday, Sept. 10 – Lions soccer game, 6:30 to 10pm
  • Saturday, Sept. 12 – Homecoming/campus-wide carnival, noon to 6:30pm

As well, each college will boast their own unique theme for the week, and incorporate events specific to their college into their events schedule.

Bethune College ( The dragons of Bethune will descend on campus and kick things off early in the week with an electric dragon carnival. Bethune frosh will also participate in a campus-wide dragon race and enjoy a dragon boat cruise, joined by some of the other colleges.

Calumet College ( New recruits to the Calumet barracks will start their “training” with a boot camp party. The army-themed events continue throughout the week with a cadet carnival and a battleship boat cruise.

Founders College ( Things will get a little mythical during Founders’ frosh events, which are centred around a “Rise of the Phoenix” theme. Students will enjoy a barbecue, a game of capture the flag and movies under the stars.

Glendon College ( Glendonites will fill their week with exciting events, including a casino night and movie night, a miscellaneous mixer and a #MakeYourMark graffiti night. There will also be a ghost tour and a trip to Canada’s Wonderland.

Lassonde ( First-year engineering students will be counting down to “Week Zero” and preparing for a schedule of fun and games, but not before the Lassonde kickoff party takes place. Following that, frosh can join in on a movie/games night, the Lassonde Olympics, a carnival and a surprise event.

Students show their spirit during a previous orientation
Students show their spirit during a previous orientation

McLaughlin College ( It’s Code Orange all week at McLaughlin, and frosh will keep busy with a hypnotist show, speed dating, movie night, video games and more. It all caps off with a party, called “So, About that Mixtape.”

New College ( No one will be voted off the island in this “Survivor”-themed  schedule of activities, but frosh will take part in “Survivor” games and a grand finale boat cruise.

Stong College (!frosh/cjg9): Frosh of Stong will go back to the ’90s for the week, and get the fun going with some good old-fashioned hide and seek. There will also be a retro pump-up party and an exciting game of Are You Afraid to get York’d?.

Vanier College ( Things are going to get a little bit wild when Vanier frosh take part in their schedule of events themed around We the Wild. There will be a midnight cookie café and karaoke, along with a campus-wide scavenger hunt and a game of capture the flag (Nerf gun edition).

Winters College ( You’ll be hearing Winters frosh yelling “Game on!” through the week to reinforce the theme of their schedule. There will be fantasy quest, a hidden levels activity, a Friday night boat cruise and a multi-player mayhem event.

Many of the colleges will participate in a boat cruise, a trip to Wasaga and an exploration of downtown Toronto.

For more on orientation events, visit For more on the colleges, visit