A new tradition for a new year: York Orientation Day

Lions Pride Orientation event 2014

This year’s cohort of new students will be the first to participate in an event designed to properly and officially welcome the incoming class to York University.

York Orientation Day, happening Tuesday, Sept. 8, is a daylong program that caps off YU START, an initiative designed to help new students transition to the University.

Lions Pride Orientation event 2014
Lions Pride Orientation event 2014

YU START is a program that supports students into and through their first year at York University. It assists first-years with course enrolment, and with making connections with peers, student leaders, faculty and student services staff. It also provides information on campus life, supports, resources and services available to students.

York Orientation Day will guide new students through an academic orientation, followed by a lunch, a New Student Convocation, a presentation on consent and a pep rally.

Upwards of 6,000 students from both the Keele and Glendon campuses are expected to attend the event, according to the Office of the Vice-Provost Students.

The morning program will be organized and executed by individual colleges and faculties, and may include a program-specific academic orientation, a campus tour and a discussion session. Each college and faculty will have their own schedule for the morning events, which begin starting at 8:30 a.m. and run until approximately noon hour.

At 2 p.m. students will convene at the Aviva Centre, where they will be greeted and officially welcomed during the New Student Convocation – an event new this year to York U.

“It was designed to put an emphasis on enhancing the first-year experience, and to create a sense of belonging within York’s community,” said a spokesperson from the Office of the Vice-Provost Students.

President Mamdouh Shoukri
President Mamdouh Shoukri

The ceremony will begin with the piping in of York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, along with vice-presidents, deans and college masters, who will be dressed in full academic regalia.

The president, along with Vice-President Academic and Provost Rhonda Lenton, and Vice-Provost Students Janet Morrison, will address the crowd and formally welcome new students. Students will also hear welcoming words from guest speakers including York U alumnus and comedian Gerry Dee (BA ’92), and celebrated writer and York U professor of humanities Priscila Uppal.

This portion is followed by the inspiring annual presentation, You Had Me At Consent, an annual program for new students that reinforces the importance of respect, consent and healthy dating.

The day wraps up with the Lion’s Pride event – a pep rally with cheers led by York Orientation Directors Association to encourage school spirit, as well as music and dance performances from various student organizations. Lion’s Pride will be emceed by two students from York Federation of Students, and will feature representatives from York Lions Varsity Athletics.

For more information, or to register for the day, visit the YU START website at http://yustart.yorku.ca/.