York U rolls out a #WelcomeYU

York u students cheer at the University’s #WelcomeYU ceremony

The numbers are in and they reveal that close to 6,000 first-year students took part in the 2017 York Orientation Day evening Welcome Ceremony and celebration on Sept. 6 at the York Lions Stadium on the Keele campus.

The photo gallery below offers just a taste of the energy and enthusiasm of the ceremony.

Created with flickr slideshow.


The event was a capstone to a full day of orientation events planned for the first-year students. The day was designed to ease students’ academic and social transition into life at university. Prior to the welcome ceremony, first-year students met others in their program, along with senior students from their major programs. They also heard from peer mentors and their program professors, and explored the University.

The ceremony began at 6pm with a parade of students wearing their college colours and led by their Orientation leaders into the York Lions Stadium on the Keele campus. The  energetic crowd took part in a cheer-off before an official welcome from the executive of the York Federation of Students, the Aboriginal Students Association and the Indigenous Students Association of Glendon. Following the greetings, The Red Spirit Drum Group played a traditional First Nations welcome.

A key event for students was a live theatre presentation by actors from York University’s acclaimed Vanier College Productions of the play There Is No Maybe, a one-act play written by Kristen Da Silva, Katie Edwards, Alisse Lee Goldenberg, Brian Goldenberg and Theresa Noon-Hunter. Vanier College Productions student actors Trimaine Blake, Zaarin Bushra, Beatrice Campbell, Linda Ge, Stefan Porfirio and Danny Sylvan presented a variety of scenarios that explored the issues surrounding consent on campus between university students. There is No Maybe conveyed a key message to the first-year students: If it’s not clear, and it’s not enthusiastic, it is not consent.

The play is an important part of a pan-University initiative to combat rape culture, and to teach students what their options are when confronted with issues surrounding sexual violence. York University’s Sexual Violence Response Office worked with Vanier College Productions to ensure the play involved cases of sexual violence that can happen on campus as well as different ways students could support and/or intervene in situations. Accompanying the students were some 1,200 Orientation leaders who received Active Bystander Program training.

The student A Cappella group Wibi performed a number of songs.

To complete the Welcome Ceremony, members of York University’s academic leadership, accompanied by two bagpipers entered the stadium. York President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton delivered the official University welcome to the first-year students as they took part in a new student convocation into the University.

The evening wrapped with a display of fireworks.

For more on the day visit #WelcomeYU on Twitter.