With more than 2,000 new students joining the York University community in the Winter term, the Office of the Registrar and the Student Success Centre will expand their ASK Me campaign with a January edition.
Traditionally held in September, ASK Me is a campaign that helps ease the transition to university life for incoming students.
The ASK Me campaign is currently recruiting staff, faculty, upper-year students and graduate students to participate in welcoming new students and helping them to navigate the University’s campuses, find their classrooms and discover key resources during their first days at York University.
“A great many new students are just starting their academic journey in January, but the majority of orientation programming has already wrapped up by the end of October,” said Shaila Khan, one of the project leads. “They are in just as much need of transition supports as any other intake group, but have not been properly serviced in the past.”
Lindsey Ostrosser, another project lead, says even returning students, whether they are in first year or upper years, are often scrambling to find their classrooms or access new resources they haven’t in the past.
“It is a big campus and it’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed,” she said.
The January edition of the program will also feature pop-up ASK Me booths at indoor locations around campus. This is in addition to the well-known ASK Me lanyards and “I Heart YU” buttons that volunteers have been asked to wear in the past. Special training and incentives are being offered for those volunteers who wish to staff the new ASK Me booths.
“We are just looking for a minimum commitment of one to two hours,” said Ostrosser, adding that it could be during lunch when staff and faculty can really participate in helping students get where they are going.
“Even if you can’t volunteer for a booth shift, you can still wear the ASK Me lanyard, so our students can identify you as someone they can turn to for help,” she said.
The first weeks of a new student’s campus life will set the course for their years ahead, and those who volunteer to participate as an ASK Me ambassador help ease this transition and make a long-lasting, positive impression.
“We are really trying to expand and create a culture of care,” said Khan. “We know that not everyone gets to work with the large volume of students as directly as Lindsey and I do, but it’s really an enriching experience for any staff member. You have a more direct experience of what students are going through and how your work matters in making York a great learning environment.”
Register to participate in the ASK Me program by filling out this online form.
Volunteers will receive an ASK Me lanyard and an “I Heart YU” button.
When your ASK Me package is ready, you will receive an email letting you know where you can pick it up. Wearing the lanyard and button between Jan. 2 and 16 will ensure that you are easily recognizable as an ASK Me ambassador.
Upper-year students, graduate students, staff and faculty are encouraged to volunteer for booth shifts on Jan 3, 4 and 7. Training and lunch will be provided if you choose this option; dates and times to be announced. Sign up here. The last date to register to volunteer for the program is Dec. 5.