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O-Week festivities welcome first-year students to U of C

By Melanie Woods, September 3 2015 —

The University of Calgary is welcoming thousands of incoming students to campus from Sept. 1–4 as part of annual Orientation Week events. The week is put together by the Centre for Leadership and Student Engagement in collaboration with the Students’ Union.

SU vice-president student life Kirsty McGowan said O-Week is an opportunity for incoming students to discover what the U of C has to offer.

“O-Week is a great way for first-year students to jumpstart their involvement in the U of C community,” McGowan said. “I think it’s a great way for them to kind of get a sense of what U of C is, and specifically for our events, what the SU does and how they can get involved in it.”

The SU is hosting several events throughout the week, including “Meet Your SU” sessions featuring Q-and-As with executives and a fun zone at the annual kick-off tailgate party before the Dinos football home opener on Sept. 4.

“On Wednesday night we have the night on the SU. So that is a movie screening, we’re screening Wedding Crashers,” McGowan said. “[Students] get free popcorn and pop and the executives are hosting a bunch of fun games and stuff before.”

Highlights of the week include the induction ceremony and campus expo on Tuesday, break-out sessions on Thursday and discussions surrounding this year’s common reading program book, Little Princes. The same book was used for the program in 2011.

First-year anthropology student Shaye Blanke went to high school in Red Deer. She said an early highlight was the induction ceremony.

“I love Orientation Week, it’s been lots of fun,” Blanke said. “My favourite part was definitely the cheer-off and pep rally.”

Orientation leader and fourth-year engineering student Megan Bach also mentioned the induction ceremony.

“Can you get more exciting than that?” Bach said. “Seeing everyone in their different faculty-coloured shirts all in their big groups and hearing all of the cheers is really something quite special.”

Bach said her favourite part of the week is giving first years a tour of campus.

“I think that’s what they want the most and it’s kind of fun to share our knowledge that we’ve gained over the years,” Bach said.

Bach, who remembers attending O-Week as a first year, said the events are just one aspect.

“Meet some friends, that’s the most important part. The tour is great, learning where to go is great, but I still have some friends from orientation week and that’s what’s going to help you get through your classes,” Bach said.

McGowan said she hopes O-Week helps incoming students immerse themselves in university life.

“It’s a great way for them to feel connected to the community here and a great place to meet a bunch of new students,” McGowan said.

O-Week events run from Sept. 1–4 across campus.

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