Orientation Week is just around the corner, with international students arriving on Wednesday, August 29, and domestic students on Saturday, September 1. “O-week” is filled with exciting activities to welcome Acadia’s first year students to their home away from home.
It's a collaboration between the Acadia Students’ Union, Residence Life and various internal organizations. The purpose of Orientation Week is to help students transition to life on campus with activities mainly focused on networking, building relationships and acquiring the resources needed for students to succeed in university.
New Student Orientation Coordinator, Youmn Istanbouli, says students are invited to all events on the schedule but nothing is mandatory.
“We want to let people know it’s all open for them to stop by with no commitment. They can go to the carnival fair, but they can also do yoga at the same time, or they can tour Meal Hall,” she says.
“Giving students options is definitely something we prioritize because everyone has different interests and that’s important to focus on,” adds Gabrielle Bailey, ASU’s Vice President of Events and Marketing.
There are also activities throughout the week designed for academic and student life orientation. For example, the event “Things I wish I knew in my first year,” is an information session where students receive advice on student life, and have discussions on subjects ranging from student finances to social life concerns, and other non-academic topics.
For the first time this year, Orientation Week introduces Carnivalley, a carnival fair taking place on Sunday, September 2. The fair is an open event with music, food, games and a petting zoo, among other attractions. Carnivalley is intended to give students a unique experience capturing “a small- town roots, fun and nostalgic environment” says Bailey. While there’s plenty of new activities this year, the week will stay true to long-standing traditions such as the Axe Games and Matriculation.
Also this year, Clark Commons will be used as a home base for students to take a break from activities, and for off-campus students to have a space to lounge in between events.
The schedule of events took several months of preparation and both Bailey and Istanbouli believe this is because Orientation Week plays a crucial role in Acadia’s new students.
“This event is the biggest and takes the most planning out of any event at the university,” says Bailey. “it’s so important because it sets the tone for your entire university career.”
Istanbouli agrees, adding “We want to make sure after this Orientation Week is over, students can say ‘this is exactly where I need to be, and this is the best decision I’ve made.’”