Finding the answers in all the right places
By Jeff Green
Parents who feel uneasy or nervous about letting their children head off to university can take comfort in a free one-day workshop taking place during Right Here, Right Now, Memorial University’s orientation days this month in St. John’s. Parents’ Orientation, designed by Student Affairs and Services, is open to parents of first-year students and includes a series of seminars taking place on Sunday, Sept. 4, or Monday, Sept. 5, at the School of Music building. Parents choose which day is more convenient for them.
“We’ll be highlighting everything Memorial has to offer from academic advice to where particular buildings are located on campus,” said Gerry Sullivan, co-ordinator of the Parents’ Orientation. “Going to university is often a very big transition for parents and students. Children are at home for 18 years and then suddenly the leave to go to university across the province or Canada, so we want to make this as easy for parents as possible.”
A full schedule of events are planned to help inform parents about Memorial, including introductions from Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial, as well as Dr. Lilly Walker, dean of Student Affairs and Services. There will also be sessions from officials with the academic advising office and career development.
“Parents want to know what kind of jobs their children will be able to get when they finish university or what help is available for them if they need it,” said Mr. Sullivan. “We know they have questions and we want to help them find the answers. A series of booths from groups such as student recruitment, student aid and scholarship and awards will also be set up to offer as much information as possible.”
Mr. Sullivan said one of the most popular sessions will be a Tale of a Student: Making the Transition to Memorial, which will include presentations from parents and students. “Parents like to hear how others have dealt with what they are going through,” he said. “It’s nice to hear from students, too.”
Mr. Sullivan said the positive feedback from past Parents’ Orientation is concrete proof that the sessions are helpful for parents and guardians. “They feel more informed and comfortable that they know where their children are going,” he said. “They know that Memorial has so much to offer to their kids. They get a chance to become aware of all our services and help centres. I think they come away from this event knowing that at Memorial we not only foster the academic experience but we also foster the entire university experience and that’s important to parents.”
For more information on Parents’ Orientation, check out www.mun.ca/answers/orientation/parents_schedule.php.