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REF NO.: 210

SUBJECT: Memorial gets set to welcome students with a full orientation program
DATE: Aug. 21, 2003

As the beginning of another academic year draws nearer, Memorial University is busy preparing to welcome almost 3,200 new students into its family. Orientation at Memorial's St. John's campus begins on Sunday, Aug. 31, and runs until Tuesday, Sept. 2. Catering to its diverse student body, Memorial offers five orientation groups, each created to address the individual needs and desires of parents of new students, traditional, transitional, international and aboriginal students who will be experiencing the university way of life first-hand this fall. Holly White, Memorial's orientation co-ordinator, is filled with anticipation for the upcoming orientation sessions and events. Now entering her third year at Memorial, Ms. White first experienced orientation in September 2001 as a first year student and in her second year learned the process from a volunteer perspective. This year, Ms. White has been working full-time since May, co-ordinating efforts to create what she hopes will be the most successful orientation ever. "Orientation is such a great opportunity for new students," said an enthusiastic Ms. White. "It's not just about a tour of the campus, it's about meeting new people and becoming familiar with everything that Memorial has to offer." Ms. White admits she is still discovering new places and things at the university she never even knew existed.

Entering university for the first time can be intimidating to many students. Orientation provides the opportunity for new students to relieve anxieties and find answers to any questions they may have. And, amid an anticipated 1,400 students who will be attending this fall's activities, they will be able to do it with those who are in a similar boat, in a fun and friendly atmosphere. "There are so many exciting and varied activities for students," said Tom Brophy, manager, Centre for Student Life, Student Affairs and Services. "For instance, Campus Essentials, Monday, Sept. 1, will take place from 4-5 p.m. offered from a senior student's perspective, this session will provide essential tips to students to help get them through their first few weeks at Memorial. People at University Meeting People (PUMP) will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and is Atlantic Canada's largest mixer activity. It involves having new students engage in quick games allowing them to meet fellow students and have a blast at the same time." In addition students will be able to attend:

  • A Welcome Luncheon, to be held Tuesday, Sept. 2, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m., which will have various faculty, staff and members of administration present to serve lunch to the entering students.
  • Making the Most of Memorial, happening Tuesday, Sept. 2, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., which will feature a wide array of academic and non-academic displays designed to encourage students to get involved in and make the most of their time at Memorial.
  • Memorial's President Dr. Axel Meisen will also give a personal welcome at Parents Orientation on Monday, Sept. 1, at 1 p.m., and at a Traditional Orientation at 2:15 p.m.
Ms. White notes the invaluable contributions of several groups in the preparation for orientation. Orientation assistants, the student volunteer bureau co-ordinator, special event co-ordinator, the staff and volunteers of the Centre for Student Life, peer orientation assistants, and many more, have put in countless hours of hard work to make the transition in university as easy as possible for new students this September.

"Orientation is simply something you must experience for yourself, so I strongly encourage students to come and check out what we have prepared for you," Ms. White said. "We have even added a few extra incentives, such as prizes draws for those who attend the most activities." "Students who cannot make it to orientation should know that we are still here to help them," Ms. White said. "Help kiosks will be set up throughout campus during the first week of classes to field any questions or concerns students may have. The Centre for Student Life, located on the third floor of the Smallwood Centre, is also there for students all year round." Holly White, orientation co-ordinator, can be reached at 737-3534, e-mail orientation@mun.ca. Orientation at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College will take place on Sept. 1-2, with some events continuing into the term. For more information, see www.swgc.mun.ca/orientation

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