BRANDON – Hundreds of Brandon University students thronged campus for the first time today for Orientation, meeting new friends, finding out where their classes are, and learning everything they need for a great start at the Fall Term.
This year’s Orientation is the first to be held in-person since 2019, and incorporates lessons learned from the two years of virtual delivery.
“Orientation actually started weeks ago, with online pre-Orientation sessions to help students get accustomed to university,” said Leanne Barcellona, BU’s Director of Recruitment and Retention. “This lets students absorb essential information at their own pace so they’re ready for Orientation Day itself and the start of classes.”
About 500 students filled campus for a day of social activities, free barbecue, campus tours, and small in-person sessions that highlight need-to-know info for different groups of students, like those choosing particular faculties.
“To build these familiarities at the university where I am going to be spending the next four to six years, instead of just being thrown onto campus in the first day of classes, is really exciting,” said Alison Gray, a first-year BU student, who was also looking forward to the information sessions later in the day.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to meet the faculty and know who I can go to if I need some help.”
These in-person elements were some of the most challenging to offer virtually, and Barcellona said that many second- and even third-year BU students were coming to this year’s Orientation as well.
“This year is a little bit different, because some of our students may be well into their degrees, but have not spent much time on campus yet,” she said. “They’ve built great relationships with their professors, and they know how to register for classes, but may not know where the washrooms are.”
BU President David Docherty said that the energy on campus was palpable.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, and it is great to once again be surrounded by the enthusiasm of eager students starting their studies,” he said. “For regional universities like BU, the personal connections students build on campus lay the foundation for decades of success here in our communities, as they forge networks of friends and personal connections that lead to incredible opportunities in the future.”
He said Orientation was his second-favourite day of the academic year, just behind Convocation.
“Any day that I get to spend with students is a great day, but the liveliness and fun of Orientation is invigorating,” he said. “It’s a wonderful welcome for those new to Brandon University, a blast of energy for those of us returning, and it strikes a sunny note as we start our term.”
Following Orientation, the official start of Fall Term classes is tomorrow, Sept. 7.
- Brandon University
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