Volume 93, Issue 9
Tuesday, September 14, 1999
O-week: on both sides of the hill
From the moment the curtain went up on Western's Silver Screen production of Orientation Week 1999, to the final singing of "Western, Western, Western U," it would an understatement to say last week was one to remember.
Being three years removed from my frosh week and being involved ever since last year sophing for the building formally known as "the zoo" and this year as a member of the virgin voyage for the media, information and technoculture program, kudos goes out to the number of changes and improvements which have been made to it.
The continued meshing of faculties and residences is one which is actually only in its sophomore year and has improved in leaps and bounds from last year. Pairing faculties with buildings and vice versa made the organizing more efficient and colourful. Those who were against the introduction of faculty sophs should now be silenced because these sophs go right along with the orientation week mission statement it gets more people involved and first-year students meet many more people.
The events were the same cornucopia of fun highlighted by the Western Olympics, Shinerama, the Thompson arena victory bash and about five nights in a row at the Wave. The Olympics were summed up by the game which required spinning around in a circle until dizzy, followed by placing a refrigerator box over ones head and running a straight line chaos. Despite Shinerama's low participation rate, Western took over the downtown core and raised more than $100,000 for cystic fibrosis. Thompson arena was good but video jockey's cannot be allowed to get away with playing tunes like "Ghostbusters."
The worst moment of O-week was certainly on all accounts of administration and their crack down on tradition by slapping the engineering sophs on the wrist for their annual purpling of the school. Hey admin, since the engineers couldn't help with move-in day, all us other sophs had to lift double the luggage at Saugeen. Tongue out and big thumb down for housing.
Overall, the final orientation of the century received two enthusiastic thumbs up. Thanks for the memories and try to keep the spirit of frosh week around all year!
Lights... camera... ACTION!! Western's Silver Screen: The Epic Production of a Lifetime. Sounds like fun eh? Well most of it was.
I'll have to admit meeting about 100 people and seeing about 6,000 others was kind of cool. People from different walks of life converging on University Hill to commence O-week, a week designed to make first-year students more comfortable in their new environment.
Being a first-year student myself, I found much of orientation week was like herding cattle around. It seemed as though much of it focused on taking us to various activities which some of us did not enjoy.
In speaking to upper-year students, I have found that much of what they remember about O-week are bad things. Recently, I heard there had been a long waged debate between administration and students over the need to have an O-week.
I may have disliked a lot of the activities but orientation week is fun and it's an experience you have to partake in. I think the upper-year students I spoke to would not be the same people they are today if it wasn't for their O-week.
Those arguing it holds no purpose must look at it from the point of view of a high school student, who knows no one at Western or is shy when meeting new people. Those people who don't believe O-week is powerful in itself need to ask a first-year student or better yet, talk to a group of frosh and realize the impact it has had and the friendships which have been forged.
Admittedly, not all the activities during frosh week are necessary. But overall, O-week is crucial. The sophs and residence staff have created an environment of learning for us with their happy, bubbly personalities. Even if the chipperness gets a little annoying at times.
For first-years, O-week is acceptance into the institution where we will be spending the next few years. It's a tradition that shouldn't be messed with and I think I speak for the majority of frosh past, present and future when I say, "It's our party LEAVE IT ALONE!"
Administrative and Commercial Studies I
Copyright © The Gazette 1999