September 10, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 7  

Front Page >> Editorial & Opinions > Riding the orientation express


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Riding the orientation express

Thrust and Perry
By: Dan Perry

News Editor

It was loud, physically exhausting and even, at one point, very foamy. Orientation Week 2003 drew to a close on Saturday night and with my Huron soph uniform sopping wet on University College Hill, I had an epiphany.

O-week, while being targeted at the first-year students and seeking to welcome them to Western's community, is just as much for the volunteers who make it happen - the sophs.

A lot of people maintain the best friends they made were some of the first faces they saw in university, people who started out as "the big guy across the hall" who helped you move your fridge or "the girl you danced with for the entire concert" before even learning her name.

As I learned this week however, the lifelong friendships made in that initially awkward first week are not only made by the first-year students. Simply put, frosh week is for us too.

If nothing else, frosh week is a great way to kick off the year by getting together with old and new friends alike and cementing the bonds by going the extra yard for each other to achieve a common goal.

With the legacies of O-weeks past looming over every orientation event, it's a difficult job to be a soph. A precious few missteps and the most comprehensive orientation program in the country could implode. As Spider-Man so aptly put it, with great power comes great responsibility.

As a soph, you can take part in the events all over again. For the majority of the over 800 of us, once the (ridiculous) uniforms go on, there's an unspoken sense of community that allows us to talk to complete strangers and have a blast just going crazy together.

This is probably the most work you can do at Western without feeling like you're at work. It may also be the most direct way to give back to your school, as in many cases there is a one-to-one rapport between frosh and sophs. You're helping not only the individual students with their jitters, but the entire Western community, representing this school and its second-to-none O-week, building campus citizens to carry on what may well be the most important service on campus.

Frosh out there, I'm talking to you. If you felt like your O-week was one of the biggest rushes you've ever had, apply to be a soph next year - it's up to you to make sure next year's freshman class has as much fun as you did.



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