Move over CUSP, connection is the theme of this year’s two-week orientation
Annalisse Crosswell, Associate News Editor
“Connect, engage, take action,” is Capilano University’s new orientation tagline. Returning students will remember orientation as a single-day event, but new students are to be welcomed by a series of events over the course of a two-week period. Orientation events, some old and some new, including time management and career planning workshops, began on Aug. 27 and will continue with International Student Orientation and Residence Move In until Sept. 7, which is all part of the rebranding process that netted Victoria Miles, the University’s director of communications and marketing, the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education (CACE) Coup de Coeur Award for her work on the brand story in 2017. With that, CapU administration feels it has more to offer the student experience.
CapU Special Events has organized the majority of orientation events in years past, but this year, Student Affairs is working with other departments on campus to pull the series of events together. The focus of this change is to make the whole experience more cohesive in a way that not only makes it easier for students to understand what the school has on offer, but also creates a sense of belonging. “What [the University has] done is unified everyone together for a joint Capilano University-wide blending of orientation,” said Student Success Facilitator for Student Engagement, Remy Marlatt.
This cohesive experiment is being achieved through a focus on helping new students learn to balance academic and personal success through events that are both entertaining and educational. New students will receive a passport, which they will be able to stamp during the two-week period at different events that fulfill “social, well-being and academic” requirements. The new structure will be better balanced, and, as Marlatt puts it, “…build that sense of belonging.”
This year, students will be able to participate in orientation before they even arrive at the University with a new Moodle orientation section following what many other post-secondary institutions are doing now. They will also be able to attend a varsity soccer game, witness a flash mob and attend the new street party, which is no longer known as Capilano University Street Party (CUSP) as it was in past years. Instead, Party for Health will be hosting a consent party. When asked about the challenges that come with so many changes, Marlatt commented that the Street Party was the only event where they had experienced any real difficulties because of its new name and the fact that it has moved to primarily be in the Cedar Courtyard.
Those organizing the events have gone to great lengths to ensure no classes will be impacted by the events going on around the school as orientation draws to a close.
All of these events, old and new, are centred around the idea of getting new and returning students to engage the CapU community in a more integrated manner than in years past. It’s all aimed at helping new students ease their transition into university life. To aid this effort, everything from the welcoming ceremonies to the Street Party will be interactive. “Everything is fun, but there’s also a lot of learning that can happen throughout all the activities that prep you and help you with your transition,” said Marlatt.