Capilano University’s New Student Orientation moves online

Orientation team feels the move will make New Student Orientation more accessible

Wen Zhai // Contributor

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Capilano University (CapU) has moved New Student Orientation online for Fall 2020. “We completely adapted orientation to be fully online for 2020—it’s all going to be through Zoom and Teams meetings,” said Jennie Kostiuk, Student Success Facilitator.

To make this possible, Student Affairs planned the event as a joint initiative with other departments on campus to ensure new students find orientation engaging and valuable. “We are actually excited because we feel like it is going to be more accessible for a lot of people,” says Kostiuk.

New Student Orientation is the largest campus event for new students at Capilano University (CapU), during which they are introduced to all the support and resources available to them as they navigate university life. While initially worried about student turnout, Kostiuk has found that the virtual event has been well-received by new students.

“I found there were actually more participation because people can kind of just log in to their computers,” said Kostiuk. “We are actually hoping to have more students attend the online version because they can also attend from their home countries if they are outside of Canada or even other provinces or cities.” 

Rather than stick with the traditional day-long event, organizers decided it was best to extend the celebrations to avoid burnout and fatigue. “We try to find ways to get students up and moving and meeting each other—we want to ensure that students aren’t spending too much time on the screen,” said Kostiuk.

To engage students while they are online, Student Affairs teamed up with alumni and faculty to create various opportunities for students to connect. “I think one of the biggest things about orientation is giving the students the opportunity to meet other new students and to also meet staff and faculty. We are still trying to bring that into it,” said Kostiuk, explaining that events ranged from dance classes to online Netflix parties.

“It’s supposed to be a fun week for students,” said Kostiuk. “Normally we would have our street party—this is kind of our rebranded online version of the street party.”

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