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Gearing up for a fun and safe Orientation/Frosh 2016

Training for student leaders and volunteers is underway at Concordia
August 2, 2016
By J. Latimer

The Concordia Student Union (CSU) and the university’s various student associations, with support from Concordia’s Dean of Students Office, are busy preparing for the upcoming 2016 Orientation/Frosh student-led activities.

Building on feedback from the last three years, the groups are working together to make 2016 Orientation/Frosh fun and safe, with a focus on community building, consent and reducing risks.

“This is largely a student-led effort,” says Terry Kyle, manager of Student Life with the Dean of Students Office. “All of the work and the design of the training has been collaborative between the Dean of Students Office and student leaders from the umbrella associations.”

Orientation training: an act of co-creation

Throughout the spring and summer, student leaders have been collaborating, planning orientation activities. This process results in improved training for the orientation leaders, who will welcome first year students at Concordia in September.

The training was an idea that came out of reflection and feedback from student leaders involved in organizing orientation activities over the past few years.

“This year the student leaders are embracing and building upon the work of the previous leaders. They’re excited about making the trainings better,” says Kyle.

Risk-reduction training

The Dean of Students Office delivers a mandatory risk-reduction training program for all orientation and frosh student leaders, staff and volunteers. This year the student leaders have added a greater focus on consent within the training.

“Risk-reduction training looks at ways orientation leaders, volunteers and staff can reduce risk through the way they lead and role-model,” says Kyle.

“We talk about what it means to have that gut feeling of ‘that isn't right, I should do something,’ and the importance of trusting yourself to take appropriate action. Because, as leaders, if you don’t intervene, who will?” 

“This approach is designed to help bring the best out of students, both in the planning and participation of Orientation and Frosh events,” says Helen Downie, Student Engagement facilitator.  

In addition to the various student associations, many groups on campus such as the Student Success Centre, the Centre for Gender Advocacy, the Sexual Assault Resource CentreConcordia Health Services, Hospitality and Security have been involved in the training.

Alcohol management

A one-and-a-half hour Safe Serve Program (SSP), designed to encourage the responsible management of alcohol service on campus, will be offered again this year.

The updated SSP certification is mandatory for anyone who wants to serve at a Concordia function on campus. And it also covers a range of subjects that are relevant for student leaders — from tips on how to refuse service, to information about how the body handles alcohol and the signs of alcohol poisoning.

Once students, staff and faculty have completed the in-person training, their certification is valid for a year. When the year ends, they will receive an automated notification that their certification has expired. At that point, they only need to do an annual online “booster exam” to maintain their certification.

Kick-off! CSU orientation 2016

The CSU has organized a variety of events at both the Sir George Williams and Loyola campuses, including open-air pubs, street fairs, a wellness day, and a final concert at the Corona Theatre.

The theme of orientation, taking place from September 6 to 16, is Kick-off.

''Our events are centralized around building a sense of community, creating ties between students and introducing new opportunities for the students to get involved on campus,” says Rachel Gauthier, Student Life coordinator.

“This year we are working on implementing a safer space policy around making the events more inclusive and accessible for new and returning students.”

Concordia’s Student Services also host a range of orientation sessions to help you start your year right, courtesy of your Student Success Centre. Registration is required.

Learn more about CSU Orientation 2016 and check out the Discover Concordia fair.



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