All Posts Tagged With: "orientation"
Report of racist Pocahontas chant
VANCOUVER – A controversial chant based on the Disney movie “Pocahontas” used by students at the University of B.C. has set off a series of measures to help students better understand First Nations.
The changes were announced in a report arising from frosh events sponsored by the Commerce Undergraduate Society last summer.
“The report released today shows us there is very little awareness of indigenous peoples and their concerns among the students we interviewed,” Louise Cowin, UBC’s vice president of students, said in a news release Monday.
“Clearly, UBC has a role to play in educating students to become more culturally competent.”
The report found that student leaders at the Sauder School of Business selected the “Pocahontas” theme and created the chant.
Why cutting orientation isn’t the answer
Russell Smith, in the Globe and Mail, would like you to know Frosh Week is disgusting and boring, and drinking is deeply boring. Those are some of the reasons he thinks universities should do away with the matriculation ritual that tends to include binge drinking, dancing and making friends with whom you will drink and dance for the next four years. (Boring, right?)
Smith’s visceral dislike for frosh activities is the aftermath of his own “miserable” experience. A Queen’s University alum, Smith recalls the gruelling and often unhygienic initiation rites inflicted on 17-year-old engineering students. He argues that the brightest minds wait out the debauchery in their dorm rooms, praying the school year will bring real fun—the kind that involves learning and all that jazz.
It’s no coincidence that Smith’s takedown came shortly after this week’s wildly stupid and offensive bi-coastal misogyny display in which students at SMU and UBC were caught on camera reciting poorly written chants about the thrills of sexually assaulting underage girls. It was a double whammy to our national ego. Canada’s emerging scholars: too base to respect the laws of consent, too dim to write a rhyming couplet. Smith’s antidote to this apparent problem is to one-up the dean of UBC’s business school—who has suspended funding for Frosh Week in light of the scandal—and eliminate the event from college calendars forever.
In his words: “Universities can teach maturity. They can teach teenagers how to be adults and that means to function outside a clique or a tribe. Frosh-week bonding makes a fetish of immaturity. It serves no pedagogic function and universities should stop encouraging it.”
Making regular use of the campus showers serves no pedagogic function either, yet for some reason universities tend to encourage that too.
Commerce society student leaders resign
VANCOUVER – Two student executives with the University of British Columbia’s commerce undergraduate society have quit and the annual frosh orientation will end after students at the Sauder School of Business took part in a chant that appeared to endorse rape.
President Enzo Woo said in a news release Wednesday the performance of the offensive chant at the society’s orientation event on the Labour Day weekend should never have happened.
He said the fact the chant is tradition isn’t an excuse and doesn’t make the offense less serious.
“I am deeply remorseful at what has transpired. It would be naive to think that these problems can be solved overnight, but we have an opportunity moving forward to institute a culture of recovery and acceptance,” Woo said.
University apologizes but Classified says he won’tCanadian rapper Classified—hired as a safe-choice replacement for American rapper Sean Kingston, who was facing a charge of rape until last week—joked about rape during his performance on Saturday night at Western University, according to some on Twitter. This prompted apologies from the student’s council and the school but not the performer, who Tweeted that he didn’t endorse rape. What’s clear is that he endorsed other bad behaviours like drinking.
Here’s one of the critical Tweets:
Essentially classified just told my frosh to get hammered, smoke weed all night, drop out of school and commit rape. Like get off the stage.
— Julia Orchard (@juliaorchard) September 8, 2013
The USC apologized swiftly. President Patrick Whelan said he did not hear the rape comment.
The comments expressed on stage tonight do not reflect that of the orientation program at western, sexual assault is never a joke.
— USC of Western U (@western_usc) September 8, 2013
The University released astatement that stopped short of referencing sexual assault:
“The University Students’ Council (USC) and Western regret the actions of and commentary made by the artist Classified Saturday night on stage at the Orientation Week concert. Both groups felt the performance did not reflect the mission, values and messages of the Orientation Program.”
The rapper admitted to the jokes about substance use but not about sexual assault.
But yes I did rap about weed. Liquor and partying. I won't apologize for that.
— Classified (@classified) September 8, 2013
Many Tweeted in defence of the rapper and said his words were taken out of context.
Give it up for people who quote others out of context. Clear sarcasm about something @classified clearly did not support. Come on.
— Samik Doshi (@samik_doshi) September 8, 2013
This follows two other controversies where sexual assault was joked about during 2013 orientation week events. Last week a video went viral showing orientation leaders at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax shouting a cheer that included the words, “N… is for no consent.” It was quickly condemned and the student president resigned.
How to cut down on bad behaviour like at Saint Mary’s
Though I couldn’t wait for orientation to end, I did learn a few valuable lessons about respecting the students around me at an optional short conference on campus culture and etiquette.
The key word is “optional.” If frosh week had a mandatory component that taught all students about what’s expected of them, instead of just how to get drunk in the beer gardens, I think universities could prevent incidents like Saint Mary’s rape-referencing orientation chant.
Hundreds of ways to get involved at McMaster University
Teresa Ziegler is listening to a pitch from two enthusiastic third-year students who want her to join yet another club. Classes haven’t even started and she’s already committed to the strength and conditioning club, a medical club, a few volunteer groups and the rowing club, whose members are showing off 12-foot oars in neon t-shirts that read “Beat the freshman 15.”
How will she handle it all? “I’m just going to go them all and find out what I’m most passionate about,” says the first-year Kinesiology major.
Ziegler’s got the right approach to McMaster University’s Clubsfest, the annual outdoor fair where representatives from the school’s roughly 325 campus groups spend four hours recruiting members. It’s a frenzied competition for names and e-mail address where a capella ballads from the Gospel Choir compete with pop tunes from a Chinese culture club while representatives from the Disney Dreams Club try to entice women away from the Catholic Students Association’s table.
Outrage over “N is for no consent…” chant
HALIFAX – Student leaders at Saint Mary’s University were widely criticized Thursday for performing a frosh-week chant glorifying the sexual assault of underage girls that has been part of orientation activities at the Halifax school for years.
Politicians, school administrators and students said they were shocked by a video of the song that circulated in social media, which spells out the word “young” with a comment after each letter and includes: “Y is for your sister … U is for underage, N is for no consent… .”
The chant was performed to about 400 students assembled on the football field at the university as part of its orientation week. A video of it was posted on Instagram on Wednesday, causing a deluge of criticism here and abroad.
Jared Perry, president of the Saint Mary’s Students’ Association, apologized Thursday for performing the chant with 80 male and female orientation leaders.
Orientation leaders apologize for jokes about sexual assault
HALIFAX – A spokesman for Saint Mary’s University in Halifax says senior administrators were shocked after seeing a video of students in a frosh-week chant condoning non-consensual sex with underage girls.
Steve Proctor says the “sexist and offensive” chant posted on Instagram was led by student orientation leaders at the campus.
Proctor says the Labour Day incident occurred just days after senior school administrators and police met with student union officials and orientation organizers stressing the importance of discouraging sexism and sexual assault during frosh week.
“We were surprised,” he said in an interview.
“The senior director of student services had met with the (student) executive and the organizing committee … and spoke about these very issues and the need to be respectful.”
Avoid these freshman pitfalls
1. Fail to realize that, special as you are, you’re just one person on a huge campus. This has unfortunate side effects like clogging up busy hallways and other such silliness.
2. Buy brand new copies of every single book listed on every syllabus only to find out at the first lecture that half of them are ‘on reserve’ for free in the library.
3. Fail to speak up in class. This can lead to painful silences that are eventually filled by that one guy who lives to talk and whom just about everyone hates.
4. Go to every frosh event no matter how ridiculous. You’ll be fine if you don’t make it to “Back-to-School-a-Palooza” and “Frosh-Tastic Tastings” and “School’s In… Togas!” Toga parties are done anyway. The only good one happened 30 years ago… in a movie.
5. Explore the fun and exciting world of parent-free alcohol consumption but go way too far. Most people drink in university but freshmen have a knack for ending up with their faces in toilets. Or garbage cans. Or friend’s roommate’s beds. It’s just not classy.
6. Sign up for way too many activities and force all your friends to sign up for way too many activities too because this is university and we must make the most of it!!!!!
7. You burnout, get sick, stop doing everything and come perilously close to failing. This is why it’s imperative to figure out which classes you can afford to skip occasionally.
8. Complain about how hard it is to budget when your parents aren’t around to buy groceries after spending all your savings on vodka and unnecessary textbooks.
9. Live on campus and wear pajamas or shorts all year long. We all know you don’t have to walk far in rainstorms and blizzards to get to classes but there’s no need to rub it in!
10. Date a high school boyfriend/girlfriend and Skype them for hours each night.
Do not be this roommate, freshmen. Nobody likes this roommate. Good luck!
It’s one big party this week from Acadia to Western
Instagram and Twitter feeds from Acadia to Western are bursting with photos of raucous football games, wild parties and budding friendships. We’ve gathered the best shots of #frosh 2013 so far and plan to post many more. Want to be part of our coverage? Tweet your frosh photos to @maconcampus now. Want more? Add us on Facebook and visit Maclean’s On Campus daily.
Watch out for the curmudgeons and Christmas graduates
If you’re just starting university, chances are you don’t know anyone on campus. Orientation is a great opportunity to meet friends before homework starts to pile up. As someone who has been involved in McMaster University’s Orientation Week since 2009, I thought I’d share six types of people that you’re likely to meet and some advice on how to approach them.
The Curmudgeons: These people are vocal about what they dislike, and they dislike a lot. They think the events are cheesy, the cheers are dumb and despise football. In some cases, they just doesn’t know how to get engaged. In other cases, they may be homesick or having a rough time outside of university and that’s affecting their ability to have fun. Chat with them to see if you can help but remember that some people are just complainers. Don’t let them ruin your fun. Oh, and don’t become the curmudgeon yourself.
Simon Fraser Student Society promotes big campus show
Simon Fraser University, atop Burnaby Mountain in suburban Vancouver, “has a bit of a reputation as a commuter school where there’s not a lot of fun,” says Christina Guan, who does social media for the Simon Fraser Student Society. “A lot of students, especially new students, feel there’s not a lot of school spirit,” adds the third-year communications major. One reason it suffers, she says, is orientations without huge shows to cap them off, unlike at the nearby University of British Columbia, which has always had a big Firstweek finale (this year included; Kid Cudi’s on the bill). So when Guan heard the SFSS was planning its biggest-everFall Kickoff show and DJ contest, featuring Mat Zo, Dzeko & Torres and CLMD, she saw a chance to turn things around by getting as many students as possible to attend the show. Her approach was to create a YouTube video of people dressed as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers dancing around campus. The TV show, which first aired 20 years ago this week, is something she says most of 2013′s frosh can relate to. Go Go Guan!
Photos from the annual orientation week event
Photographer Jessica Darmanin immersed herself in the University of Toronto’s “battle of the colleges” and Clubs Showcase last week. She also visited Ryerson University’s parade and is in the Atlantic provinces right now. Check out her shots of U of T students flaunting their school spirit:
Where to catch Arkells, Yukon Blonde, Das Racist
The first week is, for most students, one of the most memorable (okay, well, sort of memorable) weeks of university. It’s summer camp without tearful goodbyes; school without the schoolwork.
Part of the reason it’s so memorable is that between the cheers and the beers many orientation weeks also manage to squeeze in pretty decent live music. Here are five notable bands topping froshweek bills from coast to coast:
Tips from a student who couldn’t wait for orientation to end
This time last year I was nervously anticipating orientation, also known as frosh week or “Week of Welcome” here at the University of Alberta.
I thought that the first week would be an accurate indication of how life would be over the next few years. I was wrong and I’m glad about that, because while there were parts of orientation I enjoyed, I honestly couldn’t wait for it to be over.
Here are five reasons my welcome week sucked and what I wish universities would do instead.
1: Quit it with the blaring house music!
Before my first day of school, I’d never heard Party Rock Anthem before. That changed fast. At first it wasn’t that bad, but after LMFAO announced that “Party Rock was in the house tonight” in almost every building I set foot in, I nearly lost it. Hearing that song over and over again was especially inconvenient when I was trying to talk to people I’d just met, or concentrate on academic stuff.
For the sake of we non-party-rockers, why not keep the club atmosphere all in one area?
As the first day of school approaches, more and more questions begin to worry the minds of first timers. Here’s a little information to put yourself at ease.
As the first day of school approaches, more and more questions begin to worry the minds of first timers. Here’s a little information to put yourself at ease.
How to find your sense of direction
On my first day of classes at the University of Waterloo, I got lost. I was leaving my physics lecture, headed towards my chemistry class, and then I realized I had a big problem.
I didn’t know where my chemistry class was.
And after taking a couple of turns, I had another realization. I didn’t know where my physics class was anymore, either.
I was stranded.
It’s been almost a year since that first day of classes. Despite my horrible sense of direction, after two semesters on campus, it’s hard to believe I ever got lost. Waterloo’s campus actually has a logical lay out. Of course, once stuff becomes obvious, it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t always, well, obvious.
Last Saturday I volunteered for Student Life 101 at the University of Waterloo. It’s an open house for incoming first-years, giving them a chance to explore the campus and find their future classrooms. The weird part? My job was to give directions.
It was a full circle kind of moment.