About

The Orientation Program at Western University is a large source of pride at Western. The program is a campus wide effort and is nationally regarded as a model of student orientation for all students new to the University and its Affiliated Colleges. The engagement of student leaders in our program is second to none and with the help of over 800 upper year student volunteers we have successfully hosted one of the largest orientation programs in Canada for many years.

The Orientation Program is a joint effort between multiple stakeholders on at Western University, University Students’ Council of Western, Brescia University College, Huron University College and King’s University College. The Program seeks to provide a robust orientation to the many facets of campus life for incoming students. In collaboration with staff, faculty, and students, the Program aims to facilitate a seamless transitionto campus, provide the resources necessary to succeed, and provide intentional activities to support students in developing a sense of belonging at Western and its Affiliated Colleges. 

The Orientation Program is an important element of a larger ecosystem of programs and services that support student transition to Western. Student affairs literature informs us of the difference between orientation and transition. The Orientation Program is heavily focused on orientation; however, the Program also serves as a catalyst for the beginning of the lengthier, year-long transition, connecting students to learning and development resources at the university. 

Our vision is that through exceptional orientation programming, students will maximize their individual potential in the classroom, on campus and as citizens of broader communities.

“The most helpful parts of OWeek were the times when we come together as a faculty, as a residence, or even as a Western community to get to know each other. The more people you get to know, the more you feel as if you are a part of the Western community.”

2018 OWeek Survey Findings

The History of the Orientation Program

Way back in the day, before the phenomenon of online registration, class registration had to be done by hand. As you can probably imagine, that took a long time – a week to be exact. Gradually, upper-year students on campus noticed that first-year students’ first impressions of Western involved waiting around in line. Something needed to be done! These upper-year students (now called “Sophs”) started to organize events for the incoming first-year students, to welcome them to Western and demonstrate the wide range of opportunities our school has to offer. Orientation Week was born. 

Since online registration takes a matter of minutes and now happens in the summer, Orientation Week can focus on welcoming you to your new home, helping you meet other first-year students, and giving you a chance to learn about all the different aspects of life at Western. OWeek has evolved into an incredible and truly unique experience that you are sure never to forget.

Past OWeeks, Pictures & Testimonies

  • By the end of OWeek 2018, 98% of respondents felt like they were part of the Western community
  • 88% of respondents indicated that their overall experience of OWeek 2018 was excellent or good
  • “The message that I remember most from Welcome Rally [during OWeek 2018] was that others are supposed to feel just as welcomed and safe at Western as I am, no matter how nervous, and that I can make a meaningful impact on others’ experience at Western.”
  • “[Throughout OWeek 2018 I learned that] everyone has their moments of loneliness, insecurity, or just simply sadness. Western is here to support you as a family while you build a new better life alongside an education.”

Our Strategic Plan

Western’s Orientation Program last renewed its goals and vision in 2003. With ongoing expansion of Western’s exceptional Orientation program, and changing needs of our diverse incoming students, Western’s Orientation Governance Board, now Orientation Advisory Board, in collaboration with the Orientation Planning Committee, now Orientation Operations Committee, initiated the development of a new strategic plan in Spring 2015. 

Vision

Through exceptional orientation programming, students will maximize their individual potential in the classroom, on campus and as citizens of broader communities.

Purpose

Student Orientation at Western facilitates incoming students’ ability to thrive in university by fostering connections with peers, faculty and staff, expanding their knowledge of campus resources and developing their personal and academic skills.

Values

  • Diversity
  • Collaboration
  • Safe campus climate
  • Integrity
  • Community
  • Respect
  • Leadership
  • Fun

Who are we?

Orientation Staff is a group of 7 student leaders responsible for the planning and execution of Orientation Week endeavors in collaboration with the Coordinator of Orientation Initiatives. The group is tasked with and primarily responsible for planning campus-wide events during Orientation Week and assisting with the implementation or recruitment, selection, training, and recognition initiatives for Sophs. 

Please email us at orientation@uwo.ca with any questions, comments, or concerns. 

Orientation Staff 2019

Aleesha Rehill

Orientation Coordinator 

oco@uwo.ca


Irfan Jivs

Residence Orientation Coordinator

roc@uwo.ca


Andrea Lee

Academic Orientation Coordinator

aoc@uwo.ca


Beth Connelly

Charity Orientation Coordinator

charityorientation@westernusc.ca


Connor Cozens

Associate, Orientation

associate.orientation@westernusc.ca


Alisha Moosajee

Orientation Program Generalist

opg@uwo.ca


Domenic Parlatore

Orientation Program Intern

opintern@uwo.ca


Rich Caccamo

Coordinator, Orientation Initatives

rcaccam@uwo.ca