About

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.

With the help of over 950 upper-year student volunteers, and the best training to support them, we have successfully hosted some of the largest orientation programs in Canada year after year.

Western’s Orientation Program is a joint effort between several stakeholders on campus including, The University Students’ Council, Brescia University College, Huron University College, and King’s University College. The program seeks to provide incoming students with an orientation to many aspects of campus life. In collaboration with staff, faculty, and students, we aim to facilitate a seamless transition to campus, provide the necessary resources to support student wellbeing and academic preparedness, create peer connections, and build a sense of belonging on campus and in the city of London.

There are several programs and services at Western that support student transition; the Orientation Program is an important element of this large network. Although the Orientation Program is heavily focused on social connectedness, it also serves as a catalyst for the beginning of the lengthier, year-long transition by connecting students to learning and development resources at the University.

“‘OWeek helped me feel at home again when my home is actually a ways away. The Welcoming Rally on Residence Day, the Opening Ceremonies, the Faculty Rally, the OneLove Rally, and the Closing Ceremonies were all crucial in providing me with the knowledge to thrive here”

2019 OWeek Survey Findings

The History of the Orientation Program

Way back in the day, before the phenomenon of online registration, course 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”) began organizing 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. 

Now that online registration takes a matter of minutes and happens over the summer, Orientation Week can focuses on welcoming you to your new home, helping you meet other first-year incoming students, and giving you the opportunity to learn about all the different aspects of life at Western. Over the years, Orientation Week has evolved into an incredible and truly unique experience that you’ll never forget

Past OWeeks, Videos & Testimonies

  • By the end of OWeek 2019, 96% of respondents felt like they were part of the Western community.

  • 82% of respondents indicated that their overall experience of OWeek 2019 was excellent or good

  • “The message that I remember most from Welcome Rally [during OWeek 2019] was that Western is your home away from home, and although the journey may seem daunting at first, it’ll all work out in the end. There are so many people here to support each and every one of us on our journey through our respective careers, and we should take advantage of everything offered to us.”

  • “[Throughout OWeek 2019 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 Western’s exceptional Orientation Program expanding, along with the changing needs of our diverse incoming class, Western’s Orientation Governance Board (now the Orientation Advisory Board), in collaboration with the Orientation Planning Committee (now the 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?

The Orientation Staff team is a group of 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 planning campus-wide events during Orientation Week and assisting with the implementation of recruitment, training, and recognition initiatives for Sophs. 

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

Orientation Staff 2020

Chava Headshot (OCO)

Chava Bychutsky

Orientation Coordinator 

oco@uwo.ca


Michaela Wand

Residence Orientation Coordinator

roc@uwo.ca


Andrew Metcalfe

Academic Orientation Coordinator

aoc@uwo.ca


Emma Wilkinson

Charity Orientation Coordinator

charityorientation@westernusc.ca


Amanda Headshot (Associate)

Amanda Allen

Associate, Orientation

associate.orientation@westernusc.ca


Shems Headshot (OPG)

Shems Bendriouch

Orientation Program Generalist

opg1@uwo.ca

Kendall Headshot (OPG)

Kendall Zurowski

Orientation Program Generalist

opg2@uwo.ca


Spencer Craddock

Orientation Program Intern

opintern@uwo.ca


Rich

Rich Caccamo

Coordinator, Orientation Initiatives

rcaccam@uwo.ca