Sophs

The friendly faces of the Orientation Program!

“Having the Sophs really helped my transition to university because they helped me to feel included, support me, and meet new people.”

OWeek 2019 Survey

Sophs are Western’s beloved Orientation Leaders who help welcome new students and provide an orientation to campus life. Sophs volunteer their time as spirit leaders, peer mentors, , and campus guides to help promote personal wellness, encourage participation in campus’ community-building events, and integrate new students to the University’s social and academic environments.

Sophs are an important part of students’ OWeek experience. In the OWeek 2019 Survey, students indicated that the relationships built with their Sophs, the relationships Sophs helped facilitate, and the knowledge the Sophs possess were some of the most helpful and enjoyable aspects of OWeek. Students reported that their Sophs made them feel safe, supported, and welcomed at Western. The impact that Sophs have on new students lasts throughout the entire year.

Sophs are super spirited and aim to be one of the first friends you make on campus. They were chosen to welcome new students because of their pride in the Western experience. Sophs model academic determination, encourage healthy lifestyles, and promote positive perspectives.

After Orientation Week, Sophs transition to a yearlong support role for new students. This role includes regular contact with first-year students, participation in programming , and ongoing referral assistance to campus and community resources.

If we could sum it up in one sentence, Sophs are meant to be the easiest friend one could make, and the hardest to let go!

Residence Soph: 

Residence Sophs are upper-year, undergraduate students that volunteer to live in residence as mentors for incoming students. Their primary function is to act as emotional and social supports for students, as well as redirect them to appropriate resources when needed. Residence Soph teams undergo training that equips them to fulfill these duties, while managing their own personal and academic requirements. They spend ample time engaging in team-building activities and forming meaningful relationships with each other in order to form a cohesive unit. In turn, they foster an inclusive and welcoming environment, rich in culture and tradition, for incoming students in their respective buildings. 

Faculty Soph:

Faculty Sophs primarily support incoming students in their academic transition into Western. In preparation for their role, Faculty Sophs receive training to understand the specific academic resources that incoming students may need; making them great people students can approach if they are looking for academic resources. Faculty Sophs are in the same faculty as the incoming students they are paired with, which gives them a better ability to speak from first-hand experience about the courses and resources students may have questions about.

Off-Campus Soph:

Off-Campus (OC) Sophs support students living Off-Campus as they transition to Western. We recognize that Off-Campus students have a different set of needs than those living in residence, and the OC Soph team aims to specifically address those needs. OC Sophs are students’ first friends on campus and help incoming students connect with others living in the London community. If an incoming student has questions through the year about wellness resources or ways to get involved as a student living Off-Campus, the OC Sophs are the ones to ask.

Affiliate Soph:

Affiliate Sophs (Huron, Brescia, and King’s) are mentors for incoming students at the Affiliated University Colleges. Affiliate Sophs are both Residence and Faculty Sophs in that they support students emotionally, socially, and academically. They receive Affiliate-specific training and are familiar with all resources on both Western’s campus and at their respective Affiliated University College. Like all Sophs, they act as a peer support for students and help ensure students transition to university with ease.

Charity Soph: 

Charity Sophs are responsible for planning, executing, and promoting philanthropic events for incoming students and Sophs. Their goal is to connect students with volunteer opportunities at local organizations in the London community. Charity Sophs are paired with each constituency (Residence, Faculty, Affiliate College, OC) rather than incoming students. They are a great resource for students looking to get involved in London.