What is charity?
The Orientation Week Charity team provides the Western community with many opportunities to get involved with organizations both within and outside the City of London. Charity Sophs provide a sense of school spirit and community involvement to Orientation Week in a unique way. They facilitate fun, interactive programming during OWeek such as the One Stop Charity Shop, the Charity BBQ, and many more new initiatives coming in the Fall 2022.
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 and out of 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 more involved and participate in more community volunteering. Becoming a Charity Soph is not only a great way to give back to the Western and London community, but it also is a great opportunity to meet new people and increase the success of Orientation Week.
The One Stop Charity Shop is a programming venue that allows students to take a break from mainstage OWeek events and learn about organizations in their community. Daily interactive activities and Late Night Programming inside the One Stop Shop enable students to engage with one another, the Charity Soph Team and learn about charitable initiatives within their community. This event includes themed food nights with harm-reduction for students to destress and chill between high-intensity OWeek programming.
The Care Hubs are wellness tents that first-year students and sophs can access
when they need physical or mental support or need a break from high-intensity
OWeek programming. It is a designated safe space for students to reach out for
help and resources from trained professionals and sophs. The Care Hubs will
increase a sense of safety and wellness on campus during OWeek by featuring
counselors from organizations such as ANOVA and meds-on site.
Every year, the Charity Soph Team hosts a BBQ lunch for
incoming students, Ivey HBA1 students, and incoming
international students. Students can bond and meet new
people in their community while enjoying an afternoon of
student-sourced entertainment. The event aims to
support the talented student community and promote a
sense of welcomeness and safety among students. This year, the Charity BBQ will be hosted on Concrete Beach from 12:00-3:00pm September 9th, and will be welcome to all students.
The Charity Wagon is a new initiative on the Charity Soph team this year. Its purpose is to mobilize the One-Stop Shop, making it more accessible so that all
students can benefit from the resources and opportunities it provides. By
bringing opportunities directly to the students, this event has the potential to
increase awareness about the Charity team and encourage participation in
charity events. The wagon increases safety in a mobilized way by making safety
resources more accessible to first-year students and sophs around campus."
One of the Charity Team’s most important tasks is increasing and maintaining soph engagement during the summer. It is essential for soph teams to bond during the summer months before OWeek. This is why the Charity Team plans and executes bonding initiatives like All-Sophs competitions and All-Sophs fundraising events.
For OWeek 22’, the Orientation Charity Team plans on offering multiple brand new events and competitions in which All Soph teams can participate and form strong connections.
First Year Engagement
OServes is a cornerstone event during Orientation Week that provides an experiential learning opportunity to Western’s incoming first-year students, connecting them with local non-profit organizations through a half-day of volunteering. Through participation in OServes, students will gain valuable leadership experience, support the incredible non-profit work happening across the London Area, and meet new people. In addition, they will learn about critical issues affecting our local and global community through their hands-on work and contributing to solutions. Topics include equity and diversity, health and well-being, climate change, poverty, and more.