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Orientation starts for Class of 2024

Orientation moves online to welcome first-year students into the Queen’s community.

Photograph of Theological Hall
Queen's students will be able to learn about university resources and build community through online orientation programming.

Orientation is one of the most exciting times of the year at Queen’s University, as the newest cohort of students joins the tricolour community. COVID-19 means orientation for fall 2020 will be very different from years past, but Queen’s is finding new ways to welcome the Class of 2024. Fall orientation started Aug. 24, and will run over two weeks until Friday, Sept. 4 to allow students more opportunity to engage in orientation programming. It will be entirely online to promote the health and safety of all participants.

“Through many types of online events and interactive modules, first-year students will build community, learn about university resources and supports, and make connections with their new peers. The Class of 2024 will certainly have a unique start to their studies at Queen’s, but this experience will bond their class like no other,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.

Major university orientation events will be held in a new virtual format. During Queen’s Welcomes U, new students will learn Queen’s traditions like the Oil Thigh and Cha Gheill cheer and be officially welcomed to the university by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane.

Student Affairs and the AMS have partnered to deliver a brand-new event – an EDII Club Open House. This event will expand opportunity for first-year students to engage with upper- year students, particularly those from equity-seeking groups. Also developed in partnership is an online Tricolour Open House that allows students to explore and get involved with the many different student clubs.

During virtual social “Students Meet Students” events run through the Student Experience Office, like watch parties, trivia events, painting, crafts, group games, and Zoom Room escapes, students will meet their peers and form connections through informal activities and conversations.

Several learning modules are also a part of orientation programming. They cover a range of topics, including equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity; academic basics; health and wellness; online safety; and consent. Each module also includes a live component, giving students the chance to connect with campus resources such as Student Academic Success Services (SASS) and the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Social Issues Commissioner. Students will be able to complete the majority of the modules at their own pace.

First-years Not In Residence (FYNIRS) orientation activities will provide opportunities for local off-campus students to build community, and will include information, resources, and transition support.

Students who spent their first year in the Bader International Student Centre (BISC) program and transfer students can take part in the New, Exchange, and Worldly Transfer Students (NEWTS) orientation. This student-led orientation will help NEWTS build community and adjust to remote education.

For students entering the BISC program for first-year students, the BISC Student Services team has put together an orientation program that includes online socializing events such as a virtual escape room and a virtual murder mystery game. 

For faculty orientation programming, student orientation committees have remodeled their large annual events to create a mix of live and hybrid online events, including Arts and Science’s Olympic Games; Commerce's COMMchella; Computing’s escape room; Concurrent Education's game night; Engineering's Highland Games and Jacket Slam; Health Sciences’ Cooking With Coats; AST Nursing's PowerPoint party; NEWTS’ Paint Party, and Phe Kin's Semi-Formal. All of these activities, and more, help students build social networks within their programs, as well as prepare them for their studies.

“It has been astounding to see the hard work and dedication from all of the student leaders on our campus. Their ability to adapt quickly and create a new Orientation plan that had never been done before speaks to the passion these students have for the first-year students. Our campus community is lucky to have such incredible students working to welcome the Class of 2024,” says Alexia Henriques, Vice-President University Affairs, Alma Mater Society.

New and transferring Indigenous students are invited to connect online with their peers, upper-year students, as well as staff at the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and key supports in faculties and schools on Thursday, Aug. 27 during Welcome Day for Indigenous Students.

For new international students, the Queen’s University International Centre is hosting many orientation activities, webinars and events that cover a wide range of topics, including academics, health insurance, and entering Canada during COVID-19.

Orientation events are open to all first-year students. Participation is not mandatory but is strongly encouraged.

Learn more on the Fall Orientation website