Orientation Policy

Final Approval Body: Senate
Senior Administrative Position with Responsibility: Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Date Initially Approved: April 18, 2023


Deans and Designates Orientation Working Group (DDOWG) – A working group chaired by the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs or their designate and comprised of the Deans of Faculties/Schools, the Dean of Student Affairs for cross-Faculty/School Groups, and/or their appointed designates.

Division of Student Affairs and Orientation Roundtable Committee (DSAORT) – The Division of Student Affairs and Orientation Roundtable Committee (DSAORT) reports into the DDOWG and connects stakeholders from the Division of Student Affairs, Residence Life & Services, and the Alma Mater Society (AMS).

Faculty/School or Group Days – Orientation days designated for discipline-specific orientation events developed and implemented by Faculty/School/Group student Orientation organizers in consultation with their respective academic Deans and designates and under the logistical direction of the AMS Orientation Roundtable Coordinator.  

Orientation Roundtable Committee (ORT) – A student Orientation planning committee of the AMS Campus Affairs Commission chaired by the ORT Coordinator. This team is supported by the ORT Team and comprised of Faculty Orientation Committee Heads and Designates.

Risk and Safety Services – The campus experts in evaluating risks in Orientation activities and providing risk mitigation strategies.

Student Experience Office (SEO) – A unit within the Division of Student Affairs with a mandate to provide programs and services to orient students to university life and to support their successful transition into and through university.

University Days – Orientation days designated for university-wide events coordinated and implemented by the Student Experience Office (SEO).


Queen’s University recognizes the value of a welcoming and inclusive orientation experience for all students new to the university. This Policy, and the orientation goals and priorities outlined in its Appendix, are designed to ensure this experience by confirming relevant roles and responsibilities for the scope of programming functions and implementation of Orientation activities during Queen’s University Orientation Days.

Policy Statement

To ensure a welcoming and inclusive Orientation experience, all Orientation activities are required to meet one or more of the goals set out in Appendix A.  Those planning and executing Orientation will ensure appropriate attention is paid to the seven priorities outlined in Appendix A.


This Policy applies to all aspects of, and all groups involved in, the development, coordination, and implementation of undergraduate orientation activities comprising University Orientation Days and Faculty/School or Group Orientation Days.


DDOWG –  To ensure institution-wide engagement, the DDOWG adds coordination and accountability measures for the review of undergraduate Orientation by determining standards for a consistent approach across Faculty/School/Groups, advising their respective Faculty/School or Group Orientation committees on Orientation programming and activities, and vetting and approving all Orientation events and activities planned by student Orientation planners within their Faculty/School or Group before final university approval.

DSAORT – DSAORT is co-chaired by the AMS and the SEO, and works collaboratively on the planning and implementation of Queen’s University’s direct-entry undergraduate Orientation. The purpose of DSAORT is to ensure the fulfilment of the goals and outcomes of Orientation.  The group engages with student associations, student groups, and relevant university units in executing frameworks for the implementation of Orientation, and provides regular updates and recommendations to the DDOWG, Orientation planners, and relevant campus partners.

Orientation Roundtable – ORT is responsible for the planning, coordination, and implementation of Faculty Orientation Days under the guidance of this Policy and the goals and priorities outlined in its Appendix. ORT must consult with its respective Faculty/School/Group Deans/Designates and Society Presidents/Designate to receive final approval for all Orientation programming, activities, fees, slogan, costumes, and any other relevant materials to ensure compliance with this Policy.

Risk and Safety Services – RSS is responsible for providing advice, guidance, and oversight of the risk, health, and safety elements of Orientation planning.  This includes providing management training on risk assessment, liaising as necessary with other university units, reviewing and providing feedback on the event specific risk assessments and proposed risk mitigation strategies, and issuing approval of event plans specific to the risk related elements within the broader approval process.

SEO - The SEO is responsible for the coordination and implementation of university-wide Orientation activities on designated Orientation days.  The SEO develops and holds procedures and guidelines for planning and implementing Orientation days. The SEO is a central coordinating body for all Orientation activities and facilitates connection, communication, and decision-making structures for all Orientation planners.

Senate Orientation Review Committee - The Senate Orientation Review Committee (SORC) has responsibility for ensuring that execution of the university’s undergraduate Orientation aligns with Senate-approved policies and procedures.  SORC shall, on an annual basis, ensure Orientation activities are executed in line with this Policy and shall provide a report to Senate on the Committee’s findings.

Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs - The Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs or their appointed designate(s), on behalf of the university, approves all Orientation, procedures, practices, and activities organized by university and multi-faculty Orientation stakeholders, committees, and/or groups.


Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines:
Student Code of Conduct
Harassment & Discrimination Prevention and Response Policy
Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen's Students
Alcohol Policy
Policies Superseded by this Policy: Orientation Goals, Orientation Week Policy Manual
Responsible Officer: Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Contact: Office of the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs
Date for Next Review: 2028


Orientation at Queen’s University is both a series of events that take place immediately before and during the first week of classes each academic year, and a process of learning about the university, the community, and oneself over the course of a student’s first year.  The following goals and objectives should be understood in this context.

The goals of Queen’s Undergraduate orientation are:

  • To welcome all new students to the Queen’s and Kingston community in a safe, inclusive, and fun manner that recognizes the diverse needs of the incoming class and considers the various perspectives and range of student experiences the class has had prior to coming to Queen’s;
  • To provide students with opportunities to begin building connections with their peers, student leaders, faculty, staff, and the Kingston community;
  • To introduce students to the university, its values and expectations, and its academic and social environment; and
  • To establish a network of supports for students that includes academic, physical and mental wellness, and I-EDIAA campus resources and services.

Through participation in orientation activities during one’s first year, students who are new to Queen’s will gain the following outcomes:

  • Acquire confidence in navigating campus and the near campus neighbourhood.
  • Build a sense of community through peer-to-peer connections.
  • Establish a sense of safety and belonging as a student in the Queen’s community and citizen of the Kingston community.
  • Become aware of and establish a level of comfort with foundational academic concepts and expectations, such as academic integrity, attendance and participation, the components of a syllabus, office hours, connecting with instructors and teaching assistants, and academic consideration and accommodations.
  • Acquire knowledge of the various academic and personal resources and services made available to students by the university and know how to reach out for help.
  • Understand the commitment of the Queen’s community and the expectations for students in upholding the core values relating to Indigenization, equity, diversity, inclusivity, accessibility, anti-racism, and anti-bigotry.
  • Understand Queen’s community expectations with regard to preventing, reporting, and actively standing against sexual violence; expectations related to bystander intervention; and the educational opportunities and programming related to sexual violence prevention and the prevention of and response to harassment and discrimination.
  • Develop a sense of responsibility as a member of the Queen’s and Kingston communities and understand what it means to be a good citizen and neighbour.

In their planning and execution, orientation activities will be based on the following priorities:

  • Recognize the diverse backgrounds and needs of all students and ensure that all aspects of the planning and execution of orientation take I-EDIAA principles into account.
  • Prioritize accessibility, including financial, as well as access and inclusion for participants with a range of abilities and backgrounds.
  • Prioritize sustainability, taking into account environmental impacts as well as limited resources of money and materials, time, and energy.
  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all those involved in orientation activities.
  • Recognize orientation as a significant opportunity for the practice and development of advanced leadership skills for student organizers.
  • Recognize orientation as part of a larger process and experience of transition to university.
  • Commit to the centralized collection of feedback as part of a continuous improvement process.