Vancouver Island University is moving to more online education during the pandemic, and that applies to orientation week, too.
This year’s Rock VIU welcome-to-campus events will be virtual next week, Aug. 31-Sept. 4, with the fall semester just around the corner.
“Rock VIU usually takes place on our campuses over the course of a single day,” said Maria Clemotte, Rock VIU student event lead, in a press release. “When VIU moved to a hybrid model of education delivery, we knew we had to do things differently and our team rose to the challenge, designing a series of events that will help students get to know the university, each other and their profs even though we can’t all be together face-to-face.”
Students will be encouraged to participate in orientation week from “the comfort of their living rooms,” the release noted, and returning students will be welcome to participate, too.
There will be an opening ceremony, a talent showcase, concerts, virtual escape rooms, and information will be available to students about how to connect with university services. Many of the Rock VIU events will be recorded and accessible to students through a new Co-Curricular Involvement App.
Peer mentors will connect with incoming students with “beach fire chats” and faculties will host “block party socials,” noted the press release.
“Students will be divided into groups based on area of study so they get to know other students in their own programs,” says Omar Karim, coordinator of the university’s office of co-curricular engagement and learning, in the release. “Coming to university for the first time can be nerve-racking, but it doesn’t have to be. This is your chance to build relationships with profs, make new friends and start feeling a bit more comfortable with how to access services and navigate university life.”
VIU noted that its peer mentorship program will continue beyond orientation week, through the fall semester. Students will be connected with peer mentors who will follow up with the new students “to make sure their questions are answered and they are settling in well at VIU.”