Warm welcome for new students as Frost Week begins

The campus remains empty during the new term, but student activities are in full swing. (Courtesy of York University)

New students entering the winter term are receiving a not-so-frosty welcome during Frost Week, which began on Friday, January 8. Despite COVID-19 restrictions keeping classes and activities strictly online, those hosting Winter Orientation hope to provide as much of the frosh experience as they can virtually. 

“It is one of the best ways to build relationships and to have other new and current students meet, even though the world is going through a rough time and we are not able to do an in-person frosh,” says Kiara Glynn, vice-president of social affairs for Founders College.

Faculty and college orientations were held virtually on Friday, with students able to attend the online events for their designated groups. A Virtual Service Fair also took place on the same day, showcasing different resources and supports available to new students.

For those attending virtual Frost Week, the fun is just beginning. Most colleges have a full week of online activities planned, beginning January 11. 

“This is everyone’s first year in an online setting. That being said, this year’s Frost Week will be full of fun, virtual events where attendees can enjoy them from the safety of their home,” says Kyle Fernandes, New College’s vice-president of social affairs. 

“Winter orientation is a great way to make friends because everyone is in the same boat. Everyone wants to enjoy the week and fully experience university life, all while making friends along the way.”

While some might have reservations about virtual frosh events feeling watered-down or less rewarding, Fernandes assures that this will not be the case. As an orientation leader for the fall frosh events, he experienced York’s first-ever online frosh, and can attest to his experience.

“Many people were skeptical about it, and contemplated if it was even worth going to since it was online. By the end of Frosh Week, I can firmly say that every single person who attended it was able to make new friends and connections with not only the other first-year students, but the upper-year students as well,” he says. 

Some even say the virtual events will also provide certain benefits in-person experience lack. For those who feel less comfortable meeting countless new people in crowded settings, an online Frost Week provides new avenues to connection.

“Students can also come to events without having to show their face or even talk, so it is more flexible with people’s comfort zones,” says Glynn.

Even beyond Frost Week, members of college councils encourage new students to reach out and get involved. 

“Many of the college councils and other student run organizations are still active on their own Discord servers and on social media,” says Boyan Demchuk, president of Winters College Council. “The best way for new students to meet people virtually is for them to come by to our events and meet other first-year and upper-year students.”

About the Author

By Sakeina Syed

Former Editor

Sakeina Syed is a former Excalibur news editor, and remains a dedicated Excalibur reader.


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