UBC prepares new orientation program for incoming frosh

August 22, 2014

The University of British Columbia and its Sauder School of Business have redesigned orientation week activities for this year’s incoming students in order to avoid insensitive and offensive behaviour such as last year’s infamous chants. After the existence of those chants surfaced last year, Sauder cancelled the organization of frosh activities by the undergraduate society and developed a new orientation program involving students, faculty, staff, and alumni that is based on guidelines developed by UBC’s new campus-wide orientation steering committee. The new program, called Spark, will include activities designed to make new students feel welcome and included while having fun. Close to 2,000 student leaders from faculties across campus have taken part in online training and in-person sessions on respectful and engaging orientations. Student leaders must also sign a commitment statement to “respect others, embrace diversity and create a community that is welcoming to all.” Committee Co-Chair Janet Teasdale said, “it doesn’t mean there won’t be any more problems ... But our approach is to focus on education. Through the process of learning about other people, and their histories, and the impact that words have on others, we hope to build a better community, and society.” UBC News | Vancouver Sun