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Sept. 1, 2016
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University is welcoming 4,000 first-year students to its Waterloo campus community this fall with a series of orientation events taking place Sept. 5-10.

The Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union has organized an Orientation Week schedule that highlights the strengths of Laurier’s inclusive community. Orientation Week will focus on helping first-year students balance elements of student life, while achieving academic success, enjoying life in the Waterloo Region, and understanding the importance of Laurier’s student body in the community. A select list of Orientation Week events with photo opportunities for the media can be found below, including times and locations.

“Orientation programming is a wonderful way of supporting students’ transition to Laurier, as well as their personal and academic success as new university students,” said Leanne Holland Brown, dean of students in Waterloo. “Whether it’s student success sessions led by faculty champions, advice and tips provided by senior student leaders, or presentations on student wellness and safety, Orientation helps ensure students are prepared for a positive first-year experience. Every year, I look forward to opening ceremonies, and the chance to welcome our new students to the Laurier family.”

Key programming initiatives for Orientation Week include sessions covering consent and gendered violence prevention, mental health and alcohol and substance abuse related to mental health.

“Orientation Week at Laurier is an exciting time for new students to start life-long friendships and discover what it means to be a Golden Hawk,” said Tyler Van Herzele, president and CEO of the Students’ Union. “Our goal is to show first-year students that they are joining a community that values inclusivity for our neighbours and peers. It’s these values that make our contributions to both the Waterloo and Brantford communities so important.”

Events organized by the Students’ Union include student success sessions taking place throughout the Waterloo campus on Tuesday, Sept. 6, including a morning session on student mental health, and alcohol and substance abuse related to mental health by keynote speaker Drew Dudley. Dudley is the founder of Day One Leadership, has spoken to over 250,000 people on five continents, and has been featured on The Huffington Post, Radio America, Forbes.com, and TED.com, where his TED talk was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time.”

Laurier will host a demonstration about the importance of kitchen and bedroom fire safety, presented by Waterloo Fire Rescue (WFR) at Laurier’s Northdale Campus on Sept. 6. At the Room Burn Presentation, close to 3,000 students will see WFR public education officers and firefighters ignite and suppress fire in a single room to demonstrate the importance of smoke alarms, how quickly fire can spread and the importance of having an evacuation plan.

On Sept. 7, following a morning of academic information and program-specific sessions, critically acclaimed author and co-founder of the Date Safe Project Inc. Mike Domitrz will present, Can I Kiss You? This provocative presentation brings a unique approach to tackling important topics such as dating, intimacy, consent, how to be an active bystander and sexual assault. In addition, the Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group will host Complicating Consent on Sept. 8 to open discussion and consider the complexities when practising consent.

On Friday, Sept. 9, the City of Waterloo’s Pop Up Picnic will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Waterloo Park. First-year students will get to enjoy the “jewel of the city,” while playing games and learning more about city resources and bylaws. Food trucks will be on site during the picnic.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, first-year students will participate in Shine Day throughout Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford. Continuing a tradition that started at Laurier more than 50 years ago, students will wash cars, shine shoes and run barbecues to raise money for Shinerama, which helps fund cystic fibrosis research and treatment. Also on Sept. 10, Laurier will host World Suicide Prevention Day and Community Butterfly Release.

An International Orientation for Laurier’s new international students will take place Sept. 2-5. The Office of Student Affairs, the Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies and the Graduate Students’ Association, in partnership with academic programs and departments, will be hosting Graduate Student Orientation events from Sept. 6 to 9.

The Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group will run Radical Orientation Week from Sept. 6 to 9. A collaborative effort that is free for all Laurier students, Rad Week seeks to provide alternative and political programming alongside Orientation Week events, sparking discussion about important issues like heteronormativity, Indigenous sovereignty, environmental justice, and consent.

Photo opportunities at Laurier Orientation Week Events

Room Burn Demonstration, Sept. 6
Location: Laurier Northdale Campus 66 Hickory Street W
Time: 5–6 p.m.

Can I Kiss You?, Sept. 7
Location: Athletic Complex
Time: 2–3 p.m. and 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Get Involved Fair, Sept. 8
Location: Laurier Alumni Field and Concourse
Time: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

City of Waterloo Pop Up Picnic, Sept. 9
Location: Waterloo Park
Time: 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Shine Day (Shinerama 2016), Sept. 10
Location: Various locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford
Time: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.

Fall term classes begin Sept. 8, with a modified Orientation Week schedule running Sept. 8-9 to allow students to attend classes.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Tyler Van Herzele, President & CEO
Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union

T: 519-884-0710 ext. 3409

E: supresident@wlu.ca

Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications and Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070

E: kcrowley@wlu.ca

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