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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

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Sept. 1, 2016
For Immediate Release

BRANTFORD – Downtown Brantford will soon come alive with the sights, sounds and colours of “O-Week” as Wilfrid Laurier University welcomes 575 first-year students to its Brantford campus. Orientation Week includes a series of 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 Brantford, 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.

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 on the Brantford campus is an unforgettable week of activities and events to help integrate incoming students into both the Laurier and Brantford communities,” said Adam Lawrence, dean of students for the campus. “The Students’ Union has worked extremely hard this entire summer – with the help of nearly one hundred senior student volunteers – to create a week that will help prepare students for any academic, well-being, and personal challenges that they may encounter in the coming year.”

“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 Brantford 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,, and, where his TED talk was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED talks of all time.”

On Sept. 7, 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 Consent 201 on Sept. 9 to open discussion and consider the complexities when practising consent.

Also on Sept. 7, Brantford Mayor Chris Friel will host lunch with first-year students. The Mayor’s Lunch will take place from noon-1:30 p.m. in Harmony Square.

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.

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. 6-9.

The Laurier Students Public Interest Research Group will run Radical Orientation Week from Sept. 6-9. 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 

Can I Kiss You?, Sept. 7
Location: Athletic Complex
Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

Mayor’s Lunch with Mayor Chris Friel, Sept. 7
Location: Harmony Square
Time: noon-1:30 p.m.

Shine Day (Shinerama 2016), Sept. 10
Location: Various locations in Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Brantford
Time: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

  • Laurier’s Waterloo campus will also be running Orientation Week activities for 4000 first-year students.

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



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

T: 519-884-0710 ext. 3409


Beth Gurney, Associate Director
Communications and Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.756-8228 x5753



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