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Thousands of students piled into McMahon Stadium for Kickoff during orientation week.
Louie Villanueva/the Gauntlet

Record numbers attend o-week

New students have positive experiences before school year

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First-year students flocked to the University of Calgary’s orientation week in record numbers on September 4–7, engaging in many opportunities presented by various clubs and organizations found on campus.


A record number of 3,538 students attended events like Campus Carnival, Night on the Students’ Union and more. Over 5,000 attended the Kickoff and tailgate party at McMahon Stadium, the highest attendance since 2006.


According to SU vice-president student life Hayley Wade, the success of this year’s orientation week brought students together and gave them a chance to get engaged with different opportunities on campus.


“We had a really successful orientation week this year. We followed the same format that we have followed for the past three years now, and we have been growing our numbers year after year,” said Wade. 


The events presented at orientation gave students insight into the many ways they can become involved on campus and expand their experiences beyond the classroom. 


The U of C has over 300 clubs and student organizations, as well as many leadership opportunities, all of which add to the quality of many students’ university experience.


“There wasn’t anything we did too differently this year, other than continue to expand some of the programming we already have. It was great to be able to interact with all the first-years and welcome them to the U of C,” said Wade. 


Wade said students have a lot to look forward to in the year to come, with many new events and services put in place to enhance student life on campus.


“There are many different things students can get involved with, and there is something for all of our new students to be excited about,” said Wade, mentioning clubs, volunteer services, peer mentoring, leadership, Tri-Media and others. “There really is something for everybody.”


According to first-year sociology student Natalie Shymka, the change from high school to university is a big stepping stone, and the events of orientation week helped lay the foundation for an easy transition.


“It’s a pretty big change from high school, and everything that happened last week got me excited to be in university,” said Shymka. “I thought there was a lot of opportunities for first-year students to get involved right off the bat.”

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