The Globe and Mail asked students about orientation experiences at their campus. Here are a few of their responses.
KOUROSH HOUSHMAND, Univeristy of Toronto:
Having just experienced Frosh, I can certainly say that it's an incredibly spirited and cultured week – full of traditions and rights of passages. For some, Frosh week may even seem as a "moral bubble" – meaning that you'd be able to do things that you couldn't do at any other time – a "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas kind of mentality." Certainly the hype of the week gets to you as a student and I'm not surprised at instances where people take their words and actions too far. A framework already exists in my opinion whereby some students may easily loose some sense of social norm during frosh week.
My experiences at U of T and Trinity College have been more than pleasant and respectful.
ANITA ACAI, University of Guelph:
From my own experiences as a student leader, it's sometimes easy to forget the influence that we can have on other students. In these particular cases, the poorly thought-out actions of a few student leaders (or a celebrity in the case of Western) influenced a large student body. In turn, the collective action of these students painted a very negative image of the culture at these institutions, even if it is not really the culture that truly exists or that the university wants to exist. ... Certainly, others who are considering attending university at these institutions might now think twice about attending these institutions because, at least for me, the culture and general feel/atmosphere of a university were important parts of my decision.
CEILIDH MILLER, British Columbia Institute of Technology
The main purpose of any post secondary institution is to provide knowledge and teach critical thinking skills. How does Frosh Week convey those principles? Clearly, the students participating in the chant showed poor judgment.
As a residence adviser and ambassador at The British Columbia Institute of Technology, we approach the first week of school as a way to orient students to campus life and set student expectations. We don't have frosh week. Our aim is to welcome students to a positive, inclusive learning environment.
Most parents have saved many years to send their children to university. Sure hope they see a better return on their education investment!