U of C 101 wraps up: the post-mortem

By Krista Harvey

It’s time to put your sunglasses away; U of C 101 is no longer stealing our sunshine. The three day orientation program wrapped up last Friday.

Acting Co-ordinator Amy McEvoy said the event went well.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive," said McEvoy.
"We are very pleased with the way the week went," she added. "We saw an incredible amount of spirit and sense of community."

The Associate Vice-president of Student Affairs Peggy Patterson said another benefit of the program is that it lasts three days.

"There is no university in Canada that runs a program like this," she said. "The majority of them are one day long."

Among the sessions offered were elective sessions by Campus Recreation which covered topics from kayaking to rock climbing. The newest elective session, "There’s Something About Money," was a cooperative effort between Student Awards and Financial Aid, the Students’ Union, the Royal Bank, CIBC and U of C 101.

Despite the success of the program, one misconception people have is that the program is a five-year plan that may not continue after five years, said McEvoy.

"Five years from now students will still need to be oriented," she said.

McEvoy added that what they meant by the five-year plan was that it wasn’t going to be perfect the first or second year, but it was something they were going to learn from each year, as the program evolved and changed.
High school graduates were not the only students who made use of the program.

"We actually had a couple students this year call us who said ‘I didn’t go to U of C 101 because it was before my time… I really think I need it, can I come?’" said McEvoy.

Patterson was mistress of Ceremonies at the Sept. 7 Parent Orientation at the Red and White Club. "It’s a multi-step orientation that includes connecting with the parents," she said.

Parents were told the university was not obligated to inform them of their son/daughter’s grades since their children were now adults. Many parents objected to this, said Patterson, but it did not take away from the overall success of the program.

Patterson estimates the attendance of this year’s U of C 101 to be between 5,000-5,500, similar to last year.

"I think that the program went really well," she said. "It was really good for helping faculty and staff to connect with new students in ways they never have before."

The necessity of the program is further endorsed by evidence that the program may be helping students’ grades.

"The research we have today indicates that the students that attend U of C 101 perform better academically than students who do not attend 101," said Patterson.

Although Patterson feels this research validates the need for
the program, its future remains in question.

"There is a question of how it will be paid for in the future," said Patterson.