About 5,000 new Gryphons will experience life at the University of Guelph for the first time during Orientation Week, Sept. 5 to 12.

Numerous events including the U of G president’s welcome and special lectures will introduce first-year students to opportunities available on campus and in the community. Some 800 volunteers and 200 event planners will be on hand during the week.

“Orientation Week is about helping students establish a foundation to be successful in their first year at the University of Guelph,” said Rob Routledge, coordinator of orientation programs in Student Life.

The theme for this year’s orientation events is “I am a Gryphon.”

Routledge said, “Gryphons are determined, caring, authentic, respectful and engaged. We want to ensure that new students know what this means when they arrive – that they come here for a purpose, will treat each other the way they want to be treated, and be passionate and engaged.”

Hundreds of events are planned for Orientation Week, including:

Sept. 5

  • Residence move-in day; some streets adjacent to campus will be closed to outside traffic.
  • Free barbecue at residence halls
  • 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Rozanski Hall: Welcome to campus by president Franco Vaccarino; Brenda Whiteside, associate vice-president (student affairs); and representatives from the Central Student Association (CSA) and the Centre for New Students
  • Evening: CSA block party, Branion Plaza, live music, carnival-style games, food and dancing

Sept. 6 – 8:

Hundreds of events designed to help students get ready for the first day of classes, make new friends and connect with U of G. Highlights include:

  • Can I Kiss You? This session focuses on preventing sexual assault and promoting taking care of each other
  • Inroads (academic event to teach students the ropes of university life) and scavenger hunts
  • Gryphfest, a carnival and music festival featuring Guelph talent
  • Small-scale events, including yoga in the arboretum, scavenger hunt, board games, downtown tours, tree planting and many more

Sept. 8

7 p.m., Alumni Stadium: Annual pep rally and orientation volunteers “boogie”

Sept. 9

  • Meetings for academic majors
  • President’s welcome and BBQ for first-year students
  • 12:30 p.m, Gryphon Field House: Induction ceremony including academic procession, remarks by U of G president Franco Vaccarino and chancellor David Mirvish. Alumni will attend to welcome new students.
  • Afternoon: Lecture series for new students
  • Evening: CSA games night and Orientation Week concert, Gryphon Field House

Sept. 10

  • First day of classes
  • Free the Children celebration and dance featuring Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children

Sept. 11

  • Classes, free ice cream cones from senior administrators in Branion Plaza, evening hypnotist show

Sept. 12

  • Visit Guelph’s Farmers Market, various events
  • Evening: visit to drive-in movie theatre

Organizers hope new students will establish relationships with friends, resources, professors and upper-year students, said Routledge.

“Students should leave Orientation Week feeling prepared for classes, knowing where to get help when they need it, and having made a friend or two to enjoy the ride with.”

For a full list of Orientation Week events, visit startonline.ca/oweek2015/ or search on Twitter @uog_oweek or for the hashtag #IAmAGryphon.