“Save the best for last” was SAC’s plan for this year’s Frosh Week.
Last Friday was SACSTOCK Orientation 2003 and thousands of students came out for the event. With the great weather, freebies, wrestling and live band, it was hard to believe that school was just around the corner.
SACSTOCK began at noon with the Clubs Carnival, which filled the streets of Hart House and King’s College Circle with booths and displays. Many clubs and organizations handed out freebies such as hats, whiteboards, highlighters, cotton candy and posters. L’Oreal gave out Pure Zone samples, the U of T Equity Gardeners gave out free plants and Craig Cook from the Varsity Christian Fellowship gave out freezies, which were a crowd favourite.
“It’s a hot day and we figure people would like some freezies. Our motto is experiencing and accepting God’s love and we are giving out freezies as part of that,” said Cook.
Besides clubs, many of the fraternity houses also set up display booths hoping to recruit new members for the school year. Brandon Cook (not related to Craig Cook) is a member of Phi Kappa Pi and is proud and excited about the coming year. “The excitement is the same every year. We get new guys that are looking to have a good time…looking to help out with the community. We do a lot of charity work and we raised a lot of money for Sick Kids [hospital] last year, so it’s a good time.”
When asked how about he feels having younger students on campus, Craig smiled and gave the following advice, “Be careful. Obviously, there are lots more younger girls out there and we all know what could happen. Just be careful and we try to keep our events all ages.”
Like Brandon Cook, many students were concerned about drinking regulations during Frosh Week since there are younger students this year. But Andrew Case, a member of the Blue Crew and one of the many volunteers for SACSTOCK said SAC did a good job in accommodating everybody.
“For the most part, people understand everybody is younger so we have to make accommodations. For those who are older, they can always make arrangements for that. But no, as far as I can see, everybody is happy that we’ve accommodated everybody. There’s something for everybody.”
Case was impressed with how everything had turned out. “It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s totally incredible. People come in and have great spirits and I think everybody is working to make it totally amazing for everybody. We started in May to get things rolling and everything came together in the past weeks. We handed out about 7,500 frosh kits. So it’s coming smoothly,” said Case.
Students from the Scarborough and Mississauga campuses also came out to be part of the celebration.
Frosh activities at U of T’s Scarborough Campus were in full swing last week, as 2,575 new UTSC students were welcomed to the campus with sports, speeches, and scads of cheap food. The record number of frosh got introduced to the place they’ll call home for the next three to four years, and learned to scream out its name as loudly as possible-over and over.
“The number alone was just overwhelming,” said Luciano Moro, a Link (the intermediate step between residence assistants and students) at UTSC’s residence village. Like the rest of the campus, Scarborough residences had a huge increase in enrollment this year. “But it was to be expected. We were ready for it,” Moro said.
Although official frosh week activities started on Wednesday, students moving into residence took part in events on Monday and Tuesday as well. The Student Residence Council headed activities that included meet ‘n’ greet games, bonfires, and more free food. A party in UTSC’s Meeting Place Tuesday night drew the highest attendance of any residence pub in memory, according to SRC President Paul Hunter.
Students also got to take part in a 24-hour interactive play put on by UTSC’s Drama Society. Drama members staged 20-minute skits in which frosh were chosen to take part. The audience also picked an object, a place, and a relationship which the play would be based around. Audience choices included lesbians, a priest and a nun, and U.S. President Bush and his intern.
As part of Scarborough’s massive wave of constuction, the townhouse residence village now has a brand new four-storey apartment complex, built this past year in order to accommodate the double cohort.
But not all of the campus’s five new additions have gone off so smoothly. The Academic Resource Centre, whose outside features shiny copper panels, has delayed its opening date by a week to Sept. 15. The blackout which swept Ontario in August was reportedly the culprit that set back the digital library and classroom complex, although how exactly it caused the delay is uncertain. Now, more than one professor is feeling ruffled for having to teach a class or two in the gym.
UTSC orientation week officially began Wednesday, with activities run by the newly SAC-free (since dropping out last Spring) Scarborough Campus Students’ Union. In addition to the usual sports in the wooded valley area and barbecque lunch, students were treated to a hilarious performance by Toronto drag troupe the B-Girlz. The Girlz were invited jointly by Cultural Affairs and the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgendered, and Queer campus resource to both entertain and raise awareness and acceptance of Scarborough’s frequently invisible queer community.
But by far the biggest day of the week was Friday. That was when UTSC trekked downtown for Shinerama, where frosh shined shoes along Bay St. to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research. Though a popular rez event each year, this time SCSU involved all of frosh in Shinerama, making the scale-not to mention the amount of change taken from businessmen’s pockets-far, far larger in comparison.
Not all first-years enjoyed the week so much, since many international students received their orientation packages too late to register in time for events, which had waiting lists. Despite these setbacks, UTSC’s first week was successful overall.
Erindale frosh enjoyed three fun-filled days at “True Blue Orientation 2003” last week. This year’s Frosh Week, run by ECSU and SAC, began Thursday with learning games, cheers, and names at the PlayFair. That night, The Blind Duck Pub hosted “Night at the Duck,” a dry event.
“There was no alcohol at the pub,” said Lejla, 19. “I don’t think a lot of people went.”
On Friday, UTM frosh headed to St. George for SAC day, which included a parade, improv entertainment, as well as lunch and dinner. That night, UTM students were on the bus to North York, where they spent the night skating at The Rinx Entertainment Complex. Saturday afternoon, many were out on the north field playing basketball, soccer, or just sitting listening to music at The Frosh Olympics. Others opted to rest up for the I Mother Earth concert, presented by ECSU and Vibe radio.
“It’s been really awesome,” says Ryan, a frosh leader and second year student. “We have a great frosh, with lots of energy. They were even making up their own cheers on the way to Toronto!” While most frosh leaders loved the experience, some found it to be frustrating at times.