Dal Another Day

Orientation Week begins Sunday

- August 31, 2007

Her Majesty's Secret Service — DSU execs Rosalie Hanlon, Gareth Stackhouse, Tara Gault, Courtney Larkin and Mike Tipping. (McNutt photo)

You Only Live Twice, but you get to experience your first week at university just once.

“When you come to university, it’s a whole new world," says Courtney Larkin, Vice President Student Life with the Dalhousie Student Union. She’s in charge of organizing DSU’s 2007 Orientation Week, taking place from Sunday, Sept. 2 through to Wednesday, Sept. 5.

“We try and take the best parts of university life and put it all together, helping our new students feel at home in the Dal community."

The schedule of events is sure to leave the future Dalhousie Class of 2011 shaken and stirred by the experience. Taking advantage of the calendar year, the DSU has christened this year’s activities “Dal 007," in honour of everyone’s favourite British secret agent, James Bond. “We figured it was our last chance to do so for the next hundred years," jokes Ms. Larkin.

New students who purchased their Orientation Packs will receive entry to the week’s events and a snazzy faux-tuxedo T-shirt.  Many activities have been given MI6-approved titles; for example, the Student Services session goes by the moniker “Never Say Never Again," and the campus-wide scavenger hunt will prove that “The World is Not Enough."

What’s Ms. Larkin’s advice for this year’s new students? “Go to as many events as you can, find out what interests you, and never stop asking questions. Be curious, and take this opportunity to learn about all the cool things you can take part in here at Dal."

Orientation Week highlights

  • “From Sexton with Love” (Sunday, Sept. 2, 1 to 6 p.m.) – A giant welcome party down at the Sexton Soccer field, complete with music, pizza, beverages, and much more. All Dalhousie students, faculty, alumni, guests and community members are invited to attend.
  • Dalhousie Induction Ceremony (Sunday, Sept. 2, 7 to 9 p.m.) – An official welcome ceremony allowing new students meet the faces of the university administration and student leadership. This year’s guest speaker is Dalhousie atmospheric scientist Tom Duck, whose lidar technology is currently soaring through outer space on its way to Mars.
  • Thunderball (Monday, Sept. 3, 1 to 6 p.m.) – If you can dodge a Tiger, you can dodge a ball. Last year this gigantic dodge ball tournament was a huge hit, and this year’s going to be bigger and better. Awards and bragging rights are at stake.
  • Shinerama (All day Tuesday, Sept. 4) – DSU Vice President Internal Rosalie Hanlon says that the DSU is already ahead of their fundraising pace from last year, with a little help from Theodore Tugboat (whom the DSU shined earlier this week). Look for Dalhousie students all around the city raising money for cystic fibrosis research.
  • Moonlight Movie (Tuesday, Sept. 4 – For the first time, the quad of the Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building will be transformed into a movie theatre with a 25-foot screen. Casino Royale and Austin Powers are both on the schedule, complete with free popcorn and candy.
  • Concert on the Quad (Wednesday, Sept. 5, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.): New students will get to hear the very best of Halifax’s vibrant music scene as the Joel Plaskett Emergency and In-Flight Safety rock the Dalhousie quad.  Dalhousie students can purchase tickets for this event only on Tuesday Sept. 4, 8:30 a.m. at the Information Desk in the Dalhousie Student Union Building.

For the full schedule of events, please visit http://www.dsu.ca/campuslife/orientation-week-007

Stickin’ it to wasted paper

DSU's USB stick.

Every year, universities and student unions across the country cram new student orientation kits with piles of pamphlets and papers, most of which eventually end up in the trash. This year, the Dalhousie Student Union has gotten creative – they’re one of only two student unions in the country to replace all that paper with a USB memory stick.

“Everyone’s trying to be more sustainable and we want to get on board, do our part to reduce paper and give students something they can actually use," says Courtney Larkin, DSU Vice President Student Life.

Each USB flash drive has three folders of content: one from the DSU, one from the university and one from the sponsors of this year’s Orientation Week. All the information that used to be in paper form is now electronic. Once students have read through the information, the 256 MB sticks are theirs to use in their studies.

Ms. Larkin explains that while most of the sponsors weren’t used to the idea, they quickly jumped on board when the DSU explained the goals of the project. The DSU hopes to continue to find similarly innovative ways to get information to students in the future.


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