The New Student Orientation Play, formerly known as Single & Sexy for the last 30+ years has been retired. Single & Sexy was a high-energy, entertaining, powerful presentation of scenarios and attitudes first-year students may witness or experience. In its day it was radical, thought-provoking and, dare I say, politically incorrect, to showcase the absurdity of unwanted attitudes and behaviours. It was enjoyed by over 100,000 students, staff, and faculty throughout the years, and viewed as the “Highlight of Orientation Week” by students.
As mentioned above, the play was appropriately ‘radical’ in its inception 30 years ago, however the climate and culture of students has changed, especially in the last two years of the covid pandemic. The emotional journey and triggering content may be insensitive going forward.
Conceptual shift for new student orientation play
The typical student attending their first year of post-secondary studies in 2022 may have missed developmental milestones that prepare them academically and socially for university. Students may have experienced undue consequences from the pandemic including loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and/or depression, amongst others, and academically, the past two years has seen unprecedented variation with limitations on grading systems and intermittent quality learning in secondary schools.
Consultation with our partners in WUSA and SSO, in addition to students, staff, and key campus stakeholders throughout May and June ‘optimistically’ resulted in the development of a substantially revised script to showcase the play’s 2022 mission, vision and values, updated goals and expectations, and…a new name.
The newly developed ‘TBH: To Be Honest’ student orientation play will continue to follow students though a ‘year at a glance’ and includes issues such as homesickness, consent, academic integrity, imposter syndrome, and features many supports for students. However, in an effort to embrace students, ‘TBH: To Be Honest’ is a more uplifting and welcoming, and has a strong theme to build connections and develop resiliency while attending university.