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Guiding statement

The following guiding statement was developed through consultation with students, staff and faculty and has served as the vision for Orientation 2016.

The University of Waterloo believes in preparing students to have intellectual, cultural and social success and Orientation 2016 created an exceptional opportunity for new students to experience this. We created an inclusive community that values interconnection, diversity and independence.

Together, our staff, faculty and upper-year students created a framework for knowledge enhancement that empowered students, invited self-discovery and choice in ways that challenged, supported and invited progression and growth. Our simple and responsive approach ensured that everyone was well informed and understood the value of Orientation in successful student transitions and sent clear messages to know what it is to feel that you belong and what it means to have Warrior and faculty pride.

A phased approach

Students, staff and faculty members worked with an external facilitator to create a plan for Orientation 2016.

Phase one, January 12 -19, 2016

During the first phase of consultations, participants shared their perspectives and envisioned the future of Orientation. 

Key stakeholders who could not attend theses sessions were consulted either in person or via an email interview. The Federation of Students Students' Council was also interviewed to provide feedback on the process.

Phase two, Tuesday January 26, 2016

The second phase of Orientation planning asked the working group to design their way forward to Orientation 2016.  The team reviewed key elements and images from phase one, as well as the existing Orientation mission and guiding principles.

By end of day, the working group developed five key themes to focus on during phase three:

  • Programming
  • Authentic support
  • Communication
  • Resource use
  • Tools & measures

Phase three, Friday January 29, 2016

During the third phase, members of the working group provided feedback on the key themes identified in phase two. They then created a plan for action, identified key deadlines, and assigned a leader for each theme.

Phase four, ongoing

During the fourth phase, a finalized orientation schedule (.pdf) was created.  In the coming months, Orientation Advisors will continue to work through the action items associated with each of the five key theme areas.

Orientation Working Group

  • External facilitator

    • Christie Andrus, The Human Factor 
  • 1 Steering Committee Member
    • Chris Lolas, Federation of Students 
  • 1 student from each faculty (6) 
    • Applied Health Sciences: Moses Aaku
    • Arts: Brandon Rad/Danielle Burt  
    • Engineering: Adelle Vickery
    • Environment: Melanie Osmond
    • Math: Calvin King-Wan Tang
    • Science: Madison Mackinnon
  • 1 Professor 
    • Ian VanderBurgh, Faculty of Mathematics 
  • 1 Federated and Affiliated College member 
    • Jonathan Collaton, Renison University College
  • 1 support staff member
    • Erica McKellar, Student Success Office
  • 1 faculty support staff member
    • Gayle Goodfellow, Faculty of Mathematics
  • Special Populations
    • Ashley McKnight, Student Success Office
  • Housing and Residence staff member
    • Ariel Stables Kennedy, Housing and Residences
  • Orientation Advisor Committee (10)
    • Leanne Wright, Applied Health Sciences
    • Stephanie Bromley, Arts
    • Robin Jardin, Engineering
    • Christina Pope, Environment
    • Tracey Szarka, Math
    • Krista Mills, Science
    • Becky Wroe, Federation of Students
    • Taylor Kerstens, Federation of Students
    • Jenna Hamshire, Student Success Office
    • Jessica Bondy, Student Success Office
  • Current FOC (3)
    • Rachel Warner, Arts
    • Aryn Cain, Engineering
    • Jimmy Quach, Student Success Office

Share your feedback 

Questions, comments and concerns about the Orientation planning process can be directed to