Spotlight: Welcome Week Volunteers, Divya Patel and Kori Sockett

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Erin Kuepfer
Wed, 09/25/2019 - 12:00


Well Warriors, this fall’s Welcome Week is another one for the books! Your Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association welcomed new and returning students to campus in style with everything from sweet treats, to a comedy show, to an epic carnival.

Year after year, Welcome Week is such a success – largely due to what goes on behind the scenes. Welcome Week relies on the hard work and enthusiasm of countless student volunteers to keep things running smoothly and that Warrior spirit flowing. Shout out to the large crew of students that dedicated their time and energy to making Welcome Week as good as it was. You guys are awesome!

WUSA wants to recognize two students in particular for their outstanding volunteer efforts: Divya Patel and Kori Sockett.

Divya PatelDivya Patel

3A term of Biomedical Sciences

Favourite Welcome Week memory: “Sex toy bingo! It was a lot wilder and more fun than I would expect from a university-run event – truly no filters! The other volunteers and I had loads of fun decorating for the event and some of us even became friends. People were having the best time and the entire night was filled with laughs.”

Divya was noticed by Welcome Week event supervisors for going above and beyond what was expected. She was flexible, volunteering outside of her scheduled shifts, and genuinely engaged with fellow volunteers to ensure they were happy in their placements.

“Divya was an outstanding Welcome Week coordinator this term, who took a strong leadership role throughout the entire week,” says WUSA Special Events Coordinator Kierra Young. “She handled every challenging situation with ease, from tearing down an event in the pouring rain to using a brand new check in process and totally owning it! Divya was a great resource to all the team members and always ensured they knew their roles.  She was such a valuable member of this fall’s Welcome Week team!”

How does it feel to be recognized for your hard work during Welcome Week?

Amazing!! The week was exhausting, but seeing happy students having fun made every second worth it, and now being recognized for the time and effort I put into the week makes it feel even more amazing! Caught me completely off guard, but I’m very pleased! I loved volunteering for WUSA and look forward to more opportunities to do so.

What was your role on the Welcome Week team?

I was the coordinator. So basically I helped facilitate the entire event by communicating with our volunteers and the head of the event. I ensured volunteers were held accountable and given support during their shifts at Welcome Week. I also volunteered for every event set up, execution and clean up, and delegated tasks when necessary, while working alongside the other volunteers.

Why do you recommend students help volunteer with Welcome Week?

It’s a very fun week! I genuinely enjoyed my time volunteering. It’s also a great way to meet cool people from different programs and years (which can sometimes be hard). There’s set up shifts, event shifts (sign-in/food), clean up shifts and everything in between, so there’s something for everyone. There’s also free food which is always a plus!

Kori SockettKori Sockett

Program: 4A term of Psychology

Favourite Welcome Week memory: “The Carnival on Wednesday was a bit of a bust given the storm that rolled in, but I still had a good time that day. We had to pack up the different booths at the carnival, while in the middle of a downpour. It was messy and muddy and I got soaked to the bone, but it was fun to laugh about it with friends.”

A lot of the time, going above and beyond is about taking initiative. And that’s what Kori did! If someone said they needed something done, she would try and be the first person to respond. Kori was also happy to help out past her shift hours when needed, often staying late to clean up.

“She not only showed up, but always came with a great attitude toward both her fellow team members and the other students she got to interact with,” says Young. “She dove right into every task and never missed a beat!”


How does it feel to be recognized for your hard work during Welcome Week?

It feels so good to be recognized, but I'm also very shy. I wish I could call out everyone that helped out at Welcome Week and give them thanks. (Don’t worry Kori, WUSA has you covered!)

What was your role on the Welcome Week team?

I was a general volunteer at Welcome Week. There are several events throughout the week and each volunteer can select different shifts to help out at based on their schedules. A lot of the position involves serving students, setting up and cleaning event spaces, and checking people in. You get to talk to and meet a lot of new people at the university, from fellow volunteers to students partaking in the events.

Why do you recommend students help volunteer with Welcome Week?

I would recommend volunteering at Welcome Week because it’s a great way to make new connections! You have the chance to meet and get to know a lot of new people by volunteering with them. You also get the chance to brighten someone's day during a week that can be really stressful. Nothing beats the feeling of being the reason someone smiles!

Now we know who to thank behind the scenes! Feeling inspired to get involved? Winter Welcome Week is only a few short months away, and WUSA will be needing more volunteers, like these two! Be on the watch for general team member and coordinator postings on Leads in December. Welcome Week happens at the beginning of every term, so there’s always an opportunity to help out and keep that Warrior spirit burning bright!