UBCO students are being prepped for how to live the university life from home this week. (File)

UBCO welcomes students back with virtual orientation

First-ever virtual orientation for COVID-19 school life begins this week

UBCO students are being prepped for how to live the university life from home this week.

The university’s first-ever “virtual orientation” is getting students ready for the upcoming fall semester, where most classes are only available online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three typical orientation events, Jump Start, Imagine and Create are all being delivered in an online format.

Amandeep Breen, senior director of student engagement for the Vice-President, Students, said this is a historic moment for their school.

This year marks the first time that orientation will be offered entirely online.

“Shifting to virtual orientation in response to the COVID-19 allows us to ensure the safety of our students while still offering an exciting opportunity for students to connect with one another, faculty and staff, from wherever they are in the world,” said Breen.

The orientation began on Monday, Aug. 31 with Jump Start, a five-day program which gives new students a glimpse at what to expect, and an opportunity to connect with teachers and fellow students.

Using online platforms such as Zoom and Canvas, students can take part from around the world (with both live and pre-recorded activities), and virtually attend a number of scheduled events, sessions and socials.

There is also focused programming for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and the LGBT2SQIA community.

On Sept. 8, the Imagine UBC Pep Rally takes place online, keeping a UBC Vancouver tradition alive that goes back to 1997. A parallel event, known as Create Kick-Off, will happened on the same day for UBC Okanagan.

The events will feature addresses from UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono, Alma Mater Society (AMS) President Cole Evans, and UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) President Ali Poostizadeh.

“In previous years, the Imagine UBC Pep Rally was only open to first-year students due to space constraints in Thunderbird Stadium,” Breen said.

“But this year, we are able to invite both new and returning students, faculty and staff, for a virtual ceremony that will include many traditional elements as well as some exciting new features that are now possible in the virtual environment.”

The AMS and the UBCSUO student unions are also leading many clubs and service groups during the orientation.

For Vancouver, first-year students are encouraged to join the Virtual UBC Collegia and the Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegium, forums meant to meet their peers and share information and social events.

For the Okanagan, first-years will be shown the ropes by veteran students through the UBC 101 online orientation.

“While our priority is the health and safety of the UBC community, we are also committed to ensuring a high-quality virtual orientation that supports all our students in building and maintaining peer connections,” says Phil Bond, director of student development and advising in UBC Okanagan’s Office of the Associate Vice President, Students.

“Orientation may be online this year, but that doesn’t mean the student experience has to be put on hold.”

RELATED: What happens if B.C. re-enters a COVID lockdown? Psychologist says we’ll be OK

Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Majority of Salmon Arm shoppers aren’t objecting to mandatory masks

Two of the businesses requiring masks say most customers don’t mind but one person spit at employee

School District #83 asked to partner on proposed Sicamous sports complex

District of Sicamous wishes to apply for $600,000 infrastructure project grant

‘Schools are healthy’: IH medical health officer

Children have a low risk of catching and spreading COVID-19

North Okanagan-Shuswap MP: Throne speech shows failures in COVID-19 response

Mel Arnold critical of Trudeau government’s throne speech Wednesday

2020 overdose death toll rises to 73 in the Okanagan

Just under half of the deaths occurred in Kelowna

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Kamloops Mounties happened upon alleged gang-related robbery, kidnapping

Michael Mathieson is charged with armed robbery, unlawful confinement and kidnapping

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Penticton quadruple murder trial begins in Kelowna next month

John Brittain, 69, is facing three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Historic BC Tree Fruits head office in Okanagan for sale

The company’s CEO said the decision was necessary due to a fickle fruit market

Most Read