Editor, the Gauntlet,
[Re: "Administration fails U of C 101," Editorial Sep. 7, 2007.]
As one of the many student volunteers who worked on U of C 101 this past week, I am appalled by the article written about the program in the Sep. 6 issue of the Gauntlet. I understand that in past years campus groups were able to have their own optional session for students at 101. I am also aware this year, with the shortened 101 schedule, that was not the case. In today's fast-paced world you only have a moment to grab someone's attention before they lose interest. Students whose attention was not grabbed by the excited and encouraging presenters in the prescribed session "Make a Difference, Get Involved!" who talked about different campus groups would probably not have benefited from an hour-long session on one of them. Everyone who helped with the organization and running of 101 (primarily volunteers themselves) put emphasis on involvement on campus outside of the classroom. Presenters consistently encouraged students to balance academics with other worth while activities on campus and gave the new students options they could look into within the community, and the resources to find out more.
Making 101 shorter doesn't mean that any of the focus was taken away from the sense of community the university is looking for. I feel a theme of community ran through my week of volunteering right from training to kickoff. During 101 itself, the new system of making schedules for the students made it so they could be in each session with their "homeroom" faculty group. This allowed the new students to meet people from their faculty community and make connections before they start their first semester at the university. At the Induction Ceremony, all of the new students recited a pledge and, although it was dubbed "kooky" by the Gauntlet's features editor, it was something that not only unified them as new students, but gave a more official feeling to them joining of the University of Calgary community.
U of C 101 Orientation Leader