Here's some frosh perspective on the first week of school
Whenever someone joins a family – be it through a new baby being born, a marriage, adoption or any other way – it is a cause for celebration. Besides your relatives and close friends, everyone on this campus has another family: your Xaverian family. Recently, this family has welcomed another roughly 1,300 new individuals and boy, do we know how to celebrate! This year’s frosh week kicked off with a great welcome day on September 2nd . Amidst the tough goodbyes and jittering nerves, forever friendships could be seen forming everywhere.
As a transfer student that never had my own frosh week at StFX, it was quite something to watch how the houses came together so quickly. As is traditional with the school, while friendships bloomed so did friendly rivalries. One O-Crew member, Molly McIntyre said “frosh seemed really into it! Everybody was cheering and having a good time.” Before the President’s Welcome – a great speech given by our beloved President Dr. Kent MacDonald, by the way – voices thundered through the arena as houses had what was essentially an unofficial cheer off. Many voices were lost quite early in the week, and nothing less was to be expected.
StFX is a school that has a lot of strong traditions, and some of those traditions made a much anticipated appearance at frosh week. The frosh all stormed the field to recreate the iconic Giant X picture, likely to be placed in scrapbooks and hung on walls for the next three years. Then of course, who could forget the Jell-o slide? All it takes is looking at the pictures and seeing the gleaming smiles of the frosh to sense how ecstatic the atmosphere was. A staple in the frosh week experience, despite how difficult it is to wash the Jell-o away when all is said and done.
For traditions to exist though, at some point it has to be something new. This year, the frosh week organizers have come up with some new events for the frosh this year. Sean Hopkins, The U’s VP of Activities and Events, spoke a bit on the planning process. “[The committee] met weekly to pitch our new ideas and discuss them, as well as talk about revamping the returning events to make them safer and more fun for the frosh.” Evidently their hard work paid off. Among some of the new events were the carnival and X-talks, which have both reportedly received great feedback. What’s more, the Faculty Social had the biggest turn out yet, which is amazing as it provides an early opportunity to get to know your professors.
Everyone involved in frosh week worked diligently to keep frosh week a safe and enjoyable experience. The O-crew members worked closely with campus Safety and Security, and also underwent bring in the bystander and diversity training to make sure that everyone felt safe and included during the festivities. The unexpected can always occur, despite having all the safe guards in the world. Some might consider the Monsters of Schlock performance to be a blip in an otherwise successful week. Ultimately, the performance provided was nothing like the performance that had been promised and the unfortunate turn that it took was in no way able to be predicted by the organizers. It was shut down quickly and a statement was released. Furthermore, the statement included support resources for any that felt affected by the incident. I think the way it was handled goes to show that the frosh were in good hands that week. The U’s judgement was in my opinion effective and the incident was not enough to dampen the Xaverian spirit.
A good example of the persevering Xaverian spirit is our tendency towards charitable contribution. Frosh week isn’t just fun and games after all. Saturday September 9th was a day spent fundraising for Shinerama. For those unfamiliar with the fundraiser, Shinerama involves students from almost 60 universities across Canada working to raise funds for research towards finding a cure and treating Cystic Fibrosis. This year, our StFX students were spread across Antigonish and New Glasgow to collect money, which I believe says a lot about the Xaverian family as a whole. This year, just over $27,000 was raised by our students, and it’s safe to say the entire campus and alumni community are very proud of this accomplishment.
All in all, I think it would be hard to argue that this year’s frosh week was not one for the books. The goal is for incoming students to meet one another, integrate into campus life and learn about Xaverian values. Oh, and of course, to have fun! All these goals were definitely achieved this year, so I’m offering a big congratulations to the U, O-crew and all members of the planning committee. If that week was any indicator of the rest of the year, you’re in for a treat frosh.