Winter orientation gets cold shoulder

The Concordia Student Union’s winter orientation consisted of a week of activities tasked by VP student life that many felt fell flat due to poor advertising and organization.

Although various events stretched out through the week at both campuses, including a sugar shack, Cultural Night and a night at Igloofest with the CSU, Mia Nesto, a first-year student claims she wasn’t aware of the winter orientation and if she had known about it, she would have attended.

“I may have seen signs at school but they did not catch my attention,” said Nesto. “I didn’t see any Facebook events about it either.”

This was also the case with second-year human relations student, Sabrina Marchei.

“They didn’t advertise the winter orientation enough,” said Marchei. “I don’t think I heard a lot about it at all.”

Former VP external Chad Walcott believes that although VP student life Alexis Suzuki brought in interesting ideas for the orientations this year, both initiatives were largely under-advertised.

“Orientation was not a success this year because it failed to reach students or create any real atmosphere on campus,” Walcott said.

Suzuki, on the other hand, said she believes that the winter orientation went well. She feels some events turned out better than others but claims the last two events were a hit with the couple hundred people who turned up.

“I got really sick during orientation, it was really tough for me to keep moving and I did as much as I could while I was ill,” Suzuki said. “I think there’s always things we could’ve done better but we did the best that we could.”

First-year student Meghan Birch, who attended several events last week, agrees with Walcott.

“I found it to be quite disorganized actually,” Birch said. “All the events I went to started late and the organizers were rushing around to get stuff done once they had already started.”

Walcott claimed he made suggestions about advertising and how to effectively use student media to spread the word about the events but was ignored. CSU Councillor Melissa Kate Wheeler stated that she contacted Suzuki to be put on the volunteer list for the orientation but was not put on.

Communication confusion

Last year’s VP student life Laura Glover claimed that she offered her full assistance to Suzuki after training her for the position but states that Suzuki never took up the offer.

However, Suzuki said “she never offered her assistance for winter orientation” and stated that she hasn’t heard from Glover in a long time.

“Instead of attempting to explain what her difficulties have been or even face the criticisms that we have put forth, she has chosen to avoid the issues and seems quite content to let her executive take the heat for her lack of performance,” Walcott said.

VP Loyola, Stefan Faina claims that the turnout at the Loyola campus was a success but that there is always room for improvement. “I personally would’ve liked a little more advertising,” Faina said. “I wish we could’ve had a greater variety of events.” He states that although some events couldn’t happen, they still had the chance to do the ice sculpturing and serve a large population of students as he planned.

Walcott went on to emphasize that part of Suzuki’s mandate as VP student life is to submit a post-mortem orientation report. He claims that council asked her to submit a revised report. In response to their request of a re-write, Suzuki stated she would submit a “how-to guide” on June 1, 2013, while the mandate of CSU executive ends May 31. When Walcott expressed to Suzuki that June would be too late, her response was that she would only submit it then.

Walcott claims that at the next council meeting, he will bring forth questions about the winter orientation as well.

“Part of being in executive is being accountable, and right now [Suzuki] is demonstrating very little will to be accountable,” said Walcott.

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