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Will iFrosh facilitate friendships?

by Anna Justen September 6, 2020
Will iFrosh facilitate friendships?

See how Concordia’s first-years are feeling about meeting their peers virtually at this year’s online frosh.

Concordia first-year students from all over the world came together virtually for a COVID-safe spin on frosh. ASFA has been working tirelessly to find ways for new students to make friends in concordance with social distancing measures. From Sept. 2–5, iFrosh featured workshops and games that allowed students to get to know each other in a casual social setting.

According to iFrosh coordinator Victoria Videira, the week included a scavenger hunt, a game of Clue, and events hosted by professional actors.

“We have a lot of workshops this year, which is kind of different from traditional frosh. We’re having more of an academic and social justice perspective on frosh,” said Videira.

While some students jumped on the opportunity to give virtual frosh a try, many students were understandably skeptical. iFrosh did not see the same registration numbers as traditional froshes have in the past.

Videira says she expected these reduced numbers.

“We’re at about … two-thirds of what we had last year. It’s still pretty good, but you obviously see that some people are just not interested in doing a virtual frosh, and you know, that’s their point of view.”

“I would have gone were it in-person and there was the opportunity to have real interaction as opposed to having the facade of interaction through a screen,” said Creative Writing and Journalism first-year Victor Vigas. He adds that although this is not the ideal situation, “that’s how the world is right now and I’m not upset about it.”

Ximena Turmel, another first-year at Concordia who chose not to attend frosh, agrees that she only would have chosen to attend if the events were in-person.

“I wasn’t interested in iFrosh because I didn’t really think I would easily meet people online that way since … talking on Zoom … gives me anxiety and I feel like it’s just less authentic than meeting people in person.”

Videira says she expected these sorts of opinions.

“We’ve tried to have more of an educational frosh this year, mixed with obviously the fun aspects of it, but I think … even though we’ve really emphasized that we’ve tried to find ways to bring people together, some people just might not see it.”

Others were excited to see how the week would play out. First-year Annabel Durr said she had tickets to the event and hoped it would go well. She expected the event to be awkward at first, but to get better as the days go on.

First-year History major Scarlet Guy also planned on attending frosh. She said she was excited for the coming events. She feels that what you take from the experience will all be about your outlook.

“If I come to frosh with a positive attitude, ready to make friends, and open to anything, then I think I’ll have a good time. I’ve seen a lot of negativity about ‘oh, you’re just gonna be sitting in your room drinking, like not doing anything,’ but I don’t know, if you have positivity about it and you put all of yourself into it then you’re gonna get quite a lot out of it, I think.”

At the end of the day, Videira and her coworkers at ASFA have worked hard to make the best out of an unfortunate situation.

“Frosh is still going to be the way that you meet people and make friends,” Videira said, adding that “whether you’re meeting in person or meeting through a screen, you’re still interacting and making friends.”


Graphic by Taylor Reddam

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