Office of the Provost & Vice-President (Academic)Memorandum
TO: Members of Senate
FROM: Greg Moran
DATE: April 10, 2000
SUBJECT: Fall Orientation Activities, 2000-01
In recent years, the period of orientation activities has been reduced considerably from the full week of the past. In 1999-2000, for example, move-in for Western's residences was on Labour Day Monday, and classes commenced on the Thursday of that week. (The beginning of orientation activities is more-or-less set by the move-in date in Western's residences.) This arrangement left Tuesday and Wednesday free for orientation activities. At its last meeting, Senate established the Monday after Labour Day as the start date for classes, immediately rekindling discussions about the length of orientation, and raising fears in some that the new start date would bring a return to the full week of orientation activities. Because of the importance of the orientation period to the University, this motion is brought to Senate with the intent of establishing clearly the position of Western's senior academic body on this matter.
The University Administration, believing that it is acting with the support of the majority of the Western community, is proposing to arrange the week following Labour Day such that would provide adequate time for orientation activities similar to those of recent years, but would not allow for the full orientation week of more distant times. This plan will expand move-in at our residences to two days, Wednesday and Thursday, allowing for the substantial increases in numbers that can no longer be accommodated in a single day. This arrangement will leave a full weekday, Friday, and the weekend, free for orientation activities for all students. Moreover, for students not in residence and those who move into residence on the first day, Wednesday and Thursday will also be available, in part, for such activities. Move-in days set any earlier in the week would provide more time for orientation activities than is required and would increase the likelihood of a return to the worst aspects of orientation weeks of the more distant past.
Recommended: That Senate endorse the principle that the week preceding classes in the Fall term will allow for Orientation activities similar in nature and extent to those of recent years, but will not provide an opportunity for the full week of orientation of the more distant past.