Bishop’s University hosts socially distanced orientation week for incoming students

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record

The 2020 incoming student’s class at Bishop’s University are kicking their first year off with a revamped orientation week including social distancing measures and masking up for events.
Each year, Bishop’s University hosts their well-known and loved orientation week, commonly referred to as ‘O-Week’, during students’ first week back on campus. While, normally, this week would include campus wide events and high-energy afterparties, social distancing and COVID-19 protocols have altered some of the traditional yearly events for Bishop’s students.
Bishop’s University Representative Council (BUSRC) President, Enzo Evangelisti, said the council wanted to ensure that they were looking at the planning from all angles. “We wanted to not only make sure we were following all public health guidelines, but also going above and beyond,” the president said. They not only collaborated with community leaders and public health, but worked alongside the student population in order to stay true to O-Week traditions. Students are now required to stay within the school and public health COVID-19 safety measures by respecting safety bubbles, social distancing at events, and wearing mandatory face coverings at all times.
In order to provide a similar experience as years prior and maintain safety protocol, organizers set up three separate outdoor bars on campus for happy hours. Here, you will find students seated and masked up ordering drinks from bartenders and engaging in activities with their table mates. Other events such as tie dying, group workouts, and a scavenger hunt around Lennoxville have been moved completely outdoors in order to allow students and staff to maintain social distancing.
BUSRC President Enzo Evangelisti said that he feels these changes have not negatively impacted incoming students and their experience. “I think students are getting an adapted version of traditional events. We were still able to do the judges parade, opening ceremonies, and even serenading the principal, just in smaller groups. The incoming class is getting the most unique O-Week in a way,” he said.
For students who have been unable to travel to campus due to restrictions, the event coordinators have even included virtual options including at-home workouts and a video game tournament. Annick Corbeil, the Manager of Student Life at Bishop’s University, expressed that these virtual events were essential to this year’s O-Week. For full story and others, subscribe now.

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