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Loyalist’s Virtual Orientation prepares first-year students

By Shelby Wye

First year students are using Facebook for what it’s meant for: making friends.

The Loyalist Virtual Orientation page on Facebook is an online, public space where first years of the college can connect with other first years. They can also gain a wealth of information about the school before they even step foot in their residence room.

Kerry Lorimer, Loyalist’s communications and media relation person, says that’s exactly what the purpose of the site was for.

“It’s a place where students can reach out and meet up,” Lorimer said, “There’s already almost 400 likes.”

The page is run by alumni, student success mentors, aboriginal services representatives and residence representatives.

“The best thing about all these people joining in to run this page is the variety of perspective that we get,” said Lorimer, “So when [the first years] have a question, [they] can get a direct answer from who [they] need to talk to.”

Shannon Burley, a first year Child and Youth Work student, already spent a year in Fleming College.

“I have taken a post secondary program and wasn’t successful so when I take my second attempt at post secondary I want to be as prepared as possible,” said Burley.

Lorimer said that the Facebook page is an efficient way to get across information. The page contains information on what to bring you should bring to campus, dates to remember, and the schedule on orientation week, amongst other detailed notes.

Students also have the rare opportunity to put their name out and get talking to other first years.

Steven Schill, an incoming Broadcast Engineering student, is an extremely active member of the page. He pops up every now and then, throwing out invites to hockey games and brainstorming first-day outfit ideas.

“I want my name to be recognized if possible so people can connect with me before even knowing me,” said Schill.

Schill thinks that improvements can be made, beginning with making the page even more social.

“You can learn about people’s interest and I loved when I got responses from mine. I now talk to two people who are like my best friends without even knowing them, just from the page and talking about interests.,” said Schill.

Schill will have the chance to meet with those friends soon. Residence move in day begins Sept. 1, and orientation starts on Sept. 3.