Clement Goh, Senior Reporter
Music rumbles out from speakers in a normally quiet study hall at Humber’s Lakeshore campus. But its part of the food and games offered for first-year students looking to build new relationships.
Ambience lights up the room while groups circle around an open space for introductions.
Humber’s Student Success and Engagement department organized its bi-annual FYE Race on Jan. 8 — the first in a series of events for new and returning students at Lakeshore’s Welcome Centre.
Each event is specifically designed to create welcoming spaces across the campus, while games encourage strangers to connect and collaborate.
Activities included a team marshmallow-building game, writing a letter to their future self and a custom button creation station.
Thomas Kaddour, a senior coordinator for Lakeshore’s Student Life events, said the FYE Race has been transitioning new students for six years. The experience also hopes to give those coming from high school a lasting impression of their new environment.
“So we look at the transition in a few areas,” Kaddour said.
He said the events focus on a number of transition areas, including academic, as to whether news students feel prepared to go to class, the social, whether they know people and can connect with others on campus, and culturally, as students come from everywhere.
As their first event of the semester, Kaddour said he believes it’s a chance to give students a way to meet others — even deep into the second semester.
While it’s academically the second semester, it’s “first semester for a lot of these folks,” he said.
Some students could also return to the FYE events as senior mentors ready to pass their knowledge onto younger applicants.
This time, Senior Peer Mentor and third-year Human Resources Student Andi Asri says a theme goes with every party to keep it fresh and frequent.
“Last semester, we had the Emoji party for the fall semester and now we changed it to Animal Race,” Asri said.
She believes the “success” name in the department’s title also includes teaching students the art of impressions.
“Because we understand there are some people with a different background,” Asri said.
“It’s either their first time going to college, the first time in the country or first time going back to school after a decade. So we want to make sure we help them to succeed in their transition,” she said.
Fellow Senior Mentor and third-year Public Relations student Claire Chappell noticed single guests leaving in pairs or groups — within minutes.
“We’re a lively bunch,” Chappell said.
“Quite a few of these people who are here right now walked in on their own, and then they’re already mingling around so which is good,” she said.