The Canadian Press / Jonathan Hayward photo.

UBC welcomes students back with virtual orientation

First-ever virtual orientation for COVID-19 school life begins this week

UBC students are being prepped for how to live the university life from home this week.

The university’s first-ever “virtual orientation” is getting students ready for the upcoming fall semester, where most classes are only available online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three typical orientation events, Jump Start, Imagine and Create are all being delivered in an online format.

“This is an historic moment for UBC,” says Amandeep Breen, senior director of student engagement for the Vice-President, Students. “This year marks the first time that orientation will be offered entirely online.

“Shifting to virtual orientation in response to the COVID-19 allows us to ensure the safety of our students while still offering an exciting opportunity for students to connect with one another, faculty and staff, from wherever they are in the world.”

The orientation began on Monday, Aug. 31 with Jump Start, a five-day program which gives new students a glimpse at what to expect, and an opportunity to connect with teachers and fellow students.

Using online platforms such as Zoom and Canvas, students can take part from around the world (with both live and pre-recorded activities), and virtually attend a number of scheduled events, sessions and socials.

There is also focused programming for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and the LGBT2SQIA community.

On Sept. 8, the Imagine UBC Pep Rally takes place online, keeping a UBC Vancouver tradition alive that goes back to 1997. A parallel event, known as Create Kick-Off, will happened on the same day for UBC Okanagan.

The events will feature addresses from UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono, Alma Mater Society (AMS) President Cole Evans, and UBC Students’ Union Okanagan (UBCSUO) President Ali Poostizadeh.

“In previous years, the Imagine UBC Pep Rally was only open to first-year students due to space constraints in Thunderbird Stadium,” says Breen.

“But this year, we are able to invite both new and returning students, faculty and staff, for a virtual ceremony that will include many traditional elements as well as some exciting new features that are now possible in the virtual environment.”

The AMS and the UBCSUO student unions are also leading many clubs and service groups during the orientation.

For Vancouver, first-year students are encouraged to join the Virtual UBC Collegia and the Virtual Indigenous Students’ Collegium, forums meant to meet their peers and share information and social events.

For the Okanagan, first-years will be shown the ropes by veteran students through the UBC 101 online orientation.

“While our priority is the health and safety of the UBC community, we are also committed to ensuring a high-quality virtual orientation that supports all our students in building and maintaining peer connections,” says Phil Bond, director of student development and advising in UBC Okanagan’s Office of the Associate Vice President, Students.

“Orientation may be online this year, but that doesn’t mean the student experience has to be put on hold.”

RELATED: What happens if B.C. re-enters a COVID lockdown? Psychologist says we’ll be OK

UBC

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey wrestler Jason Bains receives four-year suspension for using banned substance

Queen Elizabeth Secondary grad tests positive for steroid Turinabol, silver national medal removed

New categories announced for Delta Chamber’s Hats Off to Excellence Awards

Nominations close for two new apprentice categories on Oct. 15; other categories close on Sept. 18

UPDATED: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Peace Arch Hospital

Provincial health officer says outbreak is in the facility’s rehab unit

‘Ukrainian soul food’ fundraiser returns to Surrey hall, with a twist

COVID-19 put a stop to church group’s monthly event, but it’s back on Sept. 25

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Report raises questions about COVID outbreak that killed 25 seniors at Langley Lodge

CEO defends leaked document that’s igniting queries about BC’s most deadly COVID outbreak

PHOTO: RCMP escort beaver across busy Chilliwack road

Motorists had to exercise patience as the slow-moving creature crossed several lanes of traffic

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Man arrested in New Westminster pier park fire

Investigators don’t believe the public are at further risk and are not looking for any other suspects

Most Read