“Your Story Starts Here”

O-WEEK, Tedi Buffett
  “Your Story Starts Here” was the theme of Mt. A’s Orientation Week this fall, celebrating the new chapter many Mounties are embracing. With karaoke BBQ, headphone disco, and Tantramar’s Corn Boil, incoming Mounties received a warm welcome from the Mt. A community. Orientation Week 2023 welcomed over 700 first-year students to campus. Additionally, over 100 volunteers arrived early to Sackville to prepare for the welcome week. Through the activities they ran, the volunteers made the experience fun, exciting, and inclusive for new students. In addition, Mt. A also hosted an international orientation and a pre-orientation for students registered with the Meighen Centre.  Orientation kicked off on September 1, with students moving into residences and meeting their house executive teams. Pilei Nipi, a ceremony that commemorates the start of a student’s time at Mt. A, greeted students and their parents in Convocation Hall. Pilei nipi means a “new leaf in the tree” in the Mi’kmaq language. Afterwards, students went to Carpe Diem, a fun and spirit building event for first-year students. Here, students learned their house cheers and showed off their house pride. During their first weekend in Sackville, students could be seen enjoying the annual corn boil at the Bill Johnstone Memorial Park, a first-year banquet at Jennings, a headphone disco, and paint night.   During the week leading up to classes, there were many other fun events such as Mt.A.-Mazing race, informative panels, a comedy show, a board game night, movie night, and the finale, the iconic Lip Sync Battle. Orientation Week concluded with Shine Day, a Mt. A fundraiser where students raise money for cystic fibrosis research and patient support. Volunteers raised money in various ways, like car washing and receiving donations on street corners. Not only was orientation an enjoyable experience for students, but it was also an informative event where they learned about the Red Zone, harm reduction, and supports available at Mt. A.  Many students made new friends and connections, all while learning about their new life at Mt. A. I spoke to a first-year student who reminisced on their experience, “I liked it, everyone was super enthusiastic! It made me feel better about the transition.” Orientation Week 2023 welcomed new students to Sackville and celebrated the new experiences, friends, and connections students will gain at Mt. A. 

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