UMSU planning Frosh for winter orientation

ASBC president raises concerns about safety, priorities

With in-person classes expected to resume this coming winter semester, UMSU is planning to inaugurate the student body’s return to campus with a bash.

Aiming to ensure that students’ return isa celebration, UMSU is planning festivities for winter orientation, possibly including a skating rink on the quad and the return of the Frosh Music Festival.

“There hasn’t been an in-person event run by students [in] forever,” said UMSU president Brendan Scott.

“It’s re-engaging the students, it’s saying, ‘Let’s get back to normal life, let’s have a fun time.’”’

Usually held as part of orientation in the fall, Frosh has not been held since 2019.

Scott cautioned that winter semester will not feel totally normal — there will likely still be mask mandates and some social distancing — but the chance to socialize with other students outside of class will be a welcome change for many.

The union is considering holding a concert at venues ranging from the Canada Life Centre and the Burton CummingsTheatre to a heated tent on campus.

“There’s a lot of different possibilities, and it would involve music of some kind,” said Scott.

“We’re still trying to set our sights high but we’re understanding if we have to reel it back […] I’m optimistic to say, at the very least, that tent social idea is almost a given, that’s our worst-case scenario.”

While he would like to see more social events on campus, Arts StudentBody Council president Fardeen Zareef is not convinced about hosting a Frosh as students adjust to a “new normal.”

Zareef said arts students seem to be divided — younger students seeming to be more excited about the possibility in general and older students sharing concerns about the union focusing on the wrong thing right now.

“Everyone wants to have a good time in university and there’s nothing like Frosh to start that off,” said Zareef.

“It would be a welcome distraction for students from everything they have had to overcome during the pandemic. However, I would strongly suggest that they take the time to re-evaluate and perhaps first see how the initial week of school goes.”

“There is always time for a party but there is very limited time for students to get adjusted to a system that can be very overwhelming at times.”