As Orientation Weeks around Ontario come to a close, thousands of incoming first year engineering students are beginning to get into the swing of university and college life. The first few days at a new school, and possibly in a new city can be incredibly intimidating. It is for this reason that Orientation Week is such an important part of the post-secondary experience.

Every school has their own traditions and events, making every engineering Orientation Week unique. However, they all serve the purpose of welcoming new students into the school and faculty at which they will spend the next 4 – 7 years of their life. A sense of community is fostered and prominently put on display during the week, and it’s this community which really forms an emotional attachment between a school and its students. As an organization which unites the engineering schools of Ontario, ESSCO would like to take this opportunity to display some of the exciting events and traditions engineering students from across the province have.

Conestoga College

In the below pictures, the Conestoga Orientation Week Organizing Committee can be found posing with their school’s mascot, The Nut. One of the events run this year was a water balloon fight between all the first years. This was a great opportunity for them to mingle with each other and get familiar with their school’s environment.

McMaster University

The students of McMaster Engineering took to the streets of downtown Hamilton on September 5th for their annual Bus Pull event in support of Shinerama, a charity supporting Cystic Fibrosis research. Every year, the incoming first year students, led by their Welcome Week leaders, pull a city bus through downtown Hamilton. This event is their main source of fundraising for Shinerama as both leaders and first years use the event as an opportunity to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis. Despite the stormy conditions this year, through endless cheering, stopping traffic (with a police escort of course), and overwhelming enthusiasm, the Mac Eng students managed to encourage the people of Hamilton to donate $850 to this worthy cause.

University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa engineering students run an event called Couch Carry. It is a scavenger hunt where first year students carry a couch around the city and take pictures in various locations. The following pictures are with the donkey in the Byward Market, in the Rideau Mall, in the Chateau Laurier and on Parliament Hill. It is a great way for students to see different parts of the city, since many of them arrived in Ottawa only a few days prior. It is also done in teams and provides a great opportunity to meet new people while having a lot of fun.

Ryerson University

One thing unique to Ryerson Engineering frosh is the Purple Parade Island Day. Starting off the day with Purpling, hundreds of engineering frosh and leaders then make their way to Center Island via a big parade through downtown Toronto. During the parade portion, students showcase their engineering spirit through singing, impromptu dance parties and the ever present mass of purple bodies hitting various notable locations such as Yonge/Dundas Square, City Hall, and Bay Street! The day ends at Center Island, where students enjoy a BBQ, the beach and various activities all the while mixing and mingling with one another!

University of Waterloo

Every Orientation Week, all of Waterloo’s incoming first year engineering students compete in an event called Junkyard Wars. Their creativity and ENGinuity are put to the test in a series of challenges which involve building contraptions entirely out of junk. The First Years are tasked with building objects which cover many different engineering fields, including a bridge, an electric circuit, a water filter, a boat and more. The goal is to impress the Education Committee, so points are awarded not only for the effectiveness of the device but for team spirit and enthusiasm as well. The event comes to close with each team launching hockey balls from their catapults!

University of Western Ontario

Every year in Western Engineering, there is a major build that reflects the Orientation Week theme. This year, the theme was Pi-Rates (yes, as in 3.14), and what could be more appropriate to build than a giant pirate ship? Featuring two masts weighing in at over 300 lbs each, and a deck 7 feet off the ground, the pirate ship was unveiled at the end of Orientation Week at Western’s closing ceremonies. Two cannons capable of fire were also built. It was a great achievement for the engineering team, and served to excite the frosh by demonstrating the creative, fun side of engineering. Engineering doesn’t end in the classroom, and doesn’t have to be boring.

A unique event to Western Engineering’s O-Week is an event called Epic Pull. It is the largest event run for Shinerama by the engineering team, and consists of the team pulling a fully-loaded fire truck past the University Community Centre to raise money for charity. This year the students of Western made the epic pull on September 4th; some pulling in teams, some deciding to take the plunge and pull the truck solo.

University of Windsor

This is the second year Windsor has held the Cardboard Boat Races at the St. Denis Pool. Each team is given some cardboard, a roll of duct tape, and a roll of packing tape and are told to build a boat. Points are awarded for style, how many people fit in the boat, and how many times the boat came make it across the pool.

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