McGill Orientation Week is a big event — not just for students, but for parents and families of new students as well. Read below for information, events, and FAQs specifically for parents and families of new McGill students.
What to do before & during Orientation Week
Parent Summer Webinars: Are you wondering how you can support your daughter/son as they transition to McGill as new university students, both now and during their first year? Then join Leslie Copeland, McGill’s First-Year Coordinator, and learn what she has to share from her many years of working with first-year students. Some of the topics covered include: the role of parents/family, support resources at McGill, confidentiality, transition issues that may arise, health insurance, and the role of Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) in supporting new students.
Pre-Arrival Online Events for Parents: Participate in an Online Send-Off and connect with fellow first-time McGill parents/guardians online! Kick-start your McGill parent experience by chatting one-on-one with other first-time McGill parents/guardians from your country and around the world. Walk away with several new connections!
Stay informed: This summer, CL&E has been sending weekly emails to the incoming class of undergraduate students. They contain information on several important first-year topics, and are all accessible in CL&E’s publication archive. You can refer to these emails if you have questions about your student’s first-year experience. You can also visit the Family/Parents of New Students webpage for more information and resources. Feel free to contact CL&E if you have any general questions. No matter what your question is, we either know the answer or know someone who does. Please note that CL&E cannot provide or disclose any information about a particular student at McGill.
Parents Tent and info sessions: Join us August 24-26, 2018 at our giant white tents on campus so we can welcome you to the McGill family! Parents Tent is an opportunity for parents and students alike to get answers to pressing questions, sign up for services and connect with other McGill families. Register now!
- Downtown Campus: on the lower campus green from Friday, August 24 to Sunday, August 26, 2018
- Macdonald Campus: in front of Laird Hall on Sunday, August 26, 2018
Montreal is one of North America’s most cosmopolitan, dynamic and multicultural cities. It combines all the amenities of a large modern city with a rich history and diverse landscape, and provides a host of exciting cultural opportunities to explore. Why not take the opportunity to discover what Montreal has to offer before you head back home? Tourisme Montreal is a great resource to help plan an itinerary during your stay. McGill also has its own museum on campus containing exhibits on popular specimens including dinosaurs, shells, mummies and a wide variety of Quebec minerals.
Can I/my family participate in Orientation Week activities and events along with my child?
All Orientation Week activities, except for Parents Tent-related activities, are for new McGill student participants only.
Are Orientation Week and Frosh just a week-long party?
While there are social elements to many activities and events during Orientation Week, this is also a valuable time for new students to learn about important services and resources at McGill, as well as prepare for the semester and their academic and extracurricular success. In particular, Campus Life & Engagement’s Discover McGill: Academic Expectations workshops are available during Orientation Week to help students start off their semester on the right foot. Discover McGill day will also include time dedicated to having new students learn about on campus resources as well as get oriented within their particular faculty.
What else should my child do during Orientation Week to prepare for the semester?
Apart from the fun activities, Orientation Week is a great opportunity to get organized for the semester. Getting a student ID is top on the list. Also, you may want to work on getting a Canadian cell phone number and bank account for your child, if they do not already have one. The Parents Tent is prepared to guide you in the right direction, or you can visit Campus Life & Engagement’s First-Year Montreal Essentials page for more information. Although most course material/textbook lists are given out at the first day of class, you may want to stock up on stationery and McGill gear by heading to the Le James McGill Bookstore.
What is Frosh?
Part of Orientation Week, Frosh is a student-run, multi-day event coordinated by a club, group, or Faculty student association and is primarily comprised of social activities. Faculty Froshes group students by faculty/school while Non-Faculty Froshes are available to all new McGill students and are based more on specific interests or religious backgrounds. Frosh is part of the larger Orientation Week, which is the period encompassing all the different events for incoming students hosted by a number of groups.
Will Frosh be supervised?
During Frosh, students are grouped with and accompanied by Frosh Leaders (upper-year students) who are thoroughly trained to promote, above all, a safe environment for participants. All students will be given the contact information for their Frosh Leaders, and students are encouraged to contact them when needed. In addition to Frosh Leaders, Frosh Coordinators (student organizers) are on hand and clearly identifiable to ensure the smooth running of the event. All students who are involved in Frosh coordination and execution are heavily trained by McGill University staff.
What is included in the Frosh price? Shouldn’t students under 18 pay less?
Almost all other Orientation Week events besides Frosh are free. The Frosh price gains students a Frosh bracelet which gives them access to transportation, entrance to venues and large-scale events, food and beverages, Frosh bag with swag, and much more, including week-long communications and harm reduction team support.
Alcohol factors in minimally into the Frosh price. For this or other reasons, students of any age are asked to pay the same price. In fact, the increased costs associated with organizing and ensuring the availability of Frosh events that students of all ages can attend would mean that technically students under 18 “cost” the Frosh organizing teams more than those over 18.
Can my child get their Frosh payment reimbursed?
If your child would like to unregister for an event they have already paid for, they will need to contact the event coordinators for that event. Refunds are rarely given once Frosh has begun unless it is for extenuating circumstances.
Can my child just register and pay for certain Frosh events?
Unfortunately we cannot logistically offer à la carte pricing or registration to any events during Frosh.
What are the rules about alcohol during Frosh?
Alcohol will be available at select Frosh events and will be available only for students who are above the age of 18, the legal drinking age in Quebec. Frosh Leaders are well-equipped to accommodate students who do not wish to consume alcohol (regardless of age), and an overconsumption of alcohol is not encouraged. Also, all servers of alcohol on campus have been trained prior to Frosh, being granted the responsibility to serve alcohol by a university education program, Server Training.
Students under the age of 18 should not feel that their age will hinder their Frosh experience. Because of the hard work of event coordinators, the large majority of events during Orientation Week and Frosh are all-ages and there is almost always an event that underage participants can attend at any given time. If your child drinks when they are underage, it can have consequences (legal and otherwise), not only for them, but for the entirety of Frosh.
What do you need to bring during Frosh?
Although food and beverages are provided, students are encouraged to fill their Frosh bag with snacks and a water bottle, as well as sunscreen, identification, health insurance information, and a phone (in a Ziploc bag!). Students should also bring along some cash to pay for any additional items they may want to purchase. Don’t forget to pack any necessary medical supplies such as allergy medication!
My child does not like his/her Frosh group. Can it be changed?
We want Frosh to be a great experience for all students! Feel free to encourage your child to speak to a Frosh Coordinator about the situation, and they will do their best to accommodate your child.
I am concerned about safety during Frosh events.
In order to ensure safety during Frosh events and throughout the year, a number of services are available for the McGill community.
The McGill Student Emergency Response Team is present during Frosh and any public event at McGill. In addition, McGill Security Services patrols both campuses 24 hours a day.
Volunteer members of the student-run Walksafe program are available to escort anyone home, anywhere on the island of Montreal. The free Drivesafe program is available to take students home from campus events and during scheduled patrols.
Although Montreal is known as a relatively safe city, all normal safety precautions should be taken.
Why did my child get condoms in their Frosh bag?
On our campus, all incoming residence students and Frosh participants are given condoms in their orientation bags/kits. These are provided by Healthy McGill, our University health promotion group and ensure that relevant health materials are available to all students, regardless of their level of sexual activity. Whether students choose to use these for their own needs or are able to help out a friend in need, accessibility to safer sex supplies encourages students to make healthier choices and encourages well-being.
We’re confused! What next? Where should we go for help with anything?
Feeling overwhelmed with Orientation Week or anything else related to your child’s transition to McGill? The Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) office is the place to go when you do not know where to turn to. Call CL&E at 514-398-6913. Email CL&E at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find CL&E in the Brown Student Services Building on 1010 Sherbrooke Street (entrance off Metcalfe Street) in Suite 203. However, do not hesitate to ask around for help. Visit the Orientation Week AskMcGill information kiosks and our McGill staff and student staff should be able to answer your questions or direct you to our office.
I have a concern about something I’ve heard about Orientation Week. Whom can I contact?
Depending on the nature of the concern, it is likely best to first contact Campus Life & Engagement. Serious concerns about student behaviour can be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students. Above all, however, we encourage you, where possible, to have your child initiate the communication. We may be legally unable to provide you with any specific information if your child has not given their express consent.