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UTSC Frosh: Oh, I feel so good!


Roars of “UTSC! UTSC!” and “I feel goooood!” echoed across campus as more than 1,400 new students took part in orientation this week. They shouted themselves hoarse, danced through foam, met other students and faculty and got to know the school.

“It’s been fun,” says Patrick Diamond, a biology major. “I’ve met a lot of nice people. They paint a really good picture of what UTSC is going to be.”

“It looks like a pretty cool school,” says Parco Sin, a neuroscience major. “It should be fun. I can’t wait.”

The three full days of events included parties, lunches, dinners, a carnival, campus tours, and lots of cheers and chants. The Friday parade downtown will cap off the week. The point of it all, says Orientation Coordinator Julian Scheffer, is to help new students integrate into campus, and at the same time to instill campus spirit and pride.

“I always like to make sure they know that orientation is the first step to going where you want to go on campus. There are a lot of opportunities. There are no limits here,” he says.

On Tuesday, a fire alarm forced students out of the Academic Resource Centre during the official welcome, so school officials addressed the crowd through a bullhorn.

“You’ve joined us at a remarkable moment in our history,” said Rick Halpern, dean and vice-principal, academic. Not only is the campus expanding physically, he said, but UTSC is continuing to add new courses, specialist programs and majors.

The 165,000-square-foot Instructional Centre officially opened over the summer, increasing space on campus by 25 percent. The $78 million building is the largest to be constructed here since 1966, when the original Andrews Building was completed.

At the same time the site for the 2015 Pan Am Games is being prepared, with construction on the athletic complex set to begin next year. Eventually it will include swimming pools, tracks, gyms and other recreational facilities.

“The university experience will transform your life,” said principal and vice-president Franco Vaccarino. “A big part of that transformation will happen in the classroom. But a huge part of it will happen outside of the classroom.”

Vaccarino urged students to take participate in campus life and to take advantage of clubs and campus activities while here.

“Get engaged,” urged Desmond Pouyat, dean of student affairs. “Go to extracurricular activities. Volunteer. Join clubs. Come to events.”


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