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O-Week '06 Ends in Style with a Good Old-Fashioned Awards Ceremony and Bash

Saturday, September 9, 2006

  • Rozanski Hall finally being put to good use

    Rozanski Hall finally being put to good use

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

Last night, most Orientation staff and volunteers, as well as a very large bunch of miscellaneous students, filled up Rozanski’s 104 (who would’ve thought that classroom would ever be full?) to show their appreciation for the outstanding work that the volunteers, event planners, and staff have done for this Orientation Week 2006.

It was everything that an awards show was supposed to be. There was indeed a red carpet, and its corresponding line of people dressed in their finest trying to get in. The night opened with speeches by the powers-that-be: president Alastair Summerlee and Brenda Whiteside, VP for Student Affairs, both bowed several times to the standing Orientation Volunteers. Summerlee highlighted the unglamorous, but much appreciated work that OVs do to help newly-arriving students to move into residence, while Whiteside used her speech to welcome new students to UoG.

There was also something that other awards shows wished they had: a rowdy and utterly devoted crowd. Every award was underscored by a human drum roll, and the whole event was punctuated with O-Week chants and jigs. With Rozanski packed to the rafters, there were groups of people sitting in the aisles and stairs, so every recipient had their award saluted with a roar of applause.

And yes, there were award nominees. Potential nominees were suggested by students, colleagues and staff, and the Orientation team made a choice based on those nominations. While being nominated is in itself a recognition to the nominee’s work, and the event’s speakers certainly emphasized that, the night wouldn’t have been quite as fun if there hadn’t been any winners.

So there had to be winners, and winners there were. In the Outstanding Orientation Volunteer categories, Matthew Reitberg won for the North residences, Miguel de Ávila won for South, and Emily Mountjoy won for East and Off-Campus residents. Going beyond residences, Jen Gordon won the CSA Orientation award, while Meredith Rush-Inglis won in the College category.

There were also awards for the best events in the week. The Most Outstanding Small-Scale Event prize was awarded to Prairie on the Rocks, which dealt with that staple of university life, drinking. The Outstanding Large-Scale Event award went to Rock Out Down South, a joint event by all three South residence halls to showcase the talents of local bands to new students. The award for Best Collaborative Effort went to Bounce with CASU and CBS, a pirate-themed event hosted jointly by the College of Arts Student Union and the College of Biological Sciences which pitted students against faculty in an inflatable obstacles course.

The last section of the show was used to honour the Orientation Team which had worked for almost a year to make sure this one week ran smoothly. Since the positions in the team are offered yearly, it is a testament to the spirit of Orientation Week that the University can run successive, and successful, O-Weeks with such a changing roster of people in charge.

When all awards had been received and all contributions acknowledged, it was time to party! The hallway of the Rozanski building, usually a deserted and echoing cavern, was transformed into a dance floor, complete with a DJ and food and drinks for everyone, as long as supplies lasted. There was even the open-ended promise that Alastair Summerlee would personally be around later, serving drinks to students. When this correspondent left, the party was already in full swing, in what was overall a fitting end to Orientation Week and a fitting tribute to everyone that helped to make it happen.

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