Orientation Week takes place during the days leading up to the beginning of classes. It is an excellent opportunity for new students to get to know the University, the city of Montreal, other new students, and upper-year students. Orientation Week is a collaborative event organized by diverse members of the McGill campus community.
As part of Orientation Week, Frosh is a series of events organized by university groups, clubs, or Faculty student associations. Frosh welcomes new students to McGill and Montreal through community-building activities and social activities.
Frosh is completely student-run, organized by about 100 “Coordinators” from 12 undergraduate faculty, departmental, and school associations (“Faculty Frosh”), 5 organizing committees made up of different interest groups (“Non-Faculty Frosh”), and the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) – and is supported by staff from Campus Life & Engagement, a McGill Student Services office. Over 800 student volunteers act as "Leaders" throughout the week, guiding groups of new students, and the events are supported logistically by over 350 Orientation Staff ("O-Staff").
Every year, students and staff spend months preparing to ensure Frosh is safe, fun, and inclusive. To achieve these goals, the Frosh community collaborates with numerous university offices, including the Office of the Provost and Vice Principal (Academic), the Office of the Dean of Students, le Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal, the Office for Students with Disabilities, Student Health Services, and the Office for Sexual Violence, Response, Support, and Education. Additionally, all student leaders involved in Frosh (Coordinators, Leaders, and O-Staff) receive mandatory training on a variety of topics, such as harm reduction, sexual violence and consent, equity and diversity, accessibility, and sustainability. These efforts, along with the dedication and hard work from countless other people from McGill University and Montreal, have created a positive change in the culture of Frosh.
The Frosh Community is committed to providing a safe, fun, and inclusive experience to all students. We are actively working to combat sexual violence and encourage consensual, respectful interactions. All students participating in Frosh are required to complete McGill University's sexual violence education program, titled "It Takes All of Us". This program consists of four online modules about sexual violence, consent, bystander intervention, and supporting survivors. More information about the program is available here.
Student leaders play a large role in maintaining this culture change. Here are some testimonials that highlight the impact student leaders have had on new students’ experiences during Frosh:
- “Extremely responsible but also very fun! Made sure everyone was included in activities, got home safe and that no one was pressured into drinking or anything else. Answered every and all questions. They made frosh extremely fun but also always extremely safe and responsible. Amazing people, frosh would not have been the same without them!!!”
- “The Frosh leaders were one of the best parts of Frosh! They made us feel so welcome and were very kind to everyone. They were able to set a good example of how to have fun while doing their jobs and making everyone feel safe. They talked to people who looked like they were being left out, led group activities extremely well, and always made sure to get us home safely from the evening events. I could not ask for better Frosh leaders.”
- “They helped me feel connected and checked in with me when I wasn't feeling the greatest. I now see them around campus and have a connection and friendly interactions which is really awesome.”
- “Absolutely incredible. They were always enthusiastic, knowledgeable, responsible, willing to help, and all-around great people. I cannot express my gratitude fully enough.”
- “They are excellent and they give me courage and confidence to face the university life.”
Frosh at McGill has also been publicly recognized for being safe, fun, and inclusive. Below are a few examples of this positive culture:
- The SPVM congratulated McGill University on the success of Frosh; read more here.
- McGill students and staff working to remove the emphasis on drinking during Frosh; read more here.
- Montreal’s Milton Park Citizens’ Committee praised Frosh for its improvements; read more here.
- The McGill administration, the Montreal police, and community members collaborated with Frosh to minimize incidents and offer a meaningful experience to new students; read more here.
- Frosh organizers emphasized training student leaders about safety and respect; read more here.
- The addition of Red Frogs, a peer support network of young people who stay fully sober at events and act as a harm reduction service; read more here.
- The range of diverse Frosh events available to incoming students; read more here.
If you have any questions about Frosh at McGill, please contact orientation-development [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Frosh%20at%20McGill) (Campus Life & Engagement's Orientation Development Specialist)