Month of Welcome is about more than just free stuff

New students need to be willing to listen to all the resources available to them

SFU offers new students lots of untapped resources. Photo: Zeh Daruwalla/The Peak

By: Mishaa Khan, Peak Associate

Month of Welcome is an exciting time for students. With an abundance of resources, freebies, and activities being thrown their way, it’s one of the only times students can freely enjoy university without drowning in assignments, exams, and other commitments. In organizing the Resource Fair, BBQ, and fun activities, SFU excels at providing students the support they need to begin university. However, the onus lies on students to take advantage of this time to be well prepared when school starts.  

Two of the most common complaints I have heard from SFU students is that SFU is an anti-social, commuter campus, and that SFU does not care about its students enough to provide them with adequate resources. The extended Month of Welcome challenges those criticisms, providing students an opportunity to build social connections, and giving students a chance to talk to campus partners about available student supports. If, after all this, students still feel that they haven’t been given a proper orientation into the university, it’s because they haven’t fully taken advantage of the Month of Welcome.

SFU holds a Resource Fair during Month of Welcome on all three campuses: Burnaby, Surrey, and Harbour Centre. Despite this, many students are still clueless about the services SFU offers and subsequently complain. However, students are partially to blame for this lack of knowledge. Instead of complaining, students should understand what resources SFU has to offer by talking to the representatives present at each SFU student service tables.

Unfortunately, one of the problems during the Resource Fairs is that there ends up being longer lines for the free items and shorter lines where there are none. As someone who helped out during the Month of Welcome, I saw most SFU services offering freebies to attract attention, but individuals would come, grab the freebie, and leave without trying to understand the value of the resource. To get the most out of this orientation time, students need to focus on more than just swag, and actually engage with the valuable information offered at each table. 

Just as with the rest of one’s time at university, no one is going to chase new students around and tell them what to do and when to do it. Nobody will hold their hands and force them to make friends, build connections, and form the support networks they will need. The most SFU can do is put the tools in front of new students; they must be responsible for their own well-being. Students are paying for these resources, so why not take full advantage of them?