Online Welcome Week Brings Students Together to Chat, Play Games, and Learn About KSA Services

From Sept. 22 to 24, the Zoom event offered morning and evening drop-in sessions for students

This year, welcome week hosted by the KSA was entirely online. (Instagram/ @ksacouncil)

Despite some hiccups along the way, the Kwantlen Student Association’s Welcome Week event on Zoom left students chatting and laughing.

With most campuses closed, Shannen Johnson-Barker, KSA Events Coordinator, knew she wanted to organize something for students.

“Trying to figure out how to actually get the information out to students was a bit of a struggle because ordinarily we would do postering and have volunteers go around,” she says. “It came together a bit last-minute because we wanted to see how KPU orientation ran, in terms of timing.”

Students could be learning from their home countries in potentially different time zones during the event, which she considered during the planning process.

“I scheduled [the sessions for] 9:00 am and 7:00 pm because both of those times were orientated for students on both sides of the world to join in,” she says.

On Tuesday’s sessions, they covered clubs, the KSA’s volunteering program, and Active KSA. On Wednesday, they focused on the MultiPass program and Sustainable KSA, and on Thursday, they discussed the Health and Dental services and KSA Peer Support.

The goal of hosting Welcome Week is to create a comfortable space for students to hang out and learn about some of the services that the KSA offers.

If students didn’t want to use their camera or microphone, they could still play online games and type in the chat. This is something that both peer support coordinators Kiran Natt and Kayla MacGillivray, who hosted Thursday’s sessions, feel worked in the event’s favour.

“Students feel more comfortable to be open, possibly, to share. There is no pressure to be overly chatty, so students can just pop in on their own leisurely time and have a safer space to kind of just be,” MacGillivray says.

“I think in person, sometimes students will be walking by and they feel like, ‘Oh, what if they’re trying to sell something? We’re just going to walk away and pretend we don’t see them.’ They’ll be on their phones or something,” says Natt, referring to past events hosted on campus.

During this year’s Zoom sessions, hosts announced new partnerships that offer special opportunities to KPU students.

One of these partnerships is with SPUD, a grocery delivery service with a passion for sustainability. At the beginning of each month until December, there are 100 $25.00 SPUD gift cards available to be claimed by students.

Another deal they discussed for students was TBC Indoor Kart Racing, which is offering a limited supply of free go-kart passes until Oct. 31.

If you’re interested in these opportunities, email your student number and proof of enrollment to ksaspud@kusa.ca or gokart@kusa.ca.

To stay up to date on what the KSA is offering and their future events, follow their Instagram @ksacouncil.

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