Planning orientation events


Student-organized orientation events are a large part of the campus culture. With such a significant impact on the experience of community members, it is important to understand the established goals and guidelines.

If you have any questions about any of this content, please contact your Associate Dean.

Planning an inclusive event

Planning for inclusive events for a community as diverse as ours can seem like a difficult task. However, it is important to keep in mind that the goal isn't to plan events that will interest and engage every single member of the community. Rather, the goal of hosting inclusive events is to ensure that during the planning, promotion, and implementation, event organizers consider unintentional barriers that may make some members of our community feel unwelcome.

As students, faculty and staff at UBC, we have a commitment and responsibility to ensure that we promote and facilitate a respectful environment in all that we do. Community events are a large part of UBC's campus culture and have a significant impact on the experience of community members. Whether they take place on or off campus, these events provide opportunities for community members to interact formally, learn and build lasting social connections. All members of our community should feel welcome and comfortable in taking part in campus events.

Get tips on accessible and inclusive event planning from the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office.

UBC-wide goals for student orientation and transition

Consider the university-wide goals for the orientation and transition of new undergraduate students:

  1. Welcome students to the UBC community in a positive, inclusive, and respectful manner and introduce new students to the values, responsibilities and expectations of members of the UBC community
  2. Orient and transition students to the social, academic, and/or physical environments of UBC Vancouver.
  3. Introduce incoming students to the resources, support structures, and skills to help them be successful as scholars and engaged members of the UBC community in their first year and beyond.
  4. Introduce students to involvement opportunities at UBC and encourage them to build and shape their student experience.
  5. Provide opportunities for new students to engage with their peers, student leaders, staff, and/or faculty members in impactful ways that lead to the development of positive social networks, friendships, and sense of belonging.

Orientation program guidelines

UBC orientation programs should meet the following criteria:

  1. Model a caring, inclusive, and respectful campus community in all activities, events, and messaging as per the respectful environment statement.
  2. Ensure the safety and security of all participants students.
  3. Establish clearly articulated goals that connect back to the university-wide goals for orientation and transition of new students.
  4. Be accessible to students of all backgrounds.
  5. Establish the UBC community as the main focus of activities, unless the goal of the event is to orient students to the wider Vancouver community.
  6. Coordinate, and connect with campus-wide welcome activities.
  7. Ensure the properties and sites used for orientation programs and events are treated with respect.

Orientation event planning form

If you are planning to organize or lead an orientation event, please review and complete the Orientation Program Planning checklist (pdf).

This form is intended as a resource for Faculties and Undergraduate Societies to discuss and review the plans for student-led orientation activities. Please contact your Associate Dean to clarify your Faculty's approval process.

Additional resources