oweekAs thousands of new students begin to pour into Southern Cross University’s campuses at Lismore, the Tweed and Gold Coast region, and Coffs Harbour, they will be the beneficiaries of an innovative approach to help them feel at home and succeed in their new environments.

“There is so much more to Orientation Week than ever before,” said Student Services group director Carl Rallings.

“Southern Cross University orientation is no longer just about O-Week. It is now a four-week event covering not only the traditional O-Week but also the first three weeks of semester.

“Orientation is being viewed as an induction process rather than a singular event and is a fundamental service that sets the scene for long-term student success.

“Our total budget for the four weeks of orientation activities, which run from Monday, February 16, to Friday, March 13, is around $100,000 following extra support provided by the University’s First Year Academy.

“The First Year Academy is an innovative project that has been in operation for the past six months, designed to support the first-year student experience.”

There are many highlights to Southern Cross University’s 2009 orientation program.

At Lismore, commencing students will be treated to free breakfasts, a monster pool party, dance nights, town tours, midday live entertainment in the plaza on most days, a range of sports on the oval, a trash and treasure market and film and comedy nights with top comedians Mandy Nolan and Sean Choolburra.

There will be a formal welcome from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Clark, and a ‘Welcome to Kuntri’ ceremony by Indigenous Elders.

Former Socceroo, columnist and SBS chief football analyst, Craig Foster, is the special guest speaker for O-Week. Foster is also a sports presenter for World News Australia.

He will address students in the Whitebrook Theatre (Y-block), at the Lismore campus, on Thursday, March 12, at 12.30pm.

At the Tweed and Gold Coast, orientation activities begin with a sausage sizzle under the sails at SCU Riverside, Brett Street, Tweed Heads.

There will be a tour of the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary for international students, a ‘Welcome to Kuntri’ ceremony, campus tours and a free welcome breakfast.

Coffs Harbour students will also enjoy a free welcome breakfast, town tour, an international food fair, cocktail and party nights, a family and friends picnic day, and to get over all of the celebrations, a recovery party.

All campuses will host extensive orientation activities to offer new students the ‘must have’ knowledge to start uni life, plus loads of fun activities to get them networked.

There will be course outlines, library tours, online resources sessions, IT and computing information sessions, forums, and cultural awareness sessions for international students.

Professor Paul Clark’s welcome to students and the Welcome to Kuntri ceremony will be held in the Whitebrook Theatre, (Y-block), on Monday, February 16, at 9am.

Explore the full orientation program for all campuses at www.scu.edu.au/orientation

PICTURE: Welcoming new students to the Lismore campus are (from left) Nicky Pryor, Bec Loquet, Jessica Cook, Tahlia Rutherford and Hannah Coulter.