With hundreds of students moving in last weekend, O Week at the University of New England has seen life restored to the Armidale Campus.
Orientation week or O Week has been a bit quiet the last couple of years due to the pandemic, but this year was returning to full strength with over 500 new students being welcomed to campus. UNE staff and college resident leaders have been very busy taking new students to regular events this week and introducing them to their lecturers and academic staff.
UNE’s commencement ceremony took place on Monday in Campbell Hall. Students had the opportunity to hear from Anaiwan Elder Uncle Steve Widders for a Welcome to Country, Chancellor James Harris, Deputy Vice Chancellor Mike Wilmore, Dr Robyn Bartell from the academic staff, and guest speakers Armidale Regional Council member Paul Gaddes and Farmlabs founder, Sam Duncan.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Mike Wilmore has said this year he hopes to foster an academic environment that is supportive, safe, and caring for all students.
“For me, if we look back at the end of this academic year and we say yeah we did some great academic stuff and we built a new building, that’s one thing, but we’ve also got to look back and have students who are actively telling us that they were in an environment that was as supportive, safe, and friendly as it could possibly be.”
Tuesday saw the Sport Olympiad, where students from the colleges and town had some great fun with their first taste of intercollegiate competition. They faced off against each other in a range of different games that included netball, Footsal, touch footy, and ultimate Frisbee.
The winners were decided by a game of Tug of War. Mary White came in 7th, Duval 6th, Austin Page 5th, Robb 4th, St Alberts 3rd, Townies 2nd, and finally Wright took home first place.
Wednesday and Thursday both saw students learning about their academic degrees and meeting their first-year advisors. They were able to attend a variety of sessions for academic skills and learn more about opportunities available on campus. There was also a range of stalls for university groups, including the Ally Network which was founded last year. Some lucky students also participated in an interview for Channel 7.
Finally, Orientation Week concluded with Lifesaver Day, held at SportUNE. UNE clubs and societies and local businesses and organisations set up on the sporting fields, showcasing what they had on offer.
Ben Lewis from UNE Life said he was really happy with how the uni year is starting.
“I think it’s been going really well, from a UNE Life perspective we’ve got a lot of new students, which is terrific and all we could really ask for.”
“It’s great to have everyone back.”