My Last Orientation Week Leader Application

This is the last time I am applying to be an orientation week (O Week) leader, just because 2017 is the last year that I am eligible to be an O Week leader. This was one of the most difficult applications I have made, for many reasons.

The biggest reason as to why it was difficult is because I felt lost and confused on how I would be able to contribute to the last o week if I am not FOC. I applied to be part of EngFOC, a role that I have wanted since my first ever orientation week as a leader in 2014, and was rejected from the role due to “circumstances”.

I had plans of what I want to implement as part of EngFOC, and these were plans I have made through accumulated experience with every aspect of orientation week, such as through pre-week (2014), orientation week directorships (2015) and just talking with all leaders and figuring out what interests them and how to make O Week be better each year. I was prepared to want to take EngFOC in 2017 for the longest time, but hearing that I was not selected for my dream role on campus despite all my contributions has hurt me a lot.

I was lost thinking about how would I be able to contribute to the success of O week to masses (i.e. the entire engineering community) for the upcoming year. I was pondering not being involved for O Week 2017, because I felt that I may not be able to contribute much to the week and I also felt that the community around me did not welcome my contributions to the community.

However, I realized that the FOC Team chosen over me is an actually great team who brings forward a great promise to the way orientation week will be next year. I also realized that there are a handful of people in the engineering community who still look up to me, regardless of me holding a position on campus or not, and I did not want to disappoint them by dropping out of a week I have been actively involved in.

Now that I got over the sadness about not being EngFOC, I still had a hard time on deciding how do I want to contribute for O Week 2017. I knew I was going to be a coordinator for sure (and Robin Jardin, the lady in charge of Engineering orientation, has encouraged me to be a coordinator for next year). I had the choice of applying to be a first time EdCom (a role many O Week leaders have wanted ever since they have seen them in their respective O Weeks) or be a third time Huge (a role I have executed in the past 2 O Weeks).

Keep in mind that many people tend to not do Huge for more than two times because everyone I know eventually wants to be EdCom, or everyone wants to collect all the different hardhats from Orientation week. Whilst I find collecting different hardhats and the ability to appear intimidating to first years a perk, I feel that I have this extra level of extraversion when it comes to speaking to newcomers to the communities I am in and I want to make sure I am friendly and make new people feel belonged in the communities I am in. This is a skill of mine that I may be able to utilize the best as a Huge over any of the other coordinator role.

I also strongly feel that Huges are not as tight-knit as a community compared to EdComs or Media. I strongly feel that having a tight-knit coordinator group can contribute massively to the success of orientation week. Coordinators, especially Huges, will provide a lot of guidance to first time leaders, who tend to be the frontline leaders known as Bigs. Furthermore, Huges and Bigs will actively shape the experience of their respective first years in their respective colour groups and this could make the O Week experience be great for everyone.

I decided that it will be my agenda to make sure that the Huges of 2017 Orientation week will be as tight knit as possible where Huges are able to share information between each other regardless of which colour groups they are in, know how to handle specific conflicts only Huges face, develop a shared understanding of how their roles are perceived and be aware of the means, tips and tricks that Huges can use to provide a perfect working environment for their respective colour groups.

Thus, after much pondering, I have decided to apply to be a Huge for the third time running (something that has been unheard of in recent history at least).

I also want to emphasize that whilst I was sad about not being FOC, I still think that the FOC team of 2017 are a great team and they can achieve greatness for the week. Hence I implore everyone else from Waterloo Engineering community to make sure you provide the maximum trust and respect you can to ensure that FOC 2017 performs their job well.

Peace out people, and all the best for finals (or final weeks of co-op).

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