By Joseph Mathieu

Before Orientation Week events even begin, Carleton University’s residence move-in is the first impression of life on campus for many freshmen.

An endless caravan of vehicles converged on the entrances to Carleton’s Residence Commons on the weekend, as frosh teams covered in dye cheered: “Pop that trunk! Pop that trunk!”

Overwhelmed but excited freshmen emerged from their family vans and SUVs to the applause and helping hands of older students.

Among the colour-coded school spirit, President Roseann Runte and Vice-President of Student Affairs and Enrolment, Suzanne Blanchard, chatted with new arrivals and their families as the moving day got into full swing.

“I’m just here to encourage the students and their parents,” said Dr. Runte. “Today is really about the students, and this day gets better every year.”

On top of new students familiarizing themselves with traditional aspects of Carleton, there are a number of new features on campus the entire student body will have a chance to discover this year.

Perhaps most appealing is the new price-matching program at the Carleton University Bookstore, which promises to match the lowest advertised price students can find on their textbooks.

Definitely the most appetizing change is increased access to the dining room in Residence Commons. Any student with an All Access meal plan can enter as many times as they like from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The lift on meal restrictions will encourage students to taste a wide variety of food stations, including a sushi bar, a gluten-free area, a dessert station, and even a comfort food station.

The vegetarian station also offers an expanded vegan menu and there is a dietician available to any student who wishes to have a one-on-one consultation about their specific dietary needs.

Many students might be disappointed though (and some parents relieved) to find out that a chocolate fountain flanked by strawberries and marshmallows available for move-in is only for special occasions.

In course offerings, a new Bachelor of Global and International Studies (BGInS) program encouraged over 700 students to register. The most popular specialization – global law and social justice—attracted 66 students in its first year. BGInS requires its students to learn a second language and to study abroad in order to graduate with Honours.

The university’s already well-established international studies program allowed the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) and Public Affairs (FPA) to come together to create BGInS. But it’s not the only “faculty fusion” that has changed curriculum on campus.

This year, science crosses with commerce in the Earth Sciences Honours program for students interested in the resource exploration and exploitation sectors. Those in the Faculty of Science will benefit from a concentration in finance that focuses on the economic value of natural resources. And the Sprott School of Business will offer a minor in arts management for non-business undergrads that are interested in pursuing careers in arts and cultural institutions. Professors will look to Ottawa’s vibrant performing arts community to lend insight to their lessons.

And with these new programs come new professors from a wide range of backgrounds. There are some that will begin their teaching careers at Carleton this semester and others who bring their prior experience from other institutions.

Although none of these faculty were present for the residence move-in, there’s no doubt that their energy and enthusiasm will be as high as the most die-hard frosh facilitator going into this semester.

Monday, August 31, 2015 in
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