Campus Life

Information for Parents

Making the Transition

The transition to university can be an exhilarating yet anxious time for students. As a parent you play a vital role in helping your son or daughter adjust to a new environment and the increased freedom and responsibility that comes with it. At the same time you will no doubt be experiencing some mixed emotions of your own - ranging from pride and excitement to worry and even loneliness.

Making the Transition: A Parent’s Guide to the First Year at University discusses some of the changes and challenges you may experience and offers tips on how to support your son or daughter in University. The booklet also includes a key list of helpful University resources.

Parents & Supporters Info Session

Watching your child head off to university can be tough for a parent, and it’s even more difficult if you don’t know much about where they’re going, or what’s in store. Please join us for an information session during Welcome Week, on Sunday, August 31 at 4:30 p.m. in the McNally Theatre Auditorium. This session aims to give you some important campus information, and tips on how to help your student (and yourself!) through this transition.

Changes to Welcome Week

As a parent you may also have questions about the orientation process at Saint Mary’s University, and about Welcome Week in particular, given past events. Be assured that Welcome Week is a safe, respectful, inclusive and fun environment for all new students.

So what has changed from previous years?

The first noticeable change is in renaming Orientation Week to Welcome Week. The name reflects the fully inclusive week where everyone feels safe and respected, but also that orientation is a year-long process that helps students transition into University life. Events and activities will be held throughout the year that will help students succeed in this transition.

There is a now an Orientation Steering Committee that was formed to redesign Welcome Week and make it more educational, desexualized, inclusive and keeping with the mission and values of Saint Mary’s. We want our new students to have fun and make new friends, but also to learn what it means to be respectful and in-turn make Saint Mary’s a better place for the entire community.

This Committee is co-chaired by the Assistant Director of Student Services and the Dean of Science and is made up of a broad group of academics, staff, and students. The University also has an Orientation Coordinator responsible for Welcome Week and the orientation process during the first year.

SMU Crew

We have introduced a new vetting process and training for our Welcome Week leaders, who are known as SMU Crew. After an extensive application and review process, SMU Crew are trained in a two-day on-campus intensive course that includes sessions on sexual consent, diversity, alcohol, mental health, and leadership. They will continue to receive additional training throughout the year. All members of the SMU Crew will sign a Charter of Responsibility, so that expectations are clearly understood for their role throughout the year. These student leaders will then be able to use this experience on their co-curricular record.