• Thriving Foundations Community Connections

Thriving Foundations Pillar #2: Community Connections

We want you to meet your community even if you are taking classes online. This will be an optional, one-day intensive experience on campus. You'll be grouped with other students in your program and will get to spend a day of learning and fun together.  

Check out our Virtual Program

This on-campus experience allows for a connection to place and friendships to be formed, which you can continue to draw on during online learning experiences throughout your first year. Creating an opportunity for connections and community building and introducing you to the rich support units available to them, will help to set you up for success. As much as possible, the small groups students are assigned during Community Connections will overlap into Pillar III: Peer Program.

Community Connections has now reached capacity for the on-campus events -- stay tuned for virtual participation options coming soon!

If you have any questions, you can email us at ase@uwo.ca.

*Please note that the planning for this experience is subject to changes to ensure we are following guidance from public health. Your health and safety is important to us and we have plans in place to prioritize physical distancing and santization practices. 

Community Connections FAQs

What will happen at Community Connections?

Participants will meet staff & faculty.

Research has shown that incoming students who make a personal connection with a staff or faculty member are more likely to succeed in their first year of study. You will have a chance to meet some of the people who work at  Western, hear about their approach to educating, and find out how you can continue to build relationships with some of the people who work here.

Students will meet their peers & student leaders.

When you join us for Community Connections you will be assigned a student leader who will facilitate your group connections for the day. They will spend time help you build new friendships that will carry through your first year and beyond.

Participants will have an opportunity to visit campus.

*Your safety is important. All on-campus activities will be planned prioritizing physical distancing and disinfection protocols.

Community Connections involves a number of sessions that you can attend on-campus during your one-day intensive experience. This will offer you the chance to establish friendships, and connect with Western's campus and traditions prior to the start of your first year. 

What is the schedule for Community Connections? What will we be doing?

The day consists of sessions centred around various topics and facilitated by Western students and/or faculty and staff. Note that the program for students will be different from the one for guests; you will not be in the same sessions for the duration of the day.

Students will explore their unique strengths in a Strengths Primer session, and then explore topics like healthy relationships, being successful and staying connected in the online classroom, designing their Western experience, and getting to know the London community.

Parent sessions will include a transition talk, Western & COVID-19, Western’s thriving advantage and parents’ role as partners in helping students thrive, getting to know the community that your student will be living and learning in (either or now or at some point in the future), and a session that explores how best to help students prepare for their eventual careers.

Who will be leading the day?

Community Connections will be facilitated by a combination of Western staff and students.

Health and Safety

What health and safety precautions are being taken to protect participants at Community Connections?

Our early plans include:

  • requiring all participants to wear face coverings.
  • making hand sanitizer stations available at key locations throughout the program.
  • maintaining physical distancing practices at all times.
  • completing a public health questionnaire prior to attending.

*Please note that these are early plans and may be subject to change pending the review from Western Facilities Management, and Middlesex Public Health.

Do I need to wear a face covering during Community Connections?

Yes, a face covering is mandatory for all participants during the entire day of the program. Participating Western staff will also be wearing face coverings.

Can I bring my own face covering?

Recognizing that some participants prefer using their own face covering, you may bring your own as long as it complies with our safety standards. If you do not have your own face covering, Western will provide one to you when you check in at the registration desk.

Travel and Logistics

Is parking provided?

Yes, there will be free parking on the day of the event. You will receive a reminder e-mail in advance of your Community Connections day, which will direct you to a specific parking lot. A link to a campus map will be included in the e-mail reminder.

I am travelling from out of town and will require overnight accommodations. What do you recommend?

We recommend the Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre. Locate close to campus, a patio restaurant, and free parking, Ivey Spencer is an ideal location for overnight accommodations. Room rates (rooms have queen beds only) have been negotiated at $129 per night, and a second room under the same reservation can be booked at 50% off. Please visit their website to make a reservation.

I need to change the date I plan on attending. How far in advance do I need to do that, and how do I do it?

Space on each day of the program is limited, so if you need to change your date, you should make that request as soon as possible. Please e-mail ase@uwo.ca with your name, original registered date, and the new date that you would like to attend.

Can I leave at any time?

Community Connections is a full day commitment, with the program starting promptly at 10:00 and ending at 6:00. If you need to leave the program before the official end time, please note that you will not be able re-join your group for the remainder of the day.

Can I come for the afternoon?

Community Connections is a full day commitment, with the programming starting promptly at 10:00. To ensure we can effectively control traffic and support physical distancing, partial attendance is not possible.

What do I do if I arrive late?

Registration opens at 9:00, with the program starting promptly at 10:00. If you are going to be arriving late, please make your way to your designated registration desk for further instructions.

I am no longer able to attend. How do I cancel my attendance?

Please email ase@uwo.ca with your name and date of registration to cancel your attendance at least 24 hours in advance.

Will campus food eateries be open?

Campus eateries will not be open. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided during registration and in the afternoon, and lunch will be provided to all registered participants.

Can my dietary restrictions be accommodated during the program?

Yes, we asked participants to indicate dietary restrictions on the registration form so that we can accommodate your needs.

Guests

I am a guest (e.g. parent, sibling, friend, supporter) of a student attending Community Connections. Will we be attending the same programming?

The program has one programming track for students and a separate programming track for guests, including friends. To ensure the safety of all participants, and to abide by all public health guidelines, it is important that participants stay in their assigned groups for the duration of the day.

I am not registering as a guest. Can I leave my student? Can I just drop off my student?

If you did not register as a guest, you do not need to attend the separate guest programming for the day. You are more than welcome to drop your student off for registration starting at 9AM till 10AM and pick them up at 6PM.

Can I bring more than two guests?

Ordinarily we would be able to accommodate your request, but given the restrictions on the number of people gathering at once, and the physical distancing efforts we are implementing, students are restricted to bringing 2 guests.

My guest is a friend or significant other. Can we stay together during the program?

Each registered student will be assigned a specific group based on their faculty and other details. Students may not switch groups. Guests, including friends and significant others, will be assigned their own groups separate from students, and will not be spending the day together.

Campus

During Community Connections, can I explore the campus? Can I visit any of the residences?

For the health and safety of our campus community, and guests, we will not be offering tours of campus or residence on the day you visit. Additionally, the campus will not be open for personal walking tours.

Will there be campus tours during Community Connections?

No, there will be no tours of campus during Community Connections.

Can I bring my pet to campus during Community Connections?

Under Western’s Pets and Therapy Animals on Campus Policy, pets are not permitted in Western buildings. Animals approved as service/therapy animals are permitted .