Welcome Week 2021 — Planning to Welcome Back the STU Community

Emily Green and Monica Boquin are ready to welcome STUdents back to campus. After a year of remote learning, quiet buildings, and virtual events, the 2021 Welcome Week team is excited to offer the STU community a chance to reconnect with peers and their beautiful campus. 
“This year we are taking a ‘welcome back’ approach,” said Boquin, this year’s Welcome Week Coordinator who is originally from Honduras. “We are welcoming first-year students to campus, but also planning events to welcome upper-year students, faculty, and staff back to STU.” 
Welcome Week traditionally offers first-year STUdents an exciting kickoff to university life through a week of programming and activities like the Cheer Off—a competition between each residence hall and off-campus students to determine who has the loudest and proudest group on campus. Supportive activities include campus tours, academic transition events, and Commencement, the official welcome to the STU community as first-year students receive their T-pins.  
Alumni frequently point to Welcome Week when recounting favourite STU memories and where lifelong friendships were formed. 
“I can remember how nervous I was about making friends, going to class, and living on my own for the first time,” said Green, the 2021 Welcome Week Chair who is originally from New Brunswick. “These worries quickly faded once I arrived on campus for Welcome Week. It was the perfect introduction to student life at St. Thomas, and I am grateful to the volunteers who helped make students like me feel part of the community.” 
“Now going into my third year, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to help new incoming STUdents have a similar experience. I have the best job ever and I can’t wait to meet you all this fall!” 
Welcome Week leaders typically adopt a theme for the annual event, but this year’s executive team says Fall 2021 is going to be all about friendship, diversity, wellness, inclusion, and equality. Most events are being planned as in-person gatherings, but Green and Boquin are including a number of virtual activities for students unable to travel to Fredericton for September.  
“We all get nervous about coming to university, but don’t worry! You will always find help and support in our community.” 
As an international STUdent, Boquin encourages students arriving on campus—and many to Canada—for the first time, to embrace the experience.  
“Do not be afraid! We all get nervous about coming to university, but don’t worry! You will always find help and support in our community,” said Boquin. “Expect to have fun during Welcome Week and learn more about the resources and opportunities available to you.” 
“What I love most about Welcome Week is that it truly prepares you for all aspects of becoming a Tommie,” added Green. “From academic orientation to making friends to gaining familiarity with a new city—Welcome Week is a time for students to adapt to university life at STU.” 
Follow the Welcome Week team on Instagram at @stuwelcomeweek and keep an eye on your student email for updates.