After a 3,000 km journey from Calgary, Alberta to London, Ontario, Noah Teftal is eager to embark on a new chapter of his life at Western University. His spirits are buoyed by the institution’s reputation as both a stronghold of academia and vibrant social life.
“The welcoming atmosphere here is palpable”, proclaims Teftal. As a forthcoming member of the Mustangs Water Polo Team, he is thrilled about the balance the university offers between intensive learning and school spirit.
This weekend, London will see an influx of over 40,000 students, all ready to resume their academic pursuits. “Today marks a pivotal, exhilarating day for our student community and their families,” asserts Chris Alleyne, Associate Vice-President of Housing and Ancillary Services. He extends his arm in a warm welcome to the 5,500 newcomers settling into the university’s 11 residences, their newfound home away from home.
The atmosphere crackles with anticipation as over 35,000 undergraduate and graduate students start the process of moving and settling into their new accommodations. Mya Inglehart, hailing from Uxbridge, Ontario, speaks of her excitement toward immersing herself in the community.
Inglehart, along with thousands of others, will be welcomed with a series of opening ceremonies, followed by an Orientation week and an upcoming concert. Eyeing the vibrant social calendar, freshman Ella Glazier voices her anticipation for a forthcoming performance by T-Pain.
Despite the excitement, parting with their offspring never becomes less challenging for parents. Kelsey Glazier, Ella’s mother, candidly shares her bittersweet emotions. On one hand, she is thrilled for her daughter’s journey of self-discovery and academic growth. However, she also grapples with the melancholy of witnessing her child’s departure from home.
To ensure comfortable accommodation for the ever-growing Western family, the university has plans in place for two new residences next spring, creating space for over 1,000 students. Alleyne details, “One will cater to first-year students, housing approximately 800 individuals. The other will be an apartment building designed to host our upper-year and graduate students.”
Maintaining student safety remains paramount for the institution. “We are introducing our ‘Care Hubs’ that operate from 11 am to 1 am daily,” informs Alleyne. These one-stop resources are available to students for counselling and guidance, manned by volunteer student leaders and professional staff for creating a welcoming and safe environment.
This proactive approach to maintaining a secure environment brings solace to anxious parents like Kelsey Glazier, confident in the institution’s ability to keep their wards safe whilst encouraging good choices.