PRepare for orientation!

McGill Orientation Week is a big event — not just for students, but for parents and families of new students as well. Read below for information, events, and FAQs specifically for parents and families of new McGill students.

Check out the general Orientation Week FAQ page for more information and the Parents FAQ on Campus Life & Engagement’s First-Year website for questions unrelated to Orientation Week.

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things to know:

Parent Summer Webinars

If you were not able to participate in these webinars, you will find a recording on the website for First-Year Students. Learn how ou can support your McGill student as they transition to McGill as new university students, both now and during their first year? Some of the topics covered include: the role of parents/family, support resources at McGill, confidentiality, transition issues, health insurance, and the role of Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) in supporting new students.

Parents Coming to McGill for Move-In Weekend

Be sure to Visit the Parent Tent! Take advantage of the opportunity to interact with staff and current students and learn about the services invested in supporting McGill students. You will meet other parents of new students and learn about the various information and social sessions planned just for parents and family members of McGill’s incoming class.

Stay Informed!

This summer, CL&E has been sending weekly emails to the incoming class of undergraduate students. They contain information on several important first-year topics, and are accessible on CL&E’s resources archive. You can also visit the Family/Parents of New Students webpage for more information and resources.

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General Orientation

All Orientation Week activities, except for Parents Tent-related activities, are for new McGill student participants only.

Apart from the fun activities, Orientation Week is a great opportunity to get organized for the semester. Attending Discover McGill is at the top of the list, and getting a student ID is another important first step. In addition, you may want to work on getting a Canadian cell phone number and bank account for your child, if they do not already have one. The Parents Tent is prepared to guide you in the right direction, or you can visit Campus Life & Engagement’s First-Year Montreal Essentials page for more information. Although most course material/textbook lists are given out at the first day of class, you may want to stock up on stationery and McGill gear by heading to the Le James McGill Bookstore.

  • While there are social elements to many activities and events during Orientation Week, this is also a valuable time for new students to learn about important services and resources at McGill, as well as prepare for the semester and their academic and extracurricular success.

  • In particular, Campus Life & Engagement’s Discover McGill: Academic Expectations workshops are available during Orientation Week to help students start their semester on the right foot. Discover McGill will also include time dedicated to having new students learn about on campus resources as well as get oriented within their particular faculty.

  • The events of Faculty and Alternative Froshes are all opt-in, and as participants you can choose to engage in whichever activities you feel most comfortable! Frosh coordinators and leaders are here to create an inclusive week of activities for everyone, and there is a range of alternative programming that participants can choose to engage in, not just partying.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with Orientation Week or anything else related to your child’s transition to McGill? The Campus Life & Engagement (CL&E) office is the place to go when you do not know where to turn to.

  • Call CL&E at 514-398-6913. Email CL&E at Find CL&E in Suite 203, 1010 Sherbrooke Street (entrance off Metcalfe Street, below Sherbrooke Street). However, do not hesitate to ask around for help.

  • Visit the Orientation Week AskMcGill Information Kiosk and our McGill staff should be able to answer your questions or direct you to our office.

Depending on the nature of the concern, it is likely best to first contact Campus Life & Engagement. Serious concerns about student behaviour can be directed to the Office of the Dean of Students. Above all, however, we encourage you, where possible, to have your child initiate the communication. We may be legally unable to provide you with any specific information if your child has not given their express consent.

Frosh Questions

  • Part of Orientation Week, Frosh is a student-run, multi-day event coordinated by a club, group, or Faculty student association and is primarily comprised of social activities. Faculty Froshes group students by faculty/school while Non-Faculty Froshes are available to all new McGill students and are based more on specific interests or religious backgrounds.

  • Frosh is part of the larger Orientation Week, which is the period encompassing all the different events for incoming students hosted by a number of groups.

Although food and beverages are provided, students are encouraged to fill their Frosh bag with snacks and a water bottle, as well as sunscreen, identification, health insurance information, and a phone (in a Ziploc bag!). Students should also bring along some cash to pay for any additional items they may want to purchase. Don’t forget to pack any necessary medical supplies such as allergy medication!

  • During Frosh, students are grouped with and accompanied by Frosh Leaders (upper-year students) thoroughly trained to promote, above all, a safe and inclusive environment for participants. All students will be given the contact information for their Frosh Leaders, and students are encouraged to contact them when needed.

  • In addition to Frosh Leaders, Frosh Coordinators (student organizers) are on hand and clearly identifiable to ensure the smooth running of the event. McGill University staff train all students who are involved in Frosh coordination and its execution.
  • Alcohol will be available at select Frosh events and will be available only for students who are above the age of 18, the legal drinking age in Quebec. Frosh Leaders are well equipped to accommodate students who do not wish to consume alcohol (regardless of age), and an overconsumption of alcohol is not encouraged. In addition, all servers of alcohol on campus have been trained prior to Frosh, being granted the responsibility to serve alcohol by a university education program, Server Training.

  • Students under the age of 18 should not feel that their age would hinder their Frosh experience. Because of the hard work of event coordinators, the large majority of events during Orientation Week and Frosh are all-ages and there is usually an event that underage participants can attend at any given time. If your child drinks when they are underage, it can have consequences (legal and otherwise), not only for them, but for the entirety of Frosh.
  • Almost all other Orientation Week events besides Frosh are free. The Frosh price gains students a Frosh bracelet which gives them access to transportation, entrance to venues and large-scale events, food and beverages, Frosh bag with merchandise, and much more, including week-long communications and harm reduction team support.

  • Alcohol factors in minimally into the Frosh price. For this or other reasons, students of any age are asked to pay the same price. In fact, the increased costs associated with organizing and ensuring the availability of Frosh events that students of all ages can attend would mean that technically students under 18 “cost” the Frosh organizing teams more than those over 18.

If your child would like to unregister for an event they have already paid for, they will need to contact the event coordinators for that event. Refunds are rarely given once Frosh has begun unless it is for extenuating circumstances.​

Unfortunately, logistically, à la carte pricing or registration to any events during Frosh cannot be offered.

  • We want Frosh to be a great experience for all students! Feel free to encourage your child to speak to a Frosh Coordinator about the situation, and they will do their best to accommodate your child.
  • In order to ensure safety during Frosh events and throughout the year, a number of services are available for the McGill community.
  • The McGill Student Emergency Response Team is present during Frosh and any public event at McGill. In addition, McGill Security Services patrols both campuses 24 hours a day. Volunteer members of the student-run WalkSafe program are available to escort anyone home, anywhere on the island of Montreal. The free DriveSafe program is available to take students home from campus events and during scheduled patrols.

  • Although Montreal is known as a relatively safe city, all normal safety precautions should be taken.
  • On our campus, all incoming residence students and Frosh participants are given condoms in their orientation bags/kits. These are provided by Healthy McGill, our University health promotion group and ensure that relevant health materials are available to all students, regardless of their level of sexual activity. Whether students choose to use these for their own needs or are able to help out a friend in need, accessibility to safer sex supplies encourages students to make healthier choices and encourages well-being.

2019 is a Collaborative Project

facilitated by McGill Campus Life and Engagement