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Orientation & Transition

Photograph of residence students sitting around the bonfire pit behind Hickory & Grey Pine halls participating in an Indigenous Learning Circle during Residence Orientation.

Residence Orientation

Once you've settled into your residence room and bid farewell to your family and friends, it's time to start your university experience!

During your move in day, you will meet you Your Residence Advisor who will introduce themselves and tell you where to meet at 5pm on September 3rd for your first Community Meeting. This meeting is where you will meet your neighbours and learn about some of the important things we want you to know after you've moved in. Then, as a group you'll head over to our Welcoming Ceremonies to begin Residence Orientation which is FREE for all residence students and takes place on September 3rd, 4th, and 5th with some additional programming the following weekend. At Residence Orientation you will have the opportunity to:

  • Engage in social activities to help you meet your fellow residents and Residence Advisor
  • Learn about the resources available at UTSC to help you succeed as a student
  • Get a feel for the physical campus you'll be studying at in 2022-23
  • Have fun!

We are hard at work planning for September 2022 and are expecting to present an entirely in-person orientation experience. A detailed schedule will be sent to residents 1-2 weeks prior to their move in-date and this is some of the programmnig you can expect to participate in:

  • Welcoming Ceremonies
  • Welcome Festival on the first evening all students are here, including a free dinner and games
  • Grocery shuttle bus
  • Food Truck Festival and Campus Services Fair
  • Presentations on Getting Involed in Residence, Tips for Living in Residence, and Safety in Residence
  • A presentation by the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre on Consent
  • An outdoor movie night

That is a taste of our structured programming where we would like all students to attend, however we have somne more passive programming that students can opt into at other times. More details about that will be in the detailed schedule sent to students prior to their move-in date.

Preparing For Your Transitioning to Residence

House Meetings

Once you've moved in, your Residence Advisor (RA) will conduct a house meeting with both you and your new housemates. This opportunity will allow residents to create a Roomate Agreement that will include aspects such as a house cleaning schedule, preferrences in communication styles, quiet study times, and living prefrences that will foster a healthy communicative living environemnt. In short - how will you function living together for the year!

Each member of the house will sign the agreed upon residence agreement with your RA supervision, and throughout the year you can request for your RA to evaluate the agreement, if needed.

It is mandatory that all housemates attend this meeting.

Steps to Working Through Conflict

There will be times when a conflict between housemates cannot be easily resolved and that is an area where your Residence Advisor can help.

The RA’s have been trained in communication, mediation and active listening skills and can approach the situation objectively to help all parties involved. It’s best to ask for help as early as possible since tension can build if you wait too long. Room changes will only be considered after housemates have gone through a mediation process facilitated by an RA, as per the process outlined below. In the event that the Residence Life Coordinator approves a room change, the resident will be charged a $150 administrative fee. Prior to a room change request being granted by the Residence Life Coordinator, residents must proceed through the following process/steps:

  1. Attend and actively participate in an RA-facilitated house meeting, where a roommate agreement will be developed with you and your roommates (this will happen at the beginning of the semester).
  2. Discuss concerns with your roommates, and attempt to work out your differences/come to an agreement.
  3. Meet with the RA on your floor/in your hall. The RA may provide tips on how to overcome the conflict with your roommates.
  4. If necessary, the RA may conduct a conflict mediation and/or an additional house meeting with you and your roommates, in an attempt to resolve the conflict. Note: A Lead Residence Advisor (LRA) may be asked to facilitate a meeting in the event that the RA needs additional support.
  5. If steps 1 through 4 are unsuccessful, residents may request a meeting with the Residence Life Coordinator to review the room change process and formally request a room change.
  6. Meet with the Residence Life Coordinator to explain the situation, and your request.
  7. The Residence Life Coordinator may facilitate a conflict mediation with the parties involved to assist in the situation and/or a room change may be granted if the conflict is unresolvable and only if space in residence permits.

The earlier you start working through a problem, the easier it is to solve. Reach out for support at the earliest that you can!

Time Management & Creating a Balanced Schedule

Time management is critical to ensure that you can complete all of your responsibilities on time and one strategy to help with this is to plan your week in advance. When planning for your week, be sure to:

  • Slot in all your committed activities (i.e. classes, labs, tutorials, part-time job, regular meetings, etc.);
  • Find tine for things that are important for your well-being (i.e. exercise, lunches, breaks, social activities, etc.); and
  • Assign time for your academic work (i.e. studying, completing assignments, etc.)

Utilizing a semester planner may be an efficient way to keep track of projects, appointments, etc., for the entire semester. The Scarborough Campus Students Union gives out free planners to all students in September so be sure to grab one from their office during the first week of classes.

In addition, it is often helpful to make to-do lists. Writing down the tasks that you want to complete achieves three critical goals:

  1. You track what has to be done
  2. Itemizing what has to be done to complete a project helps you to come up with a more accurate estimate of how long the project will take to complete
  3. As in goal setting, writing down what has to be done, you make a firm commitment to getting the work done.

While planning is essential, following through on your tasks is equally as important. To help motivate you to complete your tasks, it is good to reward yourself for your accomplishments. This could look like giving yourself a half-hour of guilt-free TV-watching or giving yourself some time to call friends/family.

If you have worked through these strategies and are still having difficulty balancing your responsibilities, please reach out to your Residence Advisor. Your RA will then connect you with the Academic Advising & Career Centre for further support.

Source: UTSC AA&CC Time Management Tip Sheet

Fire Evacuation Procedure

In the unlikely event of a fire, please:

  1. Leave the area immediately and close all doors
    1. If you live in Joan Foley Hall, pull the fire alarm on your way out of the building
  2. Call Toronto Fire Services at 9-1-1, and the University of Toronto Campus Community Police at 416-978-2222. Provide both services with information about the location of the fire, and information about residents remaining in the building.
  3. Proceed to the designated fire evacuation muster point. Look for your Residence Advisor holding a sign for your community, and check-in with them to let them know you've safely evacuated.
    • In light of COVID-19, please ensure to wear a face covering/mask, and maintain a distance of 2 metres from other individuals.

Fire Evacuation Muster Point:

North Residence (Townhouses J-M): Science Wing Plaza 

South Residence (Joan Foley Hall and Townhouses A - I): H Wing Patio



Kitchen & Cooking Safety

Fires have the potential to significantly impact you, your fellow residents, and our residence community. A common cause of fires in residence is due to unsafe cooking practices. With this in mind, we’ve prepared the following list of tips to help ensure that you’re keeping yourself safe while cooking in residence:

  • Deep or shallow frying in a pot is NOT permitted in residence. Light pan frying is permitted, but must be monitored carefully
  • Do not leave kitchen appliances unattended while cooking
  • Do not cook with oil on high heat
  • Never throw water on an oil/grease fire
  • Keep the burners on your stovetop clean
  • Do NOT use the Self-Clean feature of the oven – please submit a work order to have your oven cleaned