Behind the Scenes of ASFA’s Launch Week

From the Perspective of a Launchee

  • Graphic Laura Lalonde

As an international student, I promise myself to live every experience that university has to offer me—one of them being “Frosh Week.”

I’ve heard contradictory opinions about the “Frosh,” but most of my friends assured me that it was an experience they had no regret doing despite its price.

When I went on asfaorientation.ca to buy my ticket, I was surprised to see that the Frosh had been rebranded to “Launch Week.” I then realized that two events were missing: the pubcrawl and camping. These were two major events that made the reputation of the Arts and Science Federation of Associations Frosh. But the $150 price hadn’t changed.

I arrived at 9:45 a.m. for the first event—a barbeque at Loyola—and was surprised to find that even though the launch was supposed to start in 15 minutes, nothing was ready yet. While we were waiting in line for what felt like hours to get our magenta shirts, the leaders came to us, targeting specific people in the crowd and saying, “You! You’re in our team; you seem cool!” Confusion was evident on the faces of the “Launchees” that weren’t approached by the leaders.

After putting our shirts on—for those of us who were lucky enough to get one in their size—the leaders directed us to the central building. From there each group went to different classrooms.

The big novelty this year was a two-hour workshop on consent organized by the Concordia Centre for Gender Advocacy. A first for ASFA! It had nothing to do with the five minutes reminder that “no means no” said to the Froshees during the past years. The workshop resulted in an interesting exchange between the Launchees on what consent means. Nonetheless, knowing that the party was waiting for us outside, most of us weren’t really into it.

Following consent training, we found that the barbeque still wasn’t ready. The cut in the ASFA budget was evident—a game of “twister” and a slip and slide were the only types of entertainment offered to us beside the beer. The next days were just as disorganized. Both the leaders and the Launchees were often confused about where to go and what to do next.

I heard that some leaders were not acting appropriately with their Launchees, and others acted awkwardly the whole time. One of them asked a Launchee not to stay too close to him because he didn’t want the coordinators to get the wrong idea. I was lucky that my leaders were enthusiastic and acted appropriately towards us. The leaders tried their best to make this Launch Week a good experience despite it all.

Overall, in spite of the lack of organization, this Launch Week fulfilled its first goal of getting Launchees to make new friends and party before classes. Events like the scavenger hunt and attending a Stingers football game gave new students the chance to get to know Concordia and Montreal—as well as drinking a lot of beers like a real Montreal student.

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