Every year, Student Recruitment and Advising hosts Destination UBC–an event that allows admitted students to experience the UBC Okanagan campus first-hand. This year, given the physical distancing policies to reduce the spread of COVID-19, things looked a bit different.
With the help of student coordinators and peer leaders, Virtual Destination UBC (VDUBC) was born: a month-long, online event that welcomed over 350 participants. The virtual format of the event ran from May 4 to 29.
Every week of VDUBC had a different theme, supported by related social and academic events:
- Get to Know Campus and Kelowna
- Learning at UBC
- Services and Resources
- Student Experience
The hub of activity was the VDUBC Facebook page, where students were encouraged to join sub-groups based on their program. This allowed participants to connect with fellow first-year and current students (in big and small group sessions), and ask questions about transitioning to UBC’s Okanagan campus. Of all the programming provided, the most popular were the weekly social nights: Bob Ross Paint Night, UBC Trivia Night, Faculty Hangout Session and a talent show.
Rachel Baker and Alex Singeris, this year’s student coordinators and former lip-sync battle champions had this to say about the virtual event:
“It has been so neat to watch the participants get to know one another virtually and make friends without even meeting one another in person. I hope this program gave the incoming class a sense of belonging and more confidence in their future endeavours at UBC Okanagan this fall both in-person and online.”
“As a current UBC student, we have a duty to make UBC and the campus life better than when we first attended. With this program I am sure that we have shown the incoming UBC Okanagan students that they are not just another number or statistic, rather they are an actual member of the UBC community, and that the faculty and staff are there to help them in any way possible to achieve their academic and personal goals.”
All admitted students (including transfer students) who self-identify as Indigenous were invited to attend Virtual Indigenous Destination UBC. The week-long online event ran from May 25 to May 29. Bannock making, beading circles and storytelling were some of the social activities students engaged in as they explored student life on both campuses, learned about specific resources and UBC’s diverse learning environment.