Orientation Week is held at the University and at Cromwell College the week before first semester classes commence each year. It is College policy that University academic events take precedence over College events should there be clashes of times.
Cromwell College Orientation Week is planned and implemented by the Orientation Week Organising Committee, with assistance from the whole Student Leadership Team. Orientation Week is overseen by the Dean of Students who ensures through the Deputy Principal and Principal that the Program adheres to the Board of Governors’ Orientation Week Policy.
At Cromwell College, Orientation Week is completely “dry” for all students (leaders and new). This ‘no alcohol’ rule was an initiative of the students themselves some years ago, and speaks volumes about the rationale, aims and objectives of the Cromwell College Orientation Program. Far from being a ‘party week’ or a ‘drinking competition’, Orientation Week at Cromwell College is a challenging mental and physical program structured to bond new students with each other, to the Student Leadership Team, and to Cromwell. All activities are promoted as ‘challenge by choice’, meaning that no student is required to participate in, or continue with after commencing, any activity about which they may feel uncomfortable. Faculty specific meetings and activities at the University must always take precedence over college O Week activities.
Cromwell students finish Orientation Week with a huge sense of achievement. Although deliberately challenging at times during the week, students overwhelmingly reflect upon their week regarding it as a most significant and positive experience. Comments such as “I knew no-one when I arrived and by the end of O Week, I had 100 close friends”, and “The thing about O Week is that it’s when everyone wants to be a friend and make friends, and both happen so easily.” As can be seen from these statements, Cromwell encourages the development of the whole person in a close and supportive community that is much more than just a place to stay.
Orientation Week activities are supervised by the Dean of Students and Deputy Principal and details of the Program are sent to all first year students by the organizing committee before they arrive.
A snapshot of Cromwell’s Orientation Week can be seen in the Students’ O Week video: