Freshers is an exciting time as students prepare for the beginning of their modules, and continuing students are keen to interact with the student community. New students make that first connection with their student community, brimming with questions to find out what they can expect for the coming year.
I first helped coordinate Freshers when I became Vice President Community in 2016, when the role was brand new. I was lucky enough to find out all about ‘Freshers’ from our very own ‘volunteer guru’ Sue Goodyear, who was Vice President Representation 2014-2016. Freshers was something that many OU students wanted to know more about, and we listened to student feedback to ensure we shaped events that would continue to engage the community.
Students enjoy socialising at Freshers, but they are also keen to support each other. There is always a wealth of knowledge shared by other OU students as part of the Fresher’s fortnight, which helps orientate new students into studies. It’s a great opportunity to meet other students and makes the whole process at the beginning of an academic term less isolating. Students are introduced to their OU Students Association, and learn about services and support functions that can help them during their student journey.
In the past four years (since my term finished), I have seen more volunteers get involved and hosting events. I have seen increased interest in F freshers by both new and continuing students. A balanced timetable is created, and activities are spread out with plenty of choice to suit location, topics, and interests. With increased engagement, Freshers Fortnight has become a much valued and informative celebration for OU students each year.
Stephanie Stubbins (Vice President Community 2016-2018)