rescillia Desjardins happily ushered new students into their new homes. Photo: Amy Yee.
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U of O students volunteer time to help others move in

From Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, around two hundred volunteers helped usher thousands of students into their new homes in residence.

According to the University of Ottawa’s Housing Service director Rachelle Clark, “(The volunteers) are amazing. They put in their heart and soul. They’re here because they absolutely love working with the newcomers, the new students, who are coming to the U of O.”

The Fulcrum asked volunteer and fourth-year U of O student Prescillia Desjardins some questions about her experiences that morning and why she got involved:

Fulcrum: So the first one is, really, can you explain to me what you’re doing here today and why you (wanted) to get involved?

Desjardins: So, I (wanted) to get involved because I want to help … people moving in (to) have a great experience. I got involved … to help people pack their things up to their residence and (I want others to) have a good experience today.

F: What are you personally doing here? What is your job?

D: So, we (show) people (where to go) to (find) their room(s), we help them unpack things and move in.

F: I want you to think back to first year for me. So, I know it was a long time ago, but, do you have any really special memories from the first couple of weeks where anything really exciting happened?

D: I went to the orientation and I went to see the Gee-Gees, the football game—that’s a recommendation to-do.

F: And, how did that feel?

D: I loved it. I loved the experience and I loved the atmosphere that the U of O gives.

F: How would you describe the atmosphere?

D: Lovely—friendly—you can ask anybody to (help) … They’re going to help you. For sure.

F: Do you think students will get these types of experiences?

D: I hope so. I hope for them.

F: What do you do that tries to help get those students those experiences?

D: Give them love, give them friends, so that they feel loved and they love their first experiences here.

F: How did you hear about this volunteering opportunity?

D: On Facebook! I’m following the U of O, so everything that pops—I just look at it.

F: I know we’re only two hours in so farbut do you feel like you’ve made a difference today?

D: Yeah. Lots of people are saying thank you for the (help) moving-in. It’s making them more comfortable and they know what to do. They’re not unsure (anymore).

F: I have one last question that I want to add. How would you describe everyone’s feelings here today as they’re moving in?

D: Scared—(like,) they want to cry. But as soon as we help them, they feel secure and they’re good with that.

Prescillia Desjardins is a fourth-year literature and modern languages student who volunteered the morning of Sept. 1 outside of 90U. Desjardins worked with other smiling volunteers as they welcomed new students getting ready for their new homes.


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