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Forward with Integrity

Enthusiastic Welcome Week 2013 orientation leadersWELCOME WEEK 2014 - MAC AWAITS

Welcome Week - Saturday, August 30 - Sunday, September 7, 2014

Welcome Week will welcome and engage you in the life of the university.  You can expect an array of social, athletic and cultural events and academic seminars designed to help you make connections to your faculty and professors, residence hall community or off-campus society, the Hamilton community and most importantly, to other students.   As one first year student commented,  "I feel better prepared because I was able to become accustomed to McMaster before my classes began and was therefore less nervous when it was time to actually begin my education. Also I met lots of new friends and learned new things during the week that will help me throughout the year to succeed" (Welcome Week 2011).

  • Vision
  • Values and
    Guiding Principles
  • Events
  • McMaster Events App

Welcome Week Vision

The purpose of Welcome Week is to offer five opportunities that will help first year students make a good start at University.

Welcome Week helps students:

  • Make connections with McMaster, their academic faculty program office, student faculty society, residence/off-campus community, with other students and the city of Hamilton
  • Develop an identity as a McMaster student within their faculty, residence/off campus community
  • Be and feel safe, both physically and emotionally
  • Connect with academic, emotional and university support systems
  • Meet and connect with student leaders, who are positive role models

Welcome Week involves events, activities, concerts, tours and welcome ceremonies. Unlike any experience you have had before, Welcome Week will provide you with educational seminars and social events that will connect you to the Hamilton community, McMaster University, your Faculty, your residence or off-campus society and, most importantly, to other students.

This orientation program is centred on your  successful transition into the University environment. Throughout Welcome Week you will connect with academic and non-academic University support systems, meet student leaders and members of the McMaster community and participate in fun and safe programs and activities.

Welcome Week Values and Guiding Principles

Equality: First year students join the University community with all the rights of those already here. They are given the support and assistance which new members of the community require. They will feel proud to be here, to not be treated as subordinates, and to not feel that first year students are inferior.

Freedom of Choice: First year students are encouraged to participate in the events of Welcome Week.  However, they are free to choose when and how they would like to join in or to even decline participation if they wish.

Celebration of Diversity: First year students come from varied backgrounds and cultures and they have highly varied interests and values. Differences in gender, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, ability, religion and political affiliation are recognized and treated with respect and sensitivity.

Respect for Individuality: All first year students are free to be unique and can expect to be treated with respect.

Privacy: Even where students live together, as in residence, they are entitled to their own private space and time. They should not be disturbed when they have gone to their own room and other students should enter only if invited.

Welcome Week Events

Listed below are the events and activities taking place throughout Welcome Week. Download the Schedule of Events. Welcome Week kicks off on Saturday, Aug. 30 and runs to Sunday, Sept. 7.

Planning ahead? Use our DIY Welcome Week Scheduler and write down all the events you don't want to miss throughout the week.

For social media updates, follow McMaster Welcome Week on Twitter #MacWW2014 or like the Mac Welcome Week Facebook page.

Keep up to date with events happening during Welcome Week by downloading the McMaster Events App. The app will provide up to the minute information, updates and changes.

Get the McMaster Events App Now!

McMaster Events App QR Code

Event Listing

MacPass Distribution
MacPasses can be picked up from the Temporary Building (T-28) from Saturday, Aug 30 – Monday, Aug. 31, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Monday Sept. 1 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. MacPasses will then be available for pick up in Gilmour Hall (GH) 110 between 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. from Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Friday, Sept. 5. You will need your MacPass to participate in all the Welcome Week events. Get ready for an awesome week!

Opening Ceremonies
Off-Campus and Commuter Students
This is your "Welcome to McMaster." Meet the executive members of the Society of Off-Campus Students (SOCS) - the folks who will be delivering all the great programming to you throughout Welcome Week and the whole year too! Special presentations will be provided by: Campus Security, the Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT), Student Community Support Network (SCSN), Compass Information Centre, and the Office of Student Conduct. Come meet your peer mentors and kick-start your new university career by meeting new friends and getting involved!

IRIS Drama
IRIS (Inspiration, Reflection, Integrity, Success) is an annual orientation drama that is celebrating its 11th year in welcoming first years to our McMaster community. The production provides an overview of the opportunities and challenges first years may face as they orient and transition themselves into our community. This year's cast has been chosen, with their stage manager, Zoe Blenkinsop, and their co-directors, Julie Lane and Taryn Crankshaw. This year is an ambitious year for IRIS as it gets ready to integrate an IRIS course into the curriculum as well as preview a scene this Welcome Day. There is also IRIS in residence to look forward to – so keep an eye out for it this fall!

SOCS under the Stars: Dinner and Activities
Off-Campus and Commuter
Off-campus and commuter students can relax on the first night of Welcome Week and enjoy a delicious hot dog or sausage (Halal and Vegetarian options available) for free provided by the campus vendor, Willy Dog. Beverages, chips and veggies & dip will also be served. After dinner choose one or all of the following activities to enjoy!

  • Outdoor Movie: After dinner, settle in and watch the movie, The Avengers outdoors. Bring your blanket and enjoy some popcorn and cotton candy too!
  • Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Tournament & Free Play: Rev your engines! Not into video games? Try your luck at card games, Jenga, Risk, Twister, and more.  Want to go pro? Compete in our Monopoly tournament and take home the title of Mr. or Miss. Monopoly!
  • Get Active: Tired of sitting? Meet the SOCS VP Athletics and try your hand at the various sports and intramural teams offered by SOCS. Games include: Frisbee, soccer, touch football, capture the flag, badminton, and various others! Get your game on!

Residence Dinner, Opening Ceremonies & Community Meetings

Get to know all of your Residence Orientation Advisors (ROAs) and Reps at this introductory evening to residence life.

Beaver Games
Off-Campus & Commuter Students
STOP! It's Beaver Time!
Come out and be cheered on by the SOCS Beaver while competing as a team in a dynamic series of fun games and challenges. Learn about campus services in a non-athletic environment while striving for orange! (It's like gold, but our colour is orange... we thought it was clever, okay?!)

Students journey around campus in this challenging choose-your-own-adventure style game. With the help of your teammates, students discover the hidden gems of McMaster and get their minds in motion!

McMaster Welcome & BBQ
This event is known as the official welcome to McMaster University. As students pass through the famous and historical McMaster Arch, they will be greeted with a handshake by McMaster and Hamilton officials. Beyond this will be two human tunnels consisting of over 150 reps in total! Students will then head out to BSB/JHE Field for an enormous BBQ and formal introductions by some of McMaster's most prominent figures.

Sunday Night Social
Off-Campus & Commuter Students
This off-campus & commuter student exclusive, social event with dancing, games, and much socializing, was the envy of residence students last year! If dancing isn't your thing then come play some games, throw a Frisbee or football, or participate in the second night of our Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Tournament & Freeplay. This is a good time to be had by all, so come by yourself or with your friends and remember to rock your orange!

Mac Connector
Picture this - a large field and a sea of people all wearing their colorful Residence/SOCS shirts! This event is designed to help students connect to Mac and the class of 2018! An aerial photo will conclude this event.

Community Involvement Project
The Community Involvement Project is a series of events and excursions that allow you to explore the Hamilton community. Whether it's hiking in Cootes Paradise or volunteering downtown, you're sure to find an excursion that interests you!

Registrations for all events part of the Community Involvement Project have limited availability and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Registration is available on OSCARplus

  • MacServe- Victory Gardens:  Victory Gardens is a local non-profit committed to rehabilitating gardens around the city of Hamilton, with all of their harvest donated to local food banks. Come out for the afternoon with the MacServe team to garden and learn more about Hamilton's social justice initiatives.
  • Princess Point Canoeing:  Did you know that McMaster University is adjacent to one of the region's most important conservation areas? Dip your paddle in the water and join staff from the Student Success Centre and Athletics & Recreation for an afternoon paddle.
  • Westdale Theatre Adventure:  Walk through the Westdale neighbourhood to the iconic Westdale Theatre, where you will be treated to a showing of The Dark Knight.
  • SSC- Bayfront and Back Bike Tour:  Grab your bicycle and helmet and join Mac students on a cruise down to the Hamilton Bayfront along the beautiful Waterfront Trail. Once there, enjoy some Frisbee and ice cream on the shores of Lake Ontario.
  • Dundas Tour: Take a short ride to the community of Dundas with stops at the Dutch Mill and Dynment's Farm. End your trip with a walk to Tews Falls, the tallest waterfall in Hamilton, and the Dundas Peak, which offers a spectacular view of the Dundas Valley and McMaster University.
  • Photography Hike: Bring your camera and walking shoes and hike in Cootes Paradise to the Aviary in Westdale. Take a relaxing break after an afternoon of photography at one of Westdale's wonderful coffee shops.
  • Dundas Rail Trail Bike Ride: Strap on your helmet and hop on your bike to explore the natural beauty that Hamilton has to offer. Enjoy the ride along the Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area Trail Centre, where you can wander the trails and enjoy a frozen treat!

Monday Night Social & Shinerama Casino
Monday Night Social is one event you don't want to miss in 2014! This event will allow you to mix and mingle with other first year students in numerous events that are sure to spark your interest. Check it out around the Student Centre on the Monday of Welcome Week.

Roll out the red carpet and get your evening wear on because you are invited to a night at the casino! Blackjack, roulette, a poker tournament, and poker lessons are only a few of the fun games that students can play during the Charity Casino at Shinerama. If poker isn't your thing there are many other events taking place at the casino. This event always proves to be a Mac favourite. All the proceeds from this event go towards fundraising for Shinerama.

Cool-Off Concert
Cool off with free frozen treats, meet new people and hear music from Hamilton's own The Zilis and Employees Only! Presented by MSU Campus Events.

Faculty Day & Faculty Fusion
Get ready for a great day of getting to know your faculty and peers! Faculty day takes place in various locations across campus; an exciting way to get to know your classmates.

Faculty Fusion brings together all of McMaster's Faculties to celebrate McMaster and show your Faculty pride! Faculties will gather together to hear each other's oaths and participate in a cheer-off.

Common Reading Program Author Visit
Last year, our Common Reading Program organized a visit from Lawrence Hill, author of the critically acclaimed, award winning novel, The Book of Negroes. This year, the program features the novel Indian Horse written by Richard Wagamese. Indian Horse is a riveting story about the struggles of an alcoholic named Saul Indian Horse. Wagamese brings readers through Saul's struggles as a Northern Ojibway and the journey that led him to a treatment centre for alcoholics.

Faculty Hollow Concert
Last Year, McMaster rockers Arkells and electropop singer Lights headlined the Welcome Week concert. Look forward to more amazing acts for this year's Welcome Week. Stay tuned for more information.

SOCS in PJ's
Off-Campus & Commuter Students
Too excited to go home? Don't want to miss a thing? Why not stay for the night? Off-campus and commuter students are invited for a night of games and socializing! Make sure you bring a sleeping bag and pillow! Registration is limited to 175 students. Dates for registration will be posted soon so stay tuned!

IRC Capture the Flag
This annual tradition features a large game of glow in the dark capture the flag in the centre of campus. All students in residence and SOCS are welcome to come join!

MACademics is a workshop series geared towards helping first year students succeed in the transition to a new environment and meeting academic expectations.

This is the opportunity to sign up for all the great clubs that McMaster has to offer! Students walk around and visit the booths set up by various campus clubs. Check out volunteer opportunities, keep up with your interests or discover a new one. Visit Clubsfest to take advantage of all the great activities available on campus in 2014.

MSU Airband Competition
This exciting event is a Welcome Week favourite giving first year students the chance to participate in the fun and watch faculty and campus groups compete for the title of the best Airband. Involved in this event is a whole lot of dancing, music, and cheering!

PJ Parade & Shine-off
The PJ Parade is a great opportunity for first year students to learn more about the Westdale community, meet their neighbours, and show Faculty and Residence pride. So come out wearing your pajamas and bring your school pride!

As you arrive back on campus from the PJ Parade, you will all be guided to Shine Off! Cars of all colours, shapes and sizes, will be set up in the middle of campus. Each residence will have a team of four students. The teams will have roughly 2 minutes to get the car as dirty as possible, and then another 4 minutes to turn around and make the car as clean as possible. Even if you are not on your residence's team, you still play a crucial part!  Not only will points be allocated on cleanliness, but also on spirit and turnout from the residence. So make sure to be loud! And don't forget to come out to Shine Day on Saturday where we will truly be shining and raising money to fight cystic fibrosis.

T'was the Night before Classes
Join upper-year students that night before classes begin and get answers to your questions from the 'tin of fears.' Enjoy a casual night as students share their struggles, successes and defining moments from first year.

Sidewalk Sale
This annual event is your chance to grab tons of free stuff and see what Hamilton has to offer from local vendors and businesses!

Faculty Night Social
Get ready for a great night of meeting people in your faculty and some amazing activities planned throughout the evening!

MSU Community Clean-up & BBQ
MSU Community Clean-Up is a Welcome Week event that allows students to interact with the community. Prizes and points towards the Welcome Week Cup will be awarded for various things including most trash collected, best trash arrangement, etc. This is a great opportunity for students to demonstrate McMaster's commitment to the community in a very positive way.

Shine Day
During Welcome Week, money is raised for cystic fibrosis (CF) research and care through a fundraiser called Shinerama. CF is a disease affecting the lungs and digestive system and is the most common, fatal, genetic disease that affects young Canadians. When McMaster started its first Shinerama campaign in 1965, people with CF were not expected to live past kindergarten. Now, life expectancy has increased up into the 40s! However we still need your help in hopes that one day CF will stand for cure found!

During Welcome Week, there will be the opportunity to donate to any reps in exchange for stickers, tattoos, lollipops and other cool items. On Shine Day, students and their Residence/SOCS reps will travel throughout the Hamilton area to raise money for Shinerama by shining shoes, washing cars, playing music as well as any other creative fundraising idea  you can think of (no idea is too big or too small!). Last year, McMaster raised $139,534, putting us second place in the top 20 schools to raise the most money for Cystic Fibrosis research and care. This year, let's raise our spirits and become the top fundraising school in the nation!This event is a great way to have fun, meet new people, and contribute to a worthwhile cause!  

International Student Welcome Orientation
Mark your calendars! On Sept. 3, we welcome all first-year international students. The Orientation will begin with breakfast and registration, feature many speakers on various topics and lots of entertainment!

The focus of this event is to welcome all new international students to McMaster University and to ensure a successful time at McMaster University!

Marauder Football Game
On Monday, Sept. 1, cheer on your McMaster Marauder football team as they take on the Western Mustangs at the Ron Joyce Stadium. Put on that Maroon and Grey, get loud and be proud! #GoMacGo

IRC Karaoke
The IRC Karaoke event is just one of the many chances to win the Welcome Week Cup. Year after year Karaoke night proves to be full of first year talent so prepare to be amazed! Come show off your talent by singing, rapping, or playing an instrument. Even if you can't sing come out and cheer!

MSU Variety Show
Featuring Mike Mandel and Yuk Yuks Comedy
Come out to watch one of the world's greatest hypnotists put some of your friends (or you) under a hilarious trance on stage, followed by award-winning Yuk Yuk comedians TRIXX and Graham Kay. This event will leave you laughing for the rest of the night!

IRC Bedracers
This is an annual tradition at Mac and one of the most hyped up events during Welcome Week. Four fast runners and one rider from all residence and SOCS compete against each other by racing, as the title indicates, a bed on wheels. Why? Why not! The winning team will receive points that contribute towards the Welcome Week Cup (awarded at the end of Welcome Week), and the IRC Cup (awarded to a residence at the end of the school year)!

Welcome Week Finale
Come celebrate the end of your Welcome Week at McMaster University. Faculties and residences rocked the week but there can only be one winner of the Faculty Cup and Residence Cup.

On and Off Campus Closing Ceremonies
Attend Closing Ceremonies with all the awesome people you've met during Welcome Week.

McMaster Events App

Keep up to date with events happening during Welcome Week with the McMaster Events App. The app will ensure you are provided with up to the minute information, updates and changes.

The app is available for download on Apple products with a Camera, Windows 8 products, touch-screen Blackberrys and Blackberry Playbooks, and touch-screen phones as well as Android 2.2 and higher. The App may be accessed from a desktop or laptop through Google Chrome or Safari, though not all features may work as effectively because the app was not intended for desktop use.

The Events App features several tabs, including:

  • MacPass Distribution - includes information about what's included in the 2014 MacPass Orientation kit as well as pick-up locations and alternate distribution locations following Welcome Week.
  • McMaster Campus Map - includes building tags and locations that students will most likely visit during Welcome Week.
  • Welcome Week Calendar – covering all of the events occurring throughout Welcome Week with times, locations, descriptions, and photos.
  • Favourites – allows students to organize their own schedule and create a personal calendar for session attendance at Welcome Day and Welcome Week events. This feature will also allow you to favourite campus buildings.
  • Social - links to the Welcome Week Facebook page and Twitter account for the most up-to-the minute information.
  • Photo – features photo highlights from previous Welcome Week events and 2013 photo uploads.
  • Video - features videos from previous Welcome Week events.
  • Important Apps & Links - includes links to various resources available on campus for students.
Additional Resources

You are encouraged to review the Events App Presentation and User Guide for a fuller understanding of the app along with its features.

Questions regarding accessibility of the App? Email .

Get the McMaster Events App Now!

The app can be found in Google Play, Itunes, BlackBerry World & Windows 8 Store

Google Play:

Windows Store: