Glendon Campus
York University
2275 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4N 3M6
Bon Retour – Welcome Back to Glendon!


The strike is over – at last! And every member of the Glendon community is eager to return to normal activities as fast as possible.

Glendon’s Office of Student Affairs has put together a full week of activities with the title “Le retour….Next Steps”, designed to reunite the entire community and celebrate this much-awaited return. They have been preparing in collaboration with Recruitment, Marketing and Communications, the Glendon College Student Union (GCSU) and student clubs, academic departments, Chartwell’s campus catering services, the Glendon Bookstore - just about every segment of the campus. Students were invited for pizza, popcorn, hot chocolate and other treats. The central thrust of the program was to have members of the entire administration, as well as representatives of academic departments ready to answer questions, provide information and generally let students know how eagerly they have been awaited.

L-r: Glendon students Mayer Elharar, Julien Oghia, Marisa Baratta, Jonathan Lebon and María López are happy to be back

Monday’s movie night was followed by an all-day Open House on Tuesday in the cafeteria, complete with food and drinks, prizes and information kiosks of all the services and departments. On Wednesday and Thursday, the Glendon Gallery welcomes everyone for a coffee break (12-3 p.m.) with delicious pastries and a chance to see the current exhibition, Soft Shapes. Thursday and Friday evening at 8 p.m., the Glendon Musical Ensemble presents its latest production, Stories of the Street: City Life in Song. Glendon’s traditional Pub Night resumes in the cafeteria on Thursday after 10 p.m.,, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., students can come and chill out in the Breezeway, playing Wii and other games.

Left: Irena Kramer and Daniel Abramson at the Hillel kiosk

“We want students to know how happy we are to have them back”, says Manager of Student Services Aaron Doupe. “But this event is not just a celebration. The representatives of every segment of the Glendon community are there to answer academic questions, respond to concerns, promote available services and re-establish a sense of student life through student clubs and organizations.”

The throng of students at Tuesday’s Open House confirmed everyone’s desire to reconnect. “We hope that students will get involved once more and feel welcome”, said Irena Kramer and Daniel Abramson, student representatives of Glendon’s Hillel Club. They were distributing peat plugs and flower seeds as a promotion of the upcoming Jewish celebration of planting trees – a hopeful symbol of regeneration.

Right: Manager of Student Services Aaron Doupe and Associate Principal, Student Affairs Louise Lewin hand out the pizza

4th-year International Studies student Clara Wong, president of Glendon’s Model United Nations Club reported that professors have been very accommodating and understanding of the hardships confronting returning students. “It’s good to be back”, she said. “The residence Dons and everyone of the administration have been very helpful and welcoming.” Clara has lost out on a summer internship in Hong Kong, because she will not be available for work in May, as required. “But I feel optimistic and am already applying to other internships in Toronto.” With the International Studies Students’ Association’s (ISSA) annual symposium coming up – this year examining Venezuela – Clara has her hands full and has already gotten down to work.

Left: Manager of Academic Advising Cristina Bregar with Advising Assistant Michael Ah Choon

Five friends around a table in the cafeteria were clearly enjoying the program and treats during Tuesday’s Open House. “It’s starting to feel as if we had never left”, smiles 4th-year English major Marisa Baratta. “We are happy to be back and appreciate how nice everyone has been since our return.” 4th-year Mathematics major Jonathan Lebon adds that “…it’s a little scary because we don’t really know what to expect, what will be taught and what won’t from the curriculum.”

“I used the time during the strike to explore new interests”, says María López, 4th-year student in Linguistics and Psychology. “I did some volunteering and some cooking too”, she laughs, “but also worked on my school projects.”

Right: Manager of Student Services Aaron Doupe is proud of the program's success

“We are here to provide all the support that the students need”, says Manager of Academic Advising Cristina Bregar, one of the moving forces behind the week’s programs. “We have been very much looking forward to having them back and working with them to smooth the way to completing this academic year.”

“We know that the students need our help in getting back”, comments Louise Lewin, Glendon’s Associate Principal, Student Affairs, “and we would like everyone to know that we will do our best to help them succeed in their year and resolve the challenges they are facing.”

A throng of students at the Open House

“The response to our call for participation in this week’s activities has been overwhelming from all quarters”, adds Doupe. “A truly Glendon-wide program in a truly Glendon style: personal, warm, supportive, collaborative. The enjoyable atmosphere we hope we have created is our way of letting students know how thrilled we are to have them back and to resume campus life.”

Article submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on February 3, 2009