As convocation approaches, organizers of McGill’s first “Red and White Week”—otherwise known as “Grad Frosh”—have begun planning the social and professional events for graduating students, which aims to help graduates transition into their post-McGill life.
Scheduled to take place on the first week of May, Grad Frosh is not intended to replicate the first-year frosh experience, according to Mitchell Miller, student life Coordinator at Campus Life and Engagement Office (CL&E).
“ ‘Frosh’ has more of a [social] connotation,” Miller said. “We wanted to sell the idea that this is the mix of social recognition and professional and postgraduate development events, so the preferred name for the project is ‘Red and White.’ ”
Events for the week include a brunch with notable alumni and a McGill Young Alumni speed networking session, as well as career boot camp sessions and various social celebratory events hosted by the Student Society of McGill University (SSMU).
“We are really looking into tapping into the university network and our colleagues in different departments,” Alumni Services Officer Temi Akinaina said.
The week is the product of collaboration between the SSMU, McGill’s Development and Alumni Relations Office (DAR), and the CL&E.
“These three groups are essential to student life and engagement both at McGill and beyond McGill,” SSMU President Katie Larson said. “We have a student team that will be working on some of the programming, as well as reaching out to many McGill groups to participate in different events.”
According to Akinaina, DAR’s involvement will help connect recent McGill graduates to the alumni community.
“Our focus will be on […] partnering with CaPS (Careers and Planning Service) because we want to bring alumni back to work on specific events during and basically just showcasing the alumni community,” she said.
DAR will run registration through an online system, while SSMU will promote the week to students online and through e-mail.
According to Miller, while the it’s important to engage students in the events, the success of Red and White week is not dependent on how many graduating students participate.
“I don’t want to say […] if we didn’t have student participation, the event wouldn’t work,” Miller said. “If [students who attend] find it excellent, we can scale it up in future years. Engaged student participation would be the must-have.”
Although graduating U3 Arts student Emily Neufeld said it could be difficult to encourage students to attend due to its timing in May, she said the event could be an effective way to help students plan past graduation.
“As new graduates, we are transitioning from being students to being alumni,” she said. “I think it’s important for McGill to support its new graduates by providing opportunities like this for networking and to give us a taste of what is yet to come.”