Student Success Centre

Orientation Serves


Connecting Western to volunteer opportunities in the London community

Orientation Serves

Saturday, September 7, 2019
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. 


This September, new Western students will get to see an incredible side of London as part of Orientation Serves.

The event, now entering its third year, sees Western partner with local organizations to immerse students in the community for a day of volunteering and service as a keystone event during Orientation Week. This year’s iteration of the initiative is slated for Saturday September 7, from 1pm-4pm.

For students, the day of volunteering means an opportunity to connect with the London community and get to know their new home. They find out about the incredible things that you’re doing in the region, and it plants the seeds for getting involved during the rest of their time here in London.

For community partners like you, the collaboration is an opportunity to engage a huge pool of volunteers. With thousands of students expected to participate, imagine what’s possible with access to dozens of eager and enthusiastic students. That could mean checking off long standing items on your to do lists, or even creating new exciting programming that’s in line with your goals, in order to take advantage of the helping hands.

What better way to build bridges between students and the community than to start on week one?
We’re looking for community partners to collaborate with, and build opportunities to work with our students on September 7.

On Orientation Serves Day, first-year students and their orientation leaders (called sophs) are bussed to partner locations for the afternoon to support the great work happening at non-profit organizations across the region. Students assist these organizations, learn about their efforts and bond with their new peers. First-year students will be exposed to the critical issues that exist in London and society, including physical and mental health, environment, poverty, and more. 

If you have an event or an idea of how you’d like to use student volunteers, please submit a request at the link below. Note that the hope is that each organization will be able to take at least a bus load of students (roughly 40-45).

The details:
What: Orientation Serves
When: Saturday September 7, 2019, roughly 1:00pm-4:00pm
Where: Anywhere in the London area
To request volunteers: Orientation Serves Request Form 
Contact us:


First-year Students

This is an exciting opportunity to get involved from the beginning of your time at Western – all the details will be provided once you arrive. Make sure to log on to your co-curricular record and include your experiences on campus for resumes and communicating your skills to employers.

Upper-year Students

Looking to get involved in community opportunities? Consider signing up through the Western Serves Network. The Network runs from September through April and works to provide students with opportunities to get involved in the London community. Click here for more information.

Community Partner Registration

Orientation Serves

On O-Serves day there will be approx. 2500 first-year students available to contribute to projects throughout London and the surrounding area. We are looking to accommodate groups of 40+ students per organization. However, should you have an opportunity that requires less than 40 students, send us an email and we will work to make arrangements. If you are interested in participating but aren’t sure exactly how to accommodate a group of students, we can set up a meeting to help figure something out.

Note: Students will be gathering on campus at 11:00 a.m. the day of the event. Students will be in the community from roughly 1:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m.

If your organization is interested in participation in Orientation Serves, please fill out the proposal form:

Other opportunities

Beyond orientation week, organizations can make use of the Western Serves Network to connect with groups of student volunteers. Any events hosted after orientation week (the rest of September through April), can be submitted through the Western Serves Network. For the first time in 2019-2020, Western Serves Network events will be facilitated directly by Orientation Serves leaders, making the transition to supporting your events throughout the year, more seemless than ever before. The link to the submission form for those opportunities will go live in August. In the meantime, click here for more information.