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Build 2000


Students chatting in cyberspace

While first-year students at Trent University may not have recognized each other when they set foot on campus in September, they may have already chatted in cyberspace. While 150 volunteer staff members worked to organize an array of activities for Introductory Seminar Week (ISW), more than 250 first-year Trent students were communicating on-line.

The students were using new discussion groups set up specifically for their use through Trent's Web CT service, explains ISW co-ordinator Piet Funnekotter. Students learned about the discussion groups when they attended New Student Orientation in the summer and immediately started writing about everything from what to bring to university, to how to get involved in dance. Mr. Funnekotter is thrilled with the response to the initiative and says it was a great way to bridge the gap between orientation sessions in the summer and ISW in the fall.

"These discussions are a great way to pump up the enthusiasm and convert nervous energy, to positive, happy energy," he says, adding more than 1,200 messages were posted before the start of ISW on September 6.

While Mr. Funnekotter responded to many of the student inquiries, he found students responding to one another's questions, which created a community feeling within the group. ISW wrapped up at Trent University on September 11 with Shinerama.

Posted September 15, 2004

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