Mehrnaz Adli is a name known around campus for all the volunteer work, clubs and jobs she has at York University. This year she had a very special experience serving as Orientation Chair for Stong College. If you haven’t already met this lovely lady get to know her below!
Name: Mehrnaz Adli
Hometown: North York
Program/ Year: Honours Psychology/5th Year
Favourite Quote: “She never looked nice, she looked like art. Art wasn’t supposed to look nice, it was supposed to make you feel something” – Rainbow Rowell
Q: Why did you choose to come to York University?
A: Amongst universities in the GTA, I really liked that York still had a campus/uni-town feel to it, as opposed to being mixed in the city downtown.
Q: Where would we most likely find you hanging out or studying on campus?
A: I love studying at Bronfman library at Schulich or the fourth floor of Scott library, I need absolute silence to be able to really study.
Q: What are some of the things you have been involved with here at York?
A: I work for Game Operations as a part of events staff, I’m also on Stong College Student Government. Recently I’ve become an ambassador in a sense, working with the Sexual Violence Response Office and York’s Orientation Director’s Association.
Q: How did you become involved with Orientation and what was your experience like as the Orientation Chair for Stong College?
A: The position of Orientation Chair is a hired position at Stong, so essentially all applicants will have to go through an interview process with a panel. As Orientation Chair, you spend exam period (March-April) trying to concentrate on studying when all you can think of is all the possibilities of themes and the magic of frosh. If you’re lucky by May they’ll give you the job and with a whole lot of trust and you’re on your way. The next four months will be filled by endless trainings and nonstop planning (everything from CPR, Safetalk, Assist, workshops on various ‘isms, mental health, etc.). Every waking moment of nine days in September is perfectly engineered while taking into consideration: a smooth transition for incoming students, an inclusion lens that allows any and all people to participate, taking mind/body breaks, dealing with various personalities and situations, contingency plans, permits, buses, allergies, accessibility and so much more.
Genuinely, I think everyone who goes for this job knows it’s going to be demanding and quite frankly, difficult. But you have no idea, until you have the weight of an entire college on your back. You’re in charge of setting the tone for incoming students. The tone you set will determine how likely they are to get involved within their undergrad career. Who will they meet? Will they feel welcome? Will they be intimidated? Will your example make them want to be future leaders of this college? Will the culture of the college stand and will they one day carry this forward as it has been passed on to us? It’s an immense kind of pressure, but one that is so incredibly rewarding. You are presented with an endless array of opportunities and you are trusted enough to be placed right in the middle of it all.
Getting the opportunity to be there for anyone and everyone when they need you in of itself, made the job worthwhile.
Q: Who is your role model?
A: Audrey Hepburn, forever. What a lady.
Q: What has been your favourite memory at York so far?
A: Not a single memory but rather a reel of small moments with people I didn’t know coming into university; who have become such a significant part of my life.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
A: I suppose people that have known me for a while would know it, but I used to be in a lot of musicals growing up and I’ll always have a soft spot for them in true geek fashion.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming first year students at York?
A: Honestly, just to get involved, the sooner the better. As cliché as it sounds just do everything you want to do because you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do, didn’t say, didn’t try. And go to class, even if the lecture is recorded.
Big thanks to this wonderful woman for sharing her experiences of being a York Lion!