By Megan Jones
Some sought guidance, some sought a chance to hone their leadership skills and some just came for the cheese.
Regardless of motivation, Ryerson students from various years and programs crowded into POD 250 Monday afternoon to celebrate the start of another year of the Tri-Mentoring program.
The program, which runs throughout the entire school year, pairs full-time first-year students with a mentor from a higher year. Mentors are expected to communicate with their mentees regularly and provide them with guidance to help them transition smoothly into university life. They are encouraged to meet once a week for a total of four to six hours a month.
Pairs are matched according to a number of criteria, including program of study and cultural or linguistic background. So far, the program consists of 900 mentors and 800 mentees, and is still recruiting.
The Tri-Mentoring program aims not only to help students achieve their goals or develop leadership skills, but to create an accepting, culturally diverse atmosphere for students as well.
This event reflected this aim, with performances from a drumming duo, Ryerson’s Urban Hip Hop Union, spoken word artist David Delisca and Ryerson vocalists Monica Samuel and Alannah Codrington. It also included an inspirational speech from Rick Blickstead, the CEO of the Wellesley Institute (a Toronto-based research institute), who has donated two scholarships to the program.
But the program is not without faults according to Monica Samuel, a second-year business management student. She finds that some students do not always keep up with their responsibilities.
“I wasn’t really taken care of last year,” she says. “But that is why I am really glad to have a mentee under my wing. I want to be what my mentor last year wasn’t.”
But overall, the program seems to be a success and most participants rave about it.
Samuel’s mentee, business management student Krystina Thompson says that though her feelings about the upcoming year are “kinda mixed right now,” she is confident that she will “gain knowledge from my mentor and get success out of it.”
As business technology management student and mentor Christopher Betty puts it, the Tri-Mentoring program is “the coolest, most student-focused department I have ever seen.”
“If Tri-Mentoring were a person, I would be having a love affair with them.”
Photos by Chloe Kerzner