Spotlight: McGill’s non-faculty froshes

While most students are familiar with faculty froshes, like Arts Frosh and Science Frosh, there is an exciting, and often overlooked, non-faculty frosh scene to be explored. 

Outdoors Frosh

Outdoors Frosh, hosted by the McGill Outdoors Club (MOC), offered climbing, hiking, and cycling options this year. The four-day orientation event was divided between exploring Montreal and venturing outside the city. This year, Hiking Frosh trekked up Sutton, a mountainous park in Quebec’s Montérégie region, and swam in the crystal clear lakes of Mont-Orford. Climbing Frosh scaled the towering rocks of Val-David, while Cycling Frosh went mountain biking at Val-David and biked approximately 35 kilometres to McGill’s Macdonald Campus

In an interview with The McGill Tribune, Josie Messersmith, Hiking Frosh coordinator and U3 Agriculture student, described the Outdoors Frosh experience as one in which froshies create their own adventure.

“Frosh is really what you make of it,” Messersmith said. “Make yourself uncomfortable and put yourself out there, and you can meet really cool people. [Outdoors frosh] is a great opportunity to have long, personal conversations [….] It is for people who like the outdoors [and] want more of a close-knit frosh experience.”

Jewish Frosh

Jewish Frosh, organized by Am McGill and McGill Chavurah, is an opportunity for first-year students to learn about various Jewish events and spaces on campus, receive a meaningful Shabbat experience, and feel at home in the McGill Jewish community. It was Jewish Frosh that introduced Sam Hamroff, a Jewish Frosh leader and U2 Science student, to many groups that he is still part of. 

“Not only will [students] have an experience that will introduce them to like-minded people and bring a little bit of home to Montreal, but it opens many doors to additional experiences,” Hamroff wrote in a message to The McGill Tribune.

Rad Frosh

Rad Frosh hosts workshops, concerts, and dance parties, all with a focus on social and environmental justice. Organized by the Quebec Public Interest Research Group (QPIRG) at McGill, Rad Frosh offers a unique opportunity to explore local activism and community groups. This year’s theme was “Radical Renewal,” made to symbolize new beginnings. The name was inspired by birch trees, which are often the first tree species to revive after forest fires and are known for their resilience. Events included an open-mic concert where froshies met indie musicians,  DIY workshops for university success, and a drag show by House of Gahd. Proceeds went to supporting Taking What We Need, a community group that supports low-income trans women.

Fish Frosh

Despite being organized by four Christian fellowships on campus, Fish Frosh, a non-alcoholic frosh, welcomes participants of all religious backgrounds. Incoming students got to explore the city and visit destinations such as Saint Joseph’s Oratory and Old Port. This year, froshies gathered to sing Christian songs at worship night, and also attended more broadly geared events, such as a barbecue dinner and a talent show.

“[Fish frosh] is a good way for students to be a bit more relaxed and embarrass themselves a bit [while having] fun and not feeling too restricted,” said James Kusardi, Fish Frosh head coordinator and U4 Engineering student, in an interview with The McGill Tribune. 

MSA Halal Frosh 

Organized by McGill Muslim Students’ Association (MSA), Halal Frosh is a non-alcoholic, halal alternative to faculty froshes for Muslim and non-Muslim students alike, offering halal meals throughout events and providing time for prayer. 

Sara Elkady, Halal Frosh organizer and U3 Nutrition student, shared the highlights of her experience.

“This year was super special because we were able to have frosh in person again,” Elkady said. “My favourite events were the Mount Royale hike, The Amazing Race, and laser tag.” 

During the four-day hybrid event, froshies also traversed the Old Port, canoed down the Lachine canal, and ended the event with a virtual cook-off and game night.  

This year, MSA hopes to offer more hybrid social and educational events for their community.

“I’m so excited for what’s to come this year,” Elkady said. “We are working on finding a place for our weekly jummah prayers, and hopefully opening up more prayer spaces around campus.”

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