Colin Zoubak, left, Les Leeman, Logan Sudo, and Kendra Babcock, right, enjoyed the event's Muskoka chairs and keeping warm around the outdoor heater. Photo credit: Jantina Huizenga

Algonquin College’s halls were bustling on Monday, Jan. 9 as AC Day 1 marked the beginning of the 2023 winter term.

Activities took place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and included a Beavertails truck, live music, snacks and an outdoor chill zone outside the Student Commons with a heated seating area to keep attendees warm and cozy.

The Mamidosewin Centre hosted a fireside chat and stories in the afternoon. Students could drop by the Ishkodewan Courtyard for winter treats such as bannock, donuts, and s’mores as they sat by the fire to hear from storytellers who shared their own Indigenous traditions.

For some students, this term will be their first time studying on campus in person. But for others, they have had a taste of it and are excited to continue hands-on learning.

“You need to be in person, you can’t fix an engine over zoom,” said Colin Zoubak, a level-two motive power technician student at Algonquin College.

Over 3,000 students signed up for AC Day 1 according to Lauren Larocque. “We also had over 150 amazing volunteers supporting this event,” she said. Larocque believes that the Red Cross dogs were one of the most popular events.

So were the Beavertails: throughout the day over 500 of the deep-fried-dough pastries were given out to students.

The Help Hotspot was a new space available to students this semester. It was a space students had the ability to connect with an AC expert who could help them with finding their program orientation and answer any questions they may have.

Student Commons was packed with smiling faces and the sounds of students’ chatter. “It’s fun to see people and see faces again, it gives you a warm feeling seeing everyone having fun,” said Rhea Desouza, a level-two project management student.