This is part fourteen of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

 

Name

Marisa Madigan

What is your program?

Concurrent Education (History/ Geography)

Where is home for you?

Collingwood, Ontario

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

To me a gecko is an individual who is a leader, compassionate, a resource… but most importantly a friend! A gecko is typically the first point of contact for incoming NEWTS who often live off campus, and so helping create a comfortable and welcoming environment is important!

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

My favourite part of NEWTS week is the Tamming Ceremony! Having the privilege to stand on stage watching incoming students become a part of the Queen’s community was absolutely spectacular!

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

I would recommend that all students apply to be any orientation leader!! Orientation week is a memorable Queen’s experience that, no matter what faculty or group, can make a tremendous impact on incoming students! Being a gecko allows you to make friends all over the world, which means you just HAVE to go travel to visit them right!?

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Grease!!!

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Not personally for me! But I mean I can pick it off if you REALLY want it!

 


 

This is part thirteen of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Emily Varsava

What is your program?

English Literature

Where is home for you?

Aurora, ON

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

It meant having the opportunity to give back. I have been both an exchange student and a transfer student to Queen’s, so I know how hard it is adjusting to a new school (or country!) as an upper year. Being that support system so no one feels forgotten about means everything – trust me!

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

Seeing the impact we had on students, especially international students. Other countries don’t have the orientations that we do and they are thrilled and beyond thankful by the immense amount of effort put in to give them the best experience possible.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

Being a Gecko is your chance to relive the o-week you love and miss, or it’s the opportunity to give someone else the experience you wish you had. Queen’s is known for our community, now is your chance to make that happen for someone else. Help welcome our incoming students from all schools and all over the world! It will change your perspective on how many ways you can live – life is NOT linear people!

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Hoodwinked!” I don’t think I could see this movie enough times. It still makes me feel good and laugh.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

It is not a pizza without pineapple.

 


 

This is part twelve of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Tara Freeman

What is your program?

Fourth Year Film and Media, Minor World Languages

Where is home for you?

Boston, MA

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

I made friends from many different corners of the globe and got to experience the excitement of coming to Queen’s all over again.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

My favourite part of NEWTS week was getting to know my NEWTS on our field trip. During the bus ride we played car games and entertained each other with stories about where we came from. It really allowed us to get closer as a group and build friendships, which still continue to this day.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

Because you have a chance to support people who might feel lost or scared coming into a new country/school. And you have a chance to make life long friends that you wouldn’t normally meet if not for NEWTS week.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Guilty Pleasure movie…hmmm It’s Complicated

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

No pineapple on pizza – but tortellini pizza is amazing

 


 

This is part eleven of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Faith Cobbina

What is your program?

I study Sociology and French

Where is home for you?

THE 6IX! Toronto, born and raised!

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

It meant being an automatic friend or a friendly face to incoming students to help them feel more comfortable in a new and different environment that is Queen’s.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

Meeting everyone for the first time and of course (many NEWTS would agree with me on this) THE PAINT PARTY! It was a good way to end of the week!

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

Because you have a chance to support people who might feel lost or scared coming into a new country/school. And you have a chance to make life long friends that you wouldn’t normally meet if not for NEWTS week.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

I love romcoms…I know they’re cheesy! I’M NOT OBSESSED OR ANYTHING! But “The Devil Wears Prada” has to be the best movie ever made.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Definitely NOT! I just don’t believe in it. It’s just not right.

 


 

This is part ten of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Tess Pian (on right)

What is your program?

Political Studies

Where is home for you?

London, Ontario

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko was really important to me, not only because it allowed me to get involved with Queen’s O-Week, but because it allowed me to give back. I love Queen’s so much, and being able to share that with NEWTS who are so eager and excited was a really amazing experience. Also I’m going on exchange myself so I  really related to their experiences.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

Paint party, hands down. It’s such a unique and wild experience, and it’s fun to see everyone let loose and get messy.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

Heck ya, it’s so fun and you meet the most amazing people that really become great friends.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Super cheesy rom-coms, Love Rosie is a personal fav and makes me cry every time.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

10/10 yes, expand your horizons people.

 


 

This is part nine of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Avery Wright

What is your program?

3rd year Geological Sciences!

Where is home for you?

Peterborough, ON

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko was probably one of the best choices I’ve made in my time here at Queen’s. Not only was my experience a crazy amount of fun, but it was a really important stepping stone in my life. I really built on my leadership and team working skills and made some really great friends along the way.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

The Paint Party, no questions asked, was SO MUCH FUN! Everyone was smiling so much the whole time and we were all feeding off each other’s excitement as we threw buckets worth of paint at each other.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

Because I think it’s such a unique experience! No other orientation week (in my opinion) allows you to meet people from such diverse backgrounds. I loved sharing stories with my NEWTS because I feel like I got to travel the world while staying in Kingston!

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Treasure Planet <3 

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Heck No

 


 

This is part eight of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Dawn Lee (on right)

What is your program?

Arts and Science, Economics

Where is home for you?

Toronto!

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko meant stepping outside of my comfort zone to welcome a unique group of students onto campus. It was a very special experience that was definitely one of the highlights of my time here at Queen’s.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

The Tamming Ceremony!! You’d be surprised by how fascinated they are with pom poms on a hat

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

You’re able to build friendships with people from all around the world and a create special bond with your own group whilst taking part in a very different Orientation Week. The International students are great! 

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

17 again!!

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Hard NO

 


 

This is part seven of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Evan Forth

What is your program?

Life Science

Where is home for you?

Ottawa/Kingston/Qatar??? i dont really know lol

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Meeting wonderful people and helping them become used to Kingston/Queen’s, and learning a lot about the world and myself.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

I loved seeing my NEWTS become more comfortable and come out of their shell more.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

It’s a great way to meet new people and challenge yourself, while having a super fun time!

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Surf’s up (not so guilty, its a great movie 10/10 would recommend)

 


 

This is part six of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

Name

Belinda Whyte

What is your program?

Arts & Science – Linguistics

Where is home for you?

Lansdowne, the Thousand Islands, Ontario

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a gecko for me was mainly about inclusivity and friendship. It amazes me how in just two weeks I made friendships and memories that are going to last me a lifetime.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

I think learning the dance was one of my favourite parts because it helped my self-confidence. Dancing has always been something that I am absolutely horrible at, but I loved being able to share the tradition and dance like an idiot in front of hundreds of strangers who were also laughing and just enjoying the moment. Wearing my cow shower cap at paint party is a close second.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

I would recommend being a gecko to a friend because it really boosts your self confidence. On the first day of gecko training, it was hard for me to open up to people but by the last, I was running up to random strangers yelling, “how do you feel about orientation week!?” I found that stepping out of my comfort zone has been a great experience for me and I met so many encouraging people who had a positive influence on my life.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

High School Musical 2. Nothing gets me more excited than singing “What time is it? Summer time!

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

ABSOLUTELY!

 


 

This is part five of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply!

 

Name

Alexandra Bosco

What is your program?

Con-Ed, Life Science Major and Psychology Minor

Where is home for you?

Bolton, ON

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being part of orientation week is one of the most fun and rewarding experiences I’ve had at Queen’s. After being a Teach (a Con-Ed orientation leader), I knew I wanted to be part of O-week again and being a Gecko was the perfect way to get involved!

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

The people! Getting to meet so many students from all over the world and learn about their lives and cultures was incredible! Additionally, your NC’s and fellow Gecko’s are some of the coolest people around.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

If you loved orientation week, making new friends, can rock the colour orange and get excited at the thought of making NEWT puns then definitely apply to be a Gecko!  *~I’ve had the time of my life, and I owe it all to NEWT!*~

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Dirty Dancing! (see pun above!) I’ve seen that movie more times than I can count!

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Yes, but only if it’s on Hawaiian pizza

 


 

This is part four of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply! 

 

Name

Faith Jayakaran

What is your program?

Political Studies.

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

I chose to become a gecko to help the Queen’s community and be part of something bigger.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

My favourite part of the week was the Tamming Ceremony. It was amazing to see my NEWTS participate in tradition and sing the Oil Thigh.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

I would highly recommend becoming a gecko! I met so many new people from different years and places around the world.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Definitely, pineapple on pizza, it’s the best topping.

 


 

This is part three of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply! 

 

 

Name

Olivia Farndon

What is your program?

Commerce

Where is home for you?

Ajax, Ontario

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko to me meant being not just a leader and a support system for incoming students at Queen’s, but simply being a friend.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

My favourite part of NEWTS week had to be the community surrounding the week and being able to develop new friendships with a variety of people from different backgrounds.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

I would strongly recommend being a Gecko to a friend as it truly was an amazing experience like no other. As a Gecko, I was able to take on a leadership position during orientation week, which is one of my favourite times of the year at Queen’s.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

My top guilty pleasure movie has to be Camp Rock as I may, or may not, know all the lyrics to every song and constantly sing along during the movie. “There’s no way to hold it in”.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Please no, don’t give me nightmares.

 


 

This is part two of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply! 

 

Name

Michelle Nyamekye

What is your program?

Con-Ed (P/J) Drama Major

Where is home for you?

Toronto

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko meant that I could represent Queen’s and the Kingston community to a group of new students unfamiliar with the setting.

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

I loved the bbq the first day. It was a great chance to get to know the NEWTS.

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

100%. Sign up! You won’t regret it!

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Anything Madea related tbh.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

Yeah no… but I respect people who decide to eat it

 


 

This is part one of our multi-part series on why you should apply to be a Gecko for NEWTS Orientation Week 2018. By hearing from the experiences of Geckos from previous years, we hope that you make the decision to apply! 

 

Name

Scott Schrempf

What is your program?

Biology

Where is home for you?

My home is currently Sydney, Australia (because I’m on exchange) but in Canada it’s Innisfil, Ontario.

What did being a Gecko mean to you?

Being a Gecko was an amazing way for me to gain comfort in going abroad myself. 

What was your favourite part of NEWTS week?

My favourite part was definitely Paint Party. I mean, it’s a party but with paint… how could it be better?

Why would you recommend being a Gecko to a friend?

I would recommend it because it just allows you to meet some amazing people with so many different life paths from your own.

What is your guilty pleasure movie?

Harry potter, any of them.

Pineapple on pizza, yes or no?

I’m indifferent on this one, if it’s there then I’ll eat it, and if it’s not then it isn’t.