New school year at Briercrest starts on positive note

Kayla Malanka | Sep 16, 2013
Assistant registrar Tim Macfarlane chats with several students as they begin the registration process. Assistant registrar Tim Macfarlane chats with several students as they begin the registration process.Assistant registrar Tim Macfarlane chats with several students as they begin the registration process.

A warm welcome and an organized team helped make Briercrest’s registration week a resounding success.

“I was just so excited to come back because when you come back to Briercrest it feels like you are coming back to family,” Jessica Neudorf, second year BA and BSE elementary education student said. “I just love the prayer support of the community and I am just so encouraged by the sincerity of the people here.”

“One thing I enjoyed the most about registration was just how welcoming the staff were and how they were all really encouraging and just made me feel so blessed to be here.”

Neudorf said beyond the welcoming environment she really appreciated how willing everyone at registration was to help and be available for any concerns students may have had.

“I didn’t have to ask any questions because they made sure somebody would be there to help you and approach you and ask you about different things and help you understand, which made things go really smoothly,” she said.

“Sometimes you aren’t sure what questions to ask so they really helped inform you about Briercrest.”

After settling into her dorm Neudorf said she had a chance to talk with some freshman students and was really encouraged by the positive feedback she heard.

“One of the biggest things I have heard from freshman students was everyone at Briercrest was so welcoming and they are just so encouraged by how kind and welcoming everyone was,” she smiled. “They said it is a warm and inviting community.”

Michael Pawelke, president of Briercrest College and Seminary, said he is pleased to hear that student’s first impressions of Briercrest were that of a warm and welcoming community.

“We want to make a good first impression because we want our students to be excited about the days and weeks and months that lie ahead of them,” he exclaimed. “We want our parents to feel that we can be trusted with their sons and daughters and with the educational and community experience they will have.”

Levy Stewart, second year music student and student events coordinator, agreed with Pawelke and said as a member of the student government body he felt registration was very successful and gave students a good first impression.

“I think everyone keeps on working to make registration better and smoother because I know in past years there may have been a little more confusion of ‘Where do I go? What do I do? Who’s going to help me?’ and this year people seemed to be getting where they needed to go,” he said.

“And it was fun to see lots of people seeing each other for the first time after four months so there was lots of screaming, lots of hugging and lots of overall excitement.”

Wes Olmstead, vice-president academic, said he was really pleased to see how smoothly things ran this year as well.

“I think in September there is an energy at Briercrest that isn’t there at any other time because everybody is ready to go and sometimes that can get dulled a bit when you are sitting in a line for a couple of hours. There was none of that this year, which was really nice,” he said.

“You have hundreds of students come through in one day and you then you add the presence of a few more hundred parents and you have complexity and all kinds of opportunity for administrative nightmares to take place,” Pawelke added. “Instead, I thought registration went very smooth. I thought it was quite relaxed and I was very pleased with how organized our team was.”

Stewart said as the first week of school came to an end there is an excitement and positive energy that continues to linger in the air.

“I think the students this year are all pretty much a positive group of people. Not everyone may enjoy going to class, but everyone enjoys it here and the atmosphere that is here,” he laughed.

“It is not everywhere people know your name, know where you live or are interested and talk with you or stop in the halls. I think people just care more here.”

Pawelke said he is looking forward to a new school year and hopes to see students make the most of their time at Briercrest.

“I think energy and passion are things that are so closely associated with youth and we want these days of their education and this season of their life to be full of engagement and energy and joy and passion and a feeling of being alive,” he said.

“We want to do everything we can to make this the abundant life Jesus talked about. I hope it is a year students remember and this season of their life is deeply cherished. We want to ensure that we do everything we can to create that life-shaping experience and life-shaping environment.”