Blog

  • Need mo’ money but got no money: 5 Halloween costumes on a university student budget

    Written by: Cate Talue

    Are you tight for time and money for a costume? Have you worn those cat ears or toga sheets for too many years in a row? Are you tired of seeing over-done costumes at parties?

    Well, good news!

    Not only are you going to be the show-stopper of the night with these Halloween costumes on a budget tips, but you’re going to save that extra $5 or $10 to use towards having the time of your life.

    1. “I totally forgot I had this!”

    We’ve all had one of these moments, whether you were rifling through your dark, dusty attic, conquering a messy closet, or you happened to clean your bedroom so you could finally see the floor. Believe it or not, there are pieces of clothing and accessories that you already own that you can use to make-shift your own creative costume. Got a yellow shirt, some overalls, a red scrunchy or ribbon and a stuffed unicorn to spare? (Well, at least the first three) Boom! You’re Agnes from Despicable Me. Go through your parents’ closet, your sister or brother, or even your grandmothers’ closet to find an item that will surely inspire a potential costume. You may be wearing regular clothes but accessorize, accessorize, accessorize, and you will look like the real deal.
    Cost: $0

     

    2. Pop culture references are always a good time
    There have been many ups and downs in the world of popular culture and there surely hasn’t been a shortage of mental/emotional breakdowns, scandals and down-right embarrassing incidents in 2014. There can never be one too many references to Miley Cyrus’ life in the spotlight from her performance at the MMVA’s and her scandalous music videos but there are more celebrities out there that can be spoofed on Halloween – including Rob Ford. That’s right, everyone. Dressing up as former Toronto mayor Rob Ford is simple and directly related to the tip above. Put on a suit and tie (you could always borrow one, too!), wear a partial bald cap (can be found at the dollar store, Wal-Mart, Value Village or if you’re feeling rich, Spirit Halloween) to imitate his receding hair line and stuff the shirt up a little bit. I suggest slapping on a pin that says ‘VOTE FORD’ so that everyone gets the gist of what spectacular comedic message you’re trying to send.
    Cost: $0 to $8

     

    3. Hunger has taken over
    Students’ relationship with food is sacred. So, dressing up as food is a grape idea. It’s easy, it’s perfect and all you need are a bag of balloons, some clear but strong tape, and a large, clear garbage bag. There are two ways to execute these costumes – after you blow up the balloons, of course. Wear a green shirt, tape green balloons of various size to your shirt, buy a crown of vine leaves for the top of your head (can be found at the dollar store) and voila! You are now a bunch of grapes. Don’t like the color green? You also have the option of being the red or purple kind. Fair warning: stay away from sharp objects. If that doesn’t suit your taste buds, put your body in a large, clear garbage bag – be sure to make arm holes on the side and a hole for your head at the top. Stuff as many blown up colorful balloons as possible into the bag and tie if off around your waist. Haven’t guessed what you are yet? Maybe once you tape the Jelly Belly logo on the front, you’ll realize how sweet this costume is!

    Cost: $1 to $5

    OR

     

    4. Fit for all coffee, Frappuccino and latte lovers alike

    This one is surely to capture the attention of all Starbucks goers. This is another costume when the dollar store becomes your best friend. White shirt? Check. Brown felt? Check. White head band? Got it. White pillow case (or a bunch of white cloth)? Check. Starbucks logo fresh out of the color printer? Quadruple check. Empty paper towel role painted green? Done. Secure the brown felt evenly around your waist (or glue it, if you have no personal attachment to the white shirt) and paste the Starbucks logo onto the brown felt. Bunch the pillowcase or cloth together and fasten it to the headband with glue or by tying it (this works better with only a small amount of fabric) then glue the green-painted paper towel role within the bunchy-ness. Show up at the party and everyone will be thinking the same thing – “I could go for one of those right now.”

    Cost: $1 to $10

     

    5. “Wait; let me get the rest of my crew. It’ll make sense, then.”

    Group costumes are as easy and versatile as you can get. Rummaging through your attic and closet is one thing, but bringing a bunch of people together to use old clothes and accessories, and working together as a unit to be one fantastic squad, is another. The Scooby-Doo clan, the Spice Girls, Barbie’s (or Ken’s), Teletubbies, Care Bears, the women from Bridesmaids, the men from Hangover 1,2 and 3, crayons, the Mean Girls, the cast from Orange is the New Black, ER, or The Big Bang Theory, the Blue Man group, Men in Black, minions from Despicable Me, or if you’re feeling extra creative, different Tetris pieces so you and your friends can look as put-together as the guys below! Between you and your friends, the pieces used in any of these costumes can be made from scrap pieces, printed from the computer, or found in at least one person’s closet making these costumes cost a total of… drum roll please…
    Cost: $0

     

    Halloween only comes once a year and it always manages to sneak up on us. But as students on a budget, we can surely put a fun costume together with what we already have on hand. Think of all the things you’ve made with the little food in your house – you’ve made it work then, and you can rock the party (or Trick or Eat) now. Remember: have fun responsibly, kids.

    Happy Halloween!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, Uncategorized
    Tag(s): , , , , , , , ,
  • BrockSLS2014: From Participant to Presenter

    BrockSLS13

    Written by: Kelsey Kavanagh

    Last November I attended Brock’s Student Leadership Summit for the second time. I was so impressed with the Summit the first time around that I had to come back and do it all again!

    The day kicked-off with a keynote speaker who blew me away and set the tone for the inspiring presenters that followed. As the presentations began I encountered the most difficult part of my day, deciding between which awesome workshops to attend! They all sounded great so it was hard to pick which ones suited me best, but luckily I wasn’t disappointed by any of my choices. Each workshop I attended filled me with inspiration that was contagious…everyone was beaming! The insight I gained from my fellow student’s experiences was also really helpful. Not only was I learning more about these students, but I was also learning a lot about myself in the process. The workshops I attended encouraged me to reflect on my personal and professional goals while also providing me with the necessary steps to accomplish them. A few of the presenters even helped me discover some new goals in both my personal and professional life that I’d never thought about before.

    The highlight of my entire day would have to be the team building workshop, which consisted of building a high structure out of spaghetti and tape. This was such a fun exercise as I got the opportunity to work as a team with some new and old friends and learn some skills along the way. By the end of the day I felt as though I was ready to conquer the world! I had such an amazing time at the Summit that I’ve decided to be a presenter this year!

    If you are interested in meeting new people, discovering your personal leadership style, and ignite personal and professional growth, and having fun, I highly recommend that you join me and take part in this inspirational day!

    For more information about the 2014 Brock Student Leadership Summit, visit ExperienceBU!

    BrockSLS14 Poster

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger, Beyond the Books, Brock Bucket List, Featured Post
  • This Week In Niagara… October 24th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    For the past few months across Ontario, you may have noticed signs in lawns and along streets, people going door-to-door or making calls and a variety of social media plugs, debates and talk of prominent issues.   This can only mean one thing – its election season!

    Much of the focus in Niagara at the moment is on municipal elections, as well as BUSAC and Senate elections right here on campus at Brock.  With this, I would encourage you ROCK THE VOTE if you only do one thing this week!

    Educating yourself is an important part of being an engaged citizen in your community, so get on the world wide web, read the newspaper, engage in discussion and learn as much as you can in order to make an informed decision.  Whether you visit your hometown this weekend and can take advantage of advanced polling (if you’re from Ontario), or live in Niagara and can get out to vote on Monday, October 27, our collective voices are strong and this is a great way to make a difference.

    On campus, elections take place October 28-30, so please also inform yourself about the candidates and the positions available.  Watch your e-mail next week for your on-line ballot and participate in the process!

    For more information, check out these websites:

    Municipal elections:

    BUSAC and Senate Elections:

    Have a great week and #ExploreNiagara election information and candidates!  Rock the vote!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): , , ,
  • This Week In Niagara… October 17th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With Reading Week in full swing, it’s a great time of year to catch your breath, focus on wellness and get organized (and even ahead perhaps!) for the remaining weeks of classes.  The quiet vibe on campus is nice for a couple of days but I have to admit that I missed the energy of having everyone bustling around and am looking forward to that next week!

    If you’re looking to do something new and exciting n Niagara before the break is over and start getting into the Halloween mood, feel free to check out these upcoming events:

    Experience the traditions of Halloween, 1812-style, brought to life through the ghosts of Canada’s bloodiest battlefield.  A fun and frightening evening is held at the old stone fort full of hair-raising tales from the perspective of the spirits who still make their presence felt.  This haunting tour ends with refreshments and the annual burning of a Guy Fawkes effigy.  Make reservations on-line at the link above.

    Explore the history and haunted tales of Downtown St. Catharines as these guided tours delve into the haunted tales of the past and the present day while also sharing historical commentary about the unique buildings and happenings in Downtown St. Catharines.  Reserve your spot on-line as tours are selling out quickly!

    St. Catharines’ own Dallas Green will open our brand new, $50 million facility that will be home to the Niagara IceDogs, concerts, conventions and more!

    Enjoy the end of Reading Week, live life to the fullest, and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

     

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): , ,
  • This Week In Niagara… October 10th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As we head into the Thanksgiving long weekend and Reading Week on campus, I hope, looking back, that you can easily think of a few things you are grateful for.  For me, this is simple:

    • friends and loved ones that I love spending time with or catching up with when we’re far apart
    • my personal wellness (mental and physical) and the ability to be happy, choose a positive outlook on life, smell the fresh fall air, and try all kinds of fun new things
    • live in an area where I have access  to more great things to do and experience than I could ever find time for!

    This list obviously doesn’t include all the little things that make life so sweet: great music to sing out loud in the shower (where I sound like a superstar), warm homemade cookies, a good belly laugh, and dogs…I love dogs. This is just the icing on the cake and taking time each day to appreciate these things, whatever they may be for you, is key.

    Going back to my list, just because it’s a holiday weekend certainly doesn’t mean that everyone stays in and eats themselves into a turkey coma – there is still plenty to do in Niagara!  Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have time to get out this week:

    • Ball’s Falls Thanksgiving Festival – Friday-Monday, October  10-13 from  9am-5pm  in Jordan, ON ($6 to enter).  Join over 130 artisans and exhibitors (find some really creative, beautiful items), gourmet food vendors, wine makers and craft beer brewers at one of the region’s largest shows.  Be part of the Thanksgiving spirit at Ball’s Falls as the festival celebrates its 40th year!
    • Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival – Thursday –Sunday, October 16-19 in Thorold, ON.  Take in a few of more than 30 blues shows over four days and support local charities with the proceeds from your ticket.  Visit the website for the schedule, locations, and where to pick up tickets.
    • Opening Ceremony of the Meridian Centre – Saturday, October 11 (downtown St. Catharines).  Join the Niagara community at the big reveal of our brand new, $50 million facility that will host the IceDogs (our OHL team), concerts, conventions and more!
    • Niagara IceDogs Home Opener – Thursday, October 16 at 7:00pm (downtown St. Catharines).  Not only come out for a great night of hockey as the IceDogs battle Belleville (and the IceDogs have some game!), but also be sure to check-out the brand new Meridian Centre – Home of the IceDogs.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): , , ,
  • This Week In Niagara… October 3rd, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With the smell of fall in the air, trees turning colour, and leaves on the ground, there is plenty of great things to experience in Niagara.  Simply take a walk up the Glenridge Hill or get on the trails around campus to admire the beauty we’re surrounded by as one of the most serene campuses in the province!

    This season also comes with great festivals and events in Niagara.  Get out this fall and check out some great things are region has to offer:

    Howell’s Pumpkin Farm  – This is a Niagara staple around Thanksgiving and Halloween and one of the top recommendations on my list.  There is plenty to do here to ignite the fall spirit and to bring out the fun in everyone! Wagon rides, a haunted house and corn maze, pig races, giant pumpkin slingshots and delicious eats (try the famous pumpkin donuts or pumpkin sausage if you’re looking for a food adventure!) along with great places to take photos around the grounds are just a few of the many highlights of Howell’s!

    Yoga Fest – Friday, October 3, 6-9pm at White Oaks Resort & Spa.  Your $25 ticket includes participation in a 2-hour master yoga class ( with 5 teachers from local yoga studios), live kirtan music, wine and tea tasting, access to top yoga accessory and apparel vendors, plus a great swag bag from The Spa at White Oaks.

    5th Annual Queenston Harvest Festival – Saturday, October 4, 11am-3pm at Centennial Park (Oakdale Ave., St. Catharines – free admission).  Come and enjoy live music by a variety of artists, fresh produce from the Start Me Up Niagara Farm will be available for sale, as well as crafts, jewelry, art, baked goods and a pig roast!

    Small Batch to Burn – Sunday, October  5, 12pm – 5pmat Dillon’s Parkade (4833 Tufford Road, Beamsville – free entry but remember to bring cash!).  The 2nd Annual event showcases an afternoon outdoors sampling some of the hottest food and drink from the area (visit the website for a list of great beverage and food vendors) while a DJ spins live!

    Sexapalooza – Friday-Sunday, October 3-5 at Scotiabank Convention Centre (Niagara Falls).  Looking for something new? Interesting? Maybe a little risque? Check out this event for all of that and more (visit the website for the weekend’s schedule, a list of vendors and a 2-for-1 admission coupon for Sunday admission).

    Have a great weekend getting out to #ExploreNiagara and enjoy this great region!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): , , ,
  • This Week In Niagara… Hiking Season

    InNiagara

    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    Badgers, the warmth and sun of Niagara is on its way out for another winter season, but the colours on the trees have yet to change! Why not make the most of the next couple of weeks of T-shirt temperatures and get outside and explore the beautiful escarpment?

    There are a dozen or more hiking trails that can take you out of the Brock bubble and into the nature of the Niagara region. Below are some suggestions for places to visit to squeeze the daylight out of the last bit of summer weather.

     

    1. MOUNTAIN LOCKS TRAIL

    This one is right in the neighbourhood, easy to get to by bus on routes 4 or 18 at the Mountain Plaza stop.

    This is a small, self-contained, and totally free area to explore. The Mountain Locks park is nestled in behind the Keg building on Glendale ave. There is an open park space with benches and picnicking area, but if you explore along the treeline you will find several trail openings. These trails all join up at random points in the wooded area, and culminate in a meadow of long grass. In these woods you may find a creek, a firepit, and the abandoned and crumbling locks now sitting on a dried riverbed. Rumour has it that these trails have a GeoCache hidden somewhere!

     

    2. DECEW FALLS

    Located on Decew Road near the Pelham intersection in West St Catharines, this site is one of the most popular for Brock students.

    In the summertime swimming here is an option, but it  is open for visits year-round. The falls still hosts the Morningstar Turbine, one of the early power-producing stations for the region standing since the late 1800’s! The upper area of the falls is accessible, but the rest of the trail is very steep and muddy – make sure you’re prepared for the hike you’re in for.

     

    3. NIAGARA GORGE

    Entrance near the Butterfly Conservatory on Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls.

    This trail gets you up-close and personal with the incredible force coming from Niagara Falls. The gorge itself carved by the Niagara river has been curated to be a more comfortable hike, but don’t go into the trail lightly. The inclines are steep and the head of the trail is a ways from the riverside. The trip is worth it to see the whirlpools and the rocky gorge. While it is beautiful in the summer, autumn will show you amazing scenery with the changing colours, and luckily this trail is open year round, for free!

     

    4. BALL’S FALLS

    Niagara is a world of waterfalls. This Conservation ares used to be the site of the Glen Elgin community, a town planned to settle where the mills at Ball’s Falls were taking advantage of the power if the waterways. The town never came to be, but many of the buildings still stand as part of the conservation effort. Ruins of the original mills are found along the walking trails to the falls with informational plaques giving you a little background on the area. This hike is one of the easier ones, with more level trails and an emphasis on natural preservation.

    There is a fee to park here, depending on the season it can be $18 or

    $14 per car for the day, or $5/person – but the regional history found here is worth a visit.

     

    5. ROCKWAY TRAIL

    Located a short drive from Pelham Road in West St Catharines, the Rockway Conservation Trail is an access point in Vineland to the Bruce Trail. You can park for free at the Conservation building and enter the trail straight from the parking lot. This hike can be quite steep as it takes you into the forest, and to the Rockway Falls. Besides the waterfall you can follow the waterline through a series of rapids, and rumour has it that there is a salt spring bringing natural salts to the Niagara community for hundreds of years! This is a great trail for enjoying the changing foliage we have to look forward to, before the world ices over.

     

    6. SHORTHILLS

    Not far from the Rockway Trail is the Pelham Road entrance to Short Hills, an official Provincial Park of Ontario that is curated and maintained year-round. Short Hills is perfect for anyone looking for some mountain biking, and has many different trails for different levels of hikers. This is a great park to explore and since it is maintained by the Ontario government, it is made accessible and enjoyable for many types of users including a picnic area, flat and semi-paved trails, mountain biking trails and deeper forest hiking routes. Short Hills can be an afternoon visit or a day-long event, and is free to use!

     

    Make the most of what’s left of the warm weather and your running shoes – enjoy the Niagara escarpment in all its natural glory!

    #ExploreNiagara

    Post Categorie(s): This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): , ,
  • This Week In Niagara… September 26th, 2014

    InNiagara

    Written by: Sandy Howe

    On the heels of a gorgeous week in Niagara, this weekend promises to be no different.  Great weather is in store, and with that, the perfect pairing – the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival!

    With the 63rd Annual Grande Parade Saturday morning at 11am, be sure to get in on the action by joining the Brock float*.  Follow this up with a great day in the park afterward with live music, great local food, fantastic Niagara wines (get yourself a commemorative wine glass as part of the experience!) and grab a piece of birthday cake to celebrate 50 years of Brock University – all in one stop!

    This event is a great way to celebrate some unique features of our region, and this is the weekend to be there.  See you in Montebello Park and be sure to post your highlights as you #ExploreNiagara!

     

    *details about being part of the Brock parade presence are available in ExperienceBU

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
    Tag(s): ,
  • Humans of BrockU

    HumansOfBanner

    Inspired by the photoblog, Humans of New York, Student Life is setting out to photograph and get to know approximately 2.5% of Brock University’s student population throughout the school year. Look out for us (most likely a person taking random photos on a large camera) on campus to be featured.

    #HumansofBrockU

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, Humans of BrockU
  • “It’s either all of us, or none of us”

    Written by: Julie Rorison

    Last fall I stumbled onto an event page for a conference taking place on a cool October weekend at my former school. It sounded really interesting and I’m always keen to learn and grow and decided to bring my mom along. I didn’t know it at the time that the Leadership Summit for Women would be one of the most transformational days of my life.

    The day was so inspirational and different from any other conference, lecture, seminar or workshop that I have been to with women and girls and allies of all ages, demographics, and life experiences coming together to share their experiences, their lessons and challenges of being a woman leader.

    I came away feeling very inspired to share this movement with my home community in Niagara. And here we are, with the support of some great community partners, for the first Niagara Leadership Summit for Women.

    Why do we need to talk about women’s leadership in our community?

    Improving women’s equality and representation is, unfortunately, a challenge that continues before us in 2014 and beyond. Our reality is that women are not represented equally in political institutions, around boardroom tables, nor do we receive equal pay for equal work.

    But that doesn’t mean that women’s leadership is not equally as important or valuable. We need to recognize our own leadership and value women’s leadership in all of its shapes and forms and colours, to really make an impact.

    In many ways, Niagara is at a critical juncture in our history. As we begin to transform our economy and community, there are many opportunities to redefine and rethink our future. Who do we want to be? What type of community do we want to become? How can we improve the lives of our residents and create a positive future for next generations?

    We need to take advantage of the potential of our greatest assets – our people and communities – by recognizing, redefining and revolutionizing ideas about leadership to more fully support and include women leaders.

    Supporting women and young leaders is important for all of us. With diverse voices, ideas and perspectives around the table we can make better decisions with more just outcomes that will benefit everyone.

    That’s what leadership means to me. It’s not about your title or position or profile. That’s what this is all about.

    I’m so excited to be able to share this experience with you – my friends, sisters, colleagues, neighbours and allies.

    See you on October 18.

     

    For more information about the Niagara Student Leadership Summit for Women, please visit http://www.niagaralsw.ca/page/home.

     

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post
    Tag(s): , ,