• Getting Involved is all about the Small Steps

    Being Better Banner

    Written by: Angela Mott

    I’ll be honest and say that for the first two years of my undergrad here at Brock, I did the bare minimum to get by academically.

    Luckily, I understood the course material and enjoyed most of the readings, and got through with decent marks, as a local part-time student who had no interest in the extracurricular activities on or off campus. I coasted through the beginning of my undergrad, barely noticing the people I shared the space with, or anything else happening on or around Brock’s campus.

    What I started to notice was that by giving the bare minimum to Brock, I was in engaged in an adverse reciprocal relationship with the university. It may be a cliché, but it’s true – you really do get what you give.

    It’s up to you, the individual student, what you take away from Brock when you leave here after convocation. If I had stayed in my comfortable bubble of the first couple of years of my undergrad, I would have been one of those who maybe felt like they received an over-priced four year extension of public school.

    As I enter my fourth and final year of my undergrad, I look back and see the stark contrast between my second and third years, and it all happened because of the simplest change in my behavior. I got involved – involved with my peers, my academic program, and the Brock community. I opened up to those surrounding me, and began trying new things, pushing my boundaries, and finally popped that insulating bubble that I had lived in for so long.

    By opening up my mind to the endless possibilities that were offered to me at Brock, my education began to mean so much more than marks. It wasn’t all about lectures and labs and seminars; it was about the people within these classrooms and hallways, the experiences we could share, and learning in a more holistic fashion. I transitioned from a part-time student to a full-time student and employee at Brock within a year just by getting involved.

    I am now proud to be a Badger. Trust me – it is never too late to start. A small step can lead to big changes.

    Angela Mott

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger
  • What we should know about Caitlyn Jenner and Trans Awareness

    Being Better Banner

    Written by: Cate Talaue

    In the last 24 hours, social media feeds and outlets have been covering the latest in celebrity news: Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Olympian Bruce Jenner) has made her debut as a woman on the cover of Vanity Fair.


    If you happen to stay tuned to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, you would know that Caitlyn has come out to each of her kids individually, revealing parts of her life that has remained a secret to many. Though it took the Jenner and Kardashian family by surprise that Caitlyn wanted to transition by the spring, they were all supportive and encouraging.

    However, not everyone is this lucky.

    Some may not have a support system that reassures and emboldens them to embrace their true selves and live their lives according to their own heart. Many are going to struggle with figuring out who they are, coming out to their loved ones, adjusting to life as someone who is different from what others know or expect them to be.

    Even after transitioning, as much as there are periods of freedom, there can also be moments of fear – fear of rejection and quite possibly the fear of being attacked (physically, emotionally and mentally).

    What then, can we do as students to foster an environment that allows for all people to be who they are without the fear of being ridiculed?

    Within the last year, the University has changed the bathrooms in the lobby of the Schmon Tower to be gender-neutral, but our efforts shouldn’t stop there. Weaning out certain derogatory words from our vocabulary, educating ourselves about diversity awareness, being open to different perspectives, opinions and lifestyles, and overall respecting each other are ways that we can individually encourage a better campus environment. Awareness is the first step in achieving any and all of this.

    For more information, resources and services, the Brock Student Development Centre is here to help. Find them at brocku.ca/student-development-centre

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger
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  • Seizing opportunities with Marina Pereira





    What have you gained from being a Residence Life Staff employee?

    Being part of the Residence Life Staff (RLS) for the past three years has been a remarkable adventure. I consider myself so fortunate to have this opportunity to deepen my leadership skills by working with a diverse group of individuals and by being part of a supportive community. My university experience would have never been so unique without the RLS experience.

    Marina Pereira is going into her fifth-year in the General Science program. She has been a Residence Life Staff employee since 2012, starting as a residence Don. Marina is currently working in the Student Life Involvement Commons as a coordinator for the Foundations in Leadership program.

    *** Brock University Residence is hiring for the 2015-2016 school year. For more information, visit: http://ow.ly/NBiUB

    Post Categorie(s): A Day in a Life
  • This Week in Niagara…May 29, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    It’s hard to believe the end of May has crept up already! As we head into June, Niagara continues to offer plenty of things to do and see!  Make some time for these things coming up:

    • Springlicious – Friday-Sunday, May 29-31 in downtown Niagara Falls

    Join more than 30,000 others in checking out over 50+ vendors including artisans and food, the midway games and rides, local beer and wine, and plenty of entertainment including 54-40 in concert Saturday night.

    Take in some of Canada’s culture through music and dance, stroll through the Marketplace for cultural crafts and art pieces, participate in hands-on cultural activities and enjoy cultural foods by our Food Truck Vendors.  Also check out the Niagara Folk Arts Festival Parade Saturday morning at 11am.

    • Yoga in the Park – kicking off on Wednesday, June 3rd and hosted by Moksha Yoga every Wednesday at 5pm in the Montebello Park Pavillion. Bring your mat, join the community, and enjoy your yoga practice outdoors!
    • ArtPark Concert Series – looking for some music to brighten your summer?! Check out the Tuesday and Wednesday evening concerts at ArtPark just across the border in Lewiston, NY!  This regular line-up of great $12 concerts in a huge outdoor park has something for everyone!
    • Dirty Badger Trail Run – For the second year in a row, the Dirty Badger will take you up, down, through, and around some of the most challenging and exciting trails in the Niagara Region. Bring your Brock spirit on Saturday, August 22nd and sign up for the 5km or 10kmn options as a team or on your own (note: this is not an obstacle race or mud run, just the beauty of running/walking on the trails) and don’t forget – early bird registration at the most reduced rate closes on Monday, June 1st (although sign-ups continue well beyond this).


    Enjoy a wonderful week and get out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • Join the Student Life bloggers team!


    Student Life & Community Experience is looking for passionate students who exude Badger pride, love networking and building relationships, creating a buzz on-campus, and generally want to make the students’ university experience one-of-a-kind.

    From Brock Life Hacks to Being a Better Badger to Exploring Niagara and more, there is so much to say about life as a Brock Badger. If any and all of these interest you, join our team of bloggers and start writing all things related to being a student.

    The following are excerpts from students who have shared their voices with us:

    “I’m not afraid to be alone. As a people person, I’ve always needed other people around me. I’ve been dependent on other people around me to give me courage and comfort.”
    — Alex Pennington-Little

    “I realize free time takes form differently from person to person but it is still a thing none the less. For me it’s the time to remove myself from people and things and just be in my own thoughts.”
    — Madeline Van Hemert

    “This challenge was a great way for groups to come together and do something good for the school/community, it also showed us as a staff how far $10 could go. It is important to remember that even though there is a specific day to RAK there is never a bad time to randomly show kindness to others!”
    — Coby Fewings

    Send us an email at ctalaue@brocku.ca to start writing today!


    Post Categorie(s): Brock Bucket List, Featured Post, Uncategorized
  • Home and Back Again with Michael Gicante



    What brought you back to Brock University?

    I always wanted to work on a university campus and I found that Brock has a fun atmosphere. I thought that if I could work in that setting and be in that setting, it would be great. Since I completed my undergraduate degree here, I was very familiar with campus.

    What about the University drew you back?

    Well I’m from St. Catharines, and again, being familiar with campus and the people here, and being in Niagara was a big time bonus for me.

    Best time at Brock?

    Probably in first-year because that’s when you obviously meet the most people. I used to spend a lot of time in Jubilee Court just hanging out, tossing around a baseball or a football for a bit, and that was pretty sweet.

    I worked for ESL Services in the summers as a Language Monitor and we would do the Explore program. Essentially, students from Québec and other parts of the world come here to learn English. It was basically a camp for adults since they were all 18+. We would teach them English but we would also do fun activities. We took a trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls, explore downtown St. Catharines, and we would play whatever sports were available on campus.

    It sounds like you were really involved on campus while you were a student…

    For sure. I mean, besides working on-campus, I was mostly involved within the Modern Languages department, I was part of the Italian/Canadian Society, and helped out in the French department whenever I could.

    Was there a particular moment that you realized that you were making an impact?

    Yeah, absolutely. Making an impact I would say that because Modern Languages is a smaller department, I felt like I was really getting to know my professors really well. We would be talking and getting to know each other outside of classes.

    I thought in some way I was making an impact on their career but they were also making an impact on me. That made me feel really welcome at Brock and it’s why I continue to be a part of the community because I felt like I was being influenced by the faculty and they were influencing me. I appreciated that they treated me not just as a student but also as a person.

    Michael Gicante is a Brock University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in French & Italian. He completed his Masters at Guelph University in European Studies following graduation in 2013. He is currently the Assistant Academic Adviser in the Humanities department.

    Post Categorie(s): A Day in a Life, Featured Post
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  • This Week in Niagara…May 22, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Cheers to you on a sunny Friday afternoon with the weekend right around the corner!  I hope you have some time to check out some great things happening in our region in the next week.  Highlights include:

    • 10th Annual Rankin Cancer Run – This Saturday May 23, 2015 @ 9:30am at Grantham Lions Club on Niagara St. in St. Catharines.  Join upwards of 12,000 people from across Niagara running or walking (1km or 5km options along the beautiful Welland Canal) to raise money for all cancer-related areas.  This year is the 10th anniversary of the run and the aim is to raise $1 million in one day, of which, 100% of the money raised stays is funneled into hands and organizations that need it and it all stays here in Niagara.  To join us, take the bus from Brock, or park closer to the event and have a shuttle take you in to the park.  Plan to arrive early as the last shuttles leave the parking lot at 9:15am.  See you there!
    • Momentum Choir Year-End Gala Concert – Sunday, May 24 @ 3pm catch this amazing choir’s performance at Bethany Community Church (1388 Third St., St. Catharines, ON) and be completely inspired!  Check out the video on the link attached for a sneak preview. Momentum Choir is the only choir of its kind in North America and include over 45 talented singers and musicians who are passionate about sharing their joy in music with the world.
    • Supper Market – every Wednesday for the summer the Supper Market is held in Niagara-on-the-Lake at The Village on Niagara Stone Road (just passed the traffic circle on the left side if coming from St. Catharines – look for brightly coloured umbrellas and picnic tables!) from 4:30 til dusk.  Bring your picnic blanket and grab fresh produce from local farmers and treats from local shops, food truck eats, a glass of Niagara beer or wine, and take in some live music from your blanket or a cute picnic table!  This is a great “small town” feel at a cool community event!


    Have a great week and enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • My CWC Journey: The First of Many


    Written by: Kelsey Kavanagh

    When I was first introduced to Brock’s new Campus Wide Co-Curriculum (found on ExperienceBU.brocku.ca), I was excited by the thought of receiving credit and recognition for all of my involvement and experiences at Brock outside of the classroom. Once I began to look through the curriculum items, I realized how MUCH I could get credit for, even little things like attending O-Week events and repping Brock swag got my green bar moving!

    As I enter the summer before my fourth-year at Brock, I have set a goal to complete the ENTIRE Campus Wide Co- Curriculum (CWC) by the end of my time here at the University. Since I have already completed 28 curriculum items, I will need to complete the remaining 44 curriculum items within 11 months… not an easy task, but I’m always up for a challenge. This will be a long journey that will push me to delve into a range of new awesome experiences and I’m taking you along to enjoy the ride with me.

    For the next stop on my journey to completing the CWC, I will be checking off the curriculum item: “Participate in an international volunteer or service program” under the Global Awareness domain. I will be completing this item by participating in a mission trip to Peru with Solidarity Experiences Abroad where I will be working in the classroom with local students and teachers alongside other Brock students. It’s safe to say I’m SUPER excited!

    To hear about my experiences completing this item of the CWC and learn about what’s next for me on this journey, look out for my next blog post coming soon!

    Keep experiencing BU & beyond!


    Post Categorie(s): Brock Bucket List, Featured Post, My CWC Journey, Uncategorized
  • This Week in Niagara…May 15, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As the May long weekend creeps closer with every hour of the day, there are plenty of things to look forward to this weekend and in the coming week:

    • Food Truck Eats – Saturday, May 16 – Monday, May 18: This outdoor blast of an event still has tickets remaining for Monday from 12:00-6:00pm.  It features live music and over 20 food trucks and pop-ups from Canada and the US bringing you delicious and innovative foods and drinks!  Hosted at Peller Estate Winery tickets are $15 on the website if you’re interested.
    • Folk Arts Festival – Canada’s longest running heritage festival has begun and runs until June 1st.  Explore cultures, traditions, art, music and food at a variety of open houses, or catch events downtown May 29 & 30.
    • Supper Market – beginning on Wednesday, May 20th, the Supper Market is held every Wednesday through the summer in Niagara-on-the-Lake at The Village on Niagara Stone Road from 4:30 til dusk.  Bring your picnic blanket and grab fresh produce from local farmers and treats from local shops, food truck eats, a glass of Niagara beer or wine, and take in some live music from your blanket or a cute picnic table!  This is a great “small town” feel at a cool community event!
    • Brock Farmer’s Market – now on THURSDAYS 11:30am-1:30pm beginning May 21st in Jubilee Court. BBQ, live music, beer garden, fresh produce, craft vendows, local wineries, baked goods and more!  Bring your competitive spirit and even put a team in for the games!
    • Momentum Choir – Catch this amazing choir’s performances Wednesday, May 20 @ 7pm or Sunday, May 24 @ 3pm at Bethany Community Church (1388 Third St., St. Catharines, ON) and be completely inspired!  Check out the video on the link attached for a sneak preview.

    Have a great long weekend and have a blast getting out to #ExploreNiagara!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, This Week In Niagara..., Uncategorized
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  • This Week in Niagara…May 8, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Hello and happy Friday to you!

    As we head into a great weekend forecast, our region is booming with great community events! Check out what’s coming up:

    • Handmade Market – This Friday & Saturday, May 8 & 9 from 11am-7pm Friday and Saturday 9am-6pm at 13th Street Winery (which is located out by the new hospital on Fourth Ave.).  This events is outdoors in tents rain or shine, and features live music, food trucks, baked goodies, wine by the glass and 85+ artisan vendors for $4 admission.
    • Thorold Arts & Crafts Show – Saturday, May 9 from 10am-4pm at the Thorold Arena (Front St N & St.Davids Rd.).  Over 80+ vendors for $2 admission at the 37th annual event.
    • Pelham Arts Festival – May 8-10 (Friday – 7-10pm, Sat. & Sun. 11am-5pm) at the Pelham Arena (1120 Haist Street, Fonthill, ON).  Featuring live music and over 70 artists, artisans and photographers from around North America.
    • Local Farmer’s Markets – here is the listing for all the farmer’s markets happening around Niagara and their dates/hours.  For something close by, check out the St. Catharines Market at the Market Square downtown on King St. Thursday and Saturdays during the day (6am-3pm).  Starting in June, Brock will also fire up a great event in Jubilee Court bringing our local produce, vendors and food to campus – stay tuned for more info!

    Next weekend (that you’ll need to pick up tickets for now!):

    • Food Truck Eats – This outdoor blast of an event features live music and over 20 food trucks from Canada and the US bringing you delicious and innovative foods and drinks!  Hosted at Peller Estate Winery from Saturday, May 16-Monday, May 18 (Saturday and Sunday evening 5-10pm, Monday daytime 12-6pm), you’ll need to get your tickets now as this event sells-out fast (Saturday tickets are already gone)! At $15, put this on your to-do list!
    • Virgil Stampede – May 16-18: This community festival has been running for over 45 years and sees more than 10,000 people pass through each year!  This provides entertainment for all ages and features a wide array of activities including amusement rides, refreshments stands, silent auctions, mud bogging ATV’s and trucks, football tournaments, food delicacies, fashion shows, free makeovers, health, wellness and beauty secrets, cooking demos, sports activities, home renovation advice, travel ideas AND more. The stampede is happening at Virgil Sports Park (1565 Four Mile Creek Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON) Saturday-Monday, May 17-19, for $5 Saturday/Monday and Sunday is free.

    If you have any Niagara events to share, please feel to pass them along anytime and I’ll include them the following week! Enjoy the summer weather and stay hydrated as you #ExploreNiagara! :)

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, This Week In Niagara...