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.
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.
Written by: Madeline Van Hemert
This summer was my first summer staying in the Niagara Region and I was able to do so many things that were never on my radar when I was living in my Brock bubble during the school year. On Wednesdays from 4:30 to dusk the Wednesday Evening Supper Market happens in Niagara on the lake, just 15-20 minutes away from the school. It was so neat to see so many local farms and companies participating in this market. When I went I was able to try lobster macaroni and cheese as well as a peach and mango iced tea. There were also trucks offering fresh cut fries, craft beer, pulled pork and so much more!
Along with those nights, I also had the opportunity to check out the Brock Farmers Market, which happens every Friday from May to September from 11:30am – 1pm out in Jubilee Court. There are also Farmers Markets that happen in St. Catharines at the Market Square on King St. (right by the bus terminal) multiple times per week. In addition, there are different markets and festivals that happen each weekend depending on what is being harvested at the time.
Now that the Niagara Region is in Grape & Wine mode, there are numerous food & wine expos happening, as well as parades, wine tasting events, winery tours and so much more! I wish I had known about these events when I had first started at Brock because I would have loved to experience more of what Niagara has to offer. To learn more about what is going on in Niagara, check out http://niagarafallstourism.com/events/. You can also read Sandy Howe’s blog, This Week In Niagara.
Written by: Sandy Howe
Can you believe it’s Homecoming already?!
With Brock having it’s 50th anniversary to celebrate, I’m a bit biased this week in saying that I think some of the best events in Niagara will be happening right on our campus. From the Grape Stomp today, Brock Cares Day of Service tomorrow, spirited fans decked out in Brock gear at athletic games and photos of people forming “50s” all weekend, this is certainly the place to be.
There is one event in Niagara in particular this week that everyone should be sure to fit in. Definitely make plans to get off campus and check out what those who live in Niagara love to celebrate – the Niagara Wine Festival. This is taking place at Montebello Park (free admission) all weekend for two weeks: Friday-Sunday September 19-21 and also September 26-28. Take in some great live bands and purchase tokens when you arrive to sample dozens of fantastic Niagara wines, great local food, and pick up your commemorative wine glass! This is a festive way to spend an afternoon or evening and a great way to experience what makes our region so unique.
Also consider marking your calendars for next Saturday, September 27th to be part of the Brock float in the Grape & Wine Festival Grande Parade – one of the largest parades in North America right in our downtown!
Have a great week, get involved, and be sure to #ExploreNiagara and share with us how you enjoyed it!
Written by: Madeline Van Hemert
What does it mean to have free time? Does it mean that it’s the time to do absolutely nothing, time to think, or maybe time to spend with loved ones? 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. If it’s nice outside I’ll go for a walk or a run and if not I’ll listen to music and take time cleaning and organizing things. It’s easy to go through the motions and get sucked into working yourself until you are unwell, but it is also important to take breaks and time to yourself.
As of July 1st, 2014, the government of Sweden will be conducting an experiment in which 8-hour work days will be reduced to 6-hour work days. Check out this link for more information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/05/sweden-work-hours_n_5446579.html. I guess my question to you would be: What do you do with your free time and would a 6-hour work day be something of interest to you?
And that is that!
Written by: Kelsey Kavanagh
Getting out of bed early is always difficult task, but as soon as I arrived at the school to participate in Brock Cares Day of Service one rainy Saturday morning, the energy from all of the volunteers was so contagious that I was beaming. My excitement grew as I was introduced to my team, a group of strangers that shared my passion for volunteering, not knowing that they would eventually become 6 new friends.
When we arrived at our volunteer site, the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Matt, an employee, explained that we would be making phone calls throughout the day to encourage individuals in the region to canvas for their organization. As a look of apprehension emerged across all of our faces, Matt went on to explain how this organization saved his grandmother’s life. This was his motivation to make hundreds of phone calls every day with the hopes of gaining funds that will save another person’s life. All of us became inspired to reach out to others in the community and encourage them to volunteer for this amazing organization. By the end of the day, I had made about a hundred calls and only three people had agreed to canvas for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. Although this number may seem small, some days Matt would call three hundred phone numbers and not one person would agree to volunteer. So for Heart & Stroke, my three phone calls were considered a big win!
Making this small contribution to an organization that impacts our community is one of the best feelings you can experience. While my friends were busy doing their hair and makeup for other homecoming celebrations that day, I was making a difference in the lives of others. Brock Cares is an amazing opportunity to give back to the Niagara community and I highly encourage anyone (and everyone) to participate in this unforgettable experience!
It’s not too late to register online at ExperienceBU to participate in Homecoming: Brock Cares Day of Service on Saturday, September 20th.
Written by: Sandy Howe
Can you believe that Orientation Week is over already?! It (hopefully) flew by, leaving great memories and friendships that will continue, just like this entire school year will!
It’s pretty tough during O-Week to venture off campus, or go too far beyond your neighbourhood, but now that we’re back to regular classes, the focus is shifting to establishing a “normal” schedule (what is that?!). We’re finding classrooms and seminars, figuring out where the closest grocery store or Starbucks is, and learning how to get around campus and Niagara. This is a great time to try new things and explore new places, making it part of your regular routine before life gets too busy and we focus on other priorities. I mean, why not?! It can only make you a better person in the end, having more great experience, places to go back to, and fun stories to share with others.
This week, Niagara has plenty going on that’s worth checking out:
- Handmade Market – Friday & Saturday, September 12 & 13 at 13th Street Winery (just passed the St. Catharines General Hospital on 4th Ave.). Check out over 75 artisans offering jewellery, hand-sewn bags, fashion accessories, preserves, natural bath + body products, original art, home decor, wood products, leather goods, as well as live music, gourmet food and food trucks, wine by the glass and more!
- Niagara Yoga Expo – Saturday, September 13 from 11:00am-6:00pm in Montebello Park (free). This is your chance to try multiple styles of yoga by some of the best instructors and studios across Niagara! Purchase the latest yoga gear, clothes, mats and more from a variety of vendors and take in an evening Kirtan Concert (tickets available on-line or at the door).
- Thorold City-Wide Garage Sale – Saturday, September 13 from 9:00am-4:00pm. Visit the Thorold website for more information or to register your address and take part.
- Country Music Festival – Saturday, September 13 from 5:00-10:00pm at Peller Estate Winery, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enjoy Canadian country music artist Brett Kissell along with mechanical bull rides, 8+ food trucks, a pig roast and wonderful harvest wines. Purchase your tickets on-line for $39 + tax.
- Niagara Regional Exhibition – Thursday – Sunday, September 11-14, Welland ($5 for students, $8 for adults). “Livestock & Living Well” is the theme for this year’s exhibition, which features livestock races, cattle and horse shows, a demolition derby, illusionists and midway rides – something for everyone!
- Great Canadian Steampunk Exposition – Friday –Sunday, September 12-14, Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enjoy music from all over the continent, artisans, workshops, guided tours of the Fort, ghost tours of Niagara, entertainment including dancers, magicians, hot air balloon rides, and even a flea circus. You don’t have to know a thing about Steampunk to participate, and you don’t have to have a costume – just come on down, explore everything, and enjoy yourself!
Have a great weekend getting out to #ExploreNiagara, share your thoughts, highlights and photos with us, and please contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of anything great happening in Niagara that we can include here!
Enjoy this great region!
Written by: Sandy Howe
First of all…Welcome (back) to Brock!
When you stop and take a look around campus this week, one word comes to mind every time: NEW. New students. A new year. New construction. New ideas. New experiences. New friends. New goals. I remember being new to Niagara four years ago, and let’s face it, sometimes being new has it’s “ups”, but it can also come with its fair share of awkwardness! Things like, where do I go to eat and drink good stuff? What are some highlights of the area? What is there to do? I need a new cool hang out spot! The list goes on and on…
To help answer these, and to pump some cool things my friends and I have found over the years, I’ll aim to post at least one thing here each week that you can do in Niagara! I hereby challenge you to create a “Niagara Bucket List” for the next 8 months (and beyond! If you stay for the summer, Niagara is one of the greatest places in Ontario to be, in my opinion!) and get out to see what this region has to offer, both near the campus and in the greater area.
This is an article that helped me when I first arrived and might help you with your bucket list. If you’re trying not to read too much while you’re resting up for all those text books, let me help you break it down:
- Did you know that Niagara has a drive-in movie theatre?
- Is home to a carousel that came to St. Catharines almost 100 years ago that you can still ride for only 5 cents?
- Over 75 wineries and six great craft breweries?
- A boat excursion that takes you (in a poncho of course!) right up to one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world?
- More than enough street food and food trucks to keep you from being hungry for a very long time?
Niagara also has amazing farms and fresh produce that you can find at local farmer’s markets all around the region, amazing views from the escarpment, the beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and of course, over 1000km of Bruce Trails that you can take advantage of starting right on our campus!
Aside from these, plenty happens in the area every week. Coming up this week are:
- Niagara Food Festival – Friday–Sunday, September 5-7 (a quick walk from the Welland bus terminal). The Niagara Food Festival offers fantastic food from local restaurants (Niagara has some good eats!), celebrity chefs including Chuck Hughes and Anna Olson, great live music featuring David Wilcox this year and much, much more.
- Yoga in Montebello Park with Moksha Yoga – Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm through September 10th (arrive a bit early to get a spot!). Pay just a $5 drop in fee to join in on what many described last summer as “attending a 60 minute yoga retreat right in our own backyard”. Bring your own mat!
- Niagara Greek Festival – Friday-Sunday, September 5-7, 11am-11pm, St. Catharines. This festival features great Greek food and treats, live music and dancing, and a small market of vendors.
Farmer’s markets are still happening every week and fresh, local produce is awesome this time of year:
- Brock University – Fridays 11:30am-1:30pm in Jubilee Court until September 12th. Find food and wine, fresh produce, desserts and artisans all to the sound of great live music right on our campus.
- St. Catharines Farmer’s Market – Thursday and Saturday 6am-3pm, and Tuesdays noon-8pm (the evening market will include the regular farmers’ market vendors, plus wineries, food trucks, craft breweries and entertainment).
If transportation is what’s holding you back, don’t let that stop you! Google maps can help with the bus schedule if you simply put in your start and end locations and click on the bus icon to find out which bus routes get you to these spots!
Have a great weekend getting settled in and I hope you also get a chance to explore Niagara. Share your highlights as well by tweeting #ExploreNiagara.
Enjoy this great region!
Written by: Cate Talaue
Who’s ready to get the ball rolling this September?
School is in full swing now with O-Week Vendor Fair and classes starting this Thursday. Campus is finally filled with students once more and it is an extraordinary year for Brock as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary this year. Get ready for some of the best events we have seen yet!
This month is about making sure that you are taking care of your body, whether that means walking to school instead of taking the bus, attending one of the fitness classes that are hosted by the Recreational Centre, ensuring that your personal hygiene is up to par, or ensuring that your body is getting all the essential nutrients in order to function healthily throughout the day.
I had the pleasure of talking to many students at the Vendor Fair this week, and asking them how they live a balanced lifestyle. Since we are focused on the body this September, here is a compilation of 5 different tips given by students on how to take better care of your body:
1. “Eat well and eat regularly. I learned early on that the freshman 15 is pretty much inevitable and if I could talk to 19 year old me, I’d tell them that there’s more to life than just Kraft Dinner and pasta. Always buy fresh!”
2. “I am so happy that Brock includes membership to The Zone as part of our tuition. It’s really convenient to workout in between classes. It does get busy during peak times but that’s a small price to pay when you’re trying to get fit.”
3. “Self-esteem is a big thing, especially for women. It’s unfortunate that we beat ourselves up if we treat ourselves with a chocolate bar or a sugary drink from Starbucks. I wish girls loved their bodies more. Just eat that chocolate bar, ladies! Be proud of what you look like.”
4. “I enjoy dressing up; I take pride in how I present myself in public. I feel as if I’m one of few men that aren’t in the Business program that enjoys wearing dress pants and button down shirts. I even do my hair in the morning. I see nothing wrong with it.”
5. “It’s crazy to think that people would consciously choose to abuse their body. This is the only one you’ll ever have, why wouldn’t you treat it well? If you don’t start now, you’ll regret it later on when it’s too late and you definitely don’t want to be that guy.”
Visit Niagara Holistic Wellness Portal for similar articles and more information about taking a holistic approach to wellness.
Written by: Cassie Hendry
September is right around the corner and that means it’s back to school time at Brock! But before hitting the books, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), the people who handle airport screening, has a few tips for those flying back to campus to make sure we all get a passing grade at the airport.
Travelling with electronics
Electronics will pass through security quickly if you take your laptop out of its case and put it into a bin to be screened. Tablets, cell phones and music players are safe to fly, but to keep everything organized, store them in your carry-on bag during security screening. Keeping these items packed helps you get through security faster. But remember, if you are using your smartphone to show your boarding pass, don’t pack it away! Have it handy to show to the screening officer.
Bringing Mom’s cooking back to school
Home-cooked meals from Mom and Dad get an A+, but what’s even better is that you can bring them with you! Solid food like breads, cookies, cakes and fruit can fly without volume restrictions in your carry-on bags, but liquid and gel-based foods like soups, sauces and jams need to be checked if they’re more than 100 ml.
Do you think you can ace airport security screening now? For more information that will help you pass through security with flying colours, visit catsa.gc.ca or CATSA’s twitter feed (@catsa_gc) and Pinterest page.