• A Badger Abroad: My Whirlwind Adventure


    Written by: Devon Ainslie

    It’s only been two months since my return to Canada and everyday I miss Glasgow more and more. Even though I had only spent a month studying abroad it felt like much longer, and it still doesn’t feel real to be back here at Brock. I scroll through photos and reminisce about my days in the highlands or the endless rows of shops on Buchanan and West Nile Street in Glasgow.

    Being a badger abroad allowed me to assert my Canadian presence to where I was and where I came from. Numerous times on the street I would be stopped and talked to by local Glaswegians. I met a few who had been to Canada or had a family member living there, which made me feel right at home. Glasgow was one of the easiest cities to navigate, the city was like a gridlock and even the subway was in a loop so if you missed your stop you could loop back around. The only downside was that stores were only open till 5pm or 7pm (mostly on Thursdays), so the city centre became a ghost town at night.


    However, the real reason I was there was to “study”. I was the first Brock student and Canadian to attend Glasgow Caledonian University Summer School for Digital Media in Society. Our program consisted of blogging/social media, television, business and video productions with each professor having worked in several news organizations such as The Scotsman, BBC, and working for shows such as The Voice UK. School was five days a week from 9am-3pm but included various days of doing fieldwork around the city, filming interviews and keeping a daily blog for the class. The classes were very hands-on and interactive; the size of our class was roughly 30-35 people, which included students from Beijing, China, two French students from Lyon, France and one American high school student from Boston, MA. While this made for a very unique experience it was also at times difficult with there being credit bearing and non-credit bearing students integrated into one class.

    We were given a lot of free time to explore and at least one day off during the week to ourselves for exploring Glasgow’s museums, gardens or just to relax. On weekends we would take trips to nearby cities. The most memorable trip was to the Highlands and Fort Williams where we got to experience the beautiful Loch Lomond and the mountains that surround this beautiful loch. Another treasure was the Glenfinnan Viaduct that is more commonly known as the Harry Potter Viaduct. At 3:10pm everyday the classic steam whistle train goes by and it feels like a scene right out of Harry Potter. This exchange has allowed me to branch out from my comfort zone by not only having the courage to travel alone but also making the best out of every experience possible and to just have fun no matter where you are.

    Devon Ainslie is one of the members on our Student Life Bloggers team. She is currently in her third-year studying Media & Communication Studies with a Concentration in Digital Culture. She loves to write in her spare time, travel the world and is an avid tea drinker.

    Looking to have this kind of adventure? There are plenty of opportunities for you to do so! Check out the options that are available during October reading week and February reading week on experiencebu.brocku.ca 

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Bucket List, Featured Event, Featured Post
  • This Week In Niagara…October 2, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With the crispness of fall setting in, trees turning colour, and October underway, there is plenty to do and see in Niagara.  Simply take a walk in your neighbourhood or get on the Bruce 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:

    • “First Fridays” at the St. Catharines Museum – tonight, Friday, October 2, 7-9pm. The Museums of Niagara Association and the St. Catharines Museum invite you to catch some culture after hours! Part of the First Fridays event series hosted by Niagara museums, this 19+ event features music from DJ Marinko, food and drink from the Smokin’ Buddha, activities and museum exhibits all alongside Lock 3 of the Canal, this month at the St. Catharines Museum. $10 per person at the door.
    • Ridgeway Fall Festival – Saturday, October 3 on Ridge Rd. in Ridgeway, ON (free). Wander through the local shops, shop with local farmers, take a horse drawn carriage ride and more!
    • Applefest – Saturday, October 3 at Beacon Christian School (Scott St., St. Catharines) from 10am-6pm. Check out vendors of all kinds, music, food and plenty of apple treats for all!  Lunch available in the cafeteria starting at 11:30am, and dinner beginning at 4:30pm.
    • Pioneer Day – Saturday, October 3 from 10am-4pm at the Jordan Historical Museum (free parking and shuttle bus to/from the Jordan Arena, $5 to enter, $15 for families). This fun day includes heritage arts and craft demonstrations, traditional Mennonite foods, children’s activities, and much more!
    • 6th Annual Queenston Harvest Festival – Saturday, October 3, 11am-3pm at Westminster Church (180 Queenston St., Catharines – free admission). Come and enjoy live music, fresh produce from the Start Me Up Niagara Farm will be available for sale, as well as arts and crafts, baked goods and more.
    • Howell’s Pumpkin Farm – This is a Niagara staple around Thanksgiving and Halloween and offers something for 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!  Don’t forget to choose your pumpkin while you’re, from the most varieties around (A “Cinderella pumpkin” is a real thing!).


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


    Post Categorie(s): This Week In Niagara...
  • Re-Vamping the Brock University Campus

    Being Better Banner (1)

    Written by: Laura Sebben

    Over the last several months, Brock University has taken several steps to improving the campus for the Badger community. The new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, the new statue of General Brock, and the new turf field all function in completely different ways but serve as a reminder to students, faculty, and visitors of what a wonderful university Brock is.

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    The MIWSFPA serves as an exciting ‘renaissance’ for both the school and the St. Catharine’s downtown core. The building brings new life for the various Arts programs here at Brock giving students access to a brand new facility complete with art studios, music rooms, digital technology, a 235-seat theatre and much more. The new building is an important part of Brock’s identity because it allows students in the MIWSFPA to flourish in an environment that was designed specially for them.

    Artificial Turf Field
    Not much to explain here except for saying finally! This turf field has been in talks for some time now and all members of the Brock community have been looking forward to it official opening. Primarily funded by BUSU (can you say awesome?) this artificial turf field is an important part of the Badger sports community for both the athletes and the fans. It’s a good step to improving our already excellent sports by providing them with better facilities to practice and win on!

    General Brock
    The statue that no doubt everyone has seen (unless you’ve been living under a rock) is a good reminder of how passionate the Brock community is about its history. There are reminders all over the school, including the new picture timeline located in the Tower, of how proud Brock is of the history that has made it a great university today. I enjoy these little historical reminders because it makes me appreciate the school that much more. The arrival of General Brock was even made fun, as the Brock social media accounts tracked its exciting journey home.

    So a big round of applause to Brock University for giving its faculty and students an amazing campus to be proud of! With state of the art facilities and reminders of the schools important history, the Brock campus is one for the books.

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…September 25, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With it being officially Fall already, it’s time to get out and take advantage of all our region has to offer this time year – and there is plenty! Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on this week that’s worth checking out:

    • Catharines Culture Days – Friday – Sunday, September 25-27. Culture Days is a Canada-wide celebration representing the largest-ever public participation campaign undertaken by the arts and cultural community in this country. Culture Days features free hands-on activities that invite the public to participate in the “behind-the-scenes” world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, and designers at work. Experience mural painting, theatre, sculpture, drawing, slam poetry, abstract art, opera and more by checking out free events in your area.
    • Great Canadian Steampunk Exposition – Friday – Sunday, September 25-27, 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!
    • Niagara Wine Festival:  The final weekend of Grape & Wine is upon us, which runs in Montebello Park (free admission) Friday – Sunday, September 25-27, and also includes other events around the region.  Take in some great live bands and purchase tokens when you arrive at the park 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 mark your calendars for Saturday, September 26 at 11am to see the 64th Annual Meridian Grape & Wine Festival Grande Parade – one of the largest parades in North America right in downtown St. Catharines (consider being part of the Brock float and presence in the parade by meeting at the float near the corner of Lake & Welland around 10:20am).
    • Etsy: Made in Canada – Saturday, September 26 from 10:00am-6:00pm at Heartland Forest. This event is part of a national grassroots initiative celebrating the crafters, collectors and artisans in local communities across Canada. Etsy: Made in Canada marketplaces will pop-up in 33 cities on September 26, 2015. Etsy artisans will sell their handmade wares and vintage goods, each of which will represent the spirit of the local community. Also grab some food truck eats and local beer and wine for your stroll among these vendors.
    • Free Yoga at Stratus Winery – Sunday, September 27 at 10:30am followed by wine and food sampling. Don’t forget to register on-line!
    • Rodman Hall Art Open House and Culture Days – Saturday, September 26, 2015, 12-4pm (109 St. Paul Crescent, St. Catharines – free). FOR FAMILIES: 12-4pm art activities – Enjoy hands-on art activities and button-making for the whole family. Check out our Summer Student Art Exhibition during your visit. FOR ADULTS: 12:30pm exhibition tour – Experience our engaging contemporary art exhibition as you tour: Sarindar Dhaliwal: The Cartographers Mistake with Curator Marcie Bronson, 2pm artist talk with Maggie Groat, 3pm historic home tour as you learn about the fascinating history of the Merritt Family and tour behind-the-scenes of the beautiful facility.


    Have a great week, get out there and be sure to #ExploreNiagara

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Event, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • How Badgers Can Save a Buck

    Written by: Karey Hatch

    Close-up of assorted Canadian paper currency

    1. Master the 30 Day Rule
    If you have the urge to purchase something, wait for 30 days and see if you truly want to spend the money

    2. Lists
    Lists can be your best friend! They help you stay on track, and only spend the money that you intended on spending

    3. Clean Sweep
    Clean out your closet and take your items to Platos Closet (right across from the Pen Centre) You are able to clear out your closet, plus make a little bit of money!

    4. Leave the Pack Behind
    Brock Student Health Services promotes leaving the pack behind. They have different tips and tricks to stop smoking, which in turns saves you money!

    5. Stop the Credit Cards
    Banks encourage students to get Visa cards, except the majority of young adults do not fully understand how credit cards work. If you do not pay your visa bill in time, the interests will quickly add up; making you pay more than you intended to pay.\

    6. Stress Spending
    Young adults in university tend to develop large amounts of stress. Some students tend to spend more money once they become stressed; Stress-Spending. Avoid stress spending by partaking in physical activity! A ten minute walk means you saved some money, and were becoming healthy while doing it!

    7. Volunteer
    Get involved within the Brock Community! The Student Life and Involvement Commons has numerous ways to get involved, and volunteer around the Brock campus, and greater Niagara Region.


    Brock University has created a new program called BLAST-off. BLAST-off stands for Brock’s Leadership, Academic & Student Transition Program. BLAST-off is directly dedicated to incoming first year Brock students. The team behind BLAST-off is there to assist first year students to have an awesome first year experience!

    There is a six week plan for each semester along with themes for these weeks. Some of these themes include badger spirit, community engagement and leadership. Look out for the BLAST-off team around the school with free giveaways and contests for you to take part in!

    Next week we will be our Financial Literacy week. Check out the hallways for the BLAST-off team. They will have free giveaways, and information to help you save money while you study at Brock. Also check us out on Snapchat (@BrockSLCE) for further updates! There will be Snapchat challenges in the near future!

    Post Categorie(s): BLAST-off!
  • 4 Tips on How to Weave Your Way through a Successful Year

    Brock Hacks Banner

    Written by: Natalie Pagnotta

    Approximately 8 months, 50 weeks, 215 days—that’s all the time you have during one year of university. Although at times it may seem like the year will never end, this doesn’t give you a lot of time to make the most of your experience. Get involved, ask for help if you are unsure and HAVE FUN!

    1. Find a Club
    By joining a club you will make connections with other students with similar interests, therefore creating lasting relationships and networks.
    HOW: Check out Experience BU and search Clubs (experiencebu.brocku.ca)

    2. Look at the Bulletin Boards around Campus!
    We are now in the age of social media, but once in a while, look up from your devices and check out the bulletin boards/displays around campus. They are filled with tons of information and logistics about all campus events including; informational seminars, study participation, volunteer opportunities and much more!
    HOW: Look for them around all major campus traffic areas!


    3. Utilize the Library and all the services it has to offer
    Take a look online and in-person at all the great resources the Library has, they include…
    •        Book Group Study Room
    •        Reserves and Exams
    •        Research Guides by program (APA. Chicago, etc.)
    In Person:
    •    Drop-in Learning Centre
    •    Library Printing
    •    Liaison Librarians (they are experts in your program and all the materials needed to succeed)
    HOW: Check out the James A. Gibson Library/ Learning Commons located in the heart of the campus right beside the tower.

    4. Stop by Student Life and Community Experience
    The Student Life team always has their finger on the pulse of what’s happening around Brock or has the connection to get you answers. They also have great opportunities for volunteering within the community and abroad!
    HOW: Our office is located in MCA 204, under the stairs as your passing the Tim Horton’s under the tower or if you’re coming from Jubilee Court, we are the red office straight ahead when you head through the double doors.

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Featured Event, Featured Post
  • This Week in Niagara…September 18, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With the school year falling into routine and Brock Homecoming upon us, that can only mean one thing – it’s Grape & Wine time in our awesome region! Coming up this week are plenty of great events happening in the community:

    • Niagara Wine Festival: Starts today and runs in Montebello Park (free admission) this weekend and next: Friday – Sunday, September 18-20 and also September 25-27, and includes other events around the region. Take in some great live bands and purchase tokens when you arrive at the park 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.
    • Handmade MarketFriday & Saturday, September 18 & 19 at 13th Street Winery (just passed the St. Catharines General Hospital on 4th).  Check out 85+ 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 so you can “sip and stroll” and more!
    • Niagara Roller Girls Roller Derby – Saturday, September 19 @ 6pm at the Haig Bowl Arena (17 Beech Street, St. Catharines). Niagara Roller Girls play roller derby and raise money for charity. With their fall season kicking off this weekend raising funds for Community Care, the games are a great evening out and they also offer student pricing on tickets.
    • Badgers Baseball – Catching a varsity game is a great way to get out into the community to the stadium (Community Park – 4 Seymour Ave, St Catharines) and see a grrrreat team! Check out the schedule for upcoming home games!
    • Niagara Night of ArtsThursday, September 24, 2015 5:00 PM to 10:00pm at the Niagara Falls History Museum (free). Join in to celebrate local musicians, artists, and the vibrant culture of Niagara at this family-friendly event! This includes art installations, art exhibitions, live music, and hands-on interactive crafts, and food from local restaurants and onsite vendors so be sure to come hungry!
    • Also consider marking your calendars for next Saturday, September 26 to be part of the Brock float in the 64th annual Meridian 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!

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • This Week in Niagara…September 11, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    Welcome home, Badgers! It’s so great to feel the energy of students on campus and the buzz of excitement that goes along with the start of a new year! It’s been a great week here, and with that, plenty of great things coming up in the Niagara Region:

    • Niagara Food Festival – Friday–Sunday, September 11-13 in downtown Welland (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, great live music featuring Kim Mitchell, The Mandevilles and local favourites Street Pharmacy this year and much, much more.
    • Niagara Greek Festival – Friday-Sunday, September 11-13, 11am-11pm at 585 Niagara St. in St. Catharines.  This festival features great Greek food and treats, live music and dancing, and a small market of vendors.
    • Twenty Valley Bazaar – Sunday, September 13, 10:00am-4:00pm at 4404 South Service Rd. in Beamsville. Grab some BBQ, try your luck at the ‘Penny Sale’, and 20+ artisans showcasing their handmade goods and specialized products. Find anything from food, housewares, bath products, jewelry, crafts, accessories, clothing, nutrition products and much, much more.
    • Snowbirds over Niagara Falls – Thursday, September 17, Niagara Falls. The Canadian Forces Snowbirds (431 Air Demonstration Squadron) is a Canadian icon comprised of serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces who bring thrilling performances to the North American public. Catch them over the falls this week.

    Especially if you’re new to the area, try to get out and check things out! We’re lucky to live in a region with so many great things to offer. Enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara

    I would also challenge you to create a “Niagara Bucket List” and take advantage of your home community. This is an article that helped me when I first arrived and might help you create your 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 and the largest in North America?
    • More than enough street food and food trucks to keep you from being hungry for a very long time!

    Niagara also has farms and fresh produce that you can find at local farmer’s markets all around the region (never had a “donut peach”?! You should track these down at Warner Farms), 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!

    • Brock University – Thursdays 11:30am-1:30pm in Jubilee Court until the end of September.  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 – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 6am-2pm in the downtown Market Square (91 King St. at King and James, St. Catharines)

    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!

    Get out and #ExploreNiagara. If everyone could be so lucky… :)

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, Featured Post, This Week In Niagara...
  • This Week in Niagara…September 4, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    In the final days before that “back to school” feeling and routine arrive, here are some things to check out in Niagara:

    First Fridays focuses on reaching out to new audiences while raising awareness of Niagara’s local history. The series will be hosted at various museums throughout the Region, and will run on the First Friday of every month through December 2015.  Switching it up every month with a different theme and new surprises, First Fridays kicks it off with the Port Colborne Bootlegger Ball on Friday, September 4th, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm. Treat yourself to drinks and appetizers from The Smokin’ Buddha as you explore the latest exhibitions, and enjoy live music on-site.  Advance tickets are available at each of the museums listed above for $10 or can be purchased at the door, the night of the event.

    • Earth & Sky Music Market – Monday, September 7 from 12:00-6:00pm: Food trucks, wine, musicians and artisan vendors gather at Chateau Des Charmes Winery.  This rain or shine event is free!


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

    Post Categorie(s): Explore Niagara, This Week In Niagara...
  • Open Arms for O-Week

    Being Better Banner (1)

    Written by: Laura Sebben

    Being a first year student in university is a big change. The environment, people, and surroundings are completely different from what you are used to. Though it might be nerve-racking to start fresh in a new place, the people at Brock University are there to help ease the transition.

    Taking part in the O-Week events scheduled for your first official week at Brock is one of the best ways to start your life as a university student. Not only do they provide memorable experiences but also work as an easy and comfortable way to get to know your school and fellow Badgers!

    O-Week has everything from safety tips in residence to orientations for each faculty. Throw in a bit of exercise, teamwork events, and some social nightlife and it becomes a perfect week. It gives you great opportunities to meet new people, while also getting to know the school better, as each event takes place in a different location.

    I remember participating in almost all of the O-Week events offered to me in first year and how much they made me feel like I was a part of a community. Even if you don’t know anyone going into first year, O-Week provides you with the perfect way to mingle and make friends. Remember, your fellow hall mates in residence are in the same position as you so don’t be afraid to ask them to attend an event with you; it’s a great bonding experience!

    It is important and beneficial to participate in what O-Week has to offer even if you only attend 1 event. Not only does the Brock University Student’s Union host events, but each individual residence hosts hall meetings during the first week in an effort to help you get to know your fellow floor mates and find other students in the same program as you. Participating in said activities are an easy way to ensure that this new step in your life will go as smoothly as possible; you will make so many new friends that are experiencing the same excitement and fear as you. These are the people that will become your friends for life.

    Now get out there and have fun baby Badgers!

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger, Featured Post