• Cope Care Connect: Helping Students Bounce Back

    Being Better Banner (1)


    The statistics speak for themselves. 2013-2014 campus-wide, survey showed 58% of first year students, 59% of second year students, 63% of third year students, and 60% of fourth year students at Brock had felt overwhelmed within the last two weeks.

    So what do you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or down? How do you help your friends when they feel this way?

    Every individual is unique and everyone deals with stress differently. The similarity between us all is that we all possess the capacity to be resilient. We all can bounce back from bad times and bad feelings.

    The Cope Care Connect campaign at Brock University is encouraging all students to make Brock a kinder, and more welcoming place to be, one act of kindness at a time. As students we all play a role that affects the atmosphere within the Brock community. Imagine if each of us did one small, kind thing for another person. It can be as simple as a smiling, saying hello, making room on a bench, or holding the door. Or, it might be something like sharing notes, sending a “feel good” text to a friend, inviting a new person to join a group activity, or offering to share a snack. These things make the people around us feel better, and they make us feel better as well. With this boost in our spirits, we’d all be able to cope a bit better, and feel connected to the Brock community in a good way.

    Cope Care Connect is challenging all students to participate in random acts of kindness. Do your part to make someone feel valued and connected on campus, and tweet it (@CopeCareConnect) or post it (facebook.com/CopeCareConnect).

    And don’t forget to treat yourself kindly. If you are feeling stressed, anxious, frustrated, or simply overwhelmed by life, visit the CopeCareConnect.ca website to learn positive coping strategies of deep breathing, mindfulness, and positive self-talk. While you’re at the website, watch our YouTube videos that demonstrate positive coping strategies, and look for lots of other tips and tricks for increasing your resiliency. Find out how you can use these simple strategies for feeling great.

    Check us out at: www.copecareconnect.ca, www.youtube.com/copecareconnect, and www.facebook.com/copecareconnect for all our information and to find ways to stay connected.

    Cope Care Connect is brought to you with support from Brock Student Health Services Harrison Hall | brocku.ca/health-services | 905-688-5550 x3243

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  • Making or Breaking Your University Experience

    Being Better Banner (1)

    Written by: Breanne Burke


    Scared? Do it Anyway.

    I entered University with expectations of self-growth, development, endless memories and crazy experiences. I am from Niagara originally and while I applied to various schools, I decided to attend Brock University as a result of being accepted into the Child and Youth program. While easily being influenced by my parents, I stayed close to home. However half way through my first year, I felt as though I was attending an ‘extended high school’, with less friends! I had trouble getting involved as often times I would drive to school for class then leave to go straight home.

    Second year I tried transferring to a different University and when that failed, I tried changing my program (into the Geography program because I needed a teachable to be a high school teacher). After continuing to question my University experience that seemed to be failing me on a daily, I decided to go to the information session on the Brock University exchange aboard program.

    In the spirit of being in third year and still being just as confused, I changed my program a third and final time. I will now be graduating with a Media and Communication degree. However, as a result of changing my program, I was not able to study abroad and go on an exchange until my fourth year of university. I was determined to make my exchange possible. I knew I needed more and was tired of questioning why I was not enjoying University as much as everyone told me I would. January 2014 rolls around and off I go to Karlstad University in Sweden- a small town, allowing all the students on campus to get to know each other quite well. These were the best six months of my life! I adapted, I learned and most of all, I realized what it felt like to be a part of a University.

    I needed to apply for my final courses before my exchange was over and last minute I decided to take an internship course upon my arrival back to Brock in the fall. I originally planned to intern at a marketing firm outside of the University, assuming it would be the most beneficial. Yet, right before I turned in my option sheet I changed my first choice to an internship placement with Student Life and Community Experience. Its description was brief, discussing how the intern will be involved in Student Life’s marketing and social media, while attending Brock University events.

    Right then and there I decided I would give Brock one last chance. I was going to take advantage of this opportunity and become as involved as possible with Brock in my final year. This was soon to be the next best decision I have ever made. It was shocking to be working alongside people in their second, third and fourth year, who are so knowledgeable about Brock University opportunities, ways of meeting new people, and on community involvement. It seemed as though I have never even attended the University for how much I learned about ways to get involved and things to do at Brock! I was constantly thrown into foreign environments, not knowing anyone, but it did not take long for me to feel comfortable being pushed out of my ‘comfort zone’. I met so many people, got involved in various events I have never attended and made great friends.

    It is easy to say ‘live with no regrets’ but if I had to re-do University I would create quite a different path for myself. It was not Brock, it was me. I needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone and needed to change my mindset. You want something? Work for it. You are not happy? Make a change. I am glad I realized this in my fifth year of University, but for those of you who are just starting out or even almost done, if not now, when? My best advice: if your scared do it anyway because there will be a moment in your life when you look back and ask yourself: why did I not take advantage of what was right before my eyes?


    bre cowboys news

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  • 5 Tips for Creating or Sustaining Meaningful Relationships

    cate friends

    Written by: Cate Talaue

    Great news, Badgers! There is only one week left until we can welcome in February Reading Week with open arms.

    Some of us will probably be heading home, spending quality time with our hometown friends and family, while others may be staying local to participate in Brock Alternative Reading Week Niagara and giving back to the community.

    On the other hand, Valentine’s Day is also approaching, and with that comes a load of red, pink and white, candy hearts and chocolate kisses, roses and rose petals scattered on the Thistle floor thanks to UNICEF Brock’s Valentine’s Day Roses event happening next week.

    However, the nature surrounding Valentine’s Day should focus on all of your relationships, be it romantic, familial, platonic or professional and as you continue to interact with different Brock individuals, these relationships have the opportunity to grow and flourish.

    Student Life is all about enhancing the student experience, so why not hear from your fellow Badgers on how to create and sustain meaningful relationships here on campus and beyond?

    Here’s what they had to say:

    1. “If you need to put in time and effort for your relationship, you can’t just expect them to work on your schedule alone. You also need to understand that you’re in university and people get busy, but it’s up to both of you to find time for each other.” – Taylor Wilcox, Concurrent Education
    2. For my all my friendships and my relationship with my boyfriend, truthful communication is key. It’s better to tell them something that’s bugging you right away instead of just avoiding the problem.” – Madi Fuller, Political Science
    3. “I keep surprising my girlfriend as much as I can. I buy her spontaneous presents and we go on spontaneous trips, sometimes I hide things around her apartment, and so on. If the excitement is still there, the relationship stays in that ‘honeymoon’ phase” – Steven Sazant, Sport Management
    4. “All of your relationships are really about being patient and realizing that everyone has their own battles, and if we can just understand each other and find a common ground, there’s plenty of room to grow.” – Chrizanna D’Silva, Business Communications
    5. “I know this sounds counterintuitive but spending some time apart is also crucial. You don’t want to run out of things to talk about so by spending even just a few hours apart, it makes the time you do spend together more meaningful and exciting.” – Asmir Basic, Medical Sciences

    Keep spreading the love, Badgers!

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  • This Week In Niagara… January 30th, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As January quickly comes to an end, there are some great things going on in the upcoming week:

    • The last few days of Downtown D’Lish! Check out 3-course lunch and dinner menus from participating restaurants in downtown St. Catharines ranging from $10-$40.  This is a great opportunity to get out and try a new local restaurant before the end of this month (remember to make a reservation in order to get the D’Lish menu options)!
    • This Saturday, January 31st is the annual Niagara Social Justice Forum, which takes place right on campus at Brock, with a theme of “Putting the Act in Activism”. More details about the day are available on-line, along with the link to register (the day is free, with free parking and light vegan meals provided, and open to the public).
    • Not able to make it to the full day of the Social Justice Forum? Join the documentary screening of the Emmy-winning “Made in Bangladesh” and talk by the Director and Producer, Lysanne Louter. This is happening Saturday, January 31st from 7-9pm at the Niagara Artists Centre (354 St. Paul St., St. Catharines).
    • Tuesday, February 3rd is the 14th Annual Toque Tuesday and Mayor’s Pancake Breakfast taking place in the Downtown Market Square from 7-9am. This $10 event includes a “raise the roof” toque, pancakes, sausage, Starbucks coffee or tea and the chance to support homelessness initiatives in St. Catharines and Thorold.

    Start working on the creation of your Niagara bucket list for this year and enjoy getting out to #ExploreNiagara.  

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  • This Week In Niagara… January 23rd, 2015


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With it already being three weeks into January, time is flying! As we settle into a new year, there is a lot of talk of resolutions and goal setting, which is great, as long as you have a plan to achieve them.

    In the spirit of the New Year, one of my favourite things to do is think about everything awesome that we have to take advantage of in the Niagara reason and create a bit of a “bucket list” – why not?! From festivals, to food, wine, and microbreweries, and from seeing Niagara falls when there’s tons of snow and ice (it’s really something to see if we get to that depth of winter this year!) to shopping in unique stores and taking a hike on some of our amazing trails, I would challenge you to make a “Niagara bucket list” of your own. In my opinion, there aren’t many other goals as fun to set out and achieve than this!

    This week kick starts my list with one of my favourite events in St. Catharines – Downtown D’Lish! Between now and January 31, check out 3-course lunch and dinner menus from participating restaurants in downtown St. Catharines ranging from $10-$40.  This is a great opportunity to get out and try a new local restaurant – you never know where your new “fav” might be, just don’t forget to make a reservation in advance to access these menus!

    Also, with it being cold and windy outside, that can only mean one thing – it’s icewine season! This Friday-Sunday, January 23-25, is the final weekend of the Niagara Icewine Festival! This great event takes place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, next to Niagara Falls. For $10 access the outdoor area featuring fire pits, icewine marshmallows, amazing ice sculptures or stay inside the glass doors to sample food and wine from great places in the region. This is an annual favourite for many!

    Welcome to a new year, with new things to do – be sure to #ExploreNiagara.  

    What’s on your Niagara bucket list this year?   Share with us how you plan on enjoying this great region!

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  • My Student Experience

    Being Better Banner (1)

    Written by: Sara Glavic

    I love Brock because… blank.
    Brock frustrates me because… blank.
    Brock would be better if… blank.

    Sarah Glavic

    I personally love Brock. There are countless reasons why I love this place. I’ve spent the best years of my life here and have grown so much as a person during my time here. Still, I have taken part in my fair share of rants about “Everything That ‘Sucks’ About Brock”. You may have as well. If you have any opinions or suggestions related to your student life at Brock, read on, fellow Badger!

    Whether you love, hate or feel somewhat indifferent about your Brock experience, I’m positive that all students can agree that university life is filled with highs and lows. Those moments of sky high motivation and excitement are no doubt accompanied by bouts of stress and exam blues.

    I know that every single student, like myself, has a list of things they are grateful for during these times, and of things they probably couldn’t curse more. This list contains aspects of student life or university services that you could not be more thankful for, and things that you could rant about for the entire year. If you can’t think of anything, think about that split second of agony when you’re rolling out of bed for your 8am lecture. Or, think of those times you’ve trapped yourself somewhere for hours on end to start and finish a paper and your roommate suddenly appears with food/coffee for you… Pure. Bliss. Am I right? Subconsciously, you have a list.

    I certainly have a list. Number one my list: nap rooms. I was on exchange when I found out BUSU was offering this service during exams last year and despite my slight jealousy, I thought, “wow, Brock nailed it. My school rocks.” By being on exchange, I found myself perfectly positioned to critique my student experience at both universities by comparing them against one another. There are tons of things I came to appreciate about Brock and many others I criticized Brock for. One of the most striking things for me was something so simple. In the library at my exchange university, there were little signs in each cubicle listing a number to text if you were being disturbed. Having been in the Brock library countless times and often experiencing noisy people who disturbed me to the point that I’ve had to move – I thought this simple little sign was absolutely genius! I was so impressed by my exchange school that I tweeted about it… to Brock. What’s even cooler, I’ve now noticed that Brock has similar little signs kicking around the library!

    I bet you’re wondering why I’m rambling on about all these little things. Well, in September I started a co-op work term here at Brock and part of my responsibilities included researching the Brock Student Experience. After a period of brainstorming, it occurred to me that we (students) are literally the experts. Brock staff have developed some great programs and services for us, but the ones that draw those “wow this is awesome” or “they nailed it” reactions tend to come from our student input. Our voices are unbelievably valuable, Badgers!

    So, you guessed it! I am asking for your help. Brock is launching a Student Experience Lab. The Lab is a consultative process through which we hope all students will feel empowered to identify problems that concern them, provide context (why is it a problem?), and from there, help drive meaningful solutions. Through this process, we also hope to learn what students value at Brock in order to preserve and strengthen those assets.

    In the coming weeks, there will be a variety of feedback forums at locations throughout campus, on Brock social media, and on the Brock website aiming to leverage your voice. Instead of walking by or scrolling down, stop. Tell us honestly what you think and how you feel about your Brock experience. I know you have worthwhile opinions, and you do not need to have gone on exchange to form them. It will be quick and painless, and more importantly, it will go a long way. I think we can all agree that no matter what our current sentiments about Brock are – love, hate, indifference – we would all love to see Brock be better. So take two minutes, Badgers. Tell us what you think and help make Brock better while you’re at it!

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger, Featured Post
  • Random Things to Think About: Being Present

    Random Things to Think About

    Written by: Madeline Van Hemert

    Along with the arrival of the New Year comes the challenge to make resolutions, break bad habits, and take on new perspectives. The media flashes all these ways to help you make things happen, New Year’s resolutions become the topic of conversation, and this causes many people to see the New Year as a fresh start.  Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? Are there things you want to change? Are you looking for a fresh start? Well, I wish you the best of luck with whatever you choose to focus your attention on and I hope that you are successful.

    However, as you go about making your changes or improvements I would encourage one thing – be present. Be aware of what is going on around you, appreciate the little things and make a conscious effort to acknowledge what is going well. Many times it can be easier to dwell on what is not going your way or on characteristics or features that you don’t like. Challenge yourself to acknowledge what is good, what you appreciate and what puts a smile on your face. The things can be so small and easy to miss, but can also make a huge impact on you if you take that time to acknowledge it. This year make an effort to be present!

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Uncategorized
  • 5 Christmas Gifts on a University Student Budget


    Written by: Cate Talaue

    Cue the Christmas music – It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

    If you’re tight on funds, as the student life experience demands, the following gifts on a budget will surely catch your thrifty eyes.

    1. “Is there going to be food?”

    There have been many instances in which I had been enticed to attend a get together or a party, but before I commit, I always ask “Is there going to be food at this thing?” When the answer is “yes”, I’m there! A shortage of food in the fridge has become something that students know all too well and with that being said, you can never go wrong with gifting someone their favourite food. Kick it up a notch by being creative with presentation. Wrap it up in colourful ribbons, stick it in a jar, douse the box in glitter, the possibilities are truly endless. If you’re a good bargain hunter (aka dollar store fanatic), the food and the materials should be little to no cost for yourselves.
    Cost: $1 – $15


    1. A little taste of everything

    Over the years, I have found that saving a buck or two meant buying more. I mean it! In other words, instead of buying one large gift, buy several small things that cater to that special someone’s interests. Shopping for a tea-lover? Grab a mug, some cookies, and a few different teas. Sports fan? A couple of different sports magazines and a sports-themed Christmas ornament. Someone who loves anything and everything? This is the easiest of all – literally grab a bunch of neat stuff and package them nicely. Put them in a basket, stuff them in a personalized stocking, or wrap it in cellophane with some festive ribbon, and voila – a care package with diversity instead of debt!
    Cost: $1 – $20


    1. Baby, it’s cold outside

    This suggestion is as straight forward as it’s going to get – a one-sie. When the tough gets going and the going gets tough, a students’ top priority is to feel warm and comfortable, especially during finals season. Most of us haven’t even been inside a one-sie since we were babies but I kid you not, it is the coziest piece of clothing you will ever wear. Wear it to bed, wear it to lounge in; just don’t wear it to school (yes, I’m talking to you pajama-pant wearers). Heck, you might as well buy two since you’re out and about – one for the person you’re shopping for and another for yourself. One-sies have become pretty popular in the last couple of years, so you’re sure to find one that caters to their interests, be it a Superman or a cupcake one-sie. Who knows, maybe ugly Christmas one-sie parties will catch on!
    Cost: $15 – $25


    1. DIY’s are your BFFs

    Remember those macaroni pictures that you used to make as a kid? You know, the ones that your parents loved so much so they’ve kept them all this time? Bring out that little kid in you because it’s time to get a little craftier and break out those creative skills over the holidays. If you’ve happened to already exhaust yourself from all of the thinking you’ve had to do with those papers and exams, have no fear, for Pinterest and Tumblr are here! A few clicks here and there and you’ll find something that will literally scream off the page, “This is definitely for my special someone!” Scrapbooks, homemade fudge, a chalkboard mug, picture frames, shadow boxes, or maybe it’s even as simple as a pretty 3D card. The beauty in this gift is that you don’t need to break the bank by going to Michael’s for supplies; the dollar store will do just fine! Believe it or not, whatever you decide to make is already special because you made it.
    Cost: $0 – $10


    1. Half the battle is waiting

    I will have you know that this is more of a shopping tip than an actual gift, but I can guarantee you that it’ll keep that last little bit of money in your pockets. Are you ready for the last, but not least gift idea? Online shopping! Over the holidays, most websites cut the shipping costs and almost always have deals that you wouldn’t necessarily find in stores. You’ll even find items that are online exclusive, which are on sale! You can stay in that one-sie you bought earlier and shop from the comforts of your bed without having to push and heave those eager, sweaty customers to get what you need. Take a load off, open up your web browser and get to shopping! With the money you save from the online deals and free shipping, it should be enough to repeat these gift ideas to complete the rest your Christmas list.
    Cost: Depends


    At the end of the day, the holidays are a special time of year to spend with those you love. As I always say, maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store… maybe, perhaps, Christmas means a little bit more. Wait, it was the Grinch. The Grinch said that.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, Badgers!

    Post Categorie(s): Brock Life Hacks, Uncategorized
  • This Week In Niagara… December 12th, 2014


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    As we count down the last few days of exams before the holidays begin, we can start mapping out how we’re actually going to spend the December break. If you’ve never done it before, and you are looking for a BIG experience, I have one suggestion for your break:

    • Ring in the New Year in Niagara! Queen Victoria Park overlooks the Falls and is the largest free New Year’s celebration in Canada. Every year this event features big-name free concerts and of course, fireworks. Bundle up, gather your friends, and head down to catch Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, Lights and Shawn Mendes with more than 40,000 others!!

    Have a safe and happy holiday and we’ll see you in 2015 for another great year! Perhaps resolve to get out and #ExploreNiagara?!

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  • This Week In Niagara… December 5th, 2014


    Written by: Sandy Howe

    With classes complete and exam time in full swing, campus is filled with quiet focus, anxious chatter, and a lot of sweatpants! This can be a stressful time of year with final papers due, cramming to be done and all with the thought that the holiday break is just around the corner.

    I hope that in all of this, whether a student, or not, everyone can find some time for balance. The stresses of the season can come in many forms and all that “hustle and bustle” can leave us feeling drained when really, we all have good things in our lives, large or small, to find a moment to celebrate. To help find balance, and to appreciate the joys in life, here are some things happening this week to take advantage of in our amazing region:

    • Candlelight Stroll, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Queen Street) – Friday, December 5 at 6:00pm. Participate in this guided stroll winding through the historical town, accompanied by local choirs singing carols, and other seasonal entertainment. Stop in the shops that line the main street to pick up a gift or smell and tastes the goodies of the season!
    • Christmas by the Falls, Scotiabank Convention Centre, Niagara Falls – Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7 from 10:00am-5:00pm ($5 entrance fee). Catch over 100 vendors with items including, arts and crafts, baking, clothing, jewelry, purses and accessories, cookware, specialty foods, bath and body products, and much more! See chocolate demonstrations, experience hairstyling on-site and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
    • Fireworks at the Falls – Go see the Falls and also catch fireworks displays every Friday evening at 9pm (December 5, 12 and 19) before it gets kicked into high gear with shows at 9pm nightly December 22-26.
    • Winter Festival of Lights – Visit Niagara Falls and drive from the bottom of Clifton Hill past the falls to Dufferin Island and beyond for a great lightshow experience! Join more than 1.5 visitors that take this spectacle in every year and see millions of lights displayed creatively as part of this festival tradition that has been a staple for more than 30 years. There is no admission cost, but donations are appreciated.

    Remember: studies show that our minds need breaks in order to stay alert, productive, and to process the information coming in, so all the more reason to schedule in some time for fun! Best wishes to students as you finish your semester, and don’t forget to take some time away from studying to #ExploreNiagara and relax.

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