• This Week In Niagara… September 5th, 2014


    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!

    Post Categorie(s): This Week In Niagara...
  • Body Break: Brock Style

    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.

    Post Categorie(s): Being a Better Badger
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  • Back to School Basics with CATSA

    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.

    Pop quiz

    Did you know you can check security screening wait times in advance? Get your smartphone ready and check times for each major Canadian airport online or through CATSA’s mobile app.

    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.

    Post Categorie(s): Beyond the Books, Featured Event, Featured Post, Uncategorized
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  • LEAPing into Brock: Travis

    LEAP Travis

    With a new school year approaching and a bunch of #BabyBadgers entering Brock in September, we decided to try a new approach to student blogging. Check out incoming first year student Travis Greene’s vlog about his incredible experience at LEAP and his excitement for attending Brock in the fall.


    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post
  • LEAPing into Brock: Nikki

    LEAPing into Brock: Nikki

    Written by: Nikki Lee

    With all of the excitement of university approaching, I was anticipating the start of the new chapter of life. Going to a new school and starting fresh can be frightening, but I was able to “LEAP” into the school spirit by attending the “Leadership Engagement Achievement Pride” program.

    By attending, I got an amazing vibe from the school, familiarized myself with the campus, and met amazing people who I am excited to start my journey with at BROCK. Overall I had a fantastic time and it got me even more pumped for 1st year.

    This program enhanced my leadership skills significantly as well. There were so many fun filled activities increasing team building, academic integrity, and social skills.

    Not to forget…THE FOOD WAS AMAZING! The first night we went downtown for dinner, and ate at an incredible Italian restaurant that I will certainly be returning to. It gave me a taste of the delicious meals I will be enjoying next year. As a group we explored downtown, and had the chance to get to know the area and seek out the best restaurants and places to go. I am so thankful that this program gave me the opportunity to discover my love for the city of St. Catharines.

    The program leaders were so welcoming; by the end all the campers and counselors were all a BIG BROCK FAMILY! LEAP was my first step as a Brock Badger, and I am even more excited for September. Thanks for the memories!

    xo Nikki

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post
  • This is how we RAK


    Written by: Coby Fewings

    With a couple months left in the school year at one of our Student Life staff training meetings, we were given the 24 day challenge. For this challenge we had 24 hours and $10 to make as much of a positive impact as we could. Below are some examples of what our Student life team did for this challenge.

    One group took the ten dollars and split it into change, then they took the change and taped it around the school in different spots along with friendly messages. As a quick example they posted a loonie on a vending machine with a message saying “you look better with a smile on”, this message had quick returns because as the group walked away a student found it and said that it made his day.

    Another group looked around campus for different groups around the school they could help, they decided on Rosalind Daycare, right beside Lowenberger. They set out to buy toys for the children at the center. They purchased bought two balls, two puzzles, an air hockey board, a top and a slinky.  There were guidelines given by the daycare – highly recommended that soft toys are not donated.

    “Overall, I would say it was a great experience because we finally had an excuse to visit the center and play briefly with a little girl that was waiting for her mom. The staff at the daycare center was grateful for the gifts.”–Group member

    The third group used the ten dollars to make a donation to the 5 days for the homeless campaign that was running during the timeline of our challenge. Then they also put together some e-cards for fellow staff with encouraging and friendly rhymes. “The best part about the e-cards was when the staff actually found out that it was something out group did, they look like the cards made them happy”–Group member

    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!

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Goodbye


    Written by: Ambika Sangaran

    In the past 4 years loneliness had crept into me. I had the chance to live however I wanted, but only because I had no one waiting for me at home. There had been times I wondered, would anyone even realize if I’m to go missing?

    There were days I achieved what-I-thought were great things, but, actually, when there was no one to share my joy, excitement, sadness, fears or tears, they didn’t feel that special at all. All of my emotions sometimes basically dying down into loneliness.

    But, was that all? Of course not!

    Ordering a cup of coffee is easy, isn’t it?

    It took me two years to find the magic word: “Double Double”!

    Life was pretty good. There were times I biked, walked or hiked with no pre-determined direction. I traveled. I achieved quite a few things. They were good times that I can go on and on about, if you would share a meal or drink with me–most of the stories have yet to be told.

    My experiences here have taught me to appreciate what I always took for granted, both the good and the bad.

    From loneliness I found community, in fact many communities which welcomed me. Here’s to OPIRG, ECO, ISA, BUSU, BUSAC, SLCE and TREN all of which will be missed dearly after graduation!

    Learning the importance of friendship, through my two besties: M and L. You are the reason I survived Brock! I am bidding farewell to you, not knowing whether I will ever meet you again. But, that’s life, isn’t it? The memories will stay!

    And to all those people that came into my life, a heartfelt thanks to you, the impact of your support will last a lifetime.

    With the end of the year comes a time of reflection. Living on your own, starting somewhere fresh isn’t easy and there will be hard times. Finding the good in the midst of the bad is what Brock and the people I’ve met have taught me.

    A learning experience no doubt–thank you Brock, and goodbye!


    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post, Uncategorized
  • BrockTV.ca — Recipe for Success

    btv bash

    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    Our beloved Brock University is the centre of student life for nearly 20,000 students. It is also one of Ontario’s most diversified universities, offering programs and majors across a massive spectrum of disciplines. With such a widespread student body, one might expect a segregated, interest-specific pool of student activity. Somehow, we have managed to find ourselves in a united student body. Media, especially local media, is key in unifying any community. Through radio, news, and television segregated members of a larger community can be connected under one umbrella source for pertinent goings-on. Media is essential to our united student body! If you’ve ever grabbed your between-class coffee from General Brock, chances are you’ve seen some Badgers-only information on the big screen.

    BrockTV.ca is the largest post-secondary media outlet in all of Canada. The network is student-funded and entirely student-run to give Brock’s community the best possible coverage of what is going on in our community. So many passionate students get involved in as many groups, clubs and societies as BUSU can shake a stick at – so how could we possibly know what’s going on? BrockTV.ca covers the activity of all student groups. The broadcasts are available online, completely mobile and totally accessible to Brock students. Broadcasts cover all things Badger, from sports and clubs to internal and external affairs, as well as the original programming, hosted and produced entirely by Brock students. It is the most effective, most successful outlet for student body communication – and it connects us all as Badgers. As Badgers, we are all worn out. After yet another full year of essays, midterms, exams, projects, presentations and interviews most of us need to blow off what little steam we’ve got left (and sadly) with what little funds we’ve got left. BrockTV.ca is throwing a bash, to celebrate us, its own subject matter. Without us, there wouldn’t be much programming – and without them, there wouldn’t be much school spirit.

    Isaac’s Bar and the Skybar Lounge are playing host to Brock’s entire student body on Wednesday from 12-4. After a long year of blood, sweat and tears it’s time to let loose all together. The party is offering all Brock students free entry and giveaways. There’s no need to stress about grabbing lunch either – Isaac’s chefs will be preparing featured recipes from the BrockTV.ca Original program Broke & Hungry, just for us students, and totally free! Besides the free food, there will be featured drink specials from Skybar, as well as live music and an open mic for Brock’s most virtuose students to show their chops. Expect to see the Brock hockey teams on the patio, where you and your friends can test your skills (and test each other) in a shootout with Badger goalies. The BTV Bash is the ultimate student get-together. It is the send-off party for all of us who bust our chops all year long as Badgers. Did I mention – it’s a free party!?

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post
  • Rankin Run Team


    Written By: Brian DiCarlo

    Rankin Run 2014 is quickly approaching.  If you’re from the Niagara region, I’m sure you’ve already heard of it.  For those foreign to the region, or who have never heard of it, I am glad to explain.

    The philosophy of the run is a basic one.  Funds are raised, and then entirely donated back into the Niagara region, with most recipients being hospitals and oncology departments.

    This is more than just your average run.  In 2013, the event attracted over 11,500 people, raising $675,000.  Since its beginning 8 years ago, almost $4,000,000 has been raised, making this a huge event for the Niagara Community.
    The day begins at 8am registration, and the main run takes place at 10.  By 11:45, the run is completed and a free barbecue will be provided.

    This year at Brock, we want to start pulling together our team early.  The run is on May 24th, but we’re starting to recruit now.

    Brock Student Life, in partnership with the Brock Running Club, has already started building the team.  If you want to represent Brock University on the Rankin Run team, register at the link below!


    Post Categorie(s): Featured Event, Featured Post, Uncategorized
  • A Badger Abroad: How I’ve Changed


    Written by: Alex Pennington-Little

    In the nearly three months since my return from Scotland, I’ve found readjusting to be harder than adjusting in the first place. I miss everything, achingly so. That’s not to say I miss the days of homesickness, or the days I would do nothing but watch Netflix, or the days of loneliness or alienation. But in my hindsight view of my exchange, none of the mediocre or sad times even exist anymore. I have erased them, because I don’t need them. The things I miss are having a tight knit group to do everything with. I miss having a family that experienced the same things for the first time, all together. I miss adventure, and not caring about a crappy day because it all adds to the story in the end.

    I keep in touch with my friends by Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. It’s crossed my mind that maybe this is why I struggle moving back to my old world – I keep trying to stay in Glasgow, from over 5000 km away. I would never give up being able to send a silly Snap to the best friends I may never see again.

    Recently I went to the pre-departure workshop for next years’ exchange students. Students who are anxious, wide-eyed and eager to start their own adventure. I remembered my workshop being loud and overwhelming and giving me a great deal of stress over whether I was making the right decision to uproot myself. Besides advice on where to buy cheap shampoo, whether the housing packages from GCU are worth it or not, and how to get from the airport to the school, there are a list of things I learned from my exchange that I though was important to relay. Most of these lessons are brand-new, and I still struggle to remember them now that I’m not living an adventure anymore. I learned a lot about myself, and about what I’m capable of that I wouldn’t have learned at home.

    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. In the first weeks of my living in Glasgow, I would have passed up an opportunity just because I didn’t have anyone to go with (because friends don’t materialize on their own). I missed days of adventure because I didn’t think I could have an adventure by myself. In the final two weeks of my stay, I had yet to see London. I would be devastated if I returned from the UK without ever seeing the big city. Two days from the first time the thought crossed my mind, I had booked a flight and arranged to stay with family friends outside London. I travelled solo by bus, plane, and train to stay with a family I had never met for three nights. I learned the city bus, train, and tube alone simply by doing it. I went to exhibits and museums and a theatre show completely autonomously, and I enjoyed all of it. Before my semester abroad, I never would have thought myself capable of travelling alone.

    I can find pleasure in a bad situation. I learned this when my flatmate Holly and I planned our day trip to Loch Lomond. The morning of it was drizzling, cloudy and cold. We got as far as the Glasgow train station (to take us to Balloch) when I confessed that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go today, not in this weather. Holly taught me the lesson to let others push your boundaries. She insisted, and I conceded, and we had a marvelous adventure on the banks and hills in the national park. Not only did we push on through the wet fog, we were laughing about it together, at the time and continue to do so as we enjoy the memory.

    The authority to handle a problem.
     GCU is a mess of administrational hiccups. I first encountered the Scottish attitude of “it’ll work itself out” weeks before I left Canada, when I was waiting frantically for confirmation of residence placement. Once I had settled residency and arrived, I was faced with registration problems. After two weeks of battling to clear up my registration (alone in a foreign country), I was misplaced and overlooked in my classes. The fire alarm in my residence went haywire, whining for three consecutive days and nights. I chased down administrators and professors, sat in meetings and wrote a million emails. I teamed up with Holly to get the attention of someone, anyone who would listen to our fire alarm torture without laughing and walking away. I learned to be an independent problem-solver because I had to, or the whole thing was a bust.

    The confidence to step out of my comfort zone. Being far away from home with no one tying you to presuppositions of who you are lets you explore who you could be. It is a fearful thing, to be cast into solitude amidst a massive city bustling with life. The best way I found to make use of the daunting situation was to throw myself into it. I used to be a relatively conservative partier – drinks on the weekends, usually leaving the bar before the taxi wars broke out. I learned to negotiate the self I thought I was with the self I was now allowed to be. I went to dinner with people I didn’t know, and we became best friends. I invited myself to a flat party on Facebook, and the people in that flat became my family. I tagged along to a sidestreet club and discovered a nightlife way better than the promotional student clubs whose flyers littered our residence. I learned that I liked being someone I didn’t think I was. I’m currently in the process of introducing that person to this life.

    Don’t let small excuses change your big ideas.
    If you want to hike in Scotland, hike in the rain or don’t hike at all. It would be folly to visit Scotland with no intention to spend a day roaming the beauty. It would be  disappointing to let the person you believe yourself to be, suppress the person who can emerge in a time of change. It would be tragic to let anxiety stop you from going after a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and irresponsible to let a botched communication destroy the validity of your exchange experience. When it comes down to it, all excuses are too small against something magnificent that you really want.

    If any student at Brock has the means and the opportunity to step away from Canada, I don’t think there is a good enough reason not to go abroad. Even if you think it’s not for you or you won’t love it – you will.

    Post Categorie(s): Featured Post