BUCSC Elections Update

Elections season is in full swing for the BUCSC, as Brescia’s students choose their council for next year. Now is the most important time to keep updated on the council’s elections in order to choose the best representatives, but also to get to know the currently-appointed members of next year’s council.

Already, the BUCSC’s 2019-2020 president Mikaila Hunter has been elected, but she is now joined by her executive team. Vice-President Student Life Jaime Keltz and Vice-President Student Events Val Fernandez-Torres were elected by the student body in the past week. Just after their election, the remainder of the exec team- chosen through tests and interviews with the present position holders- was made official. Governance Officer Alison Lengyell, Chief Financial Officer Danielle Green, and Chief Communications Officer Eli Marentette were added to the team.

Currently, Brescia is in the midst of the general member elections. Coming up, students can expect speeches from the candidates, and in the meantime they can read up on candidates’ platforms on their campaigns’ Facebook pages. However, not all candidates are part of an election; those who would otherwise run unopposed are instead acclaimed to their positions. These representatives are International Student Representative Hawazin Alotaibi, Mature and Transfer Student Representative Christa Cowell, Sociology and Criminal Justice Representative Brooke Huffman, and Psychology and Family Studies Representative Maria Bravo. The general member elections are approaching fast, so students can expect updates on candidate speeches and voting dates to be posted on the BUCSC’s social media. There are also a number of interviewed positions that are soon to be filled, so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for further appointments which may be posted as well.

The BUCSC would like to offer a huge congratulations to the newest members of next year’s council. Please keep updated on the BUCSC’s elections and appointments, because the BUCSC counts on student engagement and support to create the best possible council.

Council

 

Brescia Celebrates International Women’s Day

International Women’s day, held this year on Friday March 8th, is growing each year across the world. Brescia, as Canada’s only women’s university, is dedicated to recognition and advancement of women, so naturally the holiday is well-recognized on campus. This year, Brescia’s celebrations focused on education and equality for International Women’s Day.

A new but valuable tradition at Brescia is the Dr. Colleen Hanycz Leadership Lecture Series, started just last year. Held on the 7th, this year’s event had a theme appropriate for International Women’s Day: Educate a Woman, Empower a Nation. The speaker was Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, who has been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize for his human rights activism and his work founding the Daughters for Life Foundation, an organization providing scholarships for female students in the Middle East. His keynote was followed by a panel of members of the Brescia community.

Brescia also took to social media to celebrate International Women’s Day with the Brescia community online. A video featuring Brescia students challenging traditional female gender roles was very popular. On Instagram, Brescia hosted a photo contest where Brescia students were encouraged to join in and post a themed photo with the hashtag #balanceforbetter- which was this year’s theme for the holiday. The lucky winner of the contest received a $100 dollar gift card, so plenty of students took part. The BUCSC also posted a themed photo of council members posing on campus to join in the celebrations.

Hosting a renowned women’s rights activist for a lecture and panel was a great way to recognize International Women’s Day and develop a discussion on campus about women’s empowerment through education. Following that, a video about breaking down stereotypes and a photo contest calling for equality encouraged students to contribute to the celebrations in their own way. This year, Canada’s only women’s university was proud to spend International Women’s day advocating, discussing, and raising awareness.

Womensday

 

Christina Lord

“I was born in Guyana and grew up in Jamaica, then came here directly from Jamaica. I have learned so much from the environment, from the experiences, from the students themselves, and I have certainly grown a lot. When I first started here, I used to say that the fashions have changed, but the feelings have not, but now the fashions have even come back so we just have to stick with the feelings. I’m the International Program Coordinator, so I work with the International students prior to their arrival to Canada and then throughout their time here with us at Brescia helping them with settling in and overcoming their new challenges. I plan programs for them and that all being said, I firmly believe as does Brescia that the best way for anyone to really transition and feel settled in a new place is if the people who already are there help with that, hence why all of our International programs are open to everyone, not just our International and incoming students. We encourage all students to participate and nothing is exclusive here, which builds a stronger community. I think diversity is one of our strongest values that one can have but is also one of the most challenging because it demands for people to work on it consistently but at the end of the day, it’s well worth working at.”

Why You Should Join the BUCSC

It is elections season at Brescia, the best time of year to get involved! If you are wondering if you should join the BUCSC, you should know that the current members had the same thought before they got involved. Here, the BUCSC members have shared why they decided to join the Council.

“I wanted to be a part of the student voice and help make student life better! I also found that I wasn’t always aware of what Council had to offer so I really wanted to help with getting the word out!” – Vanessa So, Website Commissioner

“I wanted to be more active and get to know more people at Brescia, Also, I thought it would give me great experiences to apply to the workplace.” – Nadin Moussa, Diversity & Inclusion Commissioner

“It’s my last year of undergrad, so if not now then when? I wanted to get involved and make a difference in the Brescia community.” – Michelle Lau, Wellness Commissioner

“Advocacy is a big passion of mine, and representing students is a great way to advocate for others.” – Alison Lengyell, Chief Returning Officer

“I wanted to get involved on the Brescia campus and give back to the school that gave me so much during first year.” – Julia Sun, AVP Student Support

“I am an advocate for change and I love meeting new influential people. I feel a need to voice other students’ opinions and wants, and I strive to be involved in a good community.” – Brooke Huffman, First Year Residence Rep

“I had a family member on Council in my first year, and she convinced me to sign up. I got my position, and have rejoined every year!” – Katie Vezina, USC Rep

“I’m really interested in community development and the charity commissioner position seemed like an amazing opportunity to support the London community as well as encourage students to learn more about, and hopefully participate in, local initiatives that address community issues.” – Madison Sweet, Charity Commissioner

“I wanted to get involved as a first year and be a part of of the behind-the-scenes of Brescia.” – Emily Petch, First Year Off-Campus Representative

 

If you are interested in joining the BUCSC next year, nominations are open now! You can find more information and the nomination form on the website here. If you have any questions, you can contact the chief returning officer at cro@bucsc.ca. We hope to see you on council next year!

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Environmental Week

One of the great interests of the Brescia community is creating an environmentally-friendly environment, and things like the Mercato’s eco-containers and the wildlife-friendly campus show the community’s commitment to that idea. The BUCSC sets aside time each year to educate and encourage students to make their own environmentally-friendly decisions. Put together by the BUCSC’s environmental commissioner Adrienne Agueci, this year’s environmental week was full of events that did just that, while also engaging students in their community.

The week’s events began on Monday with Enviro Did-You-Know Ursuline Hall lounge. The event invited visitors to play a trivia game, to test environmental knowledge and learn new facts. The winning teams walked away with gift card prizes. Tuesday’s booth in the St. James lobby also saw visitors walking away with goodies- this time their very own succulents. The plant giveaway was paired with a visit from a representative from the Go Wild Grow Wild Green Expo, which is focused on preservation and health in southern Ontario. The expo will be arriving in London this spring. On Wednesday, students came to the Ursuline Hall lounge to relax and learn something new at an environmental TED talks watching event. Visitors enjoyed a pizza dinner at the event, as well. Thursday’s event focused on creating waste-reducing and cost-cutting products with a homemade dishwasher pod giveaway in the St. James Foyer.

Although the week was filled with plenty of fun giveaways, it also featured useful resources for students. A big focus of this year’s environmental week was education, as each event had the goal of giving students important information about the world we live in, and how to be a responsible global citizen. The Brescia community values environmental consciousness, and this year’s environmental week worked hard to raise awareness and encourage students to do their part.

Paige Mielczarek

“My whole life I’ve been a perfectionist and always had everything planned out. I’ve worked hard and not let anything get in the way of my goals. Although this may sound great in theory, it has lead me to be extremely hard on myself, especially faced with ‘failure’. I’ve learned through my time at university that we can’t always have everything planned out. We don’t always get to be in control of what’s coming next. It’s also important to not compare your journey to anyone else’s because everyone is on their own path. Overall, I’ve learned to just trust in the process and have faith in what life has planned for you.”

A Look at Christina’s Closet

Among Brescia’s many student resources and programs, Christina’s Closet is among the more unique. Christina’s Closet is a program which offers Brescia students complimentary new and gently used clothing, donated by the Brescia community. Named after Christina Lord, Brescia’s International Co-ordinator and founder of this program, Christina’s Closet is still very new- it has been open since August 2018. Already, its collection is large, and has been collected from all parts of the Brescia community: students, faculty, staff, and alumnae.

The collection of items has a lot of variety. The contemporary clothing suits a variety of occasions and seasons; for example, the Closet offered formal wear for students for Brescia Ball, and winter attire for the season, and professional clothes are always popular at the Closet. Students may also expect to find accessories or household items like towels, linens, or even kitchenware. Students with all sorts of needs can look to Christina’s Closet as a resource.

The Closet is located in room 231 in Ursuline Hall, and is open year long. It is open on Mondays 10:30am- 12:30pm, Wednesdays 2:00pm- 4:00pm, and Thursdays 2:30pm-4:30pm; whenever the Closet is open, a giant teddy bear is out front to help visitors find the right room. Students are welcome to drop in and take up to 5 items. Students can also arrange an appointment with Christina at clord3@uwo.ca. For those interested in donating, there is a donation box at the front desk in the St. James auditorium. The Closet also accepts monetary donations in the form of cheques made out to Brescia University College; these donations help keep Christina’s Closet consistently stocked with popular and high priority items.

Christina’s Closet shows how the Brescia community supports its students and empowers them to succeed and build their futures. Its focus is to provide easy access to the basic needs of Brescia students in a safe and friendly space. The program breaks down financial barriers to help students realize their full potential. As a bonus, the Closet is environmentally-conscious by helping to limit landfill waste by reusing and giving new life to the donated goods. The Brescia community can be proud of Christina’s Closet, both as a demonstration of Brescia’s values and as a valuable resource for its students.