Brescia Bucket List: 10 Things to do Before You Graduate

Brescia is made great by its students. Besides creating a great community and paving the way for current students, students from Brescia’s past have started some traditions that help to make the Brescia experience into what it is today. Here is a look at the ways you can get involved with the Brescia community, and honor its history.

  1. Make a meal in the food lab- This one may be easy for food & nutrition students, but students from other faculties may not even set foot in a food lab if they don’t make an effort! Not to worry, there are plenty of opportunities to try your hand at cooking in the food labs- just keep an eye out for club events.
  2. Take a walk in Medway Forest- There is plenty of natural beauty all around campus, but a short walk behind Clare Hall will bring you to the middle of a forest! Medway is a beautiful place to take a walk- it is full of wildlife, and runs alongside a creek. Walking Medway Forest’s trails is a great way to relieve stress and get to know why London is called the Forest City.
  3. Go to Brescia Ball- For students, the highlight of every year is the Brescia Ball and Wine & Cheese. This is the moment to dress up in your best outfit and join in two nights of food, drink, and dance. The Brescia Ball is a time-honored tradition, so you are also joining in on building Brescia’s history while you enjoy two very classy evenings.
  4. Join a Brescia club- Brescia is not a big campus, but it does have plenty of opportunities to get involved! Brescia has clubs for students from every faculty, and plenty of nonacademic clubs, too. Whether it is to learn a new skill or work in your field, the Brescia clubs have something for everyone. They are a great way to get to know your fellow students and engage with the Brescia community.
  5. Visit the Labyrinth- It is a tradition among students to visit the tree at the center of Brescia’s Labyrinth with a wish. Walking the labyrinth then tying the wish, in the form of a ribbon, to the branches is a way to relieve stress and bring peace of mind. Because of the construction on the new academic pavilion this year, the Labyrinth may not get as many visitors, but it is still well worth the visit.
  6. Try something new at the Mercato- Brescia boasts a really spectacular dining hall, with an outstanding staff and truly tasty food. The menu is crafted to appeal to all sorts of tastes, and features plenty of international food offerings. There has never been a better time to expand the horizons of your palate and try something entirely new!
  7. Visit Huron and King’s- Western’s affiliate colleges have always had a special bond, and that means more than sharing chants at O Week. It is easy to celebrate the shared history of the affiliates while studying in Kings’ beautiful library, or enjoying a social night at Huron’s Beaver Dam. Whether it is for an event, a class, or just to hang out, each of their campuses are well worth the visit.
  8. Visit the farmer’s market- With a huge portion of Brescia’s students studying food & nutrition, it is no wonder the farmer’s market is so popular! Each Wednesday, local farmer George comes in with fresh fruits and veggies, grown locally. Plus, the booth is out during classes, so there is no need to alter your schedule at all for this one.
  9. Get some Brescia merch from the Bottega- Having Western pride is nice, but being Brescia Bold is important too! The Bottega’s merchandise is great for wearing and carrying around campus, but also makes great gifts for proud parents of Brescia students. When you find yourself in need of a frame for your diploma after graduation, the Bottega has you covered for that too.
  10. Explore Ursuline Hall- Ursuline Hall is the oldest building on campus, and is packed full with history. There is a lot to see- artwork and historical photos compliment the elegant architecture throughout the building. As a special bonus, there are plenty of nice, quiet study spots you can visit when the library gets too crowded!

Brescia is a great place with lots of different students, so there are plenty of different student experiences. This list is a great way to engage with the Brescia community and get into your school spirit, but above all be sure to make your Brescia experience your own!

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Brescia’s Pride Week 2018

The Brescia community is very diverse, and the BUCSC makes an effort every year to celebrate many different groups. This week, it was all about Brescia’s LGBT community, honored with a whole week of pride events. Attendees were welcomed to events centered around resources, self-expression, and community in a celebration of the pride Brescia and its students have!

The week began on Monday with an information booth in the St. James Foyer. Many students stopped by to chat and pick up pamphlets, info packs, and even flip books providing information about LGBT issues and sexual health, all provided by PrideWestern on main campus. Especially popular was an info board on transgender issues, and how to be a good trans ally. A very important part of Brescia’s pride week each year is offering resources and creating a venue to discuss LGBT issues, so it is fitting that the week kicked off with an information and resource booth.

Wednesday’s event was all about self-expression- and there’s no sweeter way to do that than a cookie decorating station! The very creative attendees of this event celebrated pride week by icing their cookies with pride flags, uplifting messages, and anything that inspires them. The event was hugely popular as was Thursday’s event, a “gaymes” night to wrap up the week’s festivities. Attendees celebrated the LGBT community at Brescia as they played board and card games with their friends.

It is a busy time of year for Brescia students, so it was especially fun to take time this week to enjoy some pride events. Students loved the opportunity to celebrate the LGBT community and express themselves this pride week. Whether it was raising awareness, building a community, or simply giving LGBT students a place to be themselves, Brescia’s Pride Week was a huge success this year!

The University Experience- Living in Residence

A guest article by Stephanie Tom, Brescia University College Residence Council (BUCRC) President and Residence Representative

University is a special milestone for students who wish to further their education; it’s a chance to explore new options, and develop interests into passions. One often wishes to get the “full university experience,” and what better way than by living in residence. At Brescia University College, we’re proud of our Clare Hall Residence: fixed with queen sized beds, shared ensuites, and common lounges in each floor. Personally, I love the residence because my floormates have become my closest university friends, and I’ve shared many intense screenings of the Bachelor in our floor lounge. Most importantly, Clare Hall is so much more than a residence, it’s truly a community of students from all years.

I loved residence so much that I knew I wanted to live here again, this year as President of the Brescia University College Residence Council (BUCRC). The BUCRC is a council of 21 members that is mostly comprised of first-year students living in residence. Paraphrased from the mission statement, the BUCRC acts as the governing body of the student assembly, and is established to improve the social and living environment for students in residence. Councillors contribute to programming and event planning, and advocating for issues on behalf of the residence community. Residence Council is a great experience for students interested in getting involved within their community and meeting students within residence.

Within the last two years, the BUCRC has adopted new positions such as a Wellness Commissioner, Academic Commissioner, and Student Events Commissioner. The new commissioner positions are tailored to facilitate programming that target specific aspects of student life; these include academic, wellness, and social events. This academic year, the BUCRC welcomed a new “International Students Representative” position to residence council. This position is much needed as International students face different challenges in addition to adjusting to a new, generally far, home away from home. The BUCRC’s hopes for this position include creating a voice for the international student community, and to help advocate and tailor events to International Students to promote a smoother transition within residence. Overall, the BUCRC is excited for the new possibilities with the International Students Representative position, and we look forward to another successful year!

Dear Brescia Blogger…

“Dear Brescia Blogger,

I am a first year, and I love Brescia so far! It’s very different from my high school, though. my schedule is so much more free now, so it’s somehow harder to schedule time for all my homework and studying. How can I get better at scheduling space for my schoolwork?

From, a schedule-troubled first year”

 

Dear first year,

The first year of school was the hardest for me as well. High school does give you a very structured setting. Planners, class bells, lunch period, after school events, you are even given monthly event schedules! Your whole life pretty much planned out for you your whole high school career. Now in university, you have roughly 15 hours of schooling then the rest of your week is totally up to you. This is a difficult transition, but not an impossible one.

For my university schedule, I start with the schedule from the program that I use to plan my courses. “Draft My Schedule” is a great program to get started, and it does not get reset until the end of the school year, so your planned schedule stays right there and you can check in any time. I print my weekly schedule off, and then I add all my important plans in, like work, appointments, and family events. From there, I look at how much time I have left in my schedule for homework. By now I can guess how much time it will take to get different assignments done, like my readings. If I know I take about three hours per week to complete my readings, I just need to find three available hours in my schedule to get that done. By the end I know what readings I have to do that week and exactly when I can have them done.

If you are looking for longer-term organization, that is also very doable. At the beginning of each semester I take my syllabus from each class, then I print off the four months for the semester. For each class I go through and write out the big marking assignments, midterms, projects, essays, and others. Then I write when I want to start the project or start studying into my calendars. After I go through each course, and write down the homework, one week in advance before the due date. That way a big assignment doesn’t sneak up and surprise me on the week of its due date.

In the end the key is knowing how long it takes you to complete the assignments for your courses each week and giving yourself that much time in your schedule to complete it. Just remember it gets easier in time, as you get to know yourself and your work style.

All my best,

The Brescia Blogger

London’s Best Spots

London, Ontario is filled with hidden gems! The BUCSC members are helping you find the very best of them by sharing their favorite spots all around London.

 

“Weldon Park has the best dog sightseeing ever.” – Monique Lewis, AVP Promotions

“Masonville Mall is a great one-stop for shopping, eating, and a great change of scenery.” – Stephanie Tom, Residence Rep

“Coco’s at Wonderland and Oxford! They have bubble tea and taiwanese fried chicken there- both are super good! There’s also lots of seating so it’s a great place to study or just hang out with friends.” – Vanessa So, Website Commissioner

“The trails behind Brescia, they are so relaxing and really beautiful, especially during the fall.” – Katie Vezina, USC Rep

“Rec Room, because you can hang out with your friends and play fun games.” – Tong Sha, Brescia Ball Commissioner

“Chil downtown, it’s a super fun place to have a variety of ice cream flavors and chat with friends.” – Nadin Moussa, Diversity & Inclusion Commissioner

“Westminster Woods is a great hiking spot.” – Emily Petch, First Year Off-Campus Rep

“Gibraltar’s on Dundas and Third, It’s like a secret Covent Gardens with so many amazing booths.” – Cassidy Blunt, Off-Campus Rep

“I went to Under the Volcano the other week, I’d recommend the nachos.” – Claire Hopkins, Volunteer Commissioner

“The Spoke! It has an amazing student community feel.” – Hirra Majid, Governance Officer

“Komoka Provincial Park on the west edge of the city. I love taking a break from studying by getting outside and Komoka is the perfect place for a fall hike.” – Kate Ward, Mature and Transfer Students Rep

“Bungalow- I highly recommend their salmon!” – Michelle Lau, Wellness Commissioner

“My favorite spot in London is Barney’s! There’s nothing more relaxing than catching up with friends on the patio when the weather is nice.” – Alison Lengyell, Chief Returning Officer

 

Wildlife on Campus: A Field Guide

It is hard not to notice the many creatures who live at, or come to visit, Brescia every day. The natural beauty all around campus makes a great environment for people and alike. However, there are so many different critters all around that it is hard to keep track of them all! Thankfully, the Buzz has put together this quick field guide of wildlife on campus.

Of course, the most talked-about creatures on this and any Western campus are the Canadian geese. They certainly get on people’s nerves, especially drivers who are forced to wait as they cross the road. They are also pretty aggressive, so it is a good idea to give them their space- and watch where you’re walking on the sidewalk. They migrate south for much of the school year, so at least they are only seasonal visitors.

There are also plenty of furry critters on campus, too; there are gopher burrows all over the hill in front of Ursuline Hall. Some have moved along with many Brescia classes, and are now living in front of the Marie Rosier Wing. The whitetail deer, who were known to visit the field behind the St. James building, also seemed to have moved, likely due to the construction on campus. Not to worry, there are still plenty of deer on campus on the fields leading to Medway Forest.

Medway is its own ecosystem, with plenty of biodiversity. Beside the more common animals on campus, among them the grey and black squirrels, you may be lucky enough to spot some waterside animals- snapping turtles, leopard frogs, or even the occasional beaver! The marshes near Brescia’s lower parking lot features some smaller water animals among the cattails; on damp days, you may spot some frogs near the sidewalk up to the St. James Building. Nearby in the hedges there must be a rabbit burrow, because on quiet days some eastern cottontail rabbits have been known to come out and hop about.

Like most wild animals on campus, they are very shy, so it is best to admire them from a distance. However, there are often very friendly dogs on campus. Whether they are just passing through on a walk or stopping in for a visit, they are a delight to see around! In fact, St. John’s Therapy dogs come to Brescia for events from time to time, too. As always, it is best to ask the dog’s owner before petting, and please be conscious of the service animals on Brescia’s campus, they are assisting their owners and should not be distracted.

Brescia is surrounded by natural beauty, and is lucky to be home to so many different animals. The best way to appreciate them all is to respect their space, and the campus where they live. Be sure to give Brescia’s animals the love they deserve!

Brescia Homecoming 2019

An immense part of the Brescia community is its alumni, and homecoming weekend hosted each fall is a chance to welcome alumni home to Brescia. Naturally, each year Brescia organizes weekend-long Homecoming celebrations for alumni and guests who come to campus, and this year was no different. Brescia’s Homecoming for 2019 was packed with fun and engaging events that celebrate Brescia’s bold spirit!

Saturday’s festivities kicked off in the morning with the annual faculty lecture. This year, the presentation “Eating for Your Genes” by Dr. Janet Madill attracted a packed audience for a discussion of the impact of genetics upon a person’s metabolism and diet. The lecture was a hit among current and former students alike. Following that, a lunch was hosted in the Mercato, where guests were invited to get to know other members of the large and diverse Brescia community. Visitors also took plenty of pictures at the Brescia photobooth, and put on their game faces with a face painting station. From there, all that was left to do was face the rainy weather and make the walk to main campus, where not even the weather could put a damper on Western’s defeat of Laurier at the Homecoming football game!

Sunday began with a Homecoming Mass in the Brescia chapel, a historical focal point of the Brescia campus. Following Mass, visitors were invited to the Principal’s reception and reunion luncheon. Dr. Susan Mumm, Brescia’s Principal, greeted the homecoming weekend visitors warmly, as the guests enjoyed a lunch prepared by Brescia’s chefs. Following the lunch, alumni held their Alumni Association Annual General Meeting.

In the meantime, and throughout the weekend, Brescia ran campus tours for visitors, where they could visit all their favorite spots and revisit their fondest memories from their time at Brescia. Plus, visitors to campus had an opportunity to look at the construction for Brescia’s new academic pavillion. To see the completed product, they will have to return for Homecoming next year, which promises to be especially exciting as it will also be Brescia’s centennial! For this year, Brescia spent homecoming celebrating the past, present, and future of Brescia.