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.

Reading Week Japan Trip

Reading week is a time for a lot of students to travel home and see their families, but one student group travelled far from home this reading week- to Japan. A Brescia class of sociology, nutrition and dietetics, and family studies students took a 10-day trip to Chiba Prefecture, next to Tokyo, to visit Wayo Women’s University.

During the trip, the class covered a lot of ground. Visiting Japanese landmarks like the SkyTree, DisneySea, and the Kamakura Buddha were among their trips. The group also toured the Wayo campus and its food labs, and visited a japanese nursery and primary school. While the sociology and family studies students visited the Japanese parliament to learn more about the society, while the foods students took a tour of a hospital’s kitchens to take a look at food production in Japan. These were just a few of the many places the class visited during their 10-day trip; their days were packed! “Experiencing a culture that is very different from our own was a really cool experience. And the food was great,” said Esmé Panarello, a families and nutrition student who went on the trip.

Now the trip is over and the students have returned to their regular classes, but a new part of the experience has already begun. Some food and nutrition students from Wayo University have come to visit London for two weeks, and they also have a full schedule planned. Aside from attending classes and touring Brescia’s food labs, the students look forward to a trip to see the Toronto Lightning play, and they will see a London Knights hockey game too. A Kinsmen Sugarbush trip will give a close look at Canadian culture, as well. The Wayo students have a lot to look forward to, and Brescia’s students look forward to showing them around.

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Madison Olsen

“Having launched a company last year, I get asked the question ‘what advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?’ regularly.  My main advice for someone is to always have tough skin and an open mind.  As an entrepreneur, you AND your idea receive constant criticism and critiquing.  It’s important to have tough skin and take criticism without letting it impact your work ethic, vision and business.  However, it’s also important to have an open mind and constantly be reaching out for help from people more successful than yourself and to be able to learn from those people and be able to apply those lessons for your own business.  Have an open mind to those who have walked before you in order to build you as a person and your company.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day Ask a Therapist Questions

During the Bell Let’s Talk Day Event held by the Wellness Education Peers at Brescia, Michelle Lau, the BUCSC’s Wellness Commissioner, collected anonymous questions from students- questions which they have always wanted to ask a psychotherapist. The purpose of this event was to break down some barriers or concerns students may have about seeking therapy as well as to get a better understanding of resources that are available to them. The questions were answered by Sheldon Hill, a psychotherapist at Brescia. Here are just a few of the questions and answers- all the questions asked at the event were answered by Sheldon, and they can be found here!

Who is the psychologist at Brescia that I can go talk to?

Dr. Gilby is a private practitioner and psychologist who comes to Brescia to meet with students. She can provide short or long term therapy and she is based out of Ursuline Hall. Her rate is $100 per session, which can be reimbursed through the student health plan (up to $750.00). You can book an appointment with her by emailing rgilby@uwo.ca .

How do you know if you’re mentally ill?

If you’re seeking a diagnosis, I’d encourage you to attend a family doctor at Student Health Services and explain your experience. It is difficult to consider if our experience falls into mental illness because we are unable to contrast our experience to that of others. Sure, you can talk to friends about their experience and yours may sound more severe, but when it comes to experiencing emotion dysregulation or unhelpful thinking patterns, it’s difficult to compare those to others. A doctor would be the best place to start if you believe you have a mental illness.

Does it get easier or do we get better at managing?

This is a much more opinion-based, anecdotal answer as this question seems a little philosophical. Does life get easier? Not really – life tends to come in waves with times of ease and challenge coming and going. Life is complex and life as a student can be chaotic.
Can we get better at managing? Absolutely. One hundred percent. As we continue to learn about ourselves and expectations from others, we develop new skills and acquire new knowledge. If we remain engaged and open-minded, we are able to become better at managing challenges. Sometimes this means managing on our own, but it also means leaning on our social supports – friends, family – when we need to. And with time, those supports become stronger, more solidified and reliable.

These are only a few of the many questions students had. Sheldon was kind enough to answer each one, and all questions and answers can be found in this Google doc. Whether you are looking for your question, or you just want to know a little more about mental health services at Brescia and Western, Sheldon’s answers are a worthwhile read. Please take a look!

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Reading Week Staycations

Although many people look forward to spending time away from London during reading week, many students stick around for the break. That doesn’t mean a boring week spent in the dorm, though! London has plenty of fun options on offer. Here’s a quick list of some great London activities for the break.

Watch a Game

If you’re spending time in London over the break, it is a great chance to show some school spirit. You may be too busy to go see a game during a school week, but reading week is a great time to support the Mustangs. The hockey and volleyball teams are playing at home in the upcoming week; you can find details here.

Go on a Food Tour

London has a great food culture, and reading week is a great time to get out and experience it. This is a great chance to go out to that one place you’ve had your eye on for a while, or go searching for someplace entirely new. The best part is that London has so many options, that you can make a food tour that is scheduled just to your tastes. This website is a great place start planning your personal food tour.

Game Night with Friends

London is full of fun places to spend time with friends, especially if you’re the competitive type. Places like the Rec Room and Palasad are ideal for hanging out and having fun. For more laid-back vibes, little places like Chil and Carboard Cafe are nice places to spend an afternoon. Whatever you choose, be sure to bring one or two friends along with you!

Hit the Trails

London is known for its natural beauty- It’s called the forest city for a reason, so why not go take a look at what it has to offer? Western students may already know about the trails near campus, like by the Thames on main campus, and in Medway Forest behind Brescia. However, reading week is a great time to explore more of London’s trails. You can find one that piques your interest here.

Whatever you do and wherever you are this reading week, the BUCSC wishes you all the best!

Mikaila Hunter- BUCSC’s 2019-2020 President

This year’s race for the BUCSC president was marked by immense student engagement and participation. After an extraordinarily well-attended presidential speeches event on January 30, polling opened for 2 days, and the students made their voices heard. Finally, on February 6, Mikaila Hunter was announced as next year’s BUCSC president. Here is a brief introduction to Mikaila and her campaign platform, as well as a look at what students can expect from next year’s student council.

Hunter is a 3rd year food & nutrition student with a minor in political science. She has been involved with Brescia’s councils since first year, when she was a floor representative on Clare Hall’s residence council. The following year, she served as the BUCRC’s president, which also led her to her position on the BUCSC as residence representative. This year, she is the BUCSC’s president, and may now look forward to holding the same position next year.

Hunter’s campaign was popular with voters because of her student opportunity-focused platform. She focused on a continuation of the initiatives she has begun this year, but also expressed new goals to serve particular student groups, such as international students and clubs members. Additionally, she focused on improving accessibility for students by creating a mental health policy for student council positions and offering student services such as tutoring in more languages. Another great focus of the platform was student feedback-based research for how to improve the BUCSC’s services.

Hunter’s four-point platform focused on tutoring and work opportunities, accessibility in the classroom, student wellbeing, and student involvement, but this year’s campaign season directed the focus toward a major issue for Ontario’s students; the OSAP cuts upcoming in the next school year. Hunter has already worked to respond to the OSAP changes by bringing concerns on behalf of students. The changes also mean uncertainty for the student council, as funding has become far less assured in the coming year. During her campaign, Hunter assured students that she would seek to maintain the services that student council offers irregardless of budget changes.

Although Hunter will have one term’s experience when she is the BUCSC’s president next year, she will face changes and new challenges. The student body’s vote of confidence in her favor is certainly a signal that Hunter will be a capable leader for the BUCSC next year. Students may look forward to seeing her lead council and fulfill her campaign’s goals in the 2019-20 school year.

Presidential results

BUCSC Student Awards

The BUCSC is proud to support Brescia’s students in many ways; that means hosting social events, providing resources, and advocating for students, among other services. However, one of the BUCSC’s services that is often overlooked is the BUCSC awards. These awards and their monetary support are a way for the BUCSC to express thanks and recognition to Brescia students who exemplify Brescia’s excellence.

Awarded annually to honor students who embody the spirit of Brescia, the awards seek to recognize students with a wide variety of experiences and contributions to their community. The Spirit award, for example, focuses on involvement at Brescia, while the Francolini Memorial award is for students whose community involvement is specifically outside Brescia. A new award for this year is the Shiloh Roberts Compassion award, which recognizes an international student who embodies compassion in their community. There are plenty of awards, and each recognizes different values and lived experiences. It is well worthwhile to look at the awards to see if you would be a good match for any of them.

There are 19 awards available this year, and students may apply for more than one award if they wish. There is a lot of variety, so it is important to look through each award description and determine which ones for which you are a good candidate. Then, all that is left to do is fill out the applications, which are quite quick and easy to fill out online. They are available, alongside the award descriptions and requirements, at the dedicated BUCSC webpage. Applications close on February 13, so now is a good time to get started on applying.

Brescia students are defined by their bold leadership, dedication, and compassion, and that is something to celebrate. The BUCSC wants to recognize the students who best exemplify the Brescia spirit through their involvement with the Brescia community, and who positively impact the people around them. These awards and the monetary support they provide are a thanks and an encouragement for students who embody the best Brescia has to offer.

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