Soothing RDC students’ stress heading into mid-terms, final projects and exams

Stressed?

Most students would respond with a resounding YES!

The constraints of limited budgets, pressures of work-school-life balance, weight of nagging deadlines and looming exams coupled with anxiety, loneliness and other issues make this time of year tough for students.

All of this adds up to a lot of pressure and stress for students in their academic and personal lives. And sometimes, it can become too much.

In recognition of these pressures, last fall the Students’ Association of Red Deer College introduced its Mental Health Initiative aimed at promoting a positive atmosphere in which mental health can be explored and enhanced. The initiative is supported by funding from the Alberta Campus Mental Health Initiative Fund (ACMHI).

“We want to help give students the tools to take care of themselves,” explained SA President Martin Cruz. “Throughout the year we have held a number of awareness campaigns to help students learn about mental health and to try to remove the stigma around mental illness.

“With Mental Health Week, we want to help students relieve stress in a very hands-on fashion while creating a framework where we can all learn about mental health and how to foster good mental health within ourselves, our friends and families and our communities.”

Relieve stress now

Stress, depression, anxiety are an ongoing threat to students’ mental health. According to studies, one in four post-secondary students experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health symptoms. The three most common factors affecting academic performance are stress, sleep difficulties and anxiety.

The Mental Health Initiative is continuing its efforts to give students the tools to deal with mental health stressors and show that there are many ways to deal with stress in a healthy manner. Mental Health Week, which runs March 24 to 28, seeks to give student a week of fun, healthy and soothing activities.

During Mental Health Week, students will be encouraged to give their stresses and worries a physical dimension as they post them on the stress board, set them free on a balloon, pop them in bubble wrap or squash them in playdough. Students will also be reminded of the role of healthy eating in their overall wellness with the fruit tray event and Healthy Sandwich Race.

“Hopefully a fun, open approach to mental health and stress will help students relax and begin to discuss their worries, anxieties and concerns,” said Cruz. “We want to foster an environment where there is no stigma surrounding mental illness and where people are comfortable accessing the services they need.”

The Mental Health Initiative also brings mental health information to the forefront for students with its Mywelleness program, www.mywellnessplan.ca (select Students’ Association of Red Deer College).

This site has a wide selection of on-campus and off-campus links and resources — ranging from the RDC Counselling & Career Centre to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Red Deer district — to help students become more informed about mental health issues and the services available to them.

Feeling Better Now

Imagine its 3 a.m. and you are not feeling well. It’s the middle of the night and it feels like there is no one to call.

You remember hearing about the Feel Better Now tool. You grab your phone or tablet head to mystudentplan.ca/reddeer/mywellness, click on the Feeling Better Now link and within 20 minutes you have a preliminary assessment of your emotional and mental health and can start mapping your road to wellness.

“Feeling Better Now is an online assessment tool which provides users with an immediate outcome at the end of the survey,” said Cruz, adding that Feeling Better Now is the only mental health assessment tool for students accredited by the Canadian College of Family Physicians.

“Students can take their results to a doctor, a counselor or other medical professional. We believe this allows students to respond to their situation from an empowered position and allows them to take an active and informed roll in their care.”

Students who are at high risk are provided with online tools to help them and their physician identify and treat emotional and mental health problems using medical best practices.

“This tool will enable students who previously were unable — or unwilling — to make an appointment for mental health screening to access the help they need,” said Cruz. “At its ultimate, this tool could help ease strain on the emergency health system as mental health concerns could be treated before becoming emergencies.”

If you have any questions or suggestions for the Mental Health Initiative, email [email protected]

On Point & On Time: The importance of being informed and voting

With the Students’ Association elections just around the corner, I wanted to remind you about the importance voting.

The Students’ Association is here to represent you, as a student at Red Deer College. You paid your tuition to be here and get the education you want. That makes you a shareholder of this institution, which means you have a voice in the decision-making process within this institution and the provincial government.

That voice and representation are held the student leaders you elect during the SA elections. Just as your current executive team has, those students will make decisions, lobby and represent you to the College administration, the government and the community on your behalf. Of course, all of that happens after consulting with the majority of the students.

Like every single student organization across Canada, the Students’ Association collects fees (essentially part of your tuition). This covers the cost of the services we have available such as advocacy and representation, events, the student handbook/daytimer, lease for the photocopiers in the library, Students’ Association scholarships and awards, and more importantly, a building that shelters all of the services that the SA provide which includes the Far Side Bar & Grill and The Lift convenience store.

It is the job of the elected officials — SA president and the three vice presidents — to ensure you have the services you need as a student. In addition, they represent you to within the College, the government, and the community.

If you are thinking about running for a student executive position you can talk to the current executive in that position. If you’ve got what it takes to experience a thrilling yet challenging role, I would encourage you to pick up a nomination package and learn more about the positions and the election process. Another quick reminder of Uncle Ben’s words to Peter, “with big power comes big responsibility.”

Completed nomination packages must be submitted to Elections Officer Marie Evangelista by 4 p.m. March 11.

It is important to know the candidates and make an informed a decision before voting. Regardless if you’re returning to RDC next year, it is your responsibility and duty as a paying member to vote for the next set of student representatives.

Please vote on March 19, 2013. It takes only two minutes to make a difference. Let your voice be heard during the 2014 Spring Executive Council Election!

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Students’ Association Executive Elections approaching

The Students’ Association of Red Deer College (of which you are a member!) is holding its annual Executive Election.

At the end of the election process a brand-new Students’ Association Executive Council will be chosen.

These four people represent students at RDC to College administration, the provincial government and the community. They oversee the operations of the Students’ Association and its businesses and plan events, awareness campaigns and more for you, the RDC student.

This election will fill the following positions: Students’ Association President, Vice President Operations, Vice President College Affairs and Vice President Student Life for 2014-2015. They will take office May 1.

Can I be involved?

Yes! You can volunteer with the election, run for office, and above all — VOTE!

Vote: Voting is easy; all you need is your iCard. Simply walk up to a poll on Election Day March 19, show your iCard, receive your ballots and vote.

All RDC credit students (academic and apprenticeship students), U of A Collaborative students and U of C collaborative students registered at the time the list is prepared (usually a week to 14 days prior to the election) should be on the Voters List. In the event your name does not appear on the list on Election Day, poll clerks will give you further directions.

Volunteer: Several dedicated volunteers are need to help make the election successful. Volunteers will help set up/tear down polling stations, operate polling stations, count ballots and more. Email [email protected] for details.

Run for office: Want to make a difference and ensure students have a voice in their education? Consider running for office. If you would like more information on the positions and how to run for office, contact Elections Officer Marie Evangelista at [email protected] or phone 403-342-3200.

Results will be announced in the Far Side Bar & Grill at the conclusion of ballot counting on March 19(approximate time: 8 p.m.) Election results will also be announced on the SA website (www.sardc.ab.ca), Facebook, Twitter and the Loop. You can also check out one of the SA bulletin boards for a poster with the winners!

On Point & On Time: Consider running for SA executive council

This school year has been a blast! There are parties and events happening at least once a week and the students are making a change in their education by voicing their concerns.

Have you ever questioned what happens behind the parties, events and the free stuff your Students’ Association provides?
Behind all that are four elected executive members who try to make each year the best one possible for the students of RDC. Elections for these positions are set for mid-March.

The SA President, Vice President Operations, Vice President Student Life and Vice President College Affairs are student positions work together to advocate and represent their peers in the College, municipal and provincial governments and community.

If you’re interested in what each position entails, here is a quick run down:

PRESIDENT
The President is responsible for representing you in all meetings that pertain to your education within the college, municipal and provincial government and the community-at-large. He/she will advocate on your behalf and ensure that in every decision made, your best interest as a student is kept in mind.

VP OPERATIONS
The VP Operations is the behind-the-scenes executive. This position is responsible for the highest governing body for students, SA Council, and ensures the student voice of the Donald School of Business is heard. This position works with the President and the staff members ensuring that we have the services that the students need for their education.

VP STUDENT LIFE
This position is responsible for the fun events for students to participate in or attend. The VP Student Life is responsible for organizing and executing many events such as the welcome week of activities aka Blitz Week and giving out free stuff. This position also helps out with the organization of the many student groups that we have on campus.
If you’re the organized, party person — this position may be for you!

VP COLLEGE AFFAIRS
The VP College Affairs is responsible for student academic or non-academic appeals. This position deals with a ton of policies pertaining to the student academic well-being. This office is also in charge of the Issues Committee, listening to students concerns and gathering facts and making a change for the students.

Like Uncle Ben said to Peter “with big power comes big responsibility.” Personal motivation and time management is key to success and these are two of the million skills that a student can learn by being part of the Students’ Association.

Being a student executive is worth it, don’t get me wrong, it is stressful but the rewards certainly outweigh the responsibilities.

Think about running. Think about making a change. Think Students’ Association.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to stop by the SA Office and we can chat it up.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Let your voice be heard during the 2014-2015 SA Executive Elections

It’s the time of the year to let your voice be heard and make it matter. The Students’ Association of Red Deer College Executive Council Election is coming this March 19. Four Executive Council positions are up for grabs and it’s time to consider being part of that change.

While each position has separate responsibilities, the four executive work together to ensure students are represented fairly and equally. The role of each executive member is different and multi-faceted, but some of the main duties are:

• the President is the official spokesperson and CEO of the Association,

• the Vice President Student Life plans and promotes student events,

• the Vice President Operations recruits and trains Student Council members and works to promote the Association,

• the Vice President College Affairs assists with student academic and non-academic appeals and issues.

Representing the Students’ Association is not a job. It is an opportunity to create change, have fun, make a difference and be counted. Your ideas are always worth exploring and it is your chance to involve yourself, your friends, classmates, batch mates and school mates in something fun.

All you need to be counted are the three Ts …

Time – Share your time to make that change in the lives of your school mates.  Listen to their voices and be that steward to change.

Talent – Use your talents to create and build fun-filled and meaningful opportunities for them to involve themselves.  It is through these projects that will enable you to establish greater heights.

Treasure – Share yourself wholeheartedly!  It is the best way to LEAD.

Check out the timetable so you can prepare yourself for this rare opportunity.

Election timeline

March 4: Nominations open
• SA Spring General Meeting
Nominations for SA Executive Council, summer Students’ Association Council, student vacancies on Academic Council and Board of Governors Student Member open.

March 11: Nominations close
• Nomination period for SA Executive Council closes at
4 p.m. Candidates for SA Executive Council must provide transcripts, nomination forms and profiles by the deadline.
• Campaigning begins

March 12: Campaign event
• Meet the Candidates, Donald School of Business,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March 13: Campaign event
• Meet the Candidates, RDC Forum, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
March 17: Campaign Event
• Meet the Candidates, RDC Forum, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 18: Advance Polls
• SA Office polling station, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Donald School of Business polling station, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Campaigning ends. All campaign material must be down by 10 p.m.

March 19: Election Day!
• SA Stairs poll, main campus, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• RDC Forum poll, main campus, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
• Donald School of Business poll, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
• Election results in the Far Side Bar & Grill

Election results will be announced in the Far Side Bar & Grill following ballot counting.

Not yet ready for that BIG COMMITMENT????

If you are not yet ready to make that commitment, then allow yourself to be counted as a VOLUNTEER.  We need your help in ensuring that everyone is well represented in the process.  Share your time by registering as a Polling Clerk.  It may not sound big but you will definitely make a difference by getting yourself involved.

Be the change!!! Sign up at the SA office or email [email protected] for more details.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARIE EVANGELISTA | ELECTION OFFICER

On Point & On Time: Leaving RDC – Make a successful transition

I’ve been having anxieties about the future recently.

The fear of leaving RDC has been throwing me off but after having a good ol’ conversation with some RDC Alumni, moving on after RDC isn’t that bad after all.

I thought it would awesome to share some of the things I’ve heard that make it an easier transition from Red Deer College to moving on to the next step.

The Wisdom
• It’s never too early to prepare for upcoming events. I remember during the first winter season I was able to drive. I procrastinated for months, dithering back and forth if I should replace my tires.

Let me tell you driving with summer tires on a sketchy slippery road is not fun. You will either get into an accident or die of heart attack trying to avoid getting into an accident.

Moral of the story, don’t procrastinate. Plan ahead. If you don’t know what to do, Google is your best bet.

• As we all work our way to moving on, each of us needs to make sure we know how to cook and buy groceries. I’m still learning how to do this stuff. There’s a big chance that I’ll probably live off noodles or fast food. Last week, I was given the task to cook bacon and I burnt it. Almost set the house on fire. I wish this was a joke but unfortunately it did happen.

• I’ve also been told it’s okay to ask for help when needed. Regardless of how old we are, we still don’t know that answer to everything. Heck, even Albert Einstein didn’t know everything.

• Networking is also important, make sure that while you’re still at RDC to have a chat with your instructors, your coaches, your mentors or your peers! They can guide you along the way and may provide you with great information for anything you might need answered.

The Students’ Association provides great opportunities for those looking to take an active role in their post-secondary education. The SA represents the students of RDC and is the voice to Administration, the City, and the provincial government. If you are interested in growing your network by being part of the student governance, please do not hesitate to contact any of the current student executives!

Remember, it’s not just about the books. It’s about the experiences you had while at RDC that you’ll remember in the next 10 years!

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Information on Alberta’s Completion Incentive Grant

The Completion Incentive Grant is awarded to students who complete a credential after August 1, 2012 and received a full-time Albert Student Loan at any point during studies for that credential.

Eligible students will receive:

  • $1,000 for certificate programs requiring one year of less to complete.
  • $1,500 for certificate and diploma programs requiring more than one year to complete.
  • $2,000 for undergraduate degree programs.

If you are in your final year of studies and currently receiving funding through Student Aid Alberta, you are automatically considered for the Completion Incentive Grant. You can confirm this by logging onto your Student Aid Alberta account at www.studentaid.alberta.ca or by calling 1-855-606-2096.

You will be eligible for the grant, but not automatically considered if:

  • You are in your final year of studies and did not receive funding through Student Aid Alberta for the current term.
  • You did not indicate that you are in your final year of studies on your application to Student Aid Alberta for your current funding.

If you are not automatically considered for the grant you must submit the paper application (found at www.studentaid.alberta.ca) to Student Aid Alberta. The application must be received by Student Aid Alberta at least 30 days before your program end date.

If you have any questions about the grant please call the Student Aid Alberta Service Centre at 1-855-606-2096.

Feeling better: SA initiative focuses on mental health

There is a new initiative at Red Deer College — the Mental Health Initiative — and it is all about helping students feel better. The Students’ Association introduced this initiative in the fall term and as the name implies, it is an effort to improve the mental health of RDC students.

There are two components to this initiative; one is online and the other focuses on on-campus activities and awareness.

The online component provides resources and guidance for RDC students who are feeling stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health concerns. This includes the Mywellness program which can be found at www.mywellnessplan.ca (select Students’ Association of Red Deer College)

This site has a huge assortment of both on-campus and off-campus links and resources — ranging from the RDC Counselling & Career Centre to the Canadian Mental Health Association, Red Deer district — to help students become more informed about mental health issues and the services available to them.

The site also connects students to FeelingBetterNow, Canada’s only “medically approved, anonymous online mental health care program designed to assist in the prevention, early diagnosis and on-going management of common emotional and mental health issues.”
Students who are at high risk are provided with online tools to help them and their physician identify and treat emotional and mental health problems using medical best practices.

The student and their physician receive a patient-specific risk map indicating the severity of the condition; a patient-specific care map to assist them in the detection, treatment and follow up of emotional and mental health problems; and follow up maps every three weeks to track progress and recovery.

The second component of the initiative is the on-campus aspect. By facilitating events on campus it is hoped that these activities will help foster a positive environment where mental health can be explored and enhanced. In this framework, it is hoped good mental health can be supported.

Such events include the fall term’s Mental Health Awareness week. The week’s activities included a puppy room, yoga and meditation sessions and several hands-on activities like create your own stress ball. These fun and soothing activities helped students embody their stressors and relieve stress.

Relieve stress now

Stress, depression, anxiety are an ongoing threat to students’ mental health. According to studies, one in four post-secondary students experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health symptoms. The three most common factors affecting academic performance are stress, sleep difficulties and anxiety.

The Mental Health Initiative is continuing its efforts to give students the tools to deal with mental health stressors and show that there are many ways to deal with stress in a healthy manner.

With those goals in mind, an assortment of mental health-related events are being planned for this term. Keep your eyes open for the upcoming Mental Health Initiative Scavenger Hunt, where participants will search for health and wellness services on campus and for the winter installment of Mental Health Week.

If you have any questions or suggestions for the Mental Health Initiative, please email [email protected]

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: JANESSA MATTHEW | MHI PROJECT ASSISTANT

On Point & On Time: Tips for surviving your years at RDC

College is stressful but it can also be fun especially if you are a student at Red Deer College. While you attend those weekly parties or binge-watch your favorite television show on Netflix, do not forget about those things you call classes that you are suppose to be attending.

After talking to a student I had this idea to write a manual on how to survive your years at RDC.

Now, this is a disclaimer: I am not a genius on how to get an A+ on every single class or how to be the light of the party. After reading a couple of articles and basing them from my experience, I came up with this list on the do’s and don’ts while at RDC. Here it is:

1. DO make friends
Your experience at RDC will be better than just going to class and going home to watch Suits (If you haven’t seen it, watch an episode. Enough said.) Your friends will make sure that you don’t lose your cool at that party when you had way too many. If you’re wondering how to make friends, that’s easy! You should introduce yourself to the person on your right during your Astronomy class in Room 1400. Talk about how much you love the class. You can stop by the Living Room or attend a Students’ Association weekly event! I heard about this cool kid that works for the SA; his name starts with M or something.

2. DON’T Hesitate
Hesitations while driving causes accidents. That’s a fact! When you hesitate at college, it can also be a dangerous. When writing a multiple-choice exam, your first instinct is usually correct. College is about trying different things; meeting new people; hanging out at the Far Side while playing a game of pool with some random student. Don’t hesitate on doing these things! Regret is the worst tormentor.

3. DO show up to class
This is self-explanatory. Look it up.

4. DON’T make rash decisions
When you are having fun, make sure you are also thinking about how you would feel the next day. Look out for your buddies because they are also doing the same!

5. DO have fun
Attend the parties; show up to the Kings and Queens Games (they’re free… If you didn’t know); join the Rec-effect at the Living Room and definitely hang out at the Far Side, especially on Fridays. These are just some of the things you can do on campus.

Of course, your Students’ Association is always here to help you out with your student life experience. We’ve got your back while you study and have fun. Like always, if you have any questions or concerns, let us know!

Remember that college isn’t just about the books.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

EUS is going New York, New York!

Time to get your fancy on! We’re going to New York!

The Education Undergraduate Society will be hosting its 4th Annual Winter Formal and on Friday, Jan. 31, the only place you will want to be is the Marquis Room at Westerner Park.

Doors open at 7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7:30 p.m. The dinner is a full buffet including AAA Alberta inside round roast beef with gravy and horseradish, baked potato with trimmings, vegetable medley, Caesar salad, fruit salad, Palm Springs salad (oriental coleslaw), fresh dinner buns, butter and pickles, tea, coffee and dessert.

There will also be a late lunch served at around midnight including sandwich and wrap trays (roast beef, ham, turkey and egg salad) cheese, sausage and cracker trays, fresh fruit trays, vegetable trays with dip, assorted dessert trays, and tea and coffee.

On top of dinner there will be lots of great entertainment, a dance, a silent auction, music, a photo booth and much more.

This is a great event for Education students to come together and celebrate what we have accomplished so far in our teaching journey.

If you are not an Education student but wish to come party with us, don’t worry — this event is open to all RDC students. Tell all of your friends.
Tickets are $30 for EUS members, $40 for non-EUS members, or two tickets for $60, EUS member or not. There are only 200 tickets available so make sure to get your tickets now.

Ticket sales run from Monday, Jan.13 through Friday, Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Main Hallway. If there are still tickets available we will be selling them at the door until we are sold out.

We are also looking for volunteers to help sell tickets. If you are interested, please contact one of the Executives, including myself, and we will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

This is the Education Undergraduate Society’s most anticipated event so don’t miss out.

We hope to see you there in your formal wear in Old New York.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: JOSH CORMIER | EDUCATION UNDERGRAD SOCIETY