Start thinking about it: 2014 Student Recognition Event

The Student Ambassador Program is excited to introduce a revolutionized Student Recognition Event!

For 2014, the Student Recognition committee’s goals are to expand the significance of the event and to continue providing valuable awards to deserving students. This year the committee will be selecting nominations, and those accepted will be receiving monetary awards. Nomination format has also changed this year, and now allows for students to be nominated by faculty, peers or by themselves.

We need your help to promote the event by spreading the word and by nominating deserving students. There is no one more qualified to recognize greatness than by you, who interacts with it on a daily basis! In saying this, we are inviting all staff, faculty and fellow peers to nominate any students they feel have demonstrated qualities that go above and beyond academic expectations to help us in distinguishing these exceptional individuals. This year we are looking for the extraordinary students who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, inspiration, courage or Red Deer College Community involvement. Nominations will be subject to vetting by the Student Recognition Event Committee.

Start thinking about who you would like to nominate! Nominations will be available soon.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Kayla Ueland, Chair of the Student Recognition Event Committee, at [email protected].

On Point & On Time: New semester plans with your Students’ Association

Happy New Year!

We hope you had a relaxing break from school work but now it’s time to open those textbooks again and head on over to class!

Some of you are probably in the middle of keeping your New Year’s Resolution — giving up caffeine, exercising more, or spending more time in the library. Keep going! It’s been a week since the year began. Make sure to have an end goal!

Hopefully, if you end up keeping those resolutions for more than two weeks, you’ll see the difference by the end of the school year.
If one of your resolutions is to get involved around the college — your Students’ Association can help you with that!

Getting involved
If you’re looking for a place to volunteer, your SA is always looking for more hands to help us out during events. If you’re looking to learn more about governance, you can be a part of the Students’ Association Council. The SA Council is responsible for making decisions regarding your student life while studying at RDC. If you want to represent your peers or for more information, please contact me at the SA Office 403-342-3200.

Now if you’re looking for a job while studying, we’re hiring for an Elections Officer, for more information, please contact Rebecca Tootoosis, our Vice-President Operations or check out the posting on the Employment page of our website (www.sardc.ab.ca/employment/)

The Far Side Bar & Grill is also looking for staff. If you’re interested please drop off  your resume and a cover letter stating your availability at the SA Office. You can work between your classes!

Your SA has a ton of events planned out for you for the next 13 weeks! Our Vice President Student Life Jhymylyn Miranda is finalizing every detail for the Mardi Gras Party at the Far Side Bar & Grill. It is Jan. 17, stop by to win some prizes and meet new people!

She also has an Eco Day planned for both Main Campus and DSB! Look out for posters and LCD screens for more information.

If you’re from the Donald School of Business, our Vice President College Affairs Tanis Penney is planning an event specifically for you! Again, look out for posters and the LCD screens for more information.

Campus Recreation is currently busy finalizing their semester events. A couple of events such as the ski trip in February and intramurals has been set! Visit Taz Kassam, the new Student Life Co-ordinator at Room 1102 or talk to one of the Campus Rec Programmers in the Living Room!

These are just some of the events for the next semester. There are more events coming up so stay tuned! There is no reason for you to be bored!

Mark your calendars, enjoy the free stuff, attend the parties, but don’t forget to go to your classes!

Remember, it’s not the books that you’ll remember in 10 years. What will stick with you is the cool people you met and the events you attended.

Enjoy your winter semester and stay classy!

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Emergency funding may be available for those in unforeseen circumstances

Are you experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen circumstances or uncontrollable expenses?

Student Funding and Awards might be able to help. Submit a RDC Bursary Application to the Student Funding & Awards office to be considered for financial assistance.

Applications are available in the Student Funding & Awards office, Room 1101 or online at rdc.ab.ca/emergencyfunding.

EUS at its best …

If you’re not a part of the Education Undergrad Society, you’re missing out. We have had many great events so far such as our membership drive, Teachers Appreciation Day, our annual clothing sale and our first professional development session on E-Liability.

We are planning on having many more fantastic events just for you.

What the heck is EUS?

We are a society managed by a board of elected executive officers that is open to education students and anyone else interested in the field of education. By becoming a member of the EUS you get to experience much more than the average education student.

The EUS puts on many different events to make your college experience the best. We put on events like fundraisers, professional development sessions in a wide variety of education topics, and our main event, the annual Education Formal.

Being part of the EUS also gets you first notice of volunteer opportunities as well as inside info about all events that our partners, the Students’ Association, host.

On top of all that, your EUS membership also allows you to become an official student member of the Alberta Teachers Association. This gives you even more benefits such as free ATA magazines/newsletters, access to the ATA library/resources, and the inside scoop on the latest developments in Alberta education.

In summary, by becoming a member of the EUS you are guaranteed to have an amazing college experience as you work towards becoming a teacher. If you are interested in joining the Education Undergrad Society or have any questions, please visit our office in Room 2406 or send us an email at [email protected].

Our events so far …

Our membership drive was a great success. We are a society of over 180 members! Thank you to our members for being a member of our society. We will do the best we can.

You may have also noticed us out in the hallways with big gigantic cards. We were getting education students to sign cards for the instructors in the Education Department. We had many people sign these cards and then we delivered them to the instructors. They were in awe. Brent Galloway, chair of the Education Department, came to our meeting one day and he said, “It really made my day.”

We held our annual clothing sale at the end of October. We sold jackets, hoodies, and sweats for students in the education program. Due to popular demand we will be bringing the clothing sale back for a second round! More details to come.

We’ve had two PD Sessions so far. There was a great turnout at our first PD Session of the year. The topic was E-Liability and Cory Schoffer of the ATA came to present. There was great attendance and it was a terrific message for teachers to be aware of what they are doing online.
Stephen Pottage from Hunting Hills joined us for a PD Session on Google Drive on November 28. We were very happy that we had so many people sign up for that one and come out. Google is one of those things that will be used in the everyday life of teachers when we graduate. It is very important that we have the skills to know how to use the program. We are planning on having many more PD Sessions this year.

Our bake sale raised $325. Thank you to all of the volunteers and those who baked something for the bake sale. We are planning on having one in the New Year. Candy Grams was a great hit as well. Thanks to all of you for supporting the EUS.

The Education Undergrad Society’s office will be closed for the holidays. We will reopen when we come back in the New Year. If you have any ideas, comments, or questions, please post it on our Facebook page or contact one of the Executives.

Upcoming Events

  • Jan. 3 to 10: Bottle Drive
  • Jan. 31, 2014: Annual Education Formal, 6 p.m. – 1 a.m., Westerner Park

Happy holidays and see you in the New Year!

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: JOSH CORMIER | 1ST/2ND YEAR REPRESENTATIVE

On Point & On Time: MyWellness during MyMidterms

We’re almost done! First semester is about to wrap up and all those papers and last-minute studying has to be done.

Being a student is stressful with everything happening all at once and you feel like you’ve got no time to get everything done. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!

There are a lot of services on campus that are free of charge that you can use. For example, if you are having troubles with your essay, there is a Writing Skills Centre located in the Library or if you are having difficulties with your instructors or anything that has to do with your education, your SA VP College Affairs is here to help you!

Before this semester ends, your Students’ Association is planning a week of fun activities focusing on relaxation methods and giving students an opportunity to live a stress-free life before exams!

MyWellness during MyMidterms will run from Nov. 14 to 22. There will be events in the Forum ranging from a puppy room to giving out free hugs. To find out more about MyWellness during MyMidterms: RDC’s Mental Health Awareness Week, watch for signs and updates on the Students’ Association webpage at www.sardc.ab.ca There will also be health and wellness-related services joining us throughout the week.

Your Students’ Association has also introduced the MyWellness website which incorporates information on all the services and supports for students on campus and in the community.

One unique feature of the MyWellness site is the online assessment tool, Feeling Better Now. This tool is an add-on to the current Students’ Association of Red Deer College Health and Dental Plan. This is free for all RDC students regardless of whether or not you opted out of the plan back in September.

This online survey can be taken anytime you’re not feeling good.  Simply go online and answer the questions. The tool will generate a report, which at your discretion, you can take it to a physician, counselor, or any practitioner of your choice. This tool is the only mental health assessment tool that is accredited by the Canadian College of Family Physicians.

It is always important to seek help, there are people around us that are willing to listen and equipped to help.

Visit the mystudentplan.ca/reddeer/mywellness website to find out more about the services and supports your Students’ Association, Red Deer College and the larger community offers!

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

New SA initiative aims to foster positive mental health

Tuition. Good marks. Deadlines. Loneliness. Career choices. Rent. Exams. Anxiety. Problems sleeping. Students can face a lot of pressure and stress in their academic and personal lives. And sometimes, it can become too much.

In recognition of these pressures, the Students’ Association has introduced a new 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,” said SA President Martin Cruz. “Throughout the year we are going to hold a number of awareness campaigns to help students learn about mental health and to try to remove the stigma around mental illness.

“We are kicking off the Initiative with Mental Health Awareness Week: MyWellness during MyMidterms from Nov. 14 to 22. Expect to see lots of stress-relieving activities ranging from letting your stress fly away on a paper airplane to a mediation session and maybe even some furry friends.”

The Mental Health Initiative will bring mental health information to the forefront for students, with the objective of helping the campus community identify the role of mental health in an individual’s well-being. Cruz said the initiative will promote the supports available to students both on campus and in Red Deer.

“We will also be promoting Feeling Better Now, an online assessment tool which provides users with an immediate outcome at the end of the survey,” said Cruz, adding 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.”

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.

“We believe this is a innovative program,” said Cruz, adding the MyWellness site also includes links to services and supports available on campus, within the larger community and online. “We believe this is one of the few tools which enables students to receive an assessment of their mental and emotional health anywhere, anytime, when the need arises.”

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.

“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.”

MyWellness during MyMidterms

What do bubble wrap, paper airplanes, dogs, hugs and a ball pit have in common? Stumped?

Individually — or together — these things can help reduce stress and anxiety for most people. And they will all be a part of MyWellness during MyMidterms.

“One in four post-secondary students experience stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health symptoms,” explained Cruz. “According to studies, the three most common factors affecting academic performance are stress, sleep difficulties and anxiety. We want to help change that for RDC students so we are holding the first-ever Mental Health Awareness Week – a week full of fun and soothing activities.”

The week kicks off Thursday, Nov. 14 with Mental Health Awareness Day where students will be able to create their own ‘stress balls’ and throw their anxiety away in a real way.

“The slogan for Mental Health Awareness Day is ‘Stressed is desserts spelled backwards’,” said VP Student Life Jhymylyn Miranda. “We want to show RDC students there are many way to relieve stress in a healthy manner. In addition, we want to raise awareness and reach out to students to show there is support on campus for mental health issues. These individuals are not alone in their struggles, and it is important they get help.”

The rest of the week will also focus on stress management, relaxation and promoting health and wellness services available to students . Each day various health and wellness-related services will be joining the SA in the Forum.

• Thursday, Nov. 14 – Mental Health Awareness Day: sip on a cup of Jiggle Juice, create your own ‘stress ball’; Forum, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

• Friday, Nov. 15 – Hot Chocolate Day: serve yourself up a cup of hot chocolate and make a friend; Main Hallway, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Monday, Nov. 18 – Dog/Puppy Room: De-stress with a few furry friends; sign up in the Forum

• Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Balloon & Bubble Wrap Day: Let all your stresses fly away and pop your way to happiness today; Forum, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Wednesday, Nov. 20 -Yoga & Mediation Day, Forum (Yoga) and Meditation Room (meditation); 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Thursday, Nov. 21 – DSB Mental Health Awareness: Balloon and Bubble Wrap station; DSB, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Friday, Nov. 22 – Mental Health Awareness Week wraps up with Random Act of Kindness Day, a Free Hug Campaign, Take a Seat/Make A Friend; Forum, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“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.”

On Point & On Time: What your Students’ Association can do for you!

You’re probably wondering who are these guys? And why are they giving out free food?

To answer your questions — we are your Students’ Association and we are here for you.

We represent you within the College, to the municipal and provincial governments, and to the community-at-large. Your SA also tries to provide each student with a memorable student experience while studying at Red Deer College.

As your student executives, we — VP College Affairs Tanis Penney, VP Student Life Jhymylyn (Jaime) Miranda, VP Operations Rebecca Tootoosis and myself — are in charge of the day-to-day business of the Students’ Association.

That means we oversee the Far Side Bar & Grill, The Lift convenience store, the many services we offer and, of course, the SA building. The businesses that I mentioned are all proudly-student owned! All SA businesses take pride in employing students, making the SA and its businesses one of the largest employers of students on campus. In addition, proceeds from SA businesses help support scholarships and services for students.

As an organization that looks after the well-being of students, we also provide a voice for students for their academic or non-academic appeals. If you are having problems with your classes, your instructors, parking or anything that has to do with you being a student, come visit Tanis Penney, your VP College Affairs. Her job is to make sure your issues and concerns are addressed fairly and in a timely manner.

In terms of promoting student life on campus, we have many opportunities for you to have fun and get involved, including Student Council, committee work, student groups, volunteering or working for one of our businesses.

By being part of Council, you are able to learn about governance and finance accountability. By being part of College committees, you will learn the behind-the-scenes of the college — beyond the classes you attend.

By being part of a student group, you are able to meet new people and widen your connections. We have a number of student groups at RDC. Most are program-based but student groups can also be interest-driven. If you want to establish your own student group, you are more than welcome to do so! Have a chat with Jhymylyn (Jaime) Miranda, your VP Student Life to learn more about your opportunities. She is also in charge of parties, events, and awareness campaigns. She is also the keeper of our SWAG! Be nice to her, she might give you a free beverage in the Far Side.

The fourth member of Executive Council is Rebecca Tootoosis, your VP Operations. She is the behind-the-scenes person, meaning she deals with how the businesses and and how Council are operated. If you have any questions on anything regarding the SA, Rebecca and myself are available between classes and meetings!

You guys are important to us because we exist only because of you. You pay for us to represent you. We are here to listen to you! You can talk to any of your Students’ Association Council members or any member of Executive Council.

Remember that books and classes are not what you’re going to remember in 10 years, it’s the memorable experience you have while you are here at Red Deer College.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Student food bank here to help

With winter just around the corner, many students are finding their funds are running low. Students face the continued struggle of making ends meet — often working one or more part-time jobs while being a full-time student. Sometimes even that isn’t enough.

“It’s unfortunate students need to access the SA Food Bank, but it is a valuable resource and service for them, especially at a time when they should be focusing on school and not the stress of everyday life,” said Anne Cooper, SA food bank coordinator.

The SA Student Food Bank has always enjoyed outstanding support from the Red Deer College community — its staff, faculty, students and supporters.

“On behalf of the Students’ Association Student Food Bank, I would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past year,” said Cooper.

“We appreciate the support we have received from faculty, departments, student groups/clubs, Red Deer City Food Bank Society, numerous individuals and special events on campus. Every donation — no matter how large or how small — makes a difference.

“The special events held by different groups on campus help out in two ways — not only do they bring in donations, they also help increase awareness of the Student Food Bank.”

Stocking the Cupboards

Demand has been quite high over the past few weeks. Donations have been steady but the high demand has left the cupboards in a sad state.
The Student Food Bank needs non-perishable items like peanut butter, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta, tomato sauce, rice, cereal, fruit juice. There are some things people may not think to donate, but are just as essential, like hygiene items.

While every donation is appreciated there are some items which are not of high demand at the SA Student Food Bank. Items like baby formula, baby food and diapers are not as necessary. If those items are required the Red Deer Food Bank can help the Student Food Bank meet those needs.

Donations of unopened, non-perishable food items can be placed in the Food Bank collection box located by the main gym or dropped off at the Students’ Association office.  The Student Food Bank also accepts cash donations. These cash donations are used to purchase food vouchers.

“With the vouchers our students can purchase perishable groceries like fresh fruit, vegetable, milk, bread and meat.”

Emergency hampers

If you have need of an emergency hamper please call the Student Funding & Awards Office at 403-342-3254 or drop by their office in Room 1101.

Clients are required to be a member of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College. Additional services offered by the Red Deer College Student Funding & Awards Office include assistance with budgeting and emergency financial
assistance.

The SA food bank is open to any questions, comments or suggestions you may have. Drop by and speak with Anne Cooper at the Students’ Association office or email [email protected]

 

On Point & On Time: Time Management – The key to success

It’s already mid-October!

It feels like we were just welcoming new students to RDC couple of weeks ago…

Oh wait.

October is the time where all students are rushing to get term papers done or cramming to get some studying done for midterms.
Be honest! Because you don’t need to worry, we’ve all been there. We procrastinate on every single thing that has to do with schoolwork.

As a second/third year Political Science Major, I can say that I procrastinate like no one else in the world. I leave my term papers to the last minute or at least eight hours before the submission time.

Throughout my years at RDC, I’ve come to realize writing essays the day before the due date or studying the night before a midterm is probably not the brightest idea. You feel overwhelmed and chances are you will get low marks when you get your midterm or paper back.

To avoid stress, plan ahead! Make sure you leave enough time for you to go to work, have a social life and also be a top-notch student. It works differently with everyone — it’s up to you to what you would like to prioritize the most.

Likewise, if you feel like you have some time to help your peers or join the fun, we need your help! The Students’ Association is planning a list of things — parties, events, and awareness campaigns under Jhymylyn’s (VP Student Life) leadership. If you’d like to help us out, please let us know!

If you feel overwhelmed, rest assured RDC and your SA have a ton of services that could help you out! The Writing Skills Centre, for example, is located in the library and they assist students with their writing. They peer-review your essays; they can help you be a better writer. If you are seeking time management help, the Counselling & Career Centre is located in Room 1402. Their doors are open if you have any questions regarding Free Massage Fridays, Time Management Training, and so on. My only advice is to use the services we have around the College, they’re free because we pay for them!

Always remember to manage your time wisely to avoid getting overwhelmed, ask for help when needed and keep everything ‘on point and on time’.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARTIN CRUZ, SA PRESIDENT

Right vs Left debate series demonstrates ‘politics can be fun’

Post-secondary education reform, Michener Centre, the sustainability of Alberta’s economy and its environmental impact, and how a post-Progressive Conservative Alberta would look and function were just a few of the topics up for debate at the recent Left vs. Right debate.

Last Thursday evening was full of heated debate as Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason and Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith brought their Mason vs. Smith debate series to the Cenovus Learning Common at RDC. The evening was presented by the Red Deer College Political Science Society.

The party leaders had the opportunity to not only engage each other in a relaxed, informative debate environment, but also educate the audience on their party’s platform and core values. Both parties market themselves as the official opposition, with these debates leaving it in the audience’s hands to decide who truly held that title. I had the opportunity to interview both Brian Mason and Danielle Smith before the debate, and get to know more about themselves and their party on a personal level.

An area of concern to most Albertan students would be the current state of the post-secondary education system. Mason himself took political science, stating that, “what was most important was the ability to think critically; how to think and analyze for myself.”

He expressed concern over the limited access to post-secondary education, and described how the NDP wishes to cut tuition across the board by 10 percent, as well as implement a freeze on non-instructional mandatory fees.

“Students are not able to get all programs or courses that they want,” Mason explained, stating that this was “greatly unfair.” Mason stressed the importance of creating long-term employment in Alberta by reducing exportation to the United States and China.

He also stressed the necessity of enforcing environmental programs and providing funding toward research and development of alternative energy sources. When asked about an ideal alternative, he stated, “natural gas is more plentiful, less expensive, and is a good ‘bridging’ fuel. We also have to invest in renewables, in a big way; tap into the potential of solar, wind, and geothermal energy in Alberta.”

Smith asserted her concern that the PC government is sending the wrong signal to students through the cuts implemented by them, and discouraging students from pursuing what they wish.

“Post-secondary education needs to be student-centered… Not ‘everybody should be steered to one path or another,’.”

She also believes an issue Albertans need to consider is the demographic change happening in the province.

“Now, we have a large group of seniors, supported by a small group of graduates … The decisions they (the PCs) are making today are completely at odds with the demographic reality that we’re facing.”

Smith also went on to discuss how her party encouraged and enforced free votes rather than party solidarity, describing how it increased respect for one another.

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Smith illustrated, believing that Albertans are now demanding a larger amount of accountability for their politicians, and that they need to represent those that elected them.

Spurred by the mention of the flooding that took place over the past year, she stated, “government should be there for a social safety net for people — but the provincial and federal levels aren’t always the right kind of government to be providing services. Empowering local government is probably a more effective way to deliver services while doing so cost-effectively, as well as tailoring those services to the needs of the community.”

When asked about how their party differs from the current government, both placed great importance of the urgency needed in the change.

“We want people to start thinking about what the province is going to look like after the Conservatives are no longer in government,” Mason said, going on to state that the partnership between student groups and the Wildrose was stimulating open conversations and inspiring young people to seriously consider the political climate in Alberta.

“For a time, the PCs did (serve my values), but they’ve gone completely off track in my opinion,” Smith commented, this being a theme that would occur over the course of the debate.

Politics can be fun

“I think people are finding, from these debates, that politics can be fun — it doesn’t have to be mean and nasty,” Mason responded when asked about student involvement in politics.

“There’s a lot of value in being politically involved. It’s intellectually stimulating, (full of) wonderful social opportunities and it involves you in making the province and the country a better place… You don’t have to run for office to be involved,” Mason explained, believing in the importance of youth involvement.

Smith responded that the best way to gain political insight was to “get involved in the municipal elections. Any election gives you the opportunity to understand what it’s all about.”

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARYANNE MCGRATH | POLITICAL SCIENCE SOCIETY