From the President’s Desk

RDC reaches new milestone with the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Let me be the first to say welcome – or welcome back – to Red Deer College! This is a very exciting time at RDC, and we are so pleased that you’re here to experience all that this year will offer.

A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated a historic milestone when we opened our new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris. Thousands of people – including members of your SA Executive, students, faculty, staff, partners and community members all toured the building, after much anticipation over the past months.

Awesome, jaw-dropping, game-changer and iconic were a few words I heard used to describe the new health, wellness and sport facility. For you, our students, this building represents a new page in the history of this College. The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is another stepping stone that will improve teaching and learning opportunities and your time at RDC, and it’s another important piece as we transition to a recognized university.

Our celebrations for the grand opening included an official ribbon-cutting on August 22, where we welcomed our partners to celebrate with us. Government officials, the City of Red Deer, Canada Games Council and Host Society representatives, along with philanthropists Gary Harris and Jack and Joan Donald joined us for this historic opening.

And what a celebration it was! Three years in the making, the $88 million Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is the result of the work of so many. They should be proud of their contributions to a Centre that will serve our students, our community and our region for generations to come.

And it will be busy. For all of our students and Athletics teams that have been waiting to use the facility, your time is finally here. Community interest has also been immense, and the building will be humming with activity each and every day. Plus, as the designated legacy facility for the Games, the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will serve our College and our community members in exciting new ways.

As you are likely aware, this fall we are hosting five pre-Games events in preparation for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The Games will take place from February 15 to March 3, 2019, and immediately after, we will be hosting the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Volleyball National Championships – for the first time more than 30 years. Tournaments, conferences and community use will ensure strong economic activity for our region.

We are proud to be a part of the Canada Winter Games and all that the partnership has enabled – and the Games will be amazing, of that I have no doubt. But our decision to partner on this once in a generation opportunity was based not only on hosting the Games, but on the impact new facilities would have on our future capacity to serve our students and communities long into the future.

And make no mistake, the opening of the Centre is about the future – the future of our region, our community and our College – and the University we are becoming. It is about our ability to better serve our students and communities in new and innovative ways through the addition of more programs, including our own degrees. Great programs, well delivered in state-of-the-art facilities will ensure the future of RDC as a recognized university. More opportunities for students to study closer to home will have a major impact on our economic, cultural and social growth.

When it comes to facilities for teaching, learning, innovation and research, RDC is leaping into the future. This amazing facility, our new residence and our new Alternative Energy Lab all reflect our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint while reducing our heating and cooling costs. Through the unique vertical installation of solar panels on our Residence building and more than 2,000 solar panels on the roof of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, RDC will be one of the leaders in Canada when it comes to alternative energy innovation.

My thanks to the Government of Alberta, and in particular to Premier Rachel Notley and Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt, for the future they have enabled by their announcement earlier this year.

And for you, our students, your future begins now. Our Apprentice courses started on August 27, and credit classes begin at Red Deer College today. As we welcome you back and wish you all the best with your programs, another academic year has begun. But this year is different. We know that we are becoming a University, we have opened the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, and we are looking to future opportunities unlike anything we’ve seen before.

As always, if you have any suggestions or questions, please email me at [email protected] or call my office at 403.342.3233.

RDC students elect 2018-19 Executive Team

Students at Red Deer College elected the 2018-2019 Students’ Association executive March 22 in its general election.

The new executive team is: Chaise Combs, President; Esther Oliva-Dzib, Vice President Academic; Adam Shendaruk, Vice President Operations and Brittany Lessard, Vice President Community & Wellness. Students also elected members of SA Council — Justine Ecker, Kendra Gagne and Ian Miller.

All newly elected members of Executive Council and SA Council officially take office May 1, 2018.

“We would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the election,” said President Kass Scholze, “especially to all the candidates.

“It takes a lot put yourself out there and run a campaign while maintaining your studies. It clearly demonstrates how passionate students are about their education their future and Red Deer College.”

The current executive team —  Kass Scholze, President; Marian Young, Vice President Operations and Chaise Combs, Vice President Student Life — remain in office until April 30, 2018.

Misconceptions challenged during recent Social Work Student Society event

The Social Work Student Society hosted the Social Work Showcase Event in order to challenge misconceptions that social workers only work in child welfare and to demonstrate the many areas we are involved in.

Social workers contribute to social change though ground level work in fields such as financial aid, individual and family counselling, domestic violence, addictions, outreach, housing, and many others. We also work in areas of community engagement and policy development to advocate for vulnerable populations.

At the event we displayed photo voice projects from current students and some artistic projects from former students to represent our passions and initiatives in these areas as well as the values we uphold as social workers such as diversity and right to self-determination.

We included a multicultural element of social work by having a social work student from Kenya there to offer information on her Muslim culture and traditional Muslim dress for guests to try on.

We also demonstrated the innovation involved in social work through an art therapy table where guests could contribute drawings and write notes that allowed them a different outlet for self-expression and a way to de-stress for a moment or two.

We are so encouraged by the interest and support we received from faculty members, visitors and peers that attended our event. We ask that if members of the college and Red Deer community take anything away from this that it would be to develop a better understanding and appreciation of the social work profession and to aspire to demonstrate social work in your own lives.

Advocate for your vulnerable neighbors by informing yourself on social issues and spreading awareness in your conversations and actions, take opportunities to volunteer in the community when you can, and work to reduce discrimination in the way you speak about and treat the people around you.

Thank you,

– Keira Shendaruk, Social Work Student Society
Social Work Student Showcase

Smash Your Stress Car Smash

Your Students’ Association is proud to bring the Smash Your Stress Car Smash back to RDC for a second year.

On April 4 and 5 students can paint a message about what stresses them out on the car. Then on April 6 students can ‘smash their stress’ in a physical way. The car will be located in front of the Library and each day’s event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Weather permitting)

All necessary safe equipment will be provided and must be used to take part. Participants must also sign a waiver prior to participating.

Donations to the Students’ Association Student Food Bank gratefully accepted.

Students’ Association pleased degree-granting approved for RDC

The Students’ Association of Red Deer College is pleased the government has approved degree-granting status for Red Deer College.

The change means Red Deer College will be able to pursue granting its own degrees, in addition to certificates, diplomas, applied and collaborative degrees and apprenticeship training.

“This is a big day for the students of Central Alberta,” said Kass Scholze, Students’ Association President.

“Student leaders have lobbied for degrees at Red Deer College for decades — and today is the day that ask becomes a reality.

“It has not been a quick or easy process and it has taken a great deal of hard work and dedication for RDC to finally be at the cusp of granting its own degrees. Today is a big day for the future of Red Deer College and Central Alberta.”

Students come to Red Deer College for the small class size, close campus community and faculty and staff that are invested in their futures, explained Scholze. Students want to be able to pursue their entire degree in that same environment and continue to be a part of Central Alberta.

“This change means students will no longer be forced to up-root their lives to complete their education. It will allow access to degrees right here at home within the next few years,” said Scholze.

“Students will be able to complete their degree on a campus and in a community invested in their success and future graduates will be a vital part of Central Alberta.”

Students have been lobbying for degree-granting at RDC for decades. Student leaders have organized multiple campaigns including 1992’s trip to the Legislature to lobby for degrees and 2016’s postcard campaign which saw postcards signed by Central Albertans supporting degree-granting delivered to the Legislature.

SA Election nomination period closes March 13

Students interested in running for Students’ Association Executive Council or Student Council for 2018-2019 have until March 13 at 4 p.m. to submit their completed nomination package.

Four executive positions — President, Vice President Operations, Vice President Academic, and Vice President Community & Wellness — and 12 councillor positions are available to be filled through this election.

If you’re a leader and an advocate, you can be a Councillor or an Executive! For more information, please come see Martin Cruz, Elections Officer at the Students’ Association Offices.

NSO focus group

Students are invited to take part in a focus group to talk about the student policies that they feel new students should be made aware of at New Student Orientation, and how that information might best provided.

The focus group is in response to feedback provided at a January 2018 meeting Alison Jeppesen, Chair of Academic Policy Committee, had with students.

The focus group will be held Thursday, March 15 from 3:30 – 5 p.m. in Room 2205. Snacks will be provided, as well as a small gift for each student in appreciation of their time and thoughts.

Students interested in participating should contact Lacey Fittes via email by Friday, March 9.

RDC’s bold future as a university

Fifty-four years serving learners and our communities.

One hundred programs — and growing — in a variety of disciplines.

More than 60,000 alumni.

One decision, years in the making.

You, our current students, are witness to an exciting decision by the Alberta Government that allows RDC to transition to a university and grant our own degrees. We’re grateful for the support of our Government. This includes Premier Rachel Notley, Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt, and our local MLAs, who shared the momentous decision about our institution’s future as a university with an enthusiastic crowd in the Arts Centre last week.

The announcement acknowledges the growth, and evolution, of RDC as a mature academic institution. It provides us with a starting point from which to foster new future opportunities.

We will continue to offer everything we do now, plus grant our own degrees. This includes trades, certificates, diplomas, graduate certificates, applied degrees and degrees in collaboration with our partners at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and Mount Royal University.

As a comprehensive regional teaching institution, we can now offer opportunities that will allow more students to complete their education closer to home and choose to stay in our region after graduation. The impact on families and communities cannot be overstated.

What our future as a university looks like is still unknown. It won’t happen overnight. But the potential is vast.

Our institution will continue to measure our success by who we let in, not who we keep out. We will fail if our students are not challenged by programs that stretch them, empower them, and prepare them for the ever-changing nature of work. Applied learning, and applied research that connects students with leaders in business, industry and the not-for-profit sectors, solving real world problems, will be the centrepiece of what we continue to do.

We appreciate, and want to acknowledge, current and past Students’ Association executive members who have worked diligently with us to represent you, our students, in achieving this milestone. We’re excited to continue this work with them, and all of you, to help define our future as a comprehensive regional teaching university.

Our journey starts now to become a university. The significance of this announcement will resonate for generations to come. We will not let you down. We have been given a once in a lifetime opportunity, and together we will imagine and create an institution of which we can all be proud.

We hope that Red Deer College will always have a special place in your heart, and that you’ll always feel welcome here.

As always, if you have any suggestions or questions, please email me at [email protected] or call my office at 403-342-3233.    – Joel Ward, RDC President

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: JOEL WARD, RDC PRESIDENT

Lots to do: scholarships, elections & more

It seems in the blink of an eye the year is almost over, but that’s what happens when you are busy having fun or having fun being busy.

Even though we are closing in on the end of the school year, that doesn’t mean things are slowing down. There are scholarships to apply for, elections to take part in, and next year to look forward to …

For those students who haven’t had the chance to apply for scholarships, there are tons of applications that are still open and there is no better time than right now to apply! Simply head to the RDC website

Another great opportunity RDC student is to become more involved with your Students’ Association — either on Council or as an executive. Nominations are open so stop by and the awesome staff would be happy to answer any and all questions. Don’t wait too long though, the nomination period closes March 13.

For those who haven’t noticed yet, the Students’ Association is gearing up the Canada Winter Games coming to Red Deer College February 2019. WAIT! That’s only one year away! If you have questions regarding how this will affect you or other students now is the time to start asking, if you haven’t already. Calendars for February, March and April 2018 line the hallway by the SA office; we don’t want anyone to be in the dark about how these four exciting weeks will play out.

Trying to write down all of the exciting things that I have been up to over the last couple months has been harder than I thought! I am enjoying the challenge from both my role as Vice President College Affairs as well as President, I believe that both roles have allowed me to grow professionally as well as personally. Plus, I discovered a new passion for Academics!

After the bi-election, the exec team hit the ground running. We have been striving to represent the students’ voice at every opportunity including at Academic Council, Policy Committee, Canada Winter Games Committee. It has been great experience being able to provide feedback on things such as Final Exam Policy, the academic schedule after the addition of the Fall reading break and the Sexual Violence Policy.
The Students’ Association has also hosted a number of fun and informative events. Some of my favourite events include learning about sexual health at Risqué Bingo, shredding away my problems during Mental Health Week and, of course, seeing the smiling faces of students picking up some free taco in a bag during the first week back in January!

As a whole, the SA has been working hard to present exciting new bylaws and easy-to-use information about where your fees are going. I look forward to finishing the year out alongside the other executives with more awareness events and exploring political endeavors.

This time of year I really get the urge to burst out of my office, which also makes me more accessible for students to provide their insight and feedback. I encourage any students to come chat when you see me ‘Out & About.’

My closing reminder is for students to get involved in any way possible. Not only is it fun and a great opportunity to network and make friends but there is also something to be said about the benefits to your studies when you are more engaged.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: KASS SCHOLZE, SA PRESIDENT

Challenge continues: Be a blood donor

Hello fellow students!

How is the journey going? Have you thrived over the last six months? Or merely survived?

Either way, you have made it this far! Well done! You’ve made it to the home stretch and well, you can’t relax quite yet, you can count down the days until Reading Week.

Some information to put on your radar:

• Did you know that the Students’ Association, in cooperation with Canadian Blood Services, has a goal of collecting 800 blood donations this year? Follow these steps to join our challenge:

Next time you donate, register as a “Partner for Life” with the Students’ Association of Red Deer College:
– Visit https://blood.ca/en/blood/join-your-organization
– Use the Partner ID Number: REDD011471 (four letters, six numbers)

This is a one-time registration. Once registered, your past and future donations will automatically count toward the Students’ Association of Red Deer College. Invite your friends and family to donate with our team!

• From February 26 until March 2, Mental Health Week will be running between 11 and 2 daily! Each day will bring different activities and themes designed to help students de-stress, relax, and thrive!

• On February 28, join us in recognizing Pink Shirt Day!
“…bullying affects so many people physically, emotionally and mentally, we know there are many students, parents, schools and community members that want to know what they can do to help. Every contribution, whether it’s joining us in wearing pink on February 28, 2018 to show you’re taking a stand, or making an effort to practice kindness and acceptance … makes a difference, can change a life.”
– https://www.pinkshirtday.ca/get-involved

• The Students’ Association Issues Committee is looking for your feedback! This committee is chaired by the Vice President Operations. There are many issues and concerns students bring forward each year to the Students’ Association. It is the responsibility of this group to identify and respond to student concerns and campus safety issues. They will identify strategies to resolve issues and forward these recommendations to SA Executive and Students’ Association Council.  Any student may sit on this committee.

Issues Committee is seeking feedback on the Campus Store and the student experience. If you have any comments, please forward them to me at any time at [email protected]

I will leave you with a joke: There is nothing I hate more than grammar, oxford commas and missed opportunities.

 

ARTICLE AUTHOR: MARIAN YOUNG, VICE PRESIDENT OPERATIONS