RDC establishes cannabis free policy across campuses

Red Deer College, like all post-secondary institutions across the country, has had to carefully consider our position about cannabis use on campus. After looking at what this means for RDC and all of the people who use our campuses, we have established that RDC will be cannabis free across our campuses, including all Residence units.

We have a diverse population of people of all ages who are at our campuses each day, and we also know that we will have equally diverse opinions about the decision for RDC to be completely cannabis free.

To provide background on this decision:

  • RDC’s campuses are subject to City of Red Deer bylaws, including the recently updated Smoke Free Bylaw, which prohibits consuming cannabis in public, including smoking and vaping cannabis.
  • This bylaw applies to all areas of campus except our Residence units. As a landlord, RDC has jurisdiction under the Residential Tenancies Act of Alberta to decide whether or not to allow cannabis use in Residence. RDC is banning cannabis use and consumption in Residence because we believe it is the best way to serve the health, safety and wellness needs of all people living in Residence, including families and children.
  • Safety is another important factor, as students, faculty and staff all operate and use a wide variety of potential safety hazards in our shops and labs. We want to provide a safe place for people to learn, work and have success at RDC.

The new Cannabis on Campus Policy has been created to address our position. Additional details are also available on the Cannabis on Campus page on RDC’s website and on the Health, Safety & Wellness page on TheLoop.

The legalization of cannabis in Canada is new for our society, and RDC has made the decision to be cannabis free because we believe it is in the best interest of our College community. We want to provide a safe place for people of all ages to learn, work and live, and creating a cannabis free campus is another way to achieve this.


If you have questions, please contact me at [email protected] or at 403.314.2472.

A message from your Students’ Association President

Students can study with ease knowing their Students’ Association has their well-being in mind during the 2019 Canada Winter Games and RDC’s transition to University status. 

On behalf of the Students’ Association of Red Deer College, I’d like to extend the warmest of welcomes to you, our students. I am thrilled that you chose to study here with us. For those of you beginning your post-secondary journey, I want you to know that it’s okay to be nervous. I was nervous too and, honestly, sometimes still am. College can be daunting, but don’t fret; your Students’ Association has your back! We provide a number of services to make student life more enjoyable and affordable. I am optimistic about advocating on behalf of our students for reasonably priced tuition, affordable services, scholarships, mental health funding, and much more.

This year, I look forward to ensuring that students are adequately represented as Red Deer College begins its transition to University status. I will work closely with our Vice President Academic, Esther Schilling, to promote the student perspective as new programs are developed and introduced. The transition to University status will be one of the top priorities of the Students’ Association in the coming years. The transition team, led by the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, Dr. Torben Anderson, needs proper and thorough student representation. We will work to ensure that Red Deer College continues to offer certificates, diplomas, trades, and collaborative degrees as it expands its capacity to offer baccalaureate degrees with applied focuses that will prepare students for gainful employment in the new economy.

We have our work cut out for us as we prepare for the logistical challenges that the 2019 Canada Winter Games will present students, especially those living in residence. The College must be held accountable to properly accommodate students affected. That being said, the Games will also present a number of exciting volunteer opportunities that we will happily help you connect with.

Recently, Red Deer College celebrated the opening of the Canada Winter Games Gary W. Harris Centre. I am proud that our members recognized the value of this new facility and encouraged its construction with a donation of half a million dollars. By financially supporting this building, we as students are investing in both Central Alberta and the mental and physical well-being of current and future students. Students have assisted in the expansion of learning opportunities and increased support for our Athletics department who will now have the facilities to not only cultivate their talent but host athletes from across Canada.

In recognition of the students’ donation, the College is allowing us to expand our footprint into the former training facility on campus, which is something we are very excited about. This expansion will give us space to further engage our students and enhance our capacity to fulfill the needs of our members.

Before I go, I’d like to take a moment to encourage you to get involved in your college community however you feel most comfortable doing so. Red Deer College will present you with countless opportunities for personal and professional growth. All I ask is that you keep an open mind. Don’t take on more than you can handle, but do your best to challenge yourself with the many leadership opportunities available to students on campus. Seize the day, invest in yourself, get involved, and we can grow together.

I am confident we are going to have a memorable year together. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me via email at [email protected], in person in room 2010, or by phone at 403-342-3200.

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