Presidential Search

As you may already know Brandon University’s former President, Dr.  Gervin Fearon, left BU last year. After saying our goodbyes, Dr. Robinson assumed the role of interim President while our school would undertake the task of finding a suitable successor. Why should the average undergrad student care? As BUSU President Nick Brown, a member of the Presidential Search Committee puts it, the President of a University is like the Captain of a ship. It is he that will direct the further growth of BU down a path that is beneficial to the community and the student body.

The search has not yet filled the void at the top of our school, and Brown says that we will likely only welcome our next President in January 2019. Brown has taken part in previous searches, all of which took nowhere near this length. The empty Vice-President (Academics) seat was populated in only five months.

The reason for this prolonged interval of vacancy is that a Presidential search is a different beast entirely. Everything is done in secret so as not to compromise the current positions of the prospective Presidents, and of course in choosing your future leader speed is a lesser virtue than careful deliberation.

In contention for the position are persons with higher level management experience. This will prove crucial as the new President assumes the responsibilities of his office in continuing to build on the growth momentum BU has been enjoying in the past few years.

What are students saying? At a student consultation on January 15th, members of the student body said they care little for the education level of the candidates and find the character of any incumbent president more important, that he be able to connect with the nature of rural and aboriginal influences on BU.

New Program At ACC

Assiniboine Community College (ACC) and Long Plain First Nation are partnering to provide an Applied Counselling certificate program in the Long Plain First Nation community located southwest of Portage la Prairie.

The program curriculum covers everything from children, youth, and family counselling skills, to trauma and crisis. “Community-based education offers many advantages to students who are unable to relocate for post-secondary studies for extended periods of time,” said Assiniboine president Mark Frison.

The curriculum is intended to expand on the knowledge and skills in their current field, such as family services, healthcare, youth services, education, and caregiving. To integrate theory and practice, the program concludes with a practicum – an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned. A total of twenty-five students will begin the twenty-month program in late January.

Chief Dennis Meeches describes the collaboration as “an exciting program that will benefit Indigenous people. We look forward to the Applied Counselling Program and wish our participants all the best in achieving desired outcomes”. 

The program will be offered part-time to accommodate the many students enrolled that are currently working in support-oriented positions like Long Plain Employment and Training, Long Plain Health, Long Plain School, Long Plain Daycare, Long Plain Jordan’s Principles, and Dakota Ojibway Child and Family Services.

Elder Ernie Daniels will play a key role in contextualizing learning and offering guidance and support to students and staff throughout their journey through the program. In Long Plain First Nation, it is common for community elders and knowledge keepers to be involved in such programs and their delivery.

ACC is accustomed partnering with communities to develop and deliver place-based education. A group of First Nations, including Long Plain and the Manitoba Métis Foundation have collaborated with ACC to offer the Enhanced Aboriginal Practical Nursing program in Southport, Manitoba. In addition, twenty-two students graduated last April from the Applied Counselling program, the result of a partnership between ACC and Ebb & Flow First Nation.

Ag Days

Were you wondering why in the world Brandon was so busy last week? Ag Days! For anyone who has never taken in Ag Days, it’s a great experience even if you aren’t into farming. This year it ran January 16th through 18th at the Keystone Centre. It boasts being Canada’s largest indoor farm show, and brings in people from far and wide. There are booths for various businesses in the Ag industry both local and from farther away. There were various speakers over the three day event on topics such as solar power and advice for farmers looking to retire. As a bonus, Robertson College was there giving free 10 minute massages!

From machinery, to solar power, to rural internet there was no limit to what could be learned.

Student Service PSA

Just a friendly reminder to all new and returning students that Student Services is here to help you with your academic and mental needs. 

The academic skills centre contains the math skills centre, writing skills centre, and the learning skills centre. The fine people in all of these centres can help you with anything you need to help you have a successful term. 

The writing skills centre will help with any essays or papers you have. They will help you proof read and build stronger theses and arguments, but you are required to do your own research and come up with your own ideas. 

The math skills centre will help you to understand math problems and concepts that you can’t quite grasp on your own. Again, they are not there to do your homework for you, but they will absolutely help you to understand how to do it yourself.

The learning skills centre is there to help students who need help figuring out the most effective way to study. Maybe you didn’t need to study to do well in high school, or maybe the study techniques you used in high school don’t work that well in university. Either way, the learning skills centre is there for you.

Appointments can be made for individuals or groups, or you can check out the academic skills centre’s page on to see the walk-in times. 

There are also workshops held by academic services at least once a month. The next one to be held will be on January 23rd titled Study Skills 101.

Don’t be afraid to call on the academic skills centre to help you get on track with your term. The most important thing to everyone involved is that you have a successful academic career.


As with every year, BUSU will be holding Winter term orientation events to celebrate the new and returning students. Unlike previous years, however, the term is starting earlier in January. This means that the BUSU team, much like the rest of us, have been on break for the holidays. Rather than starting their events on the first day of term, BUSU will be allowing students to ease into their new routines and start up the fun and exciting things to do on Monday, January 8th. 

While BUSU hasn’t posted what is in store yet, there are high hopes in The Quill office for another visit from the therapy dogs to distract us all from the bitterly cold winter we’re suddenly in.   

Whatever BUSU has up their sleeves, I’m sure it will be worth the wait. Welcome back to campus, fellow students!

IPSE Correction

It has come to our attention that our article on the Inclusive Post-Secondary Education article and photo, published on the cover of the October 3rd, 2017 issue of The Quill, was misinformed and incorrect. We apologize for the errors in our reporting, and wish to rectify this. IPSE is a wonderful program that affords opportunities to students that previously did not have them, and we want to make sure our readership has  all of the correct information about it. The following information was provided to us by Victoria Lelond, the coordinator of the program. 

Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (IPSE) was created by a group of committed families whose dreams and vision for their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities was to have the same opportunities as any other person.

 IPSE is an initiative that supports students with intellectual disabilities to be fully included in university: to succeed academically, build meaningful relationships with like-minded people, and access all avenues of campus life. Inclusive Post-Secondary Education is a partnership between Inclusion Westman (formerly Community Living Brandon) and Brandon University.  Students who receive support through Inclusive Post-Secondary education take courses for same reasons as anyone else, to continue their education, to search and follow career aspirations, to meet new people, to have a full campus life, and a rich university experience. There are many other initiatives across Canada that proves to be successful for all students and faculty. What makes it so successful is the support students receive from their professors, classmates and peers.


Brandon University’s partnership with Inclusive Post-Secondary Education launched in January 2017 and thus far has truly shown a benefit not only to the students but also to faculty, the BU community and students across campus. Students enroll as audit students in a coherent program of study and work alongside their peers to complete course work and assignments. Unlike traditional audit students, students attending BU through IPSE complete course work and exams and participate in all aspects of campus life.

 Students who have intellectual disabilities come to Brandon University for the same reasons as other students do:

to continue their learning

 to make connections with their peers and develop lifelong relationships

to develop new skills and enhance confidence in many areas of their lives

to be a valued and contributing member of student life

to make contacts in their desired field of study

to develop career opportunities through building networks on campus and active participation in practicums and classes

to ultimately secure meaningful and sustainable employment

Inclusive Post-Secondary Education allows students to audit 1-2 courses per semester, which gives students schedule flexibility. Students typically take a reduced course-load and audit classes, which allows the IPSE team to modify the goals and support students individually. Their week looks pretty much like other students weeks, with a mixture of classes, study groups, homework, recreation and fitness, volunteerism, work and just hanging out.

 Upon completion of the 3-4 year program of study, students receive a Certificate of Completion and attend and participate in Convocation with their peers.

 Inclusive Post-Secondary Education at Brandon University promotes an authentic student experience. By supporting post-secondary institutions to include students with intellectual disabilities, we intend to generate a new understanding of ‘intellectual disability’ that opens rich opportunities, possibilities for life-long learning, belonging, and contribution.

 The success of students shows that an authentic student experience can be expected if there are conscious, creative, and collaborative efforts to minimize difference that affects the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

Important Dates For Second Term

With a new term upon us, there comes a new set of important dates. We’ve compiled them here for your reading pleasure.

January 3rd: Classes resume. Second term tuition, residence and remaining fees are also due on this date. 

January 8th: First day of classes for Second, and Both term Undergrad Ed courses.

January 17th: Last day to register for second term courses. Last day to get 100% of tuition refunded for second term courses. 

February 13th: Convocation (no ceremony). 

February 19th: The university is closed for Louis Riel Day. 

February 20th - 23rd: Winter reading week. The university is still open for the break.

February 26th: Last day to drop courses (voluntary withdrawal) without academic penalty for second term Ed courses. 

February 28th: Last day to drop courses for both term courses. 

March 8th: Last day of classes for second term Undergrad Ed courses. 

March 12th- May 4th:  Student teaching for 01.371 and 01.475. 

March 16th: Last day to drop second term courses without academic penalty.

March 23rd: Deadline to apply for Spring Convocation. 

March 30th: Good Friday, university closed. 

April 6th: Last day of classes (except some Ed courses). 

April 11th- 23rd: Exams. 

Please note Education has some different dates than other departments, so if you are an Ed student, double check your dates!

Down Town Discussion PSA

The establishment of new downtown developments on Princess Avenue by Brandon University is not merely a realization of Its aspirations to better meet the needs of students and foster “on campus” growth. It is also a confirmation of its commitment to the objective, as outlined in BU’s mission statement, to “serve as a major resource in enriching the quality of life for the people of Brandon and of the rural and remote areas of Manitoba”. Although the development will contain a portion dedicated to academic and learning spaces it will also include a service, retail, and commercial component. This highlights the hopes of both the city and BU that the new development will revitalize downtown Brandon.  

Most of the newly acquired area will be devoted to residential space. Senior housing and student residence are in consideration. Here is where this story gets interesting. While a vision has been set for the new property, it hasn’t yet been determined what the realization of that vision should look like. Student or senior’s housing, and how should the commercial and academic components look like? There are a few options that the team behind the development is looking to discuss at on-campus consultations open to all members of the BU community on Tuesday, January 9th in the Louis Riel Room, timings are: 10:00AM to 11:00AM, 11:40AM TO 12:40PM (the free slot), and 2:30PM to 3:30PM. All three sessions will have the same information presented. If you can’t make it, you can share your ideas at

Anonymus Donation Made To The University

When approaching the holidays, people often embrace the spirit of giving, and BU was the recipient of a very generous donation. An anonymous couple donated $50,000 for BU’s 50th anniversary as a university, as Brandon College was renamed Brandon University in 1967. The couple wrote on the donation form, “Happy Birthday BU!”.

The couple has requested the $15,000 of their donation go towards establishing an endowment for students in the School of Music. This endowment fund will help cover travel expenses, instrument repairs, and practice studios among various other costs associated with the music program. The remainder of this gift will be used to establish an endowment fund for students in other faculties. One donor spoke highly of BU: “Brandon University is a high-quality jewel, a treasure. I want to honour the people at BU.

Dean of Music, Greg Gatien was delighted by the generosity of the donors, saying, “This is a wonderful reminder that the School of Music and Brandon University are able to reach people in such meaningful ways that they make generous donations like this. Our donors do so much to help us, support us, and inspire us.  This gift means so much to our faculty and students, and will be a great help to them as they strive towards their musical goals.”

Earlier this year, the 50th Year Fund was created to allow donors to choose which faculties they wished to donate to. There was also a fund established for the Brandon College Heritage Fund to preserve the history and archives of the College. This was of significant donations, as the BU President’s Administrative Council have pledged a total of $50,000 to the Brandon University Foundation in response to the BU50 staff and faculty fundraising appeal. Donors who make a financial contribution to the university on or before December 31st will receive a charitable tac receipt for 2017, while those after January 1st will be written as 2018 charitable tax receipt.