Fair Play In Saskatchewan: Summer Escapades

On August 2nd, 2018 the police were called to a report of a barefooted man who had been wandering south of Estevan, Saskatchewan. When picked up by the police the individual was wearing nothing but his pyjama bottoms, carrying a toothbrush and 1.4 grams of meth. The unlucky individual was none other than David M. Playfair, a faculty member of Brandon University’s School of Music. The professor teaches fine arts and drama and when he was picked up by the police, he had been in Estevan to perform as “Leslie” on Chaps in the Estevan Souris Valley Theater. He was on his way to the restroom area from his campground when he was picked up therefore explaining his strange appearance. The amount of meth he possessed was alarming and in need of serious repercussions however since the professor had no previous criminal record the Federal Crown prosecutor suggested he face only a three-month conditional discharge. This meant that if professor Playfair did not have further encounters with the police he could keep his nonexistent criminal record. Upon learning of the situation through another published article from the Estevan Mercury, The Quill tried to reach out to both professor Playfair and the School of Music. However, professor Playfair never replied and the School of Music merely said that any information regarding a faculty member and their employment status was confidential and therefore politely declined to comment. Though the story is shocking and amusing one can only hope to expect no further scandalous behaviour from professor Playfair. Hopefully his students will be able to look beyond his lapse in judgement and continue to enjoy and learn in the various courses he teaches.  


BUSU Investigation

Over the past year there have been stirrings of discontent with the current direction of Brandon University’s student union, ranging from issues regarding the training of new student directors as well as an overarching sense of disconnect from the student body. 

An individual who has asked to remain anonymous found particular issue with the training of new incoming directors. As per the BUSU job description a director “serves as liaisons between BUSU and the students they represent” for example the current openings consist of a Women’s and a Queer director, both of whom would act as representatives for their particular group of students in the BU community respectively. The source went on to explain that while they had previously accepted a position they found themselves with no training even as the school year had began, as late as November. They also found no information regarding office hours. This unresponsiveness of BUSU was a trend they also noticed in the response to the hate speech Brandon University had experienced on campus as a commitment to action was slow in coming; however, they did make a point to mention that action was taken against the hate speech after a time, which they commented was a positive step. 

Jill Creasor is another individual who expressed concern over the current state of BUSU. She commented that when she had previously worked alongside Nick Brown and Greg Monias followed by Trevor Poole, and when she was in office during 2016-17 “it was great”, however she went on to note “I’ve heard rumours that the environment in the office is quite toxic right now”. When asked about anything in particular she wanted to note, Creasor had particular issue with the presence of a baby gate blocking off part of the BUSU office. During her year she noted that they had the couch moved specifically into the main office so students could come in and sit, however the presence of the baby gate sent the message that “students are babies and less than them [BUSU] who need to be kept away, and second, that the BUSU Office isn’t a student office.” The anonymous source noted that the baby gate is no longer present, however, seemingly in replacement there has been placed a sign on the window next to the BUSU offices declaring “BUSU Staff Only Beyond This Point”, seemingly supporting Creasor’s comment that the BUSU office has ceased being an office for the students and distance is placed between them. 

The Brandon University Students Union Vice President Internal and Vice President External were both contacted in regards to this article on multiple inquiries including the presence of the baby gate- however no response was given despite over three weeks given for response time.


Syphilis on the Rise

There has been a disturbing development in the health and wellness sector in the province. Earlier this week the Acting Chief Public Health Officer of Manitoba, Dr. Michael Isaac, hosted a press conference where he stated that there has been a sudden surge in syphilis cases. Usually somewhat rare, syphilis can have dire long-term consequences if left untreated. According to Dr. Isaac there were 368 cases of syphilis across the province in 2018, compared to only 118 cases in the year 2013. The number of diagnosed cases is expected to rise throughout the year.

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the bacterium Treponema Pallidum. Generally, it is transmitted through direct contact with a syphilis sore, also known as a chancre. It can also be transmitted through the sharing of needles with an infected individual. Like many other STD's, syphilis has serious long-term implications if left untreated.  Serious damage to the heart, brain, and various internal organs are known to occur. In some cases, syphilis can even lead to a fatal state. However, if the infection is caught in time, proper treatment can be sought with antibiotics. The best defense against syphilis is avoiding sexual contact with infected individuals.

Syphilis is also known to affect unborn babies, should pregnant women contact the disease. Should a woman be infected with syphilis while pregnant, she is at a much higher risk of miscarrying the baby or having a premature birth. Syphilis can also lead to the newborn baby developing what is known as congenital syphilis, should the infant survive. Traditionally, most cases of syphilis have been with men, not women. However, more and more cases popping up across Manitoba have been younger women. In 2014, there were 16 cases of women having syphilis in the province. That number jumped all the way up to 168 in 2018. It appears that younger generations are contacting the disease much more frequently than in prior years. Due to this fact the Province of Manitoba is developing educational campaigns to assist in the prevention of the disease.


History Club Board Game Night

The Brandon University History Club will be holding their first official event of the year on March 11th, from 5pm-7pm in Clark Hall 104. They will be borrowing board game from Dr. Hinther’s Public History Class and having a games night! They welcome participants to bring their own board games as well. There will be snacks and pop available at the event. The History Club is a bit late to the game this year but will also be participating the History Wine and Cheese event taking place on March 5th. 

The Club is being led by myself, Jenna Murray, a third-year history major. I love studying history because it has always been an interest for me. The Vice-President of the club is Karmelle Tower, who is also a history major, and likes to study history because she enjoys knowing about the past and how things used to be that led to the world we know now. 


Enterprise Resource Planning: Why You Should Care

Brandon University has been using the same administration system for decades. When I say decades I don’t mean 1999, I mean more like 1970’s. I mean that the university has been fighting, fidgeting and building upon an old system that is finally getting a replacement. Not just a new quick fix, not just a few more tweaks that we’ve all had for years, but a full on new system. YOU ALL HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE APART OF THIS PROCESS AND OFFER YOUR ADVICE. The university is looking for ways to make students lives easier and for that they need student input. 

When will this change take place? Well not over night and in reality we will be lucky to have it in about 7 years, however it is still of the utmost importance that people take the time to share their opinions about this. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project is underway as the university met with members from CampusWorks. CampusWorks is a highly skilled team of people who work hard to help all sorts of businesses and institutions design new processes and develop new software. These guys are kind of the “Bar Rescue” or “Extreme Makeover,” teams which help switch things around for the poor people who are stuck in a difficult situation. 

The university has not taken this challenge lightly and you may have noticed some of the handwork they’re putting in! You may see throughout campus, different sections of the university shut down for meetings and suggestion periods as the different staff members across campus gather to try and change up their system.

CampusWorks provides something of a trouble shooting at the beginning of the process as they start looking for the difficulties and asking about some of the hardships faced by the different services around campus. Some issues from the First Look Presentation include: Too many manual, undocumented and non-standard processes; lack of data collection, access to dat and duplicate records; Dependency on paper within processes and resultant duplicated efforts; and, communications are non-targeted and feel overwhelming. 

The university isn't just looking at all the things which are going wrong but also all the new possibilities that will come along with committing to this new project. They see opportunities in adapting to a new ERP, to improve work quality of students, staff and faculty as well as think that the faster the transition management takes place the happier everyone will be.

As the university moves into phase II of the ERP project, CampusWorks will conduct a Process Reimagine and Redesign (PRR) of all staff and student processes pertaining to the ERP system. These PRR sessions are focused on creating a better and more well rounded system with members who better understand the process and progress that needs to be made.

All students need to take part in this. This is one of the things that you actually can have a say in. You frustrated the university won’t let you access your financial balance and see how much left you have to pay on your tuition? Say something at some of these meeting and workshops that the university has organized for the next coming months and years! The times are changing and if you don't want someone to go through the same struggles you went through, speak up, voice your opinion and play your role in the development of your university!


International Healthcare At BU: A Continued Overview

A few weeks ago I published an article outlining the current status of healthcare for International Students at Brandon University after the Provincial Government revoked their access to universal healthcare back in September 2017. I provided all the facts and stats regarding the private insurance that International Students at BU were enrolled in the previous article and in this brief I will be discussing the personal affects this change of legislation has had on the lives of individuals. 

I conducted an interview with April Li who currently serves as the president of the International Student Collective at Brandon University. She has been an active member of the International Student community since her first year and feels passionate about how this issue has affected her and her peers, especially now that the University has also released information regarding hiking up International student fees over the next five years. First in discussion came the International students who were in need of insurances for both BUSU’s health and dental plan and the Guard.me plan. This is due to the fact that even though there are overlapping services in both plans, the BUSU health and dental covers prescription medications, dental visits, eye prescriptions, counselling among other essential services that are not covered by the Guard.me, which is generally for doctor and hospital visits. Li commented that there was a general “confusion” between students if they were able to opt out of the BUSU plan, but after attending presentations regarding the services being provided by Guard.me most students were able to understand that the plans were complementary and not supplementary. 

Li further highlighted her dissatisfaction at the fact that no clinic in Brandon provided direct billing regarding their medical services, which I had mentioned in the previous article from my own experience. She mentioned that there were similar comments regarding the lack of direct billing in the ISC group chat and that this was not an “isolated issue.” She has also received complaints through emails and that she has been working with the BUSU International Director George regarding finding common ground and solutions to the complaints. Despite these efforts there are no clear resolutions to the problems faced by International students under the Guard.me plan as the decision making power is neither in their hands and nor is it in the hands of the university: it depends on Guard.me itself and how much they are willing to negotiate and reach out their administrative hands into fixing the situation in Brandon. 

Lastly, as the Guard.me plan is mandatory and students cannot opt out of the $712 fees, this is becoming concerning to the students who will be returning to BU next year with the increased fees. Li ended with noting that she is currently unaware of any better alternatives to the Guard.me available in Manitoba. She notes an unpleasant customer services experience with them and that she “would not recommend it going forward.” Financial planning will be difficult for returning students who will be grandfathered into the massive hike in tuition rates and only time will tell us how the future for International students at Brandon University will look like. 


PSA Indigenous Awareness Week

Indigenous Awareness Week is being held from February 11th-14th on BU’s campus. This event is being put on by the Indigenous People’s Centre. Monday the 11th will see the week being opened by a Pipe Ceremony at 9:00a.m. in the Ceremony Room of the Health Sciences Building. There will also be an Inuk Hand Drum Performance at 11:00a.m. in the Mingling Area of the Knowles Douglas Building. Tuesday the 12th there will be Bannock on a Stick at 12:00p.m. in the Courtyard. Wednesday the 13th there will be Moss Bag Making at 5:00p.m. in the Indigenous People’s Centre. The final event of the week will be on Thursday the 14th, which is the National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and a vigil will be held in the Mingling Area at 11:30a.m. This event will have opening prayers, speakers, an honour song, a candle light vigil and end with a dreamcatcher workshop. Come check out one (or all!) of the awesome events! 

pc:brandon University website,ipc

International Healthcare At BU: A Brief Overview

Last year the provincial Progressive Conservative government made the decision to revoke access to universal health care from International Students that was instituted in 2012 by the NDP which came into effect September 1 2018. Universities were then left to find avenues that would provide coverage to students on visas at their institutions with Brandon University reaching out to the guard.me plan. The plan is $712.50 for 365 days and students have to pay this amount in their tuition (aka they cannot opt out.) Their website describes them as “among the world's largest insurance providers in international education, protecting thousands of individuals studying and working abroad.” It provides general coverage for doctor visits, medically needed hospital care, urgent dental care, and in some cases paramedic care too. 

These are the services promised by the insurance but how have they applied to our own city and institution? 

There are currently no clinics or walk ins that directly deposit to the insurance in Brandon, so students have to pay up front and then get reimbursed. This creates a problem for students who don't possess the cash flow to pay for doctor’s visits. Medically needed hospital stays are largely done through direct deposit as they posses larger accounting and payment services that handle the students’ insurance directly. The plan also includes access to a “mobile doctor” that allows covered parties to connect with Canadian doctors through the app called Maple. Doctors on this platform are all licensed doctors and can perform the same duties any other family doctor could perform with the exception of the obvious physical checkups. They can provide prescriptions, doctor’s notes, and give a diagnosis through a live chat. 

These are the facts, but the opinions regarding the plan are less clear. The majority of students I have spoken to have said that they do not go to the doctor and thus do not see themselves utilizing the benefits of the insurance. Some, whose name I will keep anonymous, have expressed their distaste at the fact that no clinic in Brandon does direct billing for doctor’s visit despite the university promising three (such as the Brandon Clinic.) The office of International Activities has provided numerous presentations regarding the plan for students to attend and then emailed out the slides to students who could not make it. The slides provided useful information regarding the coverage and how to make claims, but did not provide much information on how to navigate the Prairie Mountain Health system. In the next article I will talk about interviews I have conducted and go into depth of how the province's decision to take universal health care from international students has affected our community. 

Brandon University Plans To Raise International Tuition Fees To Watering Heights

 On Friday Finance and Registration services sent out emails to University members regarding the proposed hike in International Tuition Fees that was recently approved by the Board of Governors. The two tables outlined the differences that can be expected over the next four to five years for returning International students and new International students. The former will be grandfathered into the system with both categories reaching an equilibrium by the year 2023. The calculation of that year reaches upwards of $20,000, not including housing, medical, and other expenses; higher than both the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba's current rates. That is over a doubled increase from current rates. 

    Now, let’s discuss both sides, and I really mean sides as there distinct ones in this case, of the situation. You have international recruiters arguing that Brandon University’s relatively low tuition rates are unappealing in the foreign market due to prospective students and their families questioning why a university would charge such low rates compared to other universities in Canada. “Did they have questionable services?,” “Are they compensating for something?;” well at least, that is what they said. Then you have the financiers of the university, pressured by the dropping support from the new conservative government, finding solace in knowing that international tuition fees rates are unregulated and up for exploitation. When support from the outside is declining, ways of filling in the gap is now being searched within the system. 

     But what about the ones most affected by the hikes, the students? Students surveyed have largely contributed to a consensus that their reasons to come to BU was its affordability. The location nor the services of the university, other than the music school, were major attractions for them to come to Manitoba’s second largest city. The low rates of tuition combined with a low cost of living has attracted students from around the world for years, and this hike is likely not to play in the university’s favour. So how come the change? The institution definitely has a strategy up its sleeve regarding how it’s going to attract students to Brandon with rates equal to ones in British Columbia and Nova Scotia, Canada’s steeper provinces regarding tuition; however, they’re not being transparent with us regarding what exactly that is. For now, we will have to rely on mediocre town halls and vague emails to decipher the real plan for 2023. 

A Wheat Queen Ball For Everyone

Lights, cameras, go girls! The mood was light and the lighting was thick with the mystique of midnight on Friday January 11th as BUFASA, BUMS, and the BU LGBBTQ+ Collective hosted the second annual Wheat Queen Ball at the Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of Art. A bevy of bodacious drag queens, led and M.C.'d by Winnipeg's own deliciously diva Prairie Sky, dominated the stage as the four showcased categories of fashion were unleashed upon a raucously receptive crowd. These included: face (how aesthetically pleasing is the contestant's makeup, on a scale of grotesque to glamorous), first time in drag at a ball (who's that new hottie with the killer body?), executive realism (who owns the stage- and the building it's in?), and Vogue (which contestant made the stage their bitch). While some ringers drove in from Winnipeg, many of the impromptu and sometimes somewhat nonplussed ball contestants hailed from the Brandon area as well. All proceeds from this event went to support the future artistic endeavours of BUFASA.

Speaking of artistic endeavours, there is currently an exhibition being held in the the Glen P. Sutherland Gallery of art called “For Everyone”. The show runs from January 10th- 24th. The exhibition's motif is inclusivity and equity for the LGBTTQ+ community in the rest of society. The exhibition's many marvellous artwork contributions were created and curated by BU students and members of the Brandon community at large. Gallery hours are 2:00-6:00p.m. on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, & 2:00-8:00p.m. on Thursdays.

Getting Ahead Of The New Semester

You made it through the fall semester successfully (hopefully). Now it's time to do it all over again. Here are some tips to help make the long cold winter semester a little bit more bearable.

  1. Use a planner. Paper or electronic, but seriously - use it. Write down the deadlines and the to-do lists, schedule your study time. Add class times, meetings, days off, fun things, everything. Letting your planner do the job of remembering frees up mental space for more important things, for example, the principles of Marxism or the krebs cycle. 

  2. Decide how you're going to study for each class. Right at the beginning of the semester. Like right now. Today. By now you may have realized that studying the same way for every class doesn't work very well. Take some time to reflect on the course to figure out how to best study for it. Is it more important to memorize or conceptualize? How much detail do you need to remember? Will you be tested on information or ideas? The clearer you are about what each class will require come midterms and finals, the sooner you can…

  3. Make study materials. Yes, start this at the beginning of the semester. Nothing is worse than having big plans to make flashcards and summaries, all of a sudden its test day and you’ve only just finished making them, never mind using them. If you know how you’re going to study, you can start making these things at the end of every week, or the end of every unit. Not only will you not have to spend hours upon hours doing it right before the exam, but it will double as reviewing the information and committing it to your long term memory. 

  4. Make a study schedule. I'm not kidding. Its’ the beginning of the semester, why wait for the panic? Determine how much time you think you need to dedicate to each class per week, and put it into your schedule right now. You may need more before tests or assignments are due, but it is truly worth it to set aside time every week for each class regardless of how distant the deadlines may feel. Studying is made easier by turning it into a habit; if, every Tuesday from 2:00 to 4:00pm, you sit down and study for your statistics class no matter what, you eliminate the need for decision making that usually leads to procrastination. And you'll probably be in good mental shape by the time the final comes around. 

  5. Make sure the old version of the textbook is absolutely obsolete before you buy the newest edition. Professors aren't here to put you in debt, ask them if the old textbook is sufficient, they won't lie to you. 

  6. Make goals for your courses that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. 

  7. Get your study space organized. Take everything out, get rid of stuff you no longer need. If it's not for studying, move it. Then put everything away so that each item has its own spot. This will make your space easier to keep tidy and eliminate some of the urge to procrastinate by cleaning. 

  8. Reflect on last semester. Don’t do the same thing over and over and expect a different outcome. Identify which things were especially challenging about studying, going to class, meeting deadlines, etc. Decide what you can do to change it and then actually do it. 

The Plethora Of Possible Preparation Preps

Welcoming in the new year, Brandon University’s Academic Services has a whole new lineup of workshops available for students with the start of the term covering Writing Skills, Learning Skills, and Math Skills. Additionally, other workshops covering Career Planning, Library/Research Skills, and Wellness Workshops will be offered. 

For Writing Skills, the Academic Services will be offering “Essay Basics Workshops”, which will be taking place January 15th at 11:40-12:30, January 30th 1:40-2:30, and finally February 14th at 10:10-11:00am, all of these workshops will be taking place in MCK 005. Students looking for help with more specific topics such as citations, thesis statements, and grammar can book an appointment at leej@brandonu.ca or 204-727-9737. Writing Skills walk in hours are from 1:00pm-3:00pm Monday through Friday, with the exception of reading week where students can bring their papers, but its recommended to also bring in any instructions for the assignment.

Learning Skills will be offering four different workshops throughout the term taking place in MCK 005. The first is titled “Reducing Procrastination” which will be taking place January 23rd at 10:40-11:30 and January 24th at 10:30-11:20. The next workshops “Summarizing Strategies” will be January 30th from 10:40-11:30 and January 31st from 10:30-11:20. “Strategies for Success: The Study Cycle” will be held February 6th  10:40-11:30 and February 7th 10:30-11:20. Their final workshop “Final Exam Prep” will be April 8th 2:00-3:00. They have walk in hours on Fridays 9:00am-12:00pm where students can learn about study schedules, reading textbooks, and other relevant topics. 

Math Skills will be holding a wide variety of workshops taking place in Room 1-53 BB. “Logarithms” will be January 15th 12:40-1:30, “Discrete and Continuous Distributions” will be January 22nd 12:40-1:30, “Linear and Quadratic Equations” will be January 29th 12:40-1:30, “Hypothesis Testing” is February 5th 12:40-1:30, “Exponential Functions, Exponential Equations” is February 12th at 12:40-1:30, “Calculus I (limits, continuity)” is February 26th from 12:40-1:30, “Counting Techniques” is March 5th from 12:40-1:30, “Probability” is March 12th from 12:40-1:30, “Injective, Surjective, Bijective Functions” will be March 19th from 12:20-1:30, “Calculus I (derivatives)” is march 26th from 12:20-1:30, and finally “Statistical” will be their final workshop on April 2nd from 12:40-1:30. 

Career Planning will be hosting “Finding Your Summer Job” on January 15th from 12:20-1:30, “How to Apply to the Provincial/Federal Government For A Summer Job” January 16th from 1:40-2:30, “Planning Your Career” is January 22nd 12:40-1:30, “How to Write your Resume & Cover Letter” January 29th 12:40-1:30, “Preparing for you Interview” January 30th 1:40-2:30, “Networking Skills” February 6th 1:40-2:30, “Employee Rights in the Workplace” February 12th 12:40-1:30, “Creating Your Personal Brand” February 13th 1:40-2:30, “How to Manage Your On-line/Social Media Presence” February 26th, 12:40-1:30, and finally “Finding Your Summer Job” February 27th 1:40-2:30. Career Planning workshops take place in Room 104 CHO.

Library and Researching Skills have their next workshop on “Peer-reviewed Journal Articles” on January 15th from 11:40-12:30 and February 27th from 12:40-1:30 , “Library Databases” January 22nd from 11:40-12:30 and March 6th 12:40-1:30, “Google and Google Scholar for Research” January 29th from 11:40-12:30 and March 12th from 11:40-12:30, “Online Government Documents” February 6th 12:40-1:30 and March 13th 12:40-1:30, “Finding Books and E-books” February 12th 11:40-12:30, “Research Prep for Winter Study Break” will be held twice on February 13th at 12:40-1:30 and 14th at 11:30-12:40. All of these workshops will be held in Library, Main Floor, Rm 111.

There will be three Wellness Workshops held this term, “Test Anxiety” will be February 27th 2:40-3:30, “Sleep Hygiene” is March 13th 2:40-3:30, and “Coping with Stress of Exams” March 20th 2:40-3:30. All of these workshops will be held in MCK 005.

photo credit: Carly

photo credit: Carly

Spirit Of The Land : Art & Performance Exhibition

From Wednesday November 21st until Saturday, November 24th the Glen P. Sutherland Art Gallery at Brandon University held an art and performance exhibition entitled; Spirit of the Land. The Exhibition of Art and Performance by students from Experiments in Performance Art and Experiments in Indigenous Art. Much of the art on display is traditional Aboriginal art created by items found in nature. That includes Birch Bark folded into decorations or patterns used in beading, Wood Nettle which is used to create cordage, bags and even a ‘spider web’, which is not a dream catcher despite appearances but is used to bring good medicine to infants as well as protect them from negative energy.

Other art on display was pottery which used clay found in glaciers and an ancient Lake called Agassi, there was also medicine bags which shows beautiful bead work and are often used in spiritual ceremonies. Each bag contains the story and values communicated by the maker of the medicine bag. At the exhibition, speeches and ceremonies were also part of the four-day gallery showing. Thursday night, the 22nd of November an artist by the name of Lori Blondeau gave a talk on Aboriginal art and her work at the gallery. She works as an assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba. She is highly involved with Aboriginal arts projects and has her own art on display at both public and private galleries. The art displayed in this exhibition is created from nature, and creativity from a beautiful culture. On a personal note, the art was wonderful to view.

December 6th Vigil

On December 6th, from 11:40a.m.-1:00p.m. there will be a Vigil held in remembrance of the Ecole Polytechnique attack on women in Montreal. 

On December 6th, 1989 a gunman chanting “I hate feminists” killed 14 young women at the Ecole Polytechnique. In 1991 Parliament called this day The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. December 6th not only marks this horrible event in Canadian history, but it also reminds us that violence against women still occurs and needs to stop. (Information from the UFCW Canada website). 

Brandon University, The Women’s Collective, The Indigenous People’s Centre, Brandon University Aboriginal Student’s Collective, and The Women’s Resource Centre have joined together to plan the 2018 vigil being held at Brandon University. 

The event will be held in the Mingling Area and have speakers and a musical performance. Elder Barb Blind will give a traditional prayer and blessing, with a performance following by the Sweet Medicine Singers. There will be addresses from Dr. Harms, Dr. Baker, Jenna English, Dr. Mihelakis, The Btandon University Aboriginal Collective and closing remarks from Bobi Stupack who will also give the words of welcome at the beginning. 

The women who were murdered were: Anne Marie Lemay (27), Anne-Marie Edward (21), Annie St. Arneault (23), Annie Turcotte (20), Barbara Daigneault (22), Barbara Klucznick Widajewicz (31), Genevieve Bergeron (21), Helene Colgan (23), Maryse Laganiere (25), Maryse Leclair (23), Maud Haviernick (29), Michele Richard (21), Nathalie Croteau (23), Sonia Pelletier (28). 

Violence against women is still happening at alarming rates. Every six days, a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner and 67% of Canadians say they know a woman who has experienced physical or sexual abuse. That statistic only covers people who had told people about those experiences. Aboriginal women are killed 6x more often than non-Aboriginal women. With the rise of computers cyber violence has become a new platform for women to be attacked. These are only a handful of the statistics available from the Canadian Women’s Foundation and while they may not be as current as 2018 it is clear there is a problem.  

This event is open to students and the public and free to attend. 

Women's Collective Paint Night

The Brandon University Women’s Collective will be holding a paint night on Friday, November 23rd, at 7:00p.m. It is being held in Harvest Hall, and there will be a cash bar available. Tickets for the paint night are only $25 because the Women’s Collective is absorbing the rest of the cost for each participant. The artist leading the evening will be Kathleen Lagasse. Kathleen runs Lagasse’s Studio of Fine Art in Souris MB and the picture being painted is the beautiful feather on the background of the poster for the event. Last year the Women’s Collective held a paint night in Forbidden Flavours but decided to switch the location this year to get more people involved. The Women’s Collective hopes by absorbing most of the cost for the paint night the event can be more inclusive. Because let’s face it, we’re all broke as hell. Paint nights are a fun way to destress and come home with a beautiful piece of art and maybe drink some wine (or other beverage of choice). Not sure what you are going to get your parents/grandparents/ significant other for Christmas? How about a piece of hand painted art! They don’t need to know how inexpensive it was, they just need to know you painted it! The event is open to all BU students, staff, or larger Brandon community members. If tickets are still available at the door Friday if the event is not sold out. If you want to assure you have a spot, you can email buwomenscollective@gmail.com to arrange picking up tickets earlier.

The Brandon University Women’s Collective offers safer sex supplies, tampons and pads, and pregnancy tests to students for free. They also sell Diva Cups for $30. If you are in need/want of any of these supplies, feel free to email them! They also offer a safe space on campus to any self-identifying women and have various resources available.

Truth And Reconciliation Posters

Truth and Reconciliation is a hot topic across Canada, for good reasons, and it makes sense that BU is doing its part to recognize the changes called upon by people across the country. You may pass some of the new permanent posters that are being hung up around campus. It’s important to not only take note of them but try to remember what they stand for. These are signs to remind us of the atrocities committed and the work that still needs to be done. It is each and every one of our responsibilities to work towards reconciliation, cause even though you may not have directly caused it, you are still effected from it just because of its long lasting consequences.

The poster features the topics in the Calls to Action on education, highlighting some of the crucial ideas and most beneficial solutions. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report is something I highly recommend all students read, especially if your hoping to go into any professional field of education. To find the full documents go check out the TRC website. Literally type “TRC” into Google you will discover the findings of the Commission there.

The poster itself is decorated with the artwork of Coast Salish artist Chad Leon. The first poster was hung up in the Music Office on Friday and a ceremony quickly followed. Ceremony included smudging and prayer from Knowledge Keeper Debbie Huntinghawk and BU Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Steve Robinson.

Posters will be displayed prominently around campus as daily reminders of the work that needs to be continued and carried on through educational institutions. This is all in order to repair the damage done by the residential school system in Canada. The first thing to fixing a problem is realizing you have one. With the TRC they found it and created the Call to Action. It is on each of us to see that these actions are carried out to the best of our abilities and the past is not forgotten.

Voluntary Withdrawal Deadline

The Voluntary Withdrawal date is quickly approaching, Monday November 19th will be the last day to withdrawal from any first term courses, as well as the last day for a 50% refund on both term courses. 

When a student chooses to voluntarily withdrawal from a first term course they don’t receive a refund for the course, the option to withdrawal from a course with a full refund ended a month ago on September 19th. Instead this option allows students to drop a course without having an official grade assigned, instead listed on your transcript will be a VW.  

This deadline is just for first term and both term courses, any changes to your second term courses have separate deadlines during the second term. Second term courses can be dropped with a full refund until Thursday January 17th, with the second term voluntary withdrawal date being February 25th. 

There are various legitimate reasons a student may choose to drop a course. For instance if the overall grade based on current assignments and testing isn’t coming to a passing grade, or it will simply drag down a GPA, choosing to withdrawal from the course will prevent a failing or lacking grade and keep your GPA unaffected. Or if a student is simply overwhelmed and doesn’t see themselves being able to complete the course for various reasons, it may prove to be the best course of action to drop the class as opposed to waiting until it’s too late and a grade will be assigned and placed on the transcript. 

However, if a student choses not to drop the course but still ends up with a failing or unsatisfactory grade the student can retake the course. How this works is that the student retakes the course with both grades appearing on the transcript, but with only the most recent attempted course grade being countered towards the grade point average, as well as counted credit hours. Any previous attempts will have RPT placed beside the course indicating it’s been repeated. 

ACC Students Win National Competition

Assiniboine Culinary Arts students took the top prize at a national competition in Toronto. The two students, Kaitlin McCarthy and Jessi Coulter, impressed the judges at the Taste Canada Cooks the Books competition. The team created an original recipe, Cast Iron Seared Hudson River Arctic Char with smoked maple birch glaze on heritage grain. McCarthy and Coulter were the only team from Manitoba facing off with some much larger culinary institution chefs.

Chef Bryan Hendricks the Culinary Arts instructor coached the duo for the competition and thought his team worked hard to reach the achievements they did. Before going to the actual competition itself, the team had to create their recipes, exact, test and then execute them perfectly. Chef Hendricks said that the recipe they created “was a really good dish. It was really well-balanced. Everyone commented on how beautiful the plate looked. It really showcased Manitoba ingredients.”

The team won the right to represent ACC at the competition when they beat their classmates earlier in the year. Both McCarthy and Coulter are from the region originally growing up in Russel and Brandon, respectively. The students each plan to pursue a career in culinary arts, loving the opportunities they have been given in the Culinary Arts programs.

Congratulations goes out to the Culinary Arts program at ACC and it’s two successful students. Best of luck in your program and careers future chefs!


First Aid Class

Spend a day this Fall reading week learning something potentially life-saving. Registration for the Emergency First Aider 1 training class was so high that Brandon University has arranged for a second session for Thursday, November 15, 201 from 8:30am to 4:30pm. 

The course is intended for individuals who within 30 minutes of a medical facility (essentially everyone that lives in Brandon), the course is useful for anyone wanting to learn how to respond efficiently and safely to emergency situations. The focus of the class is CPR Level C which includes adults, infants, and children, as well as using a defibrillator, and general responses to emergency situations including choking, bleeding, asthma, or allergies. 

St. John’s Ambulance has generously offered a reduced price for BU students and staff at $75.00 per person. You must RSVP to the course as space is limited (and apparently fills fast!) by going to https://events.brandonu.ca/event/emergency-first-aider-1/ and registering for the course. 


Building Your Personal Resilience

On Thursday, November 8th, BU is offering students and staff a ‘Building Your Personal Resilience’ workshop. Most people aspire to meet life’s inevitable conflict and demands with optimism and elasticity, but maybe aren’t sure how and end up feeling stuck or overwhelmed. This workshop aims to teach the skills and attitudes necessary to be resilient during times of stress, both short term and chronic. 

The session will use reflective and interactive exercises to teach you to recognize patterns of reactivity and potential adverse impacts of stress, as well as teach self-regulation that fosters a grounded body, a calm mind, and a strong sense of self. 

The workshop will be facilitated by David Falk, of Facilitated Solutions, an organization that specializes in mediation and conflict management. The event will take place on November 8th, from 9am to 4:30pm in the Louis Riel Room in McMaster Hall.