You Paid The Fees, Now What?

BUSU Fee= $66.60

Student Services Fee= $63.00

Student Fitness Fee= $77.20

U-Pass= $19.00

You paid this and more in student fees. Why? What’s the benefit? It breaks down to a lot of money in fees, so I would recommend you take full advantages of the services BU has to offer. I didn’t really utilize the academic skills that my fees paid for until my third year. So, be smarter than I, and let’s break down some of the services available to you!

You paid for an academic advisor to help you look over your courses to ensure that you’re on track to graduate. The Academic Skills Centre can help you with math, writing and learning skills. Sheilagh Grills has helped me hold it together more than once with creating study plans and setting realistic academic goals. They’re also many workshops that are upcoming, including Making a Study Plan and Study Skills 101: Textbook Basics, both happening on September 18th.

Also included in the Student Services fee is access to personal counselling. Sherry or Marsha can help you find ways to manage anxiety, depression, stress, family issues, homesickness, etc. New this year on the BU page is Sexualized Violence Supports and Information, where there are resources available that you can access anonymously if you wish.

The Career Planning and Placement Office helps students determine possible career paths, career fairs, assistance with résumés and cover letters and student and graduate referrals for employment.

For international students, the Office of International Activities provides a space for students visiting Canada to feel more at home and connect with others going through the same experience. The Indigenous People’s Centre creates a space for people to come together and provide academic, social and cultural supports.

Through BUSU students get year-round Health & Dental benefits for $250 (with the option to opt-out if you have an alternative plan). The VP Internal Emily Simmons can advocate for you if you have grievances regarding grades, academic suspension, late submissions or accusations of academic dishonesty. The Paw Pass is a free sticker available at the BUSU office that is placed on the back of your student ID to indicate to participating businesses that you’re eligible for discounts. Most businesses have a discount ranging from 10%-50% with businesses such as Dominos, Little Italy Pizzeria, The Green Spot, Smitten, The Dock, Grand Valley Animal Clinic, Muse and Keywest Photo. 

Also included in your student fees are access to computers and internet, the Healthy Living Center fitness facilities and year-round bus services. If you find yourself looking for something to do, Bobcat games are free to all BU students!

#IBelieveYou Campaign

This week around the Brandon University campus students may have noticed new posters in the common areas that display #IBelieveYou on them. Starting in Alberta in 2013 this campaign is primarily promoted through social media and the hashtag #IBeliveYou. It covers all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in order to reach a broad audience, spark conversations, and educate as many people as possible. The goal of this campaign is to spread the message to victims of sexual assault that they will be believed and that support is available for them if they were to come forward. It also focuses on training bystanders to be that support for victims and show them that being believed is a big obstacle for most victims of sexual assault. This is due to the victims fear that they won’t be believed or taken seriously if they were to disclose their experience.  

Launched this past week at BU by the Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Coordinator, Carla Navid, the campaign has been brought to BU in an attempt to educate the campus community. Navid hosted a few events on campus including the #IBelieveYou selfie booth in the courtyard on September 11th which promoted uploading a selfie with #IBelieveYou to show support and spread awareness through social media. She also organized two bystander training sessions on September 11th and 13th which focused on teaching students how to intervene and prevent sexual assault before it happens. For more information on ways to get involved visit the campaign website

Navid wants to educate students at Brandon University about the support for sexual assault survivors that is available and easily accessible right here on campus. She advocates for survivors that they should come forward in whatever way they feel comfortable. For support throughout the whole process Navid can be found in her office which is located at 227 inside the Health Studies Building. 

Ontario Universities And Free Speech: Continued

In following up on last week’s article on the free speech issue in Ontario Universities I conducted the following interview of the CFS spokesperson Nour Alideeb. 

The Quill: What is the background? What prompted the government to believe this new directive to be necessary?

Nour Alideeb: “Protecting free speech is fundamental to academia. It allows for the open exchange of ideas, creative and critical thinking, and is key to our ability to grow intellectually. The concept of free speech is being co-opted to give people who carry extreme views a platform at Ontario colleges and universities. The Ford government is using this policy to protect those who wish to continue to argue for racist, sexist and homophobic ideologies that people have fought for generations to prove wrong. We believe that this policy is in response to a number of high profile incidences over the past 3 years that were successfully shut down at various campuses by students, staff and faculty.”

TQ: Does the CFS have any way of currently monitoring the state of free speech on campuses? If so in what ways is it preferential to monitoring by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario? 

NA: “The Federation has no way of tracking and keeping records of such incidents other than when they are high profile and make it to the media or if members reach out to the Federation to report them and seek support.” 

TQ: How are the Universities or the CFS-O fighting back against this attack.

NA: “The Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario is supporting students across the province who want to be apart of the consultation sessions between now and January 2019. We are committed to ensuring that students’ voices and concerns are heard and reflected in this policy. In addition, we are working with other campus organizations, faculty and labour unions to challenge this policy. Though we are the largest and oldest organization representing students in post-secondary education, the government has not consulted us on this new policy. We will be contacting the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to share our concerns and opposition to this policy.”

The question laying at the heart of this issue goes as follows. Should all viewpoints be protected with the right to free speech, or do the ones that we perceive to be harmful need to be limited? What are the full ramifications of this decision? Try and find the faults in whatever conclusion you make and attempt to see the matter from the other side. Some topics require education, experience and open-mindedness, so don’t hastily rush to condemn one side or the other. How would one justify totally free speech and what are the reasons to support the limiting of certain ideas?

What The Hell(o)

You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it. You probably have wondered: What the hell does it mean? The bright yellow signs posted in yards, windows and on the boulevard that greet students from both post-secondary institutions in the Wheat City. These The Big Hello are part of a social media campaign to highlight the relationship between Assiniboine Community College and Brandon University.

Assiniboine Community College and Brandon University are the two dominant post-secondary institutions in Brandon and have created these campaigns to highlight the collaborations between these institutions. Partnerships include the 2+2 programs, a new joint program in Public History as well as shared residence spaces.

“Having two post-secondary institutions in a community the size of ours brings many enormous advantages — for students who appreciate the quality and options we can offer, for all levels of government who can invest through us in economic and labour-market growth, and for the business and community organizations who benefit from the passion, creativity and industry of our students, faculty and staff,” said ACC President Mark Frison.

Interim BU President Steve Robinson echoed similar sentiments of how Brandon benefits from its students, “Students come to Brandon and share with us their perspectives, their ambition and their energy. As they graduate and move full-time into the workforce and into civic life, the skills and insight they develop through education provide significant economic, cultural and social benefits to us all.”

Both institutions enrich the Westman Community with Bobcat games at the HLC, The Grey Owl at the North End ACC campus and the Western Centennial Hall which provides a space for musical performances. While these facilities were designed with students in mind, its integration into the wider community has formed an invaluable connection between ACC, BU, Brandon and the surrounding area.

MJ Policy at BU 

Starting October 17th Cannabis will be legalized across Canada. As a result of this new legislation Brandon University will be making changes to their administrative and Board policies in regards to the use of marijuana on BU property. The Board meeting to develop these policies will occur on September 22nd. 

In accordance with Manitoba legislation Cannabis will not be allowed to be smoked anywhere on the Brandon University campus as it is public property. Policies will also be developed that address the medical use of marijuana on campus. 

The legal use of Cannabis in Manitoba comes with its own set of rigid regulations. The legal age for possession, purchase and use of Marijuana has been set to 19 years old. This age, according to the Government of Manitoba website, was decided upon to “keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, protect the health of young people and restrict the legal market.”.

Multiple Acts were put in place to promote the safe distribution and retail of cannabis in the public which state that all stores or online businesses selling cannabis must be provincially licensed. Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries is responsible for all marijuana that is available for retail and businesses must source their product through them. 

Changes were made to The Highway Traffic Act to incorporate consequences for drug-impaired driving. Drivers may receive a 24-hour suspension on their license with the possibility of further consequences if a police officer believes the driver is under the influence of drugs. Cannabis must be kept in an inaccessible compartment of the vehicle when it is in use. 

For more information on the legalization of cannabis in Manitoba you can visit the Government of Manitoba website More information about the Brandon University policies regarding the use of cannabis on campus will be available after the Board meeting on September 22nd. 

CFS Free Speech

The provincial government of Ontario recently mandated that all publicly assisted colleges and universities within the province develop and post their own free speech policies by January 1, 2019. If Institutions do not comply the provincial government may withhold funding. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is crying wolf. They say that this unprecedented policy is an attack on universities. It claims that the move forces people to choose a side in an important public debate. According to the new directive the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is to monitor progress of free speech.   

Why should you care about such matters? To many students university may just be a vehicle to a good career. Although it is true that in the world that we live in today such post-grad success is no longer guaranteed, it is no less a valid motivation for a number of university students. However in the charged political climate that we find ourselves in today it comes to mind that the university campus should and could represent something more. University is a place where ideas could be tested and tried. Where opposing opinions could face off in contest to see which fails under scrutiny. A school that disallows representation, through civil discourse, to groups and camps of thought that it finds reprehensible, ridiculous or erroneous is committing a grave mistake. Foremost, such actions are an affront to the spirit of the Institution. Men such as Darwin, Copernicus, or Luther were proponents of just such unpopular views. Today they are seen as revolutionaries, yet one must ask how our world would look like today should they have been successfully silenced. A spirit open to at least engaging a variety of ideas is one that will lead to continuing progress. What of those opinions which bear no hope of vindication however? Even in these cases we must allow them a voice. For how are we to test the soundness of our own argument except by the criticisms voiced by those who dissent? Furthermore, it is our moral obligation, as Socrates would have it, to engage those which we deem in the wrong in a manner which may enlighten them. If universities in Ontario have failed to ensure free speech then they should be ashamed that the government had to step in. However if this is simply a move by the government to control the voice of academia then they haven't learnt a thing from history.

I have contacted the chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario for further comments. At this time there has been no reply.

Welcome Letter From The Editor - Robert Killam III

It was four years ago the first time I walked on campus for classes. Three years ago I figured out what my major was going to be, following something I loved. Two years since I was frightened about not making it into the program I wanted to. One year since I entered the Faculty of Education as an aspiring History teacher. 

Next year I don't know what the future will hold for me. I know what I want it to hold but life has this funny way of saying “not yet,” “I got something different for you,” or basically “you’re an idiot.” What was consistent and didn't surprise me throughout my academic career was my jobs I worked at, doing things I love. All aspects of my life lined up and I was able to chase several different dreams at once. This year I will be completing my studies as an Education student to become a teacher, I will get my promotion within 26th Field Artillery Regiment to Lieutenant and as a member of The Quill I will have the opportunity to represent the organization as the Editor-in-Chief. I am truly honoured and humbled to have had my life turn out so fortunate.

It has been many hours of hard work, whether it was putting together my first newspaper, completing my Basic Military Officer Qualification Army with my fellow Quill reporter Mr. Gohl, or lesson planning nightly and preparing a geography based treasure hunt on my second placement at the high school in McCreary Manitoba. They all took a lot of time, persistence and dedication to succeed at, sacrificing a social life and sleep.

I don’t expect a lot of either of those this coming year. I’m going to make a lot of mistakes, put my foot in my mouth, not achieve all of my goals and be extremely overwhelmed this season. I have no regrets though. I wont shy away from these challenges I will face. I pray not for lighter burdens but for broader shoulders. 

It is with this in mind that I welcome you to Brandon University. I would like to welcome you into a land of possibilities and changes. I hope that you are all trying new things and taking leaps and bounds to achieve your dreams and goals. Even if you trip along the run, even if your grades fall during the midterm exams, never give up. Learn to fail better. Learn that to fail something is not necessarily a failure on your part. It is a stepping stone on your path, one that can lead to brilliant revelations if you let it. Never give up.

I spent a lot of time writing this article. Going about it in 3-4 different ways before deciding on what version I wanted to send. What version of it I thought would be most beneficial to our readers. I’ve been writing these articles for four years now and I still have difficulty, I still have to work hard and plan through things in different ways to try and get what I suspect are the best results. It doesn't matter if only one person reads this article, if there is a possibility that The Quill can help, inform or support that one person, then I believe we have the responsibility to produce the highest quality of content possible.

I will work at becoming a better Editor and aim to offer as much support to the campus community as possible. If you need to get ahold of me for a story you would like covered, have something you would like to talk about or would like to write for us you can contact me at the I can’t promise an exact time I will respond but my goal is to check all my emails twice daily and get responses out asap.

I look forward to this year. I hope you do to. Best of luck and welcome to Brandon University.

 History of Brandon University

The first Baptist settlers arrived in southwestern Manitoba in 1871, and soon after, decided they need a denominational college for Manitoba’s youth. After a failed attempt to open Prairie College in Rapid city, Professor S.J. McKee took over the endeavour but sought to open the college in Brandon after the Canadian Pacific Railway had been established through the Assiniboine Valley. At the same time, a Toronto industrialist, Mr. William Davies and his sister-in-law, Mrs. Emily Davies, pledged $25,000 in support of opening a Baptist College in Brandon. The two enterprises were merged into one institution. Headed by the Baptist Convention of Manitoba and the North West Territories, and affiliated with McMaster University, Brandon College was born in 1899, and classes began in the same year. The college focused on liberal arts, offering studies in Theology, and had both a high school department, and a commercial department; the school of music was added in 1906.  

Enrolment sharply decreased in 1916, as more than 200 students served in the first world war. Citing financial reasons, the Baptist Church withdrew their support in 1938, and the college became non-denominational. Brandon College established a Bachelor of Science degree in 1939, and went on to offer the first Bachelor of Music program in Manitoba, added in 1963.

Brandon College ended their affiliation with McMaster in 1939, and became instead associated with the University of Manitoba. On June 5th, 1967, Brandon College received its charter and became Brandon University. The occasion coincided with the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra and the Honourable Angus Ogilvy, while the charter was dated July 1, 1967 to commemorate the centennial of Canada’s confederation.  

BU’s Interim President Dr. Steve Robinson reflected on this transition in 2017; “When we were chartered as Brandon University, we took a significant and ambitious step in our continuing growth. It was a period of progress, with new buildings and new programs laying the foundations for today’s success.”

Last year, homecoming weekend welcomed back over 200 alumni from many graduating classes, particularly Brandon College’s last graduating class, the class of 1967. The year honoured the milestone of the 50th anniversary of Brandon University’s charter. This year’s homecoming will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first class of graduates to convocate from the newly-charted Brandon University. 

Last year’s 50th anniversary allowed for discussion of BU’s lasting impact on the community; “This goes far beyond the hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact produced by BU every year. Research here advances and create new knowledge, creative and scholarly works both delight and inform us all, and our graduates enrich our culture and our communities as engaged citizens with meaningful careers.” Dr. Robinson says, “Brandon University makes a tremendous impact every single day. Our students, faculty, staff and alumni make essential contributions here on campus and to the vibrancy of our communities”. 

The Interim President added that, “becoming a chartered university brought with it the benefits of autonomy, allowing us to govern and award our own degrees and to nimbly respond to community needs through research and new programming. It was a time of tremendous change and growth for post-secondary education in Canada, and Brandon University is embracing similar change right now.” With the acquisition of new property downtown, and a new Campus Master Plan, Brandon University will continue to grow and thrive.  


Women's Day

On Thursday, March 8th, Brandon University (BU) celebrated fifteen female students in honour of International Women’s Day. With a reception held in the Gathering Space of the John E. Robbins Library from 4:30PM to 6:30PM, the ladies of BU had the opportunity to mingle with their fellow students as well as staff and faculty members and discuss their distinguishing achievements.

The ladies were nominated by faculty and staff for the recognition. “It’s very inspiring to see such a talented, intelligent and diverse collection of students at BU,” said Dr. Cathryn Smith in a BU press release. Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education and the chair of BU’s Status of Women Review Committee.

Among the women honoured on Thursday, at least six different Manitoba communities were represented, as well as women originally from Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Greece.

Among the honourees were Abby Ziprick, Amanda Martin, Eleni Galatsanou Tellidis, Emily Hodge, Ericka Serrano, Jasmine Bajus, Jen Greigson, Jenna McDonald, Jennifer Kennedy, Katherine Charles, Kelsey Demond, Sherine Salmon, Tara VanCauwenberghe, Tori Wirch, and Whitney Hodgins.

Congratulations, ladies! We at The Quill are so proud to attend an institution with so many remarkable people!


The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test is to be held at Brandon University this year. The IELTS which is co-owned by British Council is one of the worlds most popular English language proficiency tests. The test is designed to assess the language ability of people who aim to study and work in, immigrate to and integrate into an English-speaking environment. It is based on the four key English skills required by those wishing to excel in Canadian society: listening, reading, writing and speaking. British council has been teaching English throughout the world for 85 years and evaluating it through IELTS for the past 25.

The global outreach that this testing system has cannot be understated. There are 1,100 test centers and locations around the world that, over the past years, have provided English language testing to three million people. Within Canada, IELTS is the preferred high stakes English language test. Trusted by over 350 Canadian organizations, it was the first test to be recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) and Immigration Québec as proof of English language proficiency for such government programs as Express Entry and other Canadian programs. In May 2014, IRCC announced it was renewing its trust in IELTS for another five years.

One of those organizations that recognizes IELTS scoring is Brandon University itself. Any international student whose mother tongue is not English will be required to submit evidence acceptable to the University or faculty that a minimum English proficiency scoring was attained. The minimal acceptable score on the IELTS is a 6.5 overall. The way that ranking within the testing system works is that each skill, once tested, is assigned a score from 1-9 and then an overall band score is issued.

Tests such as this one allow for Brandon University to accept students from around the world while still ensuring that they are not left at a disadvantage in their studies due to the presence of a language barrier. With the ever-shrinking world that we are living in it is important that Brandon University makes itself a desirable location of study not only for native Canadians, but international students as well. BU has managed to achieve this, and the fact that events such as this one are now also being held at BU shows that it is continuing to take steps down the right path.

Enactus To File Taxes

We’re now coming onto one of the most stressful times of the year as a student. Not only is it marathon writing for term papers, cramming for midterms and finals, but now’s the time to get ready to file taxes.  If you’re a student like me who has zero financial literacy and doesn’t know much past what a T4 is, then you’re going to need some help. Fortunately, the lovely folks who are part of Enactus will help with your financial woes. Enactus is a university group run by students who use business to address issues such as food security and financial literacy. The Brandon chapter of Enactus is volunteering their time to help students by filing their taxes… for free!

Enactus will be running their free tax clinic from March 12th to April 20th in CHO 407. Their clinic will run Monday, Wednesday to Friday from 9:30AM to 3:30PM and Tuesday from 9:30AM to 12:30PM, then re-opening from 1:30PM to 3:30PM. Eligible students are single people who make $30,000 or less per year, or couples who earn up to $40,000 jointly per year. To file your taxes students must bring their student ID, social insurance number, tax receipts (i.e. T4s, T2202A, etc.) and receipts for other expenses.

Clarifications And Corrections

The March 6th issue of The Quill was shamefully riddled with errors, for which I take full responsibility. It was late, and I did not edit as thoroughly as I should have. I was concerned for the snow that was rapidly surrounding the university. That said, on to the corrections:

1. The cover incorrectly advertised the Imaginus Poster Sale. It should have read “Snow Sculptures Grace Campus”.

2. This Week in Pop Culture was not about Studio Ghibli. It was about Trolling, and it was written by Patrick Gohl.

3. The International Women’s Day PSA article was mis-titled as Mental Health Week 2018, and was written by Jenna Murray, not Alexandra Mackay.

4. The New Restaurants article was written by Carly Murkin, whose last name I neglected to include.

I believe that is all of the errors I made, but if anyone notices anything else, I welcome the corrections.

Women's Day

With #timesup and #metoo bringing to light violence against women and unequal pay for women, 2018 seems like the year women make big change on those types of issues. This year International Women’s Day’s “theme” is #PressforProgress. According to the website it is “a strong call to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, and be gender inclusive.” It is clear there is a huge shift in society occurring right now where gender parody is a common topic.

Brandon University is celebrating the day with a reception in the Gathering Space of the John E Robbins Library to celebrate “outstanding women students of 2018.” That event will take place from 4:30PM-5:30PM. The event is being put on by the Status of Women Review Committee of BU. According to their BU page, a call for nominations was sent to faculty in January. The Status of Women Review Committee is “committed to equal opportunities for women in the university community.” This event celebrates amazing female students on BU’s campus!

BU’s Women’s Collective will be holding a trivia night to celebrate International Women’s Day. It will be held from 7:00PM-8:30PM in Harvest Hall. It is a free event, with a cash bar. Teams can just show up, four people per team and there will be prizes!

Have a great International Women’s Day

Strand Theatre Sign

It’s great that Brandon University is taking steps to preserve the heritage of the former Strand Theatre. With the doomed building set to come down by the end of March, in downtown Brandon.

“The iconic Strand sign is in great shape and I am eager to see how our plans for downtown will reinterpret it in an entirely new context,” Said Brandon University Interim President Steve Robinson. “I imagine it will be quite compelling to see the sign all lit up again alongside the classic movie marquee.”

Brandon University has partnered with the Brandon Sun to store the signage,

“Our deep roots in the city make this a natural fit,” Said Brandon Sun publisher Jim Milhaly. “We have chronicled the evolution of both Brandon University and the Strand Theatre from inception through today, and we are pleased to step in and play a part in this exciting development for downtown.”

Salvage of the historic elements from the former Strand theatre building begins as early as March 1, with demolition of the remaining structure immediately afterward. Brandon University has engaged Total Demolition to demolish the structure and also to evacuate and demolish the vacant basement underneath the old Brown Block property immediately to the south. Full backfilling and cleanup of the property could extend into late April.

I’m a fan of the classic theatre look, so I am looking forward to seeing the sign all lit up along with the classic movie marquee. Props to the Brandon University and the Brandon Sun for intending to save the heritage elements of the former Strand Theatre!

Music Students Perform

The Brandon University (BU) Orchestra, Concert Choir, Chorale and Symphonic Band werejoined by students from local high schools to perform music by BU Professor T. Patrick Carrabré at a special concert on Sunday, March 4th at the Western Manitoba Centennial Auditorium (WMCA).

Honouring Carrabré’s significant contribution to Canadian music, 25 years at Brandon University and his 60th birthday, the program included a number of works that had never been performed for local audiences. The pow wow group Spirit Sands Singers, led by Michael Esquash Sr., joined the BU Orchestra and choirs in Creation Stories, originally written for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO). Cellist Leanne Zacharias also took a solo role, in front of the Symphonic Band, in Prairie Sky, a piece the group premiered at the Whistler Music Festival in 2013.

“I’m very honoured that my colleagues and our students are coming together to perform some of my bigger pieces,” Carrabré said.

The first half of the program featured the BU Concert Band. The second half of the program will be devoted to Creation Stories. Written while Carrabré was composer-in-residence for the WSO, the piece celebrates the diversity of world cultures by including text and music that reflect how many different peoples have “remembered” the creation of the world. While Carrabré wrote most of the music, he also tried to allow for some shared space, with sounds that would otherwise not be possible on the symphonic stage. This meant writing parts that make sense for the orchestra, while leaving space for musicians from oral cultures (not notated) to collaborate in the making of a complete soundscape.

Says Greg Gatien, BU Dean of Music in a press release: “It’s no wonder so many students and faculty members are eager to step on stage to share his music.”

Lynda dot com

What began as something only BU faculty and staff had access to in 2017 became something BU students gained access to in 2018. is a website that offers on-demand courses and videos about the latest technology and workplace and creative skills. Access has also been given to Lyndacampus which has topics for teaching and learning in post-secondary.

To access this resource you must first sign up for using your BU email address (you got a link in your BU email about it). Next they send you an email to that account. Following the link, you create your account which is basically entering in your full name and creating a password. When you have done that it brings you to a homepage that highlights some popular videos, and even videos that are popular specifically on your campus. You can watch videos on project management, time management, “College Prep: Writing a Strong Essay” and so on. These videos can help you learn skills that are helpful both for university and for a summer job or career. There are a ton of categories on technology, developing, business, photography and so on. You can also take a “guided tour” which shows the viewer how to use the site.

So why is this a cool thing for students? If you know an area you need to develop further, such as time management, you can watch videos to better yourself. It might sound pretty corny, but employers are impressed by someone taking initiative to self-educate and identify weaknesses or skills to develop. It also allows people to teach themselves how to do things like coding or how to use Powerpoint. Basically, can allow you to become a better employee and a better student simply by spending some time watching videos.

It is unclear how long BU students will have access to this resource, so check it out while you can!

Elections Results

It is the end of another year of BUSU elections. It was a year for the record books, with a brand new electronic voting system in place for the convenience of voters. I personally took advantage of this from the comfort of my living room, and found it quick and easy. No waiting in line — or even leaving the house!

All candidates on the ballots ran unopposed, and won their positions uncontested. Congratulations to Executive Council Members, Emily Simon (Vice-President Internal) and Mohammed Agavi (Vice-President External), as well as Directors Whitney Hodgins (Accessibilities), Katherine Charles (Music), Uzoma Duru (Arts), George Nkuo (International), and Natashalee Thompson (Graduate Studies). Congratulations also go out to Manuel Colmenarez, the new Senator Student-At-Large. Beginning May 1st, 2018, all of these wonderful people will step into their new or returning roles and work to better the BU community and campus.

The voter turn out for this new system was not as high as expected, but still better than previous years. A total of 223 students voted, with 97 from the Faculty of Arts, 57 from the Faculty of Science, 22 from the Faculty of Music, 20 from the Education Department, and 27 from Health Studies. To this reporter (and voter), this indicates a success in my books!

For the first time in BUSU history (or at least, in the history of BUSU in the seven years I have been a student at BU), there was no candidate for President. This position, as well as the other Director and Student-At-Large positions will be available for application again in May. Director positions still up for grabs are: Science, Health Studies, Education, Part-Time/Mature, Women’s, Indigenous Peoples’, Queer (formerly Gender and Sexuality-Based), Racialized, and Residence. There are also still Student-At-Large positions available on Senate and the Knowles-Douglas Centre Board.

The Quill hopes that all of our new representatives have a wonderful term, and we look forward to working with you!

Mino Bimaadiziwin

Members of the Brandon community are invited to an evening of celebration of the project: “Mino Bimaadiziwin: Reconciliation in Action”. This research project is focused on providing sustainable post-secondary education for indigenous communities in remote locations. Both researchers from BU and the University of Manitoba work together in collaboration on this project, and as a team they must be achieving impressive results as the have recently been awarded a prestigious Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant in the amount of $2.5 million. The project does not solely seek to introduce community led post-secondary education to targeted indigenous communities. On the program are numerous other issues that plague these isolated communities including sustainable housing, food security, water and waste management, and sustainable energy all these problems the project seeks to address through community-led participatory research.

There is a considerable need in Canada for projects such as this one, and in its nature it seems to be a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action to “ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects”. BU has voiced and demonstrated its commitment to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities on numerous occasions, and projects such as this one align perfectly with the BU identity which has this commitment as one of its foundational pillars.

The First nation students that partake in this program will be able to attend entry level certificate programs in their community. Learning will not be entirely from the classroom; the project would rather have the students be taught per project-based learning. Students will learn as they take the first steps to effect a change in their community. If there is a key word to define this project it would probably have to be community, as it is the community which will take the lead on the many initiative under the auspices of this project. The hope is that local effort can effectively provide what outside support has struggled or outright failed to provide in the past.

If you are interested to learn more about this research project you may visit their website at for further information. You are also invited to join the celebration on February 28th from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm in He Oyate Tawapi (Ceremony Room) in the Health Studies Building and meet community representatives from Wasagamack and Garden Lake, and Dr. Shirley Thompson, Project Leader, from the University of Manitoba, and Dr. Wilder Robles (Rural Development), Dr. Patricia Harms (History) and Dr. Serena Petrella (Sociology), Brandon University partners.

Lu Piano Duo - BU

After an absence of two years, the internationally acclaimed Lu Piano Duo returns to the Pro Series on Tuesday in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall at Brandon University (BU).

Currently on faculty at the University of Utah’s School of Music, the husband-and-wife team of Jie-deng Lu and Ning Lu will present an all-Mozart programme.

Originally from China, the pianists completed their studies in the United States – Jie-deng Lu earned a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) from the University of Illinois, while Ning Lu holds a DMA from the University of Boulder. Along with teaching, giving recitals, soloing alongside major orchestras and participating in chamber music collaborations, they give masterclasses around the world and adjudicate various competitions. Both have won competitions themselves – Jie has won several, including the Colorado CMTNA Piano Competition, while Ning won the International Tourgee-Debose Piano Competition in Louisiana, among others. As well, Ning Lu is the artistic director of The Helen Taylor Johannesen International Piano Competition, which takes place in Salt Lake City.

Their programme first shines the spotlight on Jie’s interpretation of two of Mozart’s 18 sonatas for the piano, namely No. 8 and No. 9. Composed during a stay in Paris in 1778, when Mozart was a mere 22 years old, the Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 is one of only three of his solo piano sonatas that venture into a minor key. The previous year, the composer had penned Sonata No. 9 in D major, K. 311, while in Mannheim. Though out of order, these two sonatas along with his Sonata No. 7 in C major, K. 309 were published as a set.

The Lu Piano Duo will then play Mozart’s Piano Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448, written only three years after the K. 311 sonata.

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome back the Lu Piano Duo. They are consummate musicians who deliver memorable performances of music that is either seldom or rarely presented here,” said Greg Gatien, the Dean of Music at BU. “Our Pro Series audiences loved their two previous appearances here, so I look forward to hearing their newest programme of youthful, but significant Mozart works.”

The Pro Series’ presentation of the Lu Piano Duo will begin at 7:30 p.m., in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall, in the Queen Elizabeth II Music Building at BU. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and alumni, and are available at the door or in advance in the Main Office in the School of Music.

The next Pro Series feature is the annual New Music Festival, on March 12 and 13, at 7:30 p.m., with the Brandon New Music Ensemble, director Megumi Masaki and several guests. Admission is free to both New Music Festival evening concerts.

The School of Music gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of Manitoba, through a Consolidated Arts Programming Grant from Culture, Heritage and Tourism.

Please note that seating in the Lorne Watson Recital Hall is limited and that programmes are subject to change. For up-to-date listing of pro series and student performances, please visit:

BU Awarded Several Research Grants

A total of 23 faculty research projects at Brandon University have been provided with grants by the Brandon University Research Committee (BURC) that in summation total $118,000. This strong financial contribution to the research efforts at BU will hopefully aid in fostering a growing spirit of discovery at Brandon University. Among the 23 projects supported, 13 were awarded the New Faculty research Grant. Which provides a maximum of $7,500 to faculty members that have joined the Brandon University family within the last three years. “A strong track record of research is one of the qualities that we look for when recruiting new faculty,” said Dr. Heather Duncan, BU’s Associate Vice-President (Research). “The funding that we can provide through BURC encourages our new faculty members to continue their pursuit of innovation and discovery. The experience they gain through BURC-funded projects helps build a foundation for even greater research success in the future.”

Research grants, with a total value of $4,000 each, comprise the remaining grants allotted by the Brandon University Research Committee. “The scope and diversity of the research being done by our faculty are quite impressive,” said Dr. Meir Serfaty, Acting Vice-President (Academic & Provost) at BU. “We are proud of the recognition and support they are receiving for their work, nationally and beyond. Their research provides answers to important questions faced in our communities, and complements their role as educators as they inspire curiosity and exploration in our students.”

Funding for research projects at Brandon University is crucial for a number of reasons. The potential discoveries made by our various laboratories and research facilities here at BU could aid in securing answers to the questions of the broader society or find solutions to problems plaguing us as a nation or species. Perhaps more relevant to those focused on direct benefits to BU and the Brandon community is the positive attention local research draws to BU. Cutting edge research may attract national funding which contributes to further growth of BU. The Funding for the grants provided by BURC for example is itself provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) as well as a variety of internal funds.

Further information on research projects that are supported by BURC grants can be gained from the periodical publication, Research Connection, produced by the BU Office of Research Services and the Faculty of Education’s Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies. Visit