This is part of a series of stories highlighting projects supported by the Brock Academic Initiatives Fund (AIF), which was established by the University in the spring of 2021. AIF projects will address the key priorities outlined in Brock’s institutional strategic plan and position the University to face the challenges. recovery after the pandemic. To read more stories from the AIF series, click here.
As exams approach during an already busy time of year, outreach activities are underway to ensure new Brock students know help is at their fingertips.
Through Brock’s Student Life Team, volunteers from across the university connected with new students by phone to let them know about available services and supports. During this time, Student Life also took care of compiling and distributing Student Success Kits.
Tanya Bradley, director of student engagement at Brock, said the initiatives, made possible by the University’s Academic Initiatives Fund, have enabled the Brock community to support new students during a busy time of their university career.
“Starting a new experience can be difficult and we want to be there for our students when they need us,” she said. “We hope these initiatives will connect new students to the services and supports they may need for their success and well-being. Ultimately, we hope our students feel taken care of and supported as they approach exams and winter break. “
For Kailene Jackson, Student Life and Achievement Coordinator, the chance to reach out was personal.
“It wasn’t that long ago that I was a first year student, so I know only too well how difficult it can be,” she said. “Between the stress of exams and homework, adjusting to university life and the colder weather, this time of year can be overwhelming and isolating for students. It’s so amazing that in my new role as a professional staff member, I can show first year students that Brock cares and is there for them.
During the 1,300 phone calls, volunteers from 15 campus units asked new students about their experiences and helped guide them to services and resources they may not have known about.
Sandy Howe, Associate Director of Experiential Education at Brock and one of the volunteer callers, said the chance to participate in the campaign and share resources directly with students was an exciting opportunity.
“It was nice to hear how the students are really doing and connecting them with meaningful resources right now while also connecting them more with the campus itself,” she said. “They were so grateful for the calls, and it was such a joyful experience helping them support them in the way they needed.”
Along with the appeals, the University’s student life team also partnered with nine units to assemble and distribute 2,800 success kits to first-year students before their exams.
In the bags, students will find material designed to help them with their personal and academic lives, which varies from bag to bag and may include reusable water bottles, Lysol wipes, socks, pads. notes, key chains, as well as materials printed on media across campus and alumni motivational messages.
To assemble the kits, an additional team of employee and student volunteers came together to do their part.
Kervelle Guiste, a second-year MBA student and member of the Brock University Volunteer Association, said she wanted to help as a way to give back.
“I know new students may need extra support,” she said. “This initiative can show them how much everyone at the University cares about them and I wanted to be a part of it.
Jackson said the positive response from so many partners across campus was encouraging.
“I am totally overwhelmed, in the best possible way, by the support given by the campus community and their respective student service areas to these initiatives. It’s so amazing to see so many staff and departments on campus presenting themselves to students in this way. “
The success kits will be distributed from Wednesday December 1 to Friday December 3 in the Student Success Center (TH 129) and the dining halls of the residences, and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.
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