Off Campus Connection, Centre For New Students's blog
You may hear that the University of Guelph is considered a highly residential campus community. While this may be true, nearly one thousand of our new students choose to live off campus in their first year at Guelph. All students will have the opportunity to engage in rich and meaningful experiences on our campus, regardless of where they choose to live. The Off Campus Connection team works to ensure that those who live off campus are aware of the resources and receive support from the Centre for New Students as they transition to university life. The Off Campus Connection Facilitators are student leaders who live off campus themselves and have a strong understanding of the first year student off campus experience.
I have been leading many transitions seminars this month, and families and students are asking why students choose to live off campus, and how off campus students can participate in campus life. One family originally believed that those who live off campus just didn't get into residence. I was happy to share the many reasons why off campus is often the best option, as well as highlight a few of the benefits of living off campus.
There are many reasons why students choose to live off campus. A number of students do not feel that the residence environment is the right fit for them. For some there are family, social or financial benefits to living off campus. Many students live in Guelph with family or friends, while others choose to live on their own. Many students are living within in driving distance and commute from nearby communities, whether by public or private transportation. If you are hoping to live in residence, be sure to visit the Student Housing Services website and follow all directions and meet their deadlines. If you are planning to live off campus, please stay connected with us here.
We will be posting new blogs throughout the summer both on this page and through STARTonline.ca. We look forward to meeting you!
The Off Campus Connection Team would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being a part of this year’s program! We have enjoyed making meaningful connections with you and by doing so, we hope that we have managed to make a positive impact on your university experience.
We recognize that the transition into your first year of university is challenging in so many ways. We hope that through our phone calls, emails, newsletters, blogs, and events we have been able to provide you with valuable resources and information that you will continue to use throughout your university career.
We would like to ask you one small favour before we go our separate ways. Please let us know your feedback and suggestions by completing the following survey. It is essential that we continue to improve the program to ensure that off campus students are getting the best support possible.
We genuinely wish everyone the best of luck with finals! Keep working hard and enjoy your summer holidays!
Wishing you all the best,
Kylie Campbell, Nicole Spencer, Cassidy Rathwell, and Jackie Hamilton
P.S. If you have any questions in the next couple of weeks send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you A.S.A.P.!
If you’re like us, you are probably counting down the days until summer break starts. What are you planning on doing with all your free time? If you haven't made concrete plans yet, here are some cool things for you to add to your summer bucket list!
1. Have a picnic at a local park
2. Go to the beach and make a sand castle
3. Learn a new sport (try tennis or wakeboarding)
5. Make a new friend
6. Read books that aren't textbooks
7. Catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a while
8. Get a summer job and save money
9. Go for a nature walk
10. Treat yourself to ice cream
11. Plant a garden with your favourite flowers and produce
12. Pick up a new hobby (examples: knitting, baking, fishing)
13. Beat your personal best time for running a km. Then beat it again. And again.
14. Take a road trip (it doesn’t have to be far, just somewhere you’ve never visited before)
15. Go on a bike ride solo or with some friends
16. Attempt a recipe that you never had the courage to try
17. Take a nap outside underneath a shady tree
18. Go swimming
19. Attend an outdoor concert
20. Have a water balloon fight
21. Throw a barbeque with your family
22. Check out your local farmers market
23. Review your course selection for the upcoming Fall semester
24. Participate in Orientation Week before classes start
25. Reflect on your goals for next year
This blog post was written by Cass Rathwell, Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
Your first year at Guelph is almost over! Congrats! You may have noticed during course selection that after first year, many courses get more specific. Also, there are more requirements for you to follow that vary based on your major. Navigating this can be daunting, but that is why there are lots of resources to help you! If you are unsure about whether you picked the right courses, or want help planning your academics in future semesters, here are some resources for you to check out:
Program counsellors exist for each individual program, and you can go to see them when you are looking for guidance within your major. They can help you with questions about course selection, adding or dropping a course, and take care of academic considerations (for medical, psychological, or compassionate reasons). To find out who your program counselor is, click here.
Faculty Advisors can be different from program counsellors, although it is easy to confuse the two! Faculty advisors focus on a specialization, and you can see them when you have questions about your major, and to discuss your interests. They have a much more specific academic focus than program counselors, and you can find out who your faculty advisor is by clicking here.
UAIC (Undergraduate Academic Information Centre) has a number of resources for students. If you have any questions about your academics, whether it’s about your major or about a procedure, this is a great place to start! They also have Peer Helpers available to help you if you are looking to access certain resources, or are unsure what you are looking for. To check out their website for great resources and more information, click here.
Remember, you can always email email@example.com if you have any questions about university life!
Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
Traditionally, each year every residence paints the cannon. But where does this leave students who live off campus? Just because you don’t have a residence advisor organizing this University of Guelph tradition for you, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. So, grab a group of friends, decide on the message or design you want to paint, and join the countless number of students who have taken part in this tradition!
Before you begin, you need to know that there are unofficial rules that need to be followed. Don’t worry if you don’t know them – that is exactly what this blog post is about:
Rule #1: You cannot paint the cannon during the day
The cannon can only be painted from the time the sun sets until it rises again the next morning. However, make sure to show up well before sunset...
Rule #2: You must guard the cannon during the day
It takes an entire day of staking out the cannon to get the chance to paint it. Sometimes groups even show up the night before while it is being painted to reserve it for the following night!
Rule #3: You must guard the cannon after you paint it
Once you are done painting, it is not recommended to leave! If another group comes along and you’re not there to guard your work, they are allowed to paint overtop of yours. You don’t want to show up on campus the next day to find someone else’s masterpiece covering yours.
Rule #4: Don’t be rude!
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that profanity and coarse language are prohibited when painting the cannon. Be creative, not hateful or sexual!
Please note: The cannon can be painted on any night throughout the entire year
Something worth noting is that you can paint the cannon at any time during the year, including the summer. Most students like to paint it during the fall and spring when it’s kind of warm and when there are lots of people around to admire their work. In the summer, there will be fewer people walking through Branion Plaza to see what you have painted, but it also means that it will be less of a hassle to guard the cannon from others. Also, in the summer it may be days (or even weeks!) before someone paints over your work.
Click here to check out this blog about the cannon written by the 2010/2011 Parents and Families Facilitator!
Follow the cannon on twitter: @OldJeremiah
This blog was written by Nicole Spencer, Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
Are you thinking about finding a place to live in Guelph for next semester but don’t know where to start? Then you’ve come to the right blog! This week we will be providing you with information about where to look for off campus rental properties in Guelph.
When you begin looking for a place to live in Guelph, keep in mind that in general, the closer to the school you are, the more expensive rent will be. It may be helpful to decide whether being close to the university is a priority for you or whether you would like to save money. Also, no matter where you are in Guelph, you will likely find students around you. So don’t concern yourself too much with picking a location that is a designated student housing complex.
Don’t worry if you haven’t started looking into where to live next semester – there are plenty of rental properties available at this point in the year, and there will be plenty of new rentals posted within the next few months. Check out these resources to start the house hunting process:
1. Off Campus Living (OCL)
OCL is a program that is affiliated with Student Life (just like Off Campus Connection!). On the OCL website there are “Featured Listings” of tons of Guelph rental properties that are currently available. You can see pictures of the properties, search the listings based on your criteria, and arrange appointments to see the properties you are interested in. These listings are constantly updated so make sure to check in daily to see the new listings that have been put up!
Thecannon.ca is a website that is affiliated with the University of Guelph Central Student Association. You can customize your search on this website by including how many bedrooms you are looking for, your price range, type of rental, etc. This is another resource to check daily because there are always new listings being posted.
3. Kijiji Guelph
Browse through rental listings on Guelph’s Kijiji website. Kijiji can also be used to find roommates to live with if you do not want to live on your own.
4. Off Campus University Students (OCUS) Facebook group
OCUS is a University of Guelph club specifically designed for off campus students (you may remember OCUS from Orientation Week). If you are looking for somewhere to live for next semester, but you haven’t found anyone to live with – try joining the OCUS facebook group and posting a “roommate wanted advertisement.” This is a great way to meet other students who live off campus. Just log into Facebook, search “OCUS,” and click “Join Group.”
Hopefully this is enough information to get you well on your way to finding the perfect rental property. If you have any questions, or would like more information, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck house hunting and may the odds be ever in your favour!
Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
As summer is quickly approaching, more and more students are looking for summer jobs. Co-Operative Education and Career Services (located just north of Rozanski Hall) is a great resource to help you look for a summer job or co-op position for next year. Co-Operative Education and Career services (CECS) offers help with resume and cover letter writing, as well as tips to prepare you for job interviews. Check out the website for more information!
Recruit Guelph is a service offered by CECS that is a great way to look for summer jobs. They not only post jobs that are located in Guelph, but various opportunities around Canada. To browse job postings, go to the CECS website and login using your University of Guelph username and password.
On March 4th from 9:30am-3:00pm, CECS will be set up in the UC courtyard where you can drop in and have your resume critiqued. This is a great opportunity to have your resume proofread before applying to summer jobs. This will also prepare you for the Career Fair that will be held on March 7th in the UC Courtyard from 10:00am- 3:00pm. At the Career Fair there will be many employers present so dress appropriately, bring your resume and have questions prepared. They will be looking for students for summer jobs, full- and part-time positions, and internships. Recruit Guelph will also be taking optional professional headshots for you, free of charge!
There are also other ways to look for summer jobs online such as Kijiji.ca. If you type the city you are interested + jobs (ex. GUELPH JOBS) they will often have postings, categorized by type. Another website called Student Place is helpful for searching for student positions, you can check them out by clicking here.
We hope you find these links useful! Happy hunting! Email email@example.com for further information.
Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
Why not sign up to be a STARTonline leader? Do you remember getting emails last summer with helpful tips and information about the University of Guelph? Those were STARTonline leaders - and you can be one of them!
STARTonline.ca is a summer online orientation program designed to ease the transition to university for incoming students. Online Group Leaders (OGLs) act as the first point of contact for many new students through emails, live chat and forum posts. You need to be able to commit 3-5 hours a week to send emails, take shifts on the live chat, and participate in the forums. You will be answering questions about anything from academic help, to intramurals, and more.
Being a STARTonline leader is a great way to give back. OGLs give new students the opportunity to ask questions and get prepared for their time at Guelph. Think you need to know everything to be a leader? Think again! You will get lots of helpful training and resources - you are not expected to know everything about the university. During your time as an OGL, you will also have support from not only other OGLs but also university staff at Student Life who can help you answer any questions you might need help with.
You can be part of this amazing team by filling out an online application today by clicking here and clicking "START Online Group Leaders (OGLs)" at the botttom of the screen. You can sign in by using your Guelph central I.D. information. You can also contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the program.
This blog post was written by Jackie Hamilton, Off Campus Connection Facilitator 2012/2013
Orientation Week is probably the single most hectic and exciting week at the University of Guelph every year. Recruitment has begun for next year’s Orientation Volunteers (OVs). Do you remember all of those super excited and friendly people wearing red shirts during last year’s O-Week? Those were all student volunteers! OVs are students who love the University of Guelph and want to welcome first year students by making their first week unforgettable.
In order to become an OV you need to have a cumulative average of at least 60%, attend the one day training workshop (Friday August 30), be available for Move-In Day (Saturday August 31), and of course, be prepared to make next year’s incoming class as excited and proud to be a Guelph Gryphon as you are!
Applications close March 4, 2013. Click here for more information. Be sure to get yours submitted on time!
Are you on the fence about whether to get involved? Check out what some past OVs have had to say about their experiences:
My experience being an Orientation Volunteer was something that I will never forget. It gave me a way to be involved in both the university and many first year students' Orientation experiences. It's a fun way to get involved and share my love for the university with incoming students!
Being able to be a part of the energy that creates an O-Week experience that thousands of first year students will remember is something that I look forward to each September! Getting involved in Orientation is something you will never regret!
Be an Orientation Volunteer and start off the year on the right foot! This type of volunteer experience looks great on a resume. You will be able to help make Orientation Week an experience of a lifetime for the incoming class of students.
There you have it – becoming an Orientation Volunteer is a great way to start getting involved on campus! Apply today! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email email@example.com! Have a fun and safe Reading Week from all of your Off Campus Connection Facilitators!
Our friends at SHAC have written this blog post for Off Campus Connection Students. SHAC is a great on campus resource with lots of helpful information for off campus students. Your Off Campus Connection Facilitators encourage you to read this blog and check out their website! Take it away, SHAC:
Welcome back to the University of Guelph from SHAC! SHAC stands for the Student Help and Advocacy Centre, a place on campus (University Centre 236, right next to the Central Student Association Office) where you can go to get help with any student rights related issues.
SHAC is a student run advocacy and referral centre that specializes in your concerns about human rights, legal, tenancy, financial, and academic issues. Questions about what your landlord is allowed to do, problems with your lease, and human rights violations are all examples of what SHAC has dealt with in the past.
SHAC is involved in both proactive and reactive measures to promote social justice. In a proactive sense, SHAC runs events for Queer Identities Week, Black History Month, Peace Week, Human Rights in an International Context and many more. In a reactive sense, SHAC takes on numerous student cases and advocates for students in the area of our 5 tenants.
Click here for our office hours and SHAC updates.
You can also post any questions anonymously on our Formspring account!
Or add us on facebook at ‘Ask SHAC.’
If you wish to learn more about what SHAC has to offer you as a University of Guelph student, email Bailey Hollister, the SHAC coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also give SHAC a call at 519-824-4120 ext. 58105!
If you have more specific questions about advocacy, about becoming one of our awesome volunteers, about the legal resources at SHAC, or about our upcoming events, you can contact:
SHAC Advocacy Coordinator, Cal Caesar: email@example.com
SHAC Volunteer Coordinator, Cynthia Hoy: firstname.lastname@example.org
SHAC Legal Coordinator, Noorain Shethwala: email@example.com
SHAC Events Coordinator, Matthew Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org