YORK UNIVERSITY’S 55TH BIRTHDAY

Dear Yorkies,

I apologize for not updating this blog as much as I should, I have been extremely busy these past few weeks assisting in organizing York University’s 55th Birthday (aka biggest, baddest, funnest event ever to reach York University). Eight stations, three different locations, a whole bunch of glitter, pride and spirit later, we are finally on the last stretch to an amazing day! In this post I will be writing a little on the fun which will be occurring on the big day, ways you could volunteer and even make history! Before reading on to the awesomeness, make sure to mark WEDNESDAY MARCH 26TH on your calendars! The time is 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and locations are VARI LINK, VARI HALL, STUDENT CENTER! Okay ready? let’s do this!

THE BIG DAY

There is TONS happening during the big day! York is U will be having eight stations situated in Vari Hall, Vari Link and The Student Center! Here is a brief overview of the stations:

VARI HALL

Pride-O-Meter: We will be having a huge pride-o-meter set up in Vari Hall where students will have the opportunity to write down a reason why they love this amazing school on a lion’s paw! The paw will join many others on a huge YU (our version of a pride thermometer)! Our aim is to fill the YU up with many, many paws until we’re overflowing with reasons why to love YorkU

YU Create: We will have face painting, tattoos and button-making available at this station, where students will have the opportunity to express their love for York U by show-casing it for the world to see!

York Gets Popping: We will have a popcorn station available to students, because let’s face it, York is Popping! Come by for some kernel deliciousness

Cake Pop Deliciousness: We will be distributing thousands of red velvet cake pops 1:00 PM-4:00 PM in the Vari Hall Kiosk for all students! If you don’t know what cake pops are, their like lollipops, but with a ball of cake at the top (SO YUMMY!)

VARI LINK

Get Yorked & Polaroid Photo Booth: We’re putting a positive spin on Get Yorked this year by having York U & R/W gear available for students to wear in our dress up photo booth! Get your photos taken and tweet them with the hash-tag #YUSPIRIT, and voila! Your photos will be printed and available for pick up at our polaroid photo booth!

York is U Contest Giveaway Station: We will be giving away awesome York is U promotional items through our twitter contest! Stay tuned for more information on the big day! Make sure to follow our twitter handle @YorkisU

STUDENT CENTER 

Snow Cone Frenzy: During the spirit rally in the student center, which is from 12:00-1:00 PM, make sure to stop by our snow cone machine for an icy treat!

Student Center Spirit Rally: we will be having a spirit rally in the student center from 12:00-1:00 PM where we swill be recognizing all of our accomplishments this past year and will be giving out 200 cupcakes! Some acts which you will see: a magic show, choir and more!

MAKE HISTORY

This year, York University will be making history by having their first ever York University aerial photo at 1:00 PM in the learning commons in front of Vari Hall! The photo will require at least 300 students so make sure you tell all of your friends and come by to make history with rest of the York U community! 

VOLUNTEER

We are still accepting volunteers for this amazing day to lead our stations! We are looking for volunteers on the big day as well on Tuesday, March 25th 2014 from 4:30-10:00 PM, where we will putting all of the amazing decor up and blowing gazillions of balloons! We accept all volunteers, no pre-requisites are required and everyone is welcome! Become engaged and have fun through volunteering with us, you won’t regret it. To volunteer all you have to do is follow this link: CLICK and choose the shifts you would want to volunteer there!

QUESTIONS? 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the York’s Birthday, free to email Sheila Shahrokhi (moi) at yuevents@Yorku.ca

5 Things I’ve Learned Being a Don

Hey Yorkies!

Today I’m here to talk to you about donship and what it’s like being a don. As a current don for Vanier Residence, I’ve got to say that donship has been one of the most exhausting yet rewarding, and life-changing experiences I’ve had so far in my life. When I first applied to donship, I had absolutely NO idea what it would entail, but I knew I liked the idea of living on residence (come on, everyone loves the benefit of having a free room). I didn’t sign up for the free room though, but to be challenged. I just wasn’t prepared for the amount of challenge it would bring me! Becoming a Don has submerged me into this concept of Residence Life and Don Life, and I was introduced to a whole new world which revolved around empowerment and leadership, a world that I had no idea existed six months ago.  I’m here to share with you five important things I learned when becoming a don.

1. Time Management: Being a don takes up a huge chunk of your time between one-on-ones, bulletin boards, meetings, casual interactions with your residents, programming (active and passive), and the list goes on and on. Time management is a crucial tool in becoming a don because it assists you in managing everything that needs to get done, while having time to practice self-care (which is ESSENTIAL for donship) and focus on your academics (which is important to any student) . Donship is estimated to take up to 15 hours of your time weekly, but in reality, being a Don is a 24 hour job. If you’re planning on applying to become a don, make sure to sharpen your time management skills through attending workshops, watching time management videos or even reading a time management book!

2. Self Care: As I stated in number one, self care is ESSENTIAL for donship. Becoming a don means offering support to your residents through a wide variety of cases including but not limited to: alcohol use, conflict and mediation, assisting international students in homesickness and mental health issues. To be able to support your residents to the best of your ability, you must first support yourself through scheduling periods of self-care. A good way to know when you need self-care is recognizing warning signs of stress, being aware of your own vulnerabilities and acknowledging your limits/ability of skill. Self-care can be anything you enjoy doing such as: reading a book, meditation, going for a walk or listening to your favorite music. Read this Self-Care DIY for more info on how to self-care and why it’s so important! http://www.shamelessmag.com/stories/2012/11/self-care-diy-how-just-you/1/

3. Empowerment: One of my top favorite things about becoming a don is the chance to empower the residents in my building. As a Don, you are given so many options on how to empower your residents through Resident Recognition, RLAAF Fees, One-on-One’s and casual student interactions. It’s important to keep the FISH Principle in mind when being a Don: 1. Play 2. Be There 3. Make Their Day 4. Choose Your Attitude. Empowering your residents is a two-way process in which you and the resident both end feeling happy! A way you can empower your residents is allowing your residents to be co-facilitators in your programming through asking them what type of event they want to see, inviting them to help coordinate a particular house event or even encouraging your resident to see the DLLO on how to become further involved with residence. To read more on the FISH principle: http://www.charthouse.com/content.aspx?nodeid=22610

4.Resilience: There will be times where you have spent hours upon hours planning the perfect program, only to find that two people showed up to the actual event. Or you can be working on making that perfect bulletin board for your house, only to have it unnoticed by your residents. Being a Don has taught me to accept that these sort of things are bound to happen and all you can do is dust off your shoulders, get off the floor and try again! Donship is all about resilience, and not letting things get to you personally, because chances are, there’s nothing personal about it!

5. Role Modelling: As a Don you will be put into many communities: your house community, your residence community, your don team community, your general don community and the residence life community on a whole. It’s important to realize that as a role model you play a key factor in these communities and how you behave may halt your community or enrich it. As I said before, Donship is a 24 hour job and it doesn’t end when you leave campus. It’s also important to note that there is no difference between your online identity and your public identity. An analogy which was given to us in don training was the fishbowl effect: as a peer leader it’s important to be conscientous of your actions, because much like a fish in a fish bowl, your actions are always visible to others on AND off campus!

Don Hiring is coming up in December so make sure to keep these in mind!

All the best!

Co-Curricular Week? Huh?

Hello to all Yorkies!

As midterm season is slowly coming to a close and burn out rates have reached an all-time high, I am here to relay some pretty awesome news to you folks! If you don’t know yet, I’m super excited to give you this wonderful news!! Beginning Wednesday October 30th, You will not be obligated to go to class! Yeah, you heard me! There will be no classes, examinations or tests held from Wednesday October 30th-Sunday November 3rd 2013. The university will still be open of course, with some administrative services available, but for those three days (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday) you will have no classes, tests or examinations! More information on co-curricular week: http://www.registrar.yorku.ca/enrol/dates/fw13.htm#holidays

Some awesome initatives that WILL be happening on campus during co-curricular week:

1. The Mental Health Symposium: This year the mental health symposium will be held on Wednesday October 30th 2013 and will be an all day conference where students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to indulge in a healthy discussion regarding mental health. This collaborative event is organized by Active Minds at York, MAD Positive Students Coalition at York,  Health ED – Mental Health Team, and  Student Community Leadershipa and Development. The event will run from 9:30 AM-4:30 PM and will involve panel presentations, an art workshop and conversation cafes. To register for this event: http://machform.apps01.yorku.ca/machform/view.php?id=63116

2. Hands On Time Management: The Learning Skills Services has organized a free special workshop on Wednesday October 30th from 10:00-11:30 AM regarding time management. The workshop will entail practical and personalized approaches on how you can make the best of your time through managing it properly. Learn how much study time is enough for each hour of lecture and many more secrets! More information can be found here: http://lss.info.yorku.ca/ai1ec_event/hands-on-time-management/?instance_id=94

3. Writing Tips: On Thursday October 31st from 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, don’t miss this Learning Skill Services workshop on Writing Tips! This workshop assists you in organizing your writng and will take you through all the steps of writing, from choosing a topic right to doing your final edits. More information can be found here: http://lss.info.yorku.ca/ai1ec_event/writing-tips-3/?instance_id=90

Going out? goSAFE

As the midterms are rolling in and assignment deadlines are looming above our heads, there is no doubt that all of Yorks’ 5 libraries will be jam-packed with students studying and working away at their assignments until the wee hours of the night. However, there is also the return journey back to your home that should be taken into account! I’m here to tell you about some awesome resources that will help you goSAFE on your way back from those midnight library sessions!

4 FREE SAFETY RESOURCES YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT: 

1. GoSAFE: GoSAFE is a free students-escorting-students service which runs from 6:00 PM-2:00 AM (6:00 PM-1:00 AM for Glendon) throughout the whole week (yes, all 7 days!). To request goSAFE just call the number: 416-736-5454. From there on out, just tell the call representative your location and wait only up to 10 minutes to be picked up by a team of goSAFE members who can walk you ANYWHERE on campus! The choices range from your bus stop, your residence, York Lanes, Tait, you get the picture! When I say anywhere on campus, I mean anywhere on campus! This is a great way to added some confidence when walking around at night time, as you will be with a group of awesome goSAFE members. Don’t feel bad about calling them because they get paid, so let them do their job! (goSAFE is actually one of the largest on-campus employers for students). BONUS: They’ve got some cool golf carts this year to give you a ride in!

2. Village Shuttle Service: If you live in the village or are trying to get to a friends place (who lives in the village), York’s got you covered! The Village Shuttle Service runs from 6:00 PM-1:30 AM. The shuttle service comprises of three different shuttles to the village: “Village West”, “Village Express” and “Village East” (Village West and Village East runs from Monday-Friday). To get on the shuttle, just go to the pick up area which is in front of Vari Hall. There is also a “Request Stop” program after 9 PM on the “Village Express” route! Remember: A Valid YU Card must be presented to the driver! Check out the schedule here

3.York Security: if you lost track of the time at the library and it’s now 3:00 AM and you don’t know what to do, York Security is there to help! After 2:00 AM or during the Fall University Holiday Closure, when goSAFE is no longer in service, The York U Security will gladly substitute. They can also walk you anywhere on campus! Just call them at this number: 416-650-8000

4.York U Safety App: If you have a smartphone, then you must download this app! Just search in “York U Safety” and you know the rest! On the app you can direct call different safety resources on campus such as: The Campus Shuttle, Security and goSAFE! There is also an interactive map of the campus available, a safety toolbox as well as a unique emergency alarm! Check out a short video on the app here

YORK IS U “GET INVOLVED” VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION RECAP

Hello hello hello to all my fellow Yorkers!

I am loving the amazing energy currently available here at York University. September is probably one of my favourite months because it has some of the most notable events of the year: York Fest, Orientation Week, The Terry Fox Run The Great Canadian Hair Do and Festival Village! I am here to tell you all about one of the things closest to my heart (yeah I’m pretty cheesy, but only for this student-led organization): York is U

On Thursday September 19th we had a York is U “Get Involved” Volunteer Orientation where we discussed what York is U is, how you can get involved and future opportunities up ahead! If you missed the orientation or completely forgot everything from the orientation, no worries! That is the exact purpose of this blog post!

Ok so for starters, what is York is U & What Do We Do?

York is U is a student-led organization under Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) which provides volunteer and leadership opportunities to the York U community through planning york-wide events. Some key events for the school year are: Red & White Day Part One, Red & White Day Part Two, York’s 55th Birthday and Winter Orientation.

Wait, what the heck is Student Community & Leadership Development?

Student Community & Leadership Development are really focused on enriching and improving the student life at York. Their located at South Ross 172 and some compartments which lie under the SC&LD (not including York is U) are:

  • RED Zone - Troubleshooters all-wise knowing oracles of the ways of the York
  • Health Ed – Keeping you informed, healthy & awesome
  • YU lead – Develop your leadership super powers
  • Student Community Peer Mentors – introduce you to various clubs and help your club run events
  • Res Life – provides awesome opportunities to get involved right here on campus in your residence

How do You Get Involved? 

As a Volunteer

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with York is U! A great first step to take is to complete our get involved form which can be found under our York is U website or by clicking this link: http://yorkisu.ca/volunteer-get-connected/. Just complete the form and choose the events you would be interested in getting involved with! It’s THAT easy!

As a volunteer, it’s important to note that there is no time requirement! You can volunteer for as short as 30 minutes to as long as five hours, it’s completely up to you! There are also no general pre-requisites to getting involved with us, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to become engaged.

As a Coordinator 

If you’re up for a bigger leadership role, apply to be a coordinator for one of our events. As a coordinator you would be getting knee-deep in planning our major events and will be gaining some valuable leadership skills! Coordinator postings will be available on our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/York-is-U/156311332220), our Twitter (https://twitter.com/yorkisu), YUConnect (http://yuconnect.yorku.ca/) and our general website (www.yorkisu.ca)

YUConnect

YUConnect can be seen as the hub for anything and everything extra-curricular! York is U primarily uses YUConnect to approve service hours, promote events, post coordinator/volunteer opportunities and much more! If you haven’t gone on YUConnect yet make sure you do so at (http://yuconnect.yorku.ca/). Once you’re there, join York is U to keep up to date with our events!

Service Hours: When you volunteer for us or attend our meet and greets, you will get hours which you can put on your co-curricular record! To find out more about YUConnect check out fellow RSA Chris’ blog on all you need to know about YUConnect here: http://thenewyorkerblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/yu-connect-the-hub-for-everything-extra-curricular/


So what am I getting in return for all my hard work?!

The benefits of becoming involved with York is U are plenty and are numerous!

- Free Swag: as a volunteer you instantly get a York is U volunteer shirt! There are also many other things we give out to committed volunteers such as USBs’, Highlighters, Pens, Scarves and much more!

- Co-curricular record: your filling up your co-curricular record which is a very important piece of document! Most jobs on campus require you to give your co-curricular record in and not your resume, so it’s important to have some involvement! It’s also a great tool for applying to graduate schools and finding a job after your undergraduate career

- Meeting new people: During my time at York is U I have met so many new people from various programs! Some of my closest friends were met through York is U!

What are the next steps? 

Our next volunteer opportunity is as soon as this Monday September 23rd 2013 from 4:00 PM-6:00 PM!  Meet at 4:00 PM at Michael Angelo’s (which is in the basement of the Atkinson building) for a free pizza lunch and information on how you can become an ambassador for the Good Neighbours Guide! Find more information here: http://www.yorku.ca/scld/pdf/GoodNeighbours.pdf

** If you’re interested in this opportunity, please fill out the form here and check mark the box Good Neighbour Sept 23 at 4:00 PM! Please also wear your York is U shirt or other York U related swag!

Where do I go if I got questions!

Online: Talk to us on our gazillion social media platforms! We are friendly!!

Physical: Stop by our office at South Ross 172 anytime or come to the kiosk at Vari Hall (all the ambassadors have kiosk hours where we promote our York is U swag!)

The importance of being REDI

Heya awesome Yorkers!

We are soon approaching the school year and I genuinely hope you’re ready to have the next best four years of your life (or however long your experience at York University might be)! If you’re not quite at that ready stage yet, no worries at all! There is still loads of time left and WE (the RSA’s, SCLD, faculty and general staff at York Univeristy) are STILL here if you need us! The post-secondary experience is unlike any other, and we (the RSA’s, SCLD, faculty and general staff at York University) are here to make it as awesome as possible for you. A tool which might make you a bit more ready for the awesomeness that is coming your way is the REDI tutorial created by the Center for Human Rights.

REDI is actually an acronym and it stands for Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity. REDI can be described as an interactive online course where you are introduced to central human rights topics such as Disabilities and Age, Sexual Harrassment & Gender Discrimination as well as Religion & Creed (just to name a few). These modules are great because they not only clarify York University’s values and expectations but they also create a bridging connection on how these topics specifically relate to York University with several of York’s services listed in each module (which is a great tool for those who aren’t sure of what comprises York University’s services… there are quite a lot!). You are also given a framework on what your rights and responsibilities are through easy-to-read background information on the Student Conduct of Rights & Responsibilities.

What I love  most about this course is that it is very visual-friendly! The information is given to you in the most painless way possible.To clarify what I mean by this, let’s just say I know how modules are/can be (I am a student afterall). They can be annoying at best and plain torterous at worst. However, I actually found that I enjoyed doing this module because these modules contain central topics which should be very important to…. well to all of us. Respect, Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity are core values embedded in our student community and it’s always nice to have a check-up on your values, to see if their still where you left them!

The REDI module is open to everyone and is also completely free to do! You can access it at http://www.yorku.ca/redi/ and self-enrol yourself into the course. The course altogether takes about only thirty minutes to do, and there are a set of questions at the end of the module which you will be required to answer. Don’t worry, the questions are not specific fact questions, but more so applying the knowledge you are learning through the tutorial. At the end of the tutorial there are allyship tips available where you can apply these skills which you learned and begin creating a Respectable, Equitable, Diverse and Inclusive environment at York University!

Hope you enjoy it! Stay REDI!

Defining the Village

Heya,

There were many times in my first year of university, where I found myself creeping down Sentinel Road, not knowing where I was heading, but all the same, I was enchanted by this little community hatched beside Keele campus. I had no idea what the village was, not one clue. Could you blame me? I was your typical commuter student, in and out as fast as you can say “lecture dismissed”. However, after meeting some fantastic people who lived there, I had the framework, but was still missing some fundamental details. So  I did some research, until I had a clear idea of what was exactly going down 10 minutes south of Vari Hall. Here is where I will give you the details.

THE VILLAGE 101

- The houses in the village are NOT owned by York University, they are privately owned. Many of these houses have been converted to “rooming houses” by their respectful owners, where they are given to rent for York University students and other people from different walks of life (there is no requirement of being a  York University student/having a York University affiliation to habitat the village)

-It is up to the STUDENT to ensure that they are living in safe conditions that meet fire conditions. It is also up to the student to know their rights when it comes to being a tenant for the specific property owner.

- There is no such thing as Dons/DLLOs/RLC’s/Residence Security at the village. It should be noted by now that since the village is not property of York University, there is a limited amount of responsibility which the university can take when it comes to the tenants residing at the village that are York University community members. 

-There is free transportation (The York U Shuttle) available for those residing in the village who are York University community members. The shuttle service includes “Village Express”, “Village West” as well as “Village East” and they operate within the hours of 6:00 PM and 2:00 AM from Monday to Friday. All shuttles pick you up in front of Vari Hall! 

- Living on the village means a lot more responsibility! 

Hope you learned a thing or two!