Campus Village, an event in the Student Commons showcasing Algonquin College’s student supports, happened on Jan. 30, just in time to welcome January intake students.
The two-hour event, which occurs at the start of every semester to support new students, had booths for every student service or support organization on campus. These booths were operated by staff and volunteers who could answer questions, help students sign up for services like mailing lists and give out merchandise.
“The idea or plan behind this event is to get as many students aware of all the amazing and awesome supports the college offers,” said Raivyn Halcro, an events programmer with the AC Hub and the organizer of the event.
The event raised awareness of student services on campus.
Carol Ann Mahoney, a community outreach officer running a booth for the Volunteer Centre, was excited about sharing volunteer opportunities with students.
“Why should I volunteer, what are the benefits, whether personal, to make friends, build your confidence, learn about your community if you’re new to Ottawa,” said Mahoney on the importance of learning about volunteering.
Trevor NG, a student support volunteer with the Mamidosewin Centre, was also running a booth. NG was most interested in showing students that anyone can benefit from the centre’s services.
“We provide Indigenous supports but we’re open to everybody,” said NG. “So non-Indigenous students, they’re free to come in and learn the culture, come to one of our events, share some food with us.”
The Mamidosewin Centre also had a variety of prizes available at its table, like pens and seed paper cards. Every booth had some form of free Algonquin merchandise and informational pamphlets. Some booths even offered food and drink, including wraps and coffee.
Students at the event enjoyed being able to walk around the different booths and experience the sense of community. They also loved the prizes.
“It looked fun, so I just wanted to check out what’s going on,” said Sana Ahmadzai, an interior decorating student in her final year of the program.
Lara Aegard, a first-year student in the massage therapy program, enjoyed the sense of community at the event.
“Just seeing what’s offered at Algonquin College, I think that’s pretty cool,” said Aegard. “I’m usually in this building so I usually get to see the events, and I think it’s pretty cool how many events we have here. It really creates a sense of community.”
Halcro hopes the event can show students all the support Algonquin College offers them, as well as destigmatize the use of support services on campus.
“Algonquin College has one of the most supportive environments. We were ranked very high on the support offered to students,” said Halcro. “Not only do they have an abundance of support, but there’s also a variety of support.”