As pancakes were being cooked on the grill in the AC Hub, curious students and staff slowly began to line up, following the sweet scent of chocolate pancakes to figure out what was going on.
Pancake day, hosted by the AC Hub, happens at the beginning of each term. It’s part of the Mental Health 360 series of events. The event’s goal is to bring students together and remind them to take a break and to take care of their health throughout the year.
“Pancake day is a little reminder that you don’t need much to create a sense of community,” said Michelle Hevey, 26, the event coordinator, an Algonquin graduate and one of the event’s founders
“It creates organic conversations between students and takes the stress off them,” said Susan Pridmore, 39, another founder of the event.
Justin Baumgardner, 41, is a volunteer who helps out at every single AC Hub event. “Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day,” he said. “Having a good breakfast means that you have enough energy for the day, which helps your mental health. You’re less likely to be tired throughout the day.”
As the line started to grow shorter and the students were engaging with one another while eating delicious chocolate pancakes, an international student who was exploring the building, followed her nose over to the AC Hub.
“I followed the smell of it all the way here,” said Liz Martins, 34, a personal training student from Brazil. Martins was ecstatic that she could try a new type of food that she rarely has back in her home country.
“I’m glad they’re doing something like this because it’s important to eat,” says Martins. “When your phone’s battery is about to go out, it goes on sleep mode. The same thing happens to your body when you don’t get enough energy from eating. It starts to get tired, and your mental health gets affected.”