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Community an Important Part of Loyalist Residence Life

March 11, 2010

Many of the students who enroll at Loyalist College come from our local area. They begin their post-secondary studies within a community that they have known all of their lives — one filled with friends, family and the comfort of familiarity. Others come to Loyalist from hundreds of miles away, leaving all of these supports behind. This is an exciting experience but it can also present challenges. Choosing to live in the college residence village can have a positive impact on the way these students adapt to their new environment. Residence offers a home away from home — a sense of community that fills a void for these new arrivals.

“When I first moved to Belleville two years ago I missed my family terribly,” said Britania Tremblay, a Print Journalism student at the college. “Several of my roommates were in the same situation and we developed a strong bond. I was able to meet new friends through the activities that were organized at the residence and the sense of pride and healthy rivalry we enjoyed with the inter-residence challenges helped me feel accepted and part of a great group. I decided that I wanted to help others in this same way and applied to be a Residence Assistant (R.A.) in my second year. Now, in addition to my studies, I’m employed by the residence to help students with any concerns, encourage everyone to join in the planned events and ensure that policies are followed. It’s been rewarding to watch the number of participants in our activities grow each time we plan an event. I feel really good knowing that I have helped make that happen.”

Dominique Dawes is the Residence Programming Assistant. “My goal is to provide events and activities that will keep the students involved in residence life. My ideas come from the students themselves. In addition to the direct contact that I have with them in the office I also created a survey which they fill out during their first semester. We’ve had game nights of all kinds, sports and seasonal activities, and even some reasonably priced outings such as a trip to an Ottawa Senators NHL game.”

“I didn’t know anyone when I moved here from Courtice,” said Brad Thibodeau, a second-year Television and New Media Production student. “Living in residence is awesome. There is always someone to meet up with and play some sports with, — and the convenience of being so close to classes is great.”

Residence Manager, Chris Carson, describes how they strive to create a living environment that supports students’ pursuit of academic success while providing them with a social experience that enriches their time at college. “We have established our own self-sustaining community within the residence village. We also realize the value that our students are bringing to us from their previous homes and we want them to understand that they have a role in supporting the community in which they now reside. Our residence students are involved in supporting many activities which reach into the broader community such as the Santa Claus Parade, the Christmas Sharing Program and food donations to the Gleaners Food Bank. By getting involved, it helps the students establish a connection and commitment to the place they now call home.”

For information about the Loyalist Residence call Chris Carson at (613) 969-1913, ext. 2102.