Cate Talaue (@talu3who)
With tuition fees on the rise, and the price of on-campus food remaining high, it is no surprise that students find it difficult to be, well – a student. However, it is not due to a lack of trying on Brock’s part. While certain #BrockUProblems are difficult to find a solution for, the University has definitely put in quite the effort into making student life a little less overbearing.
Over the last four years, Brock’s efforts have led to many improvements around the campus in terms of servicing students in a quick and efficient manner. If until now they have gone unnoticed, let me be the one to bring them to light.
Applying for OSAP
Gone are the days where you have to stand in a long line for countless hours (I stood there for two and a half hours in my first year) in front of Ian Beddis Gym to complete the application process and start receiving your funds. As of June 2012, about 90 per cent of the application is completed online and the remaining 10 per cent requires that students print, fill out, and drop off two forms to the Financial Aid Office. The best part about this is that effective June 2014, these forms would be reused for the next school year, so that once you have filed the necessary documents on one occasion, never again will you have to visit the Financial Aid Office (for OSAP forms, at least).
Are you a broke student with an empty bank account but DCB funds to spare? Well you’re in luck, because the Campus Store has started to accept DCB as a form of payment towards any purchase in the store. On top of that, students are now able to by-pass the long lines in two ways:
- Not having to place and retrieve their bags in bins located just outside of the store. Campus Store procedures now require students to simply keep bags on their bodies at all time.
- Navigating through the new and improved online experience. The website makes it easier for students to search for their textbooks by narrowing it down by location, session, and course. Select a brand new or used textbook, check out, and pick up your books right at the till. You’re in and you’re out – it’s that simple.
Also beginning this year, you can rent specific textbooks rather than purchasing your own copy, especially if you’re one of the few that glance at the course text on two occasions: once at the beginning of the year, and again when you’re cramming for exams.
If you didn’t know that Brock University also has a Hamilton Campus, well, you do now. Students attending Teacher’s College at this site are now able to use their student card to ride the HSR. Save those dollars, future educators of the world!
So you aren’t a Scotiabank cardholder and you don’t like to put DCB funds on your Brock Card. That means you probably carry a wad of cash in your pocket for an emergency snack between those back-to-back three-hour lectures. Though most of Brock’s food services require students to pay with DCB or with cash, the university has slowly begun to introduce debit machines to its high traffic food locations. Get ready to swipe your cards at places such as Union Station, General Brock and Guernsey Market, to satisfy that hefty student appetite.
You’re all about that fit life, eh? While you may not be able to bypass any lines on this one, the good news is that you won’t have to “pay” to access Brock’s on-campus fitness zone. I put “pay” in quotations because on the surface it may seem that it is free, but zone fees are actually included in our tuition as of September of last year. For students who are already a member of a local gym or are not as into fitness as others, this could be a problem especially since there is no opt-out program for these fees. Here’s a silver lining if you fall under that umbrella: getting fit never killed anyone and doing so on-campus is just another service that is meant to cater to your convenience.
Brock Mobile App
Look to your left. Now, look to your right. Smartphones are everywhere. Why not take Brock-to-go and download Brock’s new mobile app? Introduced to students in 2013, we can now access resources such as Isaak/Sakai, Student Events, the Transit Schedule and stay up-to-date on happenings over social media. All of this and more with just a tap of the finger.
If community involvement is more important than fitness to you, the University has also made it easier than ever to get involved on-campus as well as within the St. Catharines/ Niagara community with the introduction of ExperienceBU. Create a login, plug in your interests, and bam – the system generates a list of clubs you could be interested in. With 100+ clubs and organizations to choose from, there is something for everyone. Track your attendance, hours and experiences with the new Campus Wide Co-Curriculum and ensure that you’re having the best years of your life as a Brock student.