The new and improved Student Justice Centre (SJC) and OMBUDS space has officially opened in Thistle 252A. Staff are welcoming all students to check out the ‘open house’ event on Thursday January 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“The renovations that took place during the Fall semester were done in order to provide a more welcoming and functional space for students,” said Laura Hughes, the SJC Supervisor. “We’re inviting students to come celebrate the newly renovated space that is dedicated to their well being.”
Previously, the SJC and OMBUDS operated separately in different locations. Before the renovations, the SJC had a much different look, with the Food Bank service being the foremost prominent feature.
With the Food Bank now located at the General Brock store, the SJC and OMBUDS space has become an open, modern and safe place for students to go on campus.
The casual space includes two, cozy student work areas, a resource library, a private SJC office for drop-in or appointment meetings, as well as a private office for OMBUDS services.
“Students can come here to get support from the SJC and OMBUDS services,” said Hughes. “Or they can simply come to have a safe space to hang out in.”
This year the SJC staff are Chris Lawrence, Tegh Kaur, and Kirtan Kadia. “The SJC Coordinators are creating such important and needed social justice work on Brock’s campus,” said Hughes.
The SJC is an education, advocacy and equity hub rooted in social justice outreach and support work at Brock University. It works alongside students to promote and launch social justice campaigns and educative workshops to challenge, eradicate and raise awareness about issues of oppression on campus, as well as locally and globally.
Furthermore, the SJC is focused on providing a safe space on campus with support, referrals, resources and advocacy on issues of racism, sexism, violence, ableism, homophobia, transphobia and all intersecting forms of oppression.
In addition, the SJC is part of the team that supports Brock’s chapter of World University Service of Canada (WUSC) which helps to support student refugees by offering financial, social and educational assistance.
Alternatively, OMBUDS advocates for fair policies, procedures and practices on campus. Students can visit the OMBUDS office for support and advocacy surrounding academic misconduct appeals, grade appeals, accommodation or academic probation, suspension or debarment. Basically, the OMBUDS services, staffed by Carole Moss and Zanab Jafry Shah, help students navigate University policies and procedures.
“Students concerned about bias, racial or sexual harassment, and discrimination are encouraged to reach out to the OMBUDS office,” stated Hughes.
“This is your SJC,” said Hughes in reference to the student population. “We’re here to help.”
Along with the open house event, the SJC and OMBUDS will also be hosting an Open Forum for students on Jan. 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“The Open Forum is a way for students to be able to voice the kinds of social justice workshops, campaigns, and events that they’d like to have on campus,” explained Hughes. “We want to have feedback about whether any of our programming has gaps that we need to fill.”
Additionally, Hughes stated that the SJC is planning a variety of events for this winter semester as well as already looking ahead into programming for the next school year.
“The SJC Coordinators are hard at work planning this term’s educative programming,” said Hughes. “They are planning wellness events, a student art show, a workshop deconstructing 20th & 21st century white feminism, a sex education health campaign, a social media campaign during Black History Month, and much more.”
It seems that the Brock community has a lot of programming to look forward to, and the perk is that it’s all free for Brock students.
To find out more about either services, drop in or visit online at: www.brocksjc.ca and www.brockombuds.com