Archive for January, 2012

Use your voice, tell the real CBU story

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

“Tell the real CBU story” is back!

From January until March, CBU students will have the opportunity to have their voices heard on what they may like or dislike about CBU through participating in two nationwide surveys.

The surveys include the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and the Globe and Mail Student Satisfaction survey.

The NSSE survey is open to first and fourth year CBU students to complete, and surveys what CBU students have done at CBU both inside and outside of the classroom. Qualifying students will receive an email invitation to participate in the survey beginning on January 31st (today!). As a bonus for sharing your CBU story, you will be entered into weekly $100 draws beginning February 10th and a final $500 draw on March 30th.

The second survey, the Globe and Mail Student Satisfaction survey, measures students’ general satisfaction with CBU. The survey results are published in the Globe and Mail’s annual University Report Card. Starting March 7th for two weeks only, undergraduate students are able to complete the survey online.

The two surveys are quick and easy to complete, usually taking less than 15 minutes.

With the data from these surveys, the university and its’ members benefit in two ways; one, the results will provide valuable feedback to the university about student satisfaction; and two, the results will be available for national viewing- allowing CBU to be more competitive nationally, and beyond.

Results from last years’ surveys have been received and has led to the creation of a Student Success Committee – made up of students, faculty reps from each school, and Student Services representatives. The committee will analyze the feedback from students and will look to advise CBU about service offerings for students.

It is crucial for students to get involved and participate in the surveys, telling the real story of CBU. As students, we all have our own personal stories to share, perhaps of inspiring professors, friendly staff, or of having fun at the Pit.

To find out more about the surveys, visit

To see last year’s survey results, visit for the Globe and Mail survey results, and for NSSE results.

Use your voice, and tell the real CBU story today!

Just in case…

Friday, January 27th, 2012

During a typical day at CBU, I carry around numerous school books, a notepad, and my laptop… a beloved MacBook Pro.

I use my laptop for everything! Staying in touch, writing countless essays for school, and for writing and designing each issue of the Caper Times. I also travel frequently with my laptop in tow.

As with most other students, owning a laptop has become a bit of a requirement for university. You can use the library or numerous computer labs dotted around CBU to get work done, but most opt to invest in a laptop mainly for convenience.

To keep your investment safe during the daily trek to CBU, or to just avoid any bumps and scrapes (or swims) your laptop may run into… a laptop sleeve is essential.

Here are some of my top picks for a laptop sleeve that is both functional, economical and just a little bit stylish.

"Feather than the best" sleeve via for $36.

Incase Neoprene sleeve via for $49.99. (I've had this one for 3 years and it still looks great!)

"Spring Fling" sleeve via for $18.

"Stitched Virginia" sleeve via for $98.

"Stardust Glitter" sleeve via for $68.

Alkr "Urban" sleeve in Neon Military via for $18.84.

Alkr "Urban" sleeve in Melon Shock via for $18.84.

"Cooperative Trompe L'Oeil" sleeve via for $28.

Cargo sleeve in Lime Green via for $34.99.

"Live Colorfully" sleeve via for $60.

Get involved with the CBUSU

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

CBU students, if you are interested in getting involved with the CBU Students’ Union, now is your time!

Nominations are now being accepted for the following seats:


-Vice President Academic

-One Representative from residence

-One Representative from the senior class

-One Representative living off-campus

-One Representative from the Aboriginal community

-One Representative categorized as an international student

-One Representative who is a non-traditional student as defined by Academic Regulations of CBU

-Two Representatives from the School of Arts and Community Studies

-Two Representatives from the Shannon School of Business

-Two Representatives from the School of Education, Health and Wellness

-Two Representatives from the School of Science and Technology

If you or someone you know may be interested in one of these seats, visit the Students’ Union reception desk from 9AM-4PM.

Nominations close tomorrow (January 24th) – so don’t delay!

An ill-fated trip to Victoria

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Last week I was lucky enough through my role as Editor-in-chief of the Caper Times to attend the 74th annual Canadian University Press national conference in Victoria, British Columbia.

I was looking forward to the conference for a few reasons. One, I’ve never been to Western Canada. Two, I worked with Canadian University Press last year, so I couldn’t wait to see old friends. And three, the conference is highly invigorating, with many incredible journalists from North America coming to impart their wisdom to student journalists.  The conference is five days in total, with four full days of speakers and workshops – and one day dedicated for plenary: basically deciding collectively where the cooperative will go in the future.

The conference was wonderful, as usual. You learn so much about journalism and how to “make it.” Highlights for me were CBC’s Anna Maria Tremonti, Esquire writer Chris Jones, and Dave Zirin, a sports writer and documentary maker. The keynote speakers were all were insightful, hilarious and down to earth – they have all left me inspired, with much to think about.

Victoria's parliament building.

Victoria also lived up to expectations. It is a lively city that somewhat reminds me of Halifax. I enjoyed the beautiful streets dotted with coffee shops and I definitely made sure to have a few meals away from the conference to try some interesting restaurants. Again, everything was laid-back and really pleasant.

Peanut butter banana waffle. Yum!

Victoria's harbour at dusk.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worse. On the second last night, all of the conference delegates (over 350 student journalists) attended an awards ceremony, and then we were supposed to go to a dance at the University of Victoria’s campus bar that had been shut down for our group. Buses were ordered to take us there (as they were last year, too)… but things didn’t go as planned. On the buses, people started vomiting everywhere. I won’t go into details – but trust me, it’s not something I ever want to do again!

The dance was cancelled, and more and more students kept falling ill. At the time, I was fine and generally just worried about the situation. Two hours later, however, I would find myself in a similar situation.

Fast-forward 24 hours, and I was feeling more myself. At this point, we learned that over 140 delegates, hotel staff and speakers were infected with norovirus: a highly contagious virus that causes acute gastroenteritis… think of it as a horrible, intense stomach flu.

CUP staff was great treating the sick delegates – myself included. They came to stop by with Gravol, Tylenol and Gatorade, and made sure we were all okay. It was quite an experience!

After a few days, I am definitely beginning to feel better, although I am weary to travel for a while and am making sure to get lots of rest. Ironically, the last thing I blogged before traveling to Victoria was tips on how to fight the flu… little did I know! Now, I’m making good use of them.

That’s it for me, and don’t worry: I’ll be back to CBU Monday, virus-free.

Fight the flu at CBU

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Winter is here! Snow flurries are a daily occurrence, and post-Holiday fatigue has set in. The mix of cold weather and hectic schedules creates the perfect recipe for catching the flu – which is not something we want to ring in the New Year with.

There are many ways to get the flu… maybe not dressing warm enough outside in the freezing temperatures, or perhaps, just being in the vicinity of someone who is already sick with the flu. Catching the flu is undesirable –obviously- and can seriously put a damper on your life. So, how do you know if you have the flu, and, how do you get rid of it?

Flu like symptoms often include: sore throats, a cough, headaches, a stuffy nose, aches and pains, feeling fatigued, and sometimes having a fever. It sounds like fun, right? Not!

Once you have the flu, here’s what you can do to feel better in a flash.

  • Get lots of rest. This means staying away from class and work.
  • Keep hydrated. Drink water, hot tea or smoothies to fight the flu.
  • Eat up. Eat regular, healthy, immunity boosting meals to nourish your body.
  • Get your vitamin C. Take a vitamin C supplement, or get it through orange juice. Vitamin C can help lessen flu symptoms.
  • Wash up. Keep your hands clean to prevent the flu from spreading.

These are just some tips to feel better faster when you have the flu. What are some of your flu-fighting tips?

To avoid catching and spreading the flu in the first place, follow these steps CBU has prepared:

  1. Get a flu vaccine (available at the Max Bell Center by calling 563-1358).
  2. Stay home if you are sick.
  3. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Try to cough and sneeze into your elbow.
  4. Keep common surfaces sanitized.
  5. Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds.
  6. Keep your hands away from your eyes or mouth.
  7. Distance yourself socially during flu season.
  8. Be kind to your immune system.

Enjoy winter and keep healthy!

January To-Do List

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Since we’re back to the grind of school, work, and working out – I thought I would make a fun to-do list for the month of January.

Here is the list, so feel free to get to work!

  1. See a Capers game. Capers games are fun, affordable and entertaining. For the current schedule of home games for women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball, visit or visit them on Facebook. Don’t forget to wear your orange!
  2. Go to the movies. There are tons of great movies out right now that you and a few friends can go see. I personally loved Sherlock Holmes 2. Go on Tuesday for “cheap night” and for extra money saving: bring your own snacks! I suggest M&Ms, sparkling water, and pretzels. To see what’s playing in Sydney, check out
  3. Meet ‘n’ Greet. New to CBU? Attend the Meet ‘n’ Greet in the Learning Commons on January 10th from 11:30AM-1PM. Learn about what services CBU offers (writing centre, academic counselling, etc) and meet faculty and staff. For more information, visit
  4. Volunteer. Volunteering feels awesome, and opens up a lot of doors: meeting new people, expanding your horizons, and improving your resume. Volunteer with the Students’ Union and participate in Swim and Gym – every Saturday from 3-5PM. Contact for more information.
  5. Have brunch. After a particularly challenging week of class, arrange to go to brunch with friends on Saturday or Sunday morning. Places like Smitty’s are great for your classic brunch fare for under $10. If you don’t feel like going out, opt to eat-in and cook up an extravagant breakfast-lunch feast.
  6. Dress up. All too often us students forget to… look nice! Trade in your hat hair for combed hair, and ditch the sweatpants! Find inspiration for your 2012 look via magazines, clothing stores or fashion blogs. Here are some of my favourites: and You don’t have to dress up everyday, but make a point to do it once this month – you’ll be glad you did.
  7. Do something you’ve been dying to do. Is there something new you’d like to try in 2012? Spinning, sewing or cooking? Get the ball rolling and do it this January. Stop the procrastination and live your dreams.

Print blank to-do lists on

Good luck fulfilling your January to-do list :)

A year of blogging in retrospect

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

My, how fast a year goes by. It seems as though the older I get, the faster time flies. Although it feels like 2011 was over in a blink of an eye, so much happened in my life and in the world.

For world events in review, I personally enjoyed this video that Google put together, titled “Zeitgeist 2011: Year in Review” which was based on some of the most popular Google searches of 2011. Google covers the world’s population hitting 7 billion, the Royal Wedding and much more. Check it out for a quick, entertaining recap of 2011.

Next, what have I blogged about in 2011? Here are some of my favourite moments.

- Canada had an election, and youth all over the country targeted voter apathy. I voted – did you?

- Students studying at CBU don’t always have the funds to go out all of the time to have fun, so, I created a list of my favourite things to do in Sydney for under $5, perfect for a student budget.

- I’ve been a research assistant for almost four years at CBU, and wrote about the benefits of being a student researcher. As well, I highlighted the great student researcher lecture series that took place (and continues to as far as I am aware).

- I traveled to some pretty incredible places, including New York, Italy, and Czech Republic.

- CBU welcomed a new, beautiful building to campus. The Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE) is a wonderful addition to the school.

What are your top moments of 2011?

Wishing all a safe, happy and healthy 2012. See you back at CBU on January 4th!