Student Life at Vanier and The STAR Program
Vanier Student Life organizes events on campus throughout the semester and encourages students to get involved by offering them many volunteering opportunities. Students who are interested in planning and organizing various social, cultural, and recreational events can join a group in Student Life called Vanier Student Leaders. Students at Vanier College are offered EPIC leadership workshops, and Adulting 101 which is life skills workshops.
Vanier Student Life works with different departments at Vanier, including Vanier College Students’ Association and TASC. Kristen Whitelaw is the Student Life recreational activities technician who organized along with volunteers from Vanier Student Leader various events at Vanier like Speed Friending which helps students find new friends, Martha Stewart Mondays, cupcake decorating for Halloween, Karaoke events, juggling workshops, knitting circle, boardgames, and a rock, paper, scissors tournament. Kristen believes that getting involved in Student Life through the activities offered or being involved in Vanier Student Leaders is the best way to meet people outside of the class.
Student Life events are found on the calendar in Omnivox, posters around campus, and Vanier Student Life social media accounts.
Students who volunteer for over 60 hours during the semester can apply to the STAR program. Kristen says “STAR stands for student transcript activity record. It is a government initiative, and it is a non-credit entry on students’ official Vanier transcript. When students submit their transcript for universities, for scholarship, or for employment, it will show up with their grades that they did a certain involvement. There are different categories on how to do your involvement, like participating in a sport like Cheetahs sport team or playing Volleyball in your community, and it could be being involved in a local band. Students can volunteer in things related to science, arts and culture, sports, and entrepreneurship. The other category is Social and Community, a lot of students will volunteer in the college and externally. Anything that you do that does not qualify for class credit and you do not get paid for, can be part of STAR”.
Kristen says that volunteering is useful because it gives students a great opportunity to network and to gain work experience. She wants students to have a fun time while they are in college. She also focuses on the importance of life skills, because a lot of the events and activities that Student Life does including the workshops offered like Adulting 101, are teaching very important life skills that students might not get from their classes. She added, “We have a lot to offer students, and students have a lot to offer the school, and we are always willing to work with students whether they are part of a social group or not.”
The STAR application deadline is Monday, December 10, 2018. For any questions, mio Kristen Whitelaw or stop by her office, B-205C.
Written by: Lara Kaafarani