Arts

The quotes were contributions form alumni across different faculties. Photo: Rhea Verma.

New quotes go up along the first floor of the Learning Crossroads building

It’s no secret that the University of Ottawa campus has parts of buildings which can seem a little bleak, and lacking a human touch—but, that is no longer the case for parts of the first-floor of the Learning Crossroads building.

While the Learning Crossroads began its gradual opening at the beginning of 2018,  the university added its newest improvement—inspirational quotes for its walls, in November.

“Several focus groups were held and this idea came out of those discussions whereby students were looking to normalize the conversation around mental health,” explained Associate Vice-President of Student Life, Michel Guilbeault in an email to the Fulcrum.

“These quotes reinforce the sentiment that (students) are supported and aren’t alone—others have been through what they’re going through.”

There are a total of four quotes, which include: “your present and future are unlimited,” by a 2016 alumni student who is only identified as Adam, and “no matter what, you are one of us” by a 2002 alumni student, identified as Matthias.

“Alumni were asked to provide us with advice or thoughts they wish someone would have shared with them when they were students at (the U of O),” Guilbeault continued.

The project, which gives voice to graduates from four distinct faculties over a wide-range of years, was created by a partnership between the student life managers, and the Alumni Office—who approached the quotes’ authors.

“The entire project was funded by Chartwells, our Food Service provider as part of their Thinking Ahead, Giving Back (TAGB) program,” said Guilbeault. “The TAGB program looks to invest in initiatives that affect change and enhance the overall student experience on and off campus.”

Other initiatives that the TAGB program has funded have included the purchase of the Growcer unit next to the the University Centre—which uses hydroponics to provide fresh vegetables for the Dining Hall—and motivational quotes on elevators to encourage people to take the stairs.

While Guilbeault explains that the quotes on the elevators in Lamoureux—named Stairway to Wellness—are not parts of the same project, it was another partnership that involved the student life managers.

“Student Life was also involved in its inception,” he said. “This is another partnership our team has developed with the Faculty of Education with support from Chartwells and the TAGB program.”

The two initiatives in the conjoined buildings may have differing immediate goals, but they are both an attempt to pass along important messages across the university campus—and provide motivational quotes to people in need.

“The quotes are like hugs—they provide comfort and reassurance to students who might be feeling alone or overwhelmed,” said Guilbeault. “They remind us that we’re all part of a bigger community—the U of O Gee-Gees family (and that) we are there to support and take care of one another.”

If you have an idea that you think would benefit student life on campus, like the inclusion of motivational quotes on walls, you can forward it to: AssociateVice-President.StudentServices@uOttawa.ca.