Services, resources, events and more
The University of Ottawa Student Union (UOSU) was founded in 2018 as a result of a student referendum which ended the mandate of the previous union. The transition between the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) and UOSU included the handing off of existing services.
UOSU offers fifteen services, all of which have physical offices for students to drop into. The majority of these offices are located in Jock-Turcot University Centre. For the union’s 2022-2023 term, the services will be overseen by clubs and services commissioner Zachary Flahaut.
Flahaut served in the same role in an interim capacity for the 2021-2022 term following the resignation of Amina El Himri in October of 2021. He ran unopposed for the role in the general elections held in March of 2022.
Services are staffed by coordinators and volunteers who work to collect and offer resources, put on events, and provide a space for students to drop into during their hours of operation. Students may also choose to contact the offices via email, social media platforms, or phone.
Located on the University of Ottawa Lees campus, the Bike co-op began in 2011 as an SFUO service and became a service of UOSU as a part of the 2018 student referendum. The co-op aims to be an affordable and “inclusive DIY space for beginners as well as experts [and is] well-equipped [with the] tools and expertise needed to repair or build a bicycle.”
The Bilingualism Centre works to raise awareness, knowledge, and support for bilingualism among U of O’s student population. In the past, the centre has run french film screenings, hosted round table discussions, and offers tutoring in French. For future events, students can follow the centre’s instagram page, which is frequently updated.
Centre for Students with Disabilities
The Centre for Students with Disabilities works “to promote the independence and inclusion of students with disabilities in the university community.” Past events have included virtual study nights, film screenings, and drop-in art socials.
The Centre for Students with Disabilities offers active listening to students, an accessibility checklist for campus clubs or organizations putting on events, and a braille printer for signage that works for both English and French.
Campus Vibez (CVUO)
CVUOs team has grown as its duties have increased. The team distributes thousands of dollars worth of club funding, puts on clubs fair for students to find campus organizations to get involved with, and hosts the Student Life Awards (SLA) annually. The SLAs are where clubs, services and individual student leaders are recognized for their work.
Clubs can work with CVUO to put on events, or book rooms and take out AV keys for their weekly meetings. If you are looking for a way to get involved on campus, you can consult CVUO’s extensive clubs list which includes more than 360 official U of O clubs and associations.
UOSU’s food bank is run in “collaboration with the Ottawa Food Bank [and] operates a volunteer-run Food Cupboard.” The food bank’s office is open for walk-ins, no appointment required. The food bank operates “to provide emergency food relief to uOttawa students and their families.”
The Foot Patrol is a safe walk program through which students can request for a volunteer to walk with them. Volunteers will walk up to 45 minutes away from campus, or up to 30 minutes busing and 15 minutes walking. The office “work[s] closely with protection services on campus to ensure the safety of our students.”
The International House works “for the welfare of international students,” and aims to be a “cultural bridge between international students and Canadian students.” The service exists to help ease the transition into both university and Canadian life for international students.
The Multi-Faith Centre is a “space for faith-based groups to meet, celebrate and practice their beliefs. A private space that allows those who wish to observe their faith to do so in a safe and inclusive environment.”
The Multi-Faith Centre connects students to prayer rooms, and in the past, has hosted discussion groups and fitness events.
Peer Help Centre
The Peer Help Centre is a mental health and academic resource for students looking for help in either area. Their mental health services include active listening sessions and a peer support line that can be reached at 613-783-1380 ext. 155, each available during the centre’s hours of operation.
Students looking for a reasonably priced tutor to help with a specific U of O course can turn to the Peer Help Centre. Graduate students can charge no more $30 per hour for their tutoring services through the centre, while non-graduate students can charge up to $20. “All tutors must have at least a B + as a final mark in the course(s) they are intending to tutor.”
The Pride Centre operates with the goal to “address various equity sectors (anti-ableism, anti-racism, anti-colonialism, etc.) with a core focus on the intersections of gender and sexuality topics at the University of Ottawa.”
The Pride Centre has a number of resources, including a queer library and gender-affirming programs. Of the latter, the centre’s outreach and communications supervisor, Yves McKay, said, “if someone needed a binder or breast forms that they [aren’t] able to afford, that’s something we can help them access.”
Mckay said of the centre, “if you are interested in queer identity, interested in queer community on campus, that’s a great reason to come. If you’re having a crisis related to some of the issues that queer, trans, gay and otherwise disposed people face, these are issues that we are prepared to handle.”
Racialized and Indigenous Students Experience (RISE)
Racialized and Indigenous Students Experience (RISE) offers “workshops, events, discussion groups, and organized resources for and from the racialized/Indigenous community”.
Outside of this, RISE is also responsible for two $500 scholarships and a number of other resources, with a focus on “highlighting the diversity, empowerment, successes, and growth of the many different racialized and indigenous communities across the globe and in particular here in the University of Ottawa community.”
Isabel Szollosy, a coordinator with the sustainability centre, said, “we bring together the environmental community at the University through different events and workshops, so students have a chance to learn different skills in order to be more sustainable, whether it’s on campus or in their own personal life.”
The Sustainability Centre won the award for best UOSU service at CVUO’s 2021/2022 Student Life Awards.
Students Rights Centre
The Students Rights Centre (SRC) offers “guidance and support to students who require information on University of Ottawa regulations and practices or who wish to appeal decisions made by the university administration.”
The SRC is made up of two branches. The student rights advocacy branch works on “individual representation, as well as promoting/advocating for systemic barriers to be redressed.” The educational branch undertakes issues of “human rights, academic rights and appeals focused training for the general student population and student leaders.”
Women’s Resource Centre (WRC)
The Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) is “an inclusive, non-judgmental, pro-choice, feminist drop-in space that supports community members.” The centre hosts workshops, discussion groups, and social events.
The centre offers a quiet semi-private space for breastfeeding, free safe sex supplies, and “peer-to-peer support listening and referrals within a feminist and anti-oppressive framework.”
The Zoom Production service works to help its “staff and volunteers hone their video production skills.” The Zoom Production team also offers free photos to graduating students, and has hosted photography walks near campus.
The centre’s coordinator, Lucas Grier-Beauregard, said the service is intended to “aid in the development of photography, videography and editing skills.” Grier-Beauregard also shared the centre’s goals for the semester saying the coordinators will be working to “expand our volunteer resources and have mentorship work in photography and videography on campus.”
Students can contact and interact with the centres when specific needs arise, or simply attend events that interest them.
Students can choose which office they feel most directly correlates to their needs, though they may be redirected to access services. Students can consult services on the UOSU website for office locations, links and hours of operation.
You can check the UOSU website for positions available through the union and its services and the unionized representations it offers. Clubs, community and campus life are all waiting to be more fully discovered.