Features

Here to help you out whatever your need may be

Bike Co-op

The SFUO’s mandate to make education accessible for all starts with being able to get to school—and one of the cheapest ways to get around in Ottawa is to bike. Born out of a referendum in 2010, the Bike Co-op saw a stellar first year, already branching from their main location to a mini co-op in the Foot Patrol office where students can borrow bike pumps, acquire supplies to fix their tires, and use other tools for basic repair jobs.

This fall, the co-op will offer workshops on bicycle repair, road rules for bikers, and winterizing your bike. They’ve also created a learn-to-ride program with the help of the Sandy Hill Community Centre geared toward getting beginner riders out on the streets, and are organizing weekly group rides around Ottawa for the more experienced rider.

On top of riding programs, the co-op will be giving free coffee to those who use sustainable transport on Tuesdays and are planning to hold live music nights each month.

The Bike Co-op will be having a day-long volunteer training session on a weekend in mid-September for new volunteers to learn about bike mechanics and the co-op itself. Volunteer project proposals are also being accepted by the Bike Co-op—just email coop@sfuo.ca to get involved.

Where you’ll find them: 200 Lees Ave. in room 105A

Hours of operation: Tuesday, 2–6 p.m.; Wednesday, 5:30–8 p.m.; Thursday, 2–9 p.m.

Get in touch: Email them at coop@sfuo.ca

 

The Centre for Equity and Human Rights (CEHR)

The Centre for Equity and Human Rights works toward the elimination of direct and indirect forms of discrimination through education and advocacy relating to student rights on campus. On the educational side, the CEHR offers free human rights training for individuals and organizations through a program called Positive Space. As for advocacy, free and confidential representation services are offered to students who experience discrimination or harassment on campus. Should a student wish to report harassment or discrimination, the CEHR is there—drafting, reviewing, and revising complaint submissions and working toward eliminating the systemic barriers brought to their attention.

This January, the centre will be holding their yearly Diversity and Accessibility on Campus Symposium, which will feature workshops on a number of topics including accommodation, mental illness and stigma, and universal design in academia.

Students can join the CEHR’s team of human rights workshop facilitators by contacting cehr.education@sfuo.ca. They can also volunteer in various areas such as workshop planning and data analysis, event planning, or legal research through the U of O’s Experiential Learning Service or Pro Bono Students of Canada Common Law chapter by contacting cehr.operations@sfuo.ca

Where you’ll find them: UCU 211G

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Get in touch: Email them at cehr@sfuo.ca

 

Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD)

This SFUO service ensures the inclusion of all students with disabilities on campus. The CSD encourages these students to get the most out of the U of O—and makes sure this happens by demanding equal accessibility on campus through advocacy and personalized attention. All students facing challenges on campus can reach out to the CSD for help that includes volunteers accompanying students with vision loss across campus and providing a safe space where students can talk about difficulties and meet others facing similar situations. The CSD also works with other services to offer tools, tips, and techniques for coping in a university environment.

The centre hosts regular activities such as accessible yoga once a week and Filmability, a monthly movie showing that relates to a disability. This year, the CSD is organizing special campaigns, such as Sexabilty Week and Mental Health Empowerment Month, which aim to promote accessibility and inclusivity on campus and reduce certain stigmas.

Students interested in volunteering for the Centre for Students with Disabilities are asked to commit to two hours per week. To arrange a meeting in order to assess what work they would be best suited for, students should drop by the office, send an email, or call the centre.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 211F

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 2683 or email them at csd@sfuo.ca

 

Foot Patrol

In conjunction with Protection Services, Foot Patrol is a free service that offers anyone in the university community a walk home within a 45-minute walking radius of the U of O’s main or Roger Guindon (RGN) campus. Whether you want some company walking home after a late class or require some help getting home after a late night at the bar, Foot Patrol’s volunteers are available to walk you anywhere—so long as it isn’t to another bar. All you have to do is give them a call, stop by their office, or approach a Foot Patrol team on campus and they’ll help you out.

This year, Foot Patrol is launching a new program, Bus Riders, where Foot Patrol will be accompanying trips home on major bus routes (94, 95, 96 between Westboro and Blair, 97 and 98 between Westboro and South Keys) and then will walk within a 15-minute radius of the bus stops. The routes and stops included in this program will be given to students when they pick up their U-Pass in the fall.

Volunteers are always needed at Foot Patrol, so if you want to meet new people while burning off some calories, stop by their office and fill out a volunteer form. The minimum time requirement is nine hours per month.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 08A

Hours of operation: Daily, 8 p.m.–2 a.m. during the fall and spring and 5 p.m.–2 a.m. during the winter; year-round, 8:30 p.m.–11 p.m. (RGN campus)

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 7433 (4517 during the day) or email them at ftpatrol@sfuo.ca

 

Women’s Resource Centre (WRC)

Working to challenge gender oppression on campus and in the community, the WRC offers students of any gender a wide range of services and resources. The centre provides peer-to-peer crisis support and referrals for those in need, as well as a chill, anti-oppressive space in which students can relax and meet new people. The WRC also focuses on educational endeavours, equipped with a feminist library that carries over 1,000 books on feminist theory, international women’s issues, sexuality, health, and more.

The WRC also organizes regular workshops, events, and discussion groups. This year, the group will be bringing back previously successful events: Take Back the Night March that’s part of 101 Week, its second Consent is Sexy Week, and the Dec. 6National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. New this year, the WRC is planning its first ever Reproductive Justice Week.

Both genders are welcome to volunteer at the centre. Those who identify as women are able to enrol in feminist volunteer training where they can learn about how the WRC works to challenge different forms of marginalization on campus. Men are able to join the centre’s Gender Advocacy and Ally Program; they cannot, however, work in crisis intervention.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 220

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 5755 or email them at wrc@sfuo.ca

 

Student Food Bank

When you’re down to your last bottle of ketchup, you’ll want to check this place out—the Student Food Bank has some fantastic initiatives for students in need. One of them is their emergency food hamper; with the equivalent of three days worth of food in it, the hamper is available once per month. For students trying to eat healthy on a budget, there’s the Good Food Box program: For $10, $15, or $20, students can get a box of fresh fruit and vegetables from local suppliers, also available once a month.

The food bank runs has a recycling program that collects ink cartridges and cellphones, provides workshops on cooking and budgeting, and are currently working on an online student recipe book. For those who have plenty, this service makes it easy to give back to the community with projects like Clear the Shelves!, Trick or Eat, Skip a Meal, and Hunger Awareness days. Volunteers are also needed to assist in the office, process food donations, and help out with food drives.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 0015
Hours of operation: Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.–7 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 2752 or email them at foodbank@sfuo.ca

 

Student Appeal Centre (SAC)

Independent from the University of Ottawa administration, the Student Appeal Centre acts as an advocate for student rights on campus. Providing students with information on university policies and procedures, the SAC assists students who wish to file a complaint against the university, as well as those who wish to appeal decisions made by the University of Ottawa administration. Appeals can be based on academic fraud accusations, grades given in a course, financial services and reimbursements, and any other administrative issue (such as co-op or housing). Although the service does allow walk-in meetings, students are encouraged to book an appointment in advance.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 101

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 2350 or email them at appeals@sfuo.ca

 

Pride Centre

Gay or straight, queer or questioning—students of every sexual orientation are welcomed at the Pride Centre, although they will never be asked to disclose this information. Here, sexual diversities are celebrated, whether that means preferences, practices, or philosophies. Their mission of tolerance, respect, and acceptance of individuals combats the prejudices sometimes felt by students in other spaces on campus. The centre provides resources, organizes social activities, and has a mentorship program called Buddy Up With Pride, as well as an ally program. Promising confidentiality and a safe space for students to hang out, the Pride Centre makes the U of O a more safe and accepting campus.

The Pride Centre has a number of volunteer opportunities available for students. Help is needed organizing social activities and events, running discussion groups, and assisting with information fairs and workshops. Volunteers for the mentorship program and office in general are also needed—just send them an email.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 215E

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 3161 or email them at pride@sfuo.ca

 

Bilingualism Centre

Regardless of which official language you speak, the Bilingualism Centre’s mandate is to meet students’ linguistic needs. Through the streams of culture, information, and advocacy, this SFUO service maintains the dual-language atmosphere on campus by assisting the clubs and federated bodies adapt their activities to both languages, ensuring courses are taught in both English and French, making resources available for students to learn both official languages, and advocating on behalf of students’ linguistic concerns. The centre also creates, organizes, and facilitates bilingual and francophone events on campus.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 211B

Hours of operation: Their hours fluctuate throughout the week, but Monday through Friday the Bilingualism Centre is open between 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 4075 or
email them at bilinguisme@sfuo.ca

 

Peer Help Centre

The Peer Help Centre offers academic, personal, and social support to students. Within a secure and confidential environment, the centre reaches out to the U of O community through several programs. Academic support is given through tutor referrals, presentation critiques, and peer editing. They provide social support in their Mentoring for Youth Program, where volunteers mentor high-school students, and with their Mental Health Campaign, an initiative that began in 2009. The centre runs a Peer Support Phone Line, which can be reached between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. during the week, and offers active listening sessions on a drop-in basis. Their website also includes self-care resources for those suffering from various mental health issues.

The Peer Help Centre is always looking for reliable volunteers interested in helping others in the U of O community. Students can get involved as peer helpers, who provide information and support to those who come into the centre; peer listeners, who operate the help line; and peer mentors, who are a part of the mentorship program with high-school students.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 211D

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.

Get in touch: (613) 562-5249 or email them at peerhelp@sfuo.ca. To reach the Peer Support Phone Line, call (613) 562-5604

 

International House

One of the oldest SFUO services, the International House exposes students to cultures from around the world. The purpose of International House is three-fold: Education, eradication of discrimination, and collaboration between cultural groups. They seek to increase awareness of international issues, eliminate discrimination based on race, language, religion, or gender, and promote collaboration and solidarity between cultural groups on campus.

International House organizes movie nights, potlucks, and student trips in addition to their annual International Week—a week-long exhibition of worldwide culture. They seek to represent not only international students, but anyone interested in learning more about world cultures. Whether you’re an exchange student, contemplating an exchange, or are just interested in international cultures, this is the service to check out.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 211E & G

Get in touch: (613) 562-5800, ext. 4405 or email them at inhouse@sfuo.ca.

 

Sustainable Development Centre (SDC)

The Sustainable Development Centre (SDC) is a student-run service responsible for spearheading green initiatives on campus, while encouraging U of O students to actively engage in environmental and social justice. The SDC provides consultation to those interested in making their events environmentally friendly, runs a free and reusable dish-lending program for students, and works to educate students on environmental issues through presentations and their lending library.

In addition to hosting their annual Green Week, the SDC is launching a new campaign about sustainable food that will aim to raise awareness regarding the food that is available on campus and in our communities—and how our eating habits interact with our environment. The centre is always looking for volunteers to help out with their events—especially Green Week—and interested students are encouraged to drop by the centre or email them.

Where you’ll find them: UCU 215F

Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Get in touch: Email them at sustainability@sfuo.ca