The student services everyone should know about
The best thing about the size of our campus is all the nearby services. Your tuition and fees pay for these services, so you might as well use them. Beyond the unique programs they offer, these resource centres also offer challenging and fun volunteer and work opportunities. Here’s a list of some of the best.
The Free Store
This is a relatively new, yet quickly growing service in the university community. It’s managed by the Office of Campus Sustainability and accomplishes two fantastic things: it reduces the number of useable items going straight to the landfill, and it saves students money. The Free Store is a house at 647 King Edward Ave. full of things that you can peruse and take for the grand price of nothing. If you need a pot for your Kraft Dinner creations, a new shirt (new to you, at least), or just want to dig for hidden treasures, this is the shopping centre for you. Need some incentive to get involved on campus? Volunteers get the enviable perk of first dibs on new items.
Foot Patrol’s volunteers are available to walk or ride the bus with you a considerable distance away from campus at night. Located in the basement of the Jock Turcot University Centre (UCU), near the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) office, it’s one of 12 services run by students, for students. The service isn’t just for getting to and from class—they can accompany you to a restaurant, friend’s place, or pretty much anywhere else. If you request a casual walk, they can take their bright uniforms off. Foot Patrol is always on the lookout for volunteers. Patrollers commit to nine hours a month, and are part of a regular weekly shift.
The Peer Help Centre
The Peer Help Centre is a diverse service dedicated to helping students in a variety of ways. If you’re feeling stressed or just need someone to listen to you, they offer active listening. If you need help with an essay, or would like to practice a presentation in front of someone, they can help you with that too. They can also refer you to a tutor if you need some personalized help in a course. They offer a peer support phone line at night (613-562-5604) if you feel the need to talk to someone. If they can’t help you, they’ll know someone who can. The centre also needs volunteers.
SASS Counselling and Coaching Service
The transition into university can affect people in different ways. It’s challenging, and sometimes overwhelming, to be plunged into so many new things at once. There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed, homesick, or lost. Mental health is being discussed more and more. As a result, more and more support resources are becoming available to all students. SASS Counselling and Coaching Service is one of these. They provide coaching to help you determine your goals and how best to reach them, as well as counselling to help you realize these goals. They’re free of charge and completely confidential—your file with them is strictly separate from your academic file.
Community Protection is a volunteer service affiliated with Protection Services (our campus’s security). They’re located in the basement of the UCU, near the Alumni Auditorium. If you lose something on campus it will eventually make its way to the lost and found at this central location, so check back a few times. They also run theft-reduction programs such as decals and tracking numbers for laptops, and campus safety walks during the day. Twice a year they sell long-unclaimed items from the lost and found. It’s a great opportunity to pick up stuff at a low price, and the money goes back to the service itself. Community Protection also needs volunteers.
Centre for Global and Community Engagement (CGCE)
If you went to high school in Ontario, you’re familiar with logging volunteer hours, and how they can be useful for jobs, scholarships, and other opportunities. The same thing can happen with your volunteer hours during university. The CGCE offers a database of volunteering opportunities—a way to have your volunteer hours verified and officially tracked—scholarships, and various other opportunities, both local and abroad. They exist to encourage volunteering on campus, so if you’re having trouble finding a volunteer placement that fits just right, give them a visit.