On September 26th, 2009 over 150 McMaster Students took the time to open a heart and lend a hand. Each of them participated in Community Service-Learning activities across several different Hamilton community agencies.
This unique event is a staple program within the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement and offers students the opportunity to spend a day volunteering in a local community organization and connecting this experience to their academic and personal life. The event is intended to benefit both the students and the agencies.
By participating in MacServe, students learn about the urgent and pressing needs that exist in the community and are inspired to get involved and make a difference. Local organizations receive genuine help and are introduced to a diverse population of students from many Faculties that can result in increased student volunteering in the future.
There are several opportunities for students to get involved and lend a hand. If your son or daughter is looking for a specific volunteer opportunity encourage them to get involved with MacServe and other Service Learning programs offered through this office.
New Current Students Webpage
Recently, the Office of the Registrar reviewed and revised how our current McMaster students are accessing information. The new Current Student webpage http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/students/ provides current students with one point of entry to all the information they will need while at McMaster from accessing their student accounts to registration and graduation information. In addition, new software enables students to ask general questions from a wide variety of resources such as the libraries, student services, student life and academic related topics. To ask a question students click on the “Ask Mac” button.
What the University is doing...
The Office of Environmental Occupational Health & Safety Services (EOHSS) indicated that hand sanitizing stations have been placed in each building at McMaster as well as in each food service area. In addition many departments are making hand sanitizers available at entrances to their offices. Hand washing posters have also been placed in various locations on campus. McMaster has an H1N1 website (www.mcmaster.ca/opr/h1n1_flu/) where students, staff, Faculty and parents may access information re: influenza. The Campus Health Centre also has a website where influenza information is posted at www.mcmaster.ca/health. A new student self reporting tool was just launched at http://www.mcmaster.ca/opr/h1n1_flu. This allows students to temporarily miss academic requirements without needing to attend campus to report the illness.
Please pass on to your friends who have children ready for university that Fall Preview at McMaster University is scheduled on Saturday, October 31st, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
This is an opportunity for students and parents to:
- Find out more in-depth information on the program you are interested in
(*All academic related activities will run from 9:00am-1:30pm only. Please check event details for more information.)
- Speak with our friendly staff about our academic programs and student services
- Explore our beautiful campus on foot
- See some of our residences
No registration necessary and parking is free.
Continuing Education Fair 2009
Tuesday, October 20th - Wednesday, October 21st
10:30 AM to 02:30 PM
McMaster University Student Centre (MUSC) Marketplace
If your student is thinking about pursuing graduate or further academic studies encourage them to attend the 2009 Continuing Education Fair. The fair provides McMaster students with an opportunity to meet representatives from various programs across Canada and abroad, explore educational possibilities and receive first hand information on admission requirements and procedures.
The Continuing Education Fair will be held over 2 days. Different educational programs and institutions will be attending on each day. October 20th will welcome representatives from the following programs: Education, Health-Studies, MBA and Accounting. October 21st will focus on: Graduate Studies, Law, College Programs and Professional School Services. Please note that some programs will be attending on the alternative date due to scheduling conflicts.
Reminder of important dates for your calendar
|Last day for cancelling courses without failure by default
||Friday, November 6
December 4, 2009
|Term 1 Exams
to 22, 2009
||January 4, 2010
|Mid-Term Recess (Spring break)
||February 15 to 20, 2010
Job Shadow Week
Job Shadow week is scheduled for the week of November 2 – 6th. Students are able to sign up to complete a job shadow with a career professional who is working in their desired career field. Sign up is on-line and begins October 13th. This annual event draws in approximately 100 job shadow hosts from various professions who support the program and are willing to volunteer their time to provide this learning opportunity for students. More information regarding the Job Shadow event can be found on http://careers.mcmaster.ca.
Facebook & Twitter
Students today use Facebook for a variety of reasons. It is a way of social networking with a wide number of people. A way of displaying one's social status, which is gauged by the number of friends one has, number of wall posts (conversations posted on your profile that are also displayed in the main feed) and number of photo tags and videos that can be found in among others using the site. As well, it is a way to spread word to a wide number of people with one click by posting a status or sending out an inbox message.
People gain friends quickly and easily, although Facebook is said to have security features (people must invite/be invited to view your profile) people often request and accept friends after only one meeting, or based solely on the person's reputation among mutual friends. Invitations are not only reserved for requesting friends but also to join groups that can be searched from the home page. While some groups are open to the public many are by invitation only, which also goes for parties, gatherings or meetings created on the site.
Twitter, which has recently become the next big trend, is much different from Facebook although people unfamiliar with networking sites often get the two confused. Twitter is much more like an instant blog (an open website with an individual’s running commentary), similar to instant messaging but differing in that people’s posts must be subscribed to in order to read. Instead of having a conversation directly, people post their comment on their own profile and others respond to it. Though many students have Twitter, Facebook still seems to reign supreme as Twitter is really only a way for people to talk about themselves, and doesn’t have many other options than simply posting one's whereabouts and actions, such as “I just brushed my teeth, now I’m going to class”.
Stay Connected and Involved Without Hovering
I would never claim to be an expert on parenting (my kids would attest to that fact) but I have learned a few things and can offer some “life experience” from my perspective as a parent of three teens (grade 9, 11, and 12 plus whatever that means) in high school and as an employee of McMaster for many years.
Many parents have heard the term “helicopter parents”. For those of you who haven’t, the term refers to parents that hover over their children to ensure that their children are not disadvantaged in any way. Not until my kids became teens and nearly ready to enter post-secondary schooling did I really understand what that term meant. I have to confess that reflecting back over the years, I too have, on too many occasions, wanted to swoop down and protect them from every real or imagined threat to their safety and wellbeing. I felt that it was my job as a parent to do whatever was in my power to “fix” things. It is absolutely natural I think to want to do that. It reminds me of a mother bear protecting her cubs. But are we really giving them the tools and teaching them the skills to go out in the world to make good decisions on their own? I think that often we don’t give our children enough credit. They are smart, they have learned from us, and now we have to trust that we did a good job and leave it at that. It's okay if they fall down a few times – it will make them stronger and more resilient. I remember my kids telling me about their day and about some injustice or other, and when I asked if I should call the school they would be horrified that I would even think of doing that. I am proud to say that I figured out what that meant very quickly. It meant they were comfortable and secure in knowing I was listening but they also knew I wouldn’t interfere – and if I did I would lose their trust and any possibility they would not confide in me in future. Sometimes they just want to vent.
So how do we as parents stay connected and involved in our children’s lives? We can still ask questions, we can encourage them to talk to us about anything, and offer advice if they ask yet we don’t have to solve all of their problems. This tells them that we respect them and their ability to make good decisions.
In closing, I would like to say that our students are not alone. They have you and they have a wonderful caring community at McMaster. There are a ton of resources from personal counselling, academic counselling, and others too many to list here that help your student succeed – they just have to ask.
Final Year Student Perspective
The past four years have gone by so fast! I remember exactly how I felt the first day of university – scared, nervous and worried. But now as my university career comes to an end, I’m fearless, confident and excited for what lies ahead of me.
The opportunities I have gained through McMaster University are endless. The biggest and probably most significant opportunity I received was that I was able to write for McMaster University’s student-run newspaper, The Silhouette (The Sil). Volunteering at The Sil for two years taught me much needed time management skills and the friendships and contacts I made are long-lasting. I was also able to volunteer as a note taker for the Centre for Student Development (CSD). I continue volunteering for CSD to this day, where I take lecture notes for students who are disabled. This year, I’m putting all my efforts into another McMaster volunteer organization called Paws@Mac where they focus on promoting the proper treatment of animals and volunteering at other animal rights agencies. Many other great opportunities at McMaster came from Career Services where I took part in various activities such as job shadows, career and volunteer fairs, speaker panels and workshops. These programs helped prepare me for the work world and I learn things I could never figure out on my own.
Like most students, I faced many challenges in my university life. At the end of my second year, I wasn’t sure if my program was the right choice for me – and I panicked. Knowing I only had two years until I planned to graduate, I worried that Political Science wasn’t the path I wanted to take and that there was nothing in the potential career field that interested me. Luckily, I had the chance to speak with career and academic advisors who helped me figure out what I wanted to do. I found out that Political Science can lead me to many different careers, and one that particularly interested me – wildlife conservation. One thing that many students don’t realize is that it’s possible to do almost anything they’re interested in with their degree.
I know the saying goes “high school is the best four years of your life”, but I have to disagree. My four years as a university student have been the best of my life. I have made friendships that will last forever, I have been granted opportunities that will help get me my dream job, and I have gained knowledge that will be useful in every day of my life. I’m so glad I chose McMaster University as my home for four years, and I can’t wait to take the things I learned here and apply them to my life after I graduate.
Fourth and Final Year of Honours Political Science at McMaster
Understanding Mental Health 101
In the spring of 2009, we said we would be reporting on the Special Projects approved through the collection of student fees. Understanding Mental Health 101 is one of these special projects recently implemented. Mental health concerns affect about 10 percent of the population at any given time. Workshops are designed to educate faculty, staff and students on various mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders, etc. In addition, the course provides information on mental illness and cultural issues, support strategies, reactions to mental health and how to make the best referrals to professional health care providers. We hope that through education the McMaster community will be more sensitive to these issues and be more confident in their ability to understand and help someone who may have mental health concerns
Sustainability at McMaster :: Living Green
McMaster is the first university in Ontario to adopt and implement a sustainable building policy. The brand new, five-story engineering building just completed for the start of classes in September includes a number of innovative features that make it highly sustainable. Some of the highlights of the environmentally-friendly structure are toilets that flush with rainwater as well as lighting, heating and ventilation systems that sense the number of people in a room and adjust themselves accordingly. The building itself will also act as a teaching tool giving McMaster's engineering students the opportunity to learn about sustainable engineering first-hand as both the rainwater collection pipes as well as the heating and ventilation system will be left exposed to help teach students about innovative approaches to environmental design. The building is on target for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (L.E.E.D) Gold Certification.
McMaster has begun development of a Sustainability Office to better manage all aspects of university functioning in terms of sustainability. The office is meant to be a catalyst for change within the university and encourages staff, faculty and students to join in to help create a sustainable culture here at McMaster. For tips on how you can lead a more environmentally friendly life visit http://www.mcmaster.ca/sustainability/hw_living.html.
EXAM SURVIVAL KITS
Don’t Delay - Deadline – Friday, November 27, 2009
Are you looking for a way to help your favourite Mac student through the stressful exam period? The McMaster Alumni Association is pleased to bring back Exam Survival Kits! We have crammed all the exam essentials (caffeine, sugar, and healthy snacks) into a reusable tote bag. Students will receive a cotton tote bag filled with water, pop, juice, cookies, breakfast bars, soup, gum, candy and much more. Parents are also able to send a personalized message, which will be included in the package students receive. Orders must be placed by Friday, November 27, 2009 and Survival Kits will be distributed in the first week of December 2009. For more information or to place your order call the Office of Alumni Advancement 905-525-9140 ext 23900 (toll free 1-888-217-6007) or visit the website and place your order ONLINE.
Cost is $25.00 for each bag – Order yours today and help ease your favourite Mac student through the stress of exams!
Storm Emergency Policy and Procedures
The University will “close” because of severe winter weather when normal operation would pose a danger to students, staff and faculty (including Mohawk students at the Institute for Applied Health Sciences) while on campus or would prevent large numbers of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes.
When the University is “closed”:
- classes are not held
- meetings and other scheduled events are cancelled
- all areas and operations not defined as “essential” are closed
- examinations are cancelled and rescheduled
- deadlines for student assignments and other submissions due on a “closed” day are postponed until the same hour on the next academic day on which the University is not “closed”
- deadlines for job applications and other employment requirements are postponed to the same time on the next business day on which the University is not “closed”
To determine whether the University is closed check the McMaster homepage, Daily News or check for announcements concerning closings on:
- OLDIES 1150 am/K LITE 102.9 fm
- CHAM 820 am
- CHML 900 am/Y108 107.9 fm
- CFMU 93.3 fm
- WAVE 94.7 fm
- CFMU 93.3 fm
Read the full
Storm Emergency Policy and Procedures.
Insurance and Credit Card Options
McMaster works with TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and BMO MasterCard to offer important services to the student in your life.
McMaster University has developed relationships with carefully reviewed affinity partners who provide top-quality services to our students and alumni. Our home and auto insurance and credit card partners provide valuable services, while supporting key McMaster University initiatives at no additional cost to you.
TD Insurance Meloche Monnex offers current students preferred group rates, high-quality insurance products and exceptional service. Perhaps your child is interested in considering insurance options for their residence room or student house, or would like to review auto insurance options. TD Insurance Meloche Monnex offers McMaster students outstanding value. To discover more about insurance options at www.melochemonnex.com/mcmaster or call 1-866-258-3036 to hear what TD has to offer.
With the BMO SPC MasterCard, McMaster students receive highly competitive rates and get discounts at hundreds of SPC retailers when they use their credit card. In return, every purchase they make helps support McMaster University and enrich their university experience. For more information visit www.bmo.com/mcmasterspc or call 1-800-263-2263.
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