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Published by the Centennial College Student Association Inc.

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March 2019, VOL 23 ISSUE 04

D E V L O V N I T E G

SERVICE SPOTLIGHT: ADVOCACY PAGES 12-13

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OSAP? PAGES 10-11

FINDING YOUR FOREVER HOME: RANDINE’S STORY PAGE 18


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CONTRIBUTOR PAGE THE COUR IE R M ARCH 2019, VOL 2 3 ISSUE 0 4

AARON ROTHERMUND

JOSHUA MILLER

LORA DENIS

Aaron is an Actor, Writer, Director, and Producer. His script, RESPECT has been chosen as the main class project in The Advanced Film Studies - Script to Screen Program. Aaron wrote and directed, AMBIGUOUS and CHARMING MONSTERS at the Toronto Fringe Festival, and FRIENDLY FIRES, a web-series based on his experiences in the Entertainment Industry. Previously he graduated the Humber Theatre Performance program with Honours and the Acting Achievement Award. He graduated George Brown's Introduction to Performing Arts Careers with Honours and studied the Comedy Writing and Performance program at Humber Comedy School.

Joshua Miller is a freelance writer and mental health advocate. Joshua writes about anime, books, campus life, and mental health. Having earned his BA (Hons) in Arts Management at the University of Toronto, he is currently enrolled in the post-graduate publishing program at Centennial College. Joshua previously led an arts-focused youth organization for almost 6 years aimed at providing a safe space for young artists struggling with mental illness or bullying which had him named one of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20. Joshua is an Associate Fellow at the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Lora is a Graphic Design student in her final semester. When she’s not designing, she enjoys video games, photography and spending time outside. Lora loves animals; She has one dog and three snakes, and hopefully a pug or two in her future.

NATALIA BORENSZTEJN

RASHIDA POWANKUMAR

ZAINAB CHUNAWALA

Passionate about visual communication, Natalia is a Designer from Brazil pursuing a post-grad diploma in Interactive Media Management, currently specializing in user experience strategy for digital platforms. Natalia is always motivated by the excitement of learning from a different perspective and by discovering inspiration around her to create visual narratives.

Rashida Powankumar is a journalism student in her last semester. She is looking forward to pursuing so much more after graduation. One of her goals is to begin a business venture, "Rashida writing services" which will offer a wealth of services to paying consumers.

Zainab is a graduate of the Marketing Management program. Being new to the country, she’s always finding chances to do something different and is a food enthusiast and coffee crazy! As a student advisor at the college & a passionate writer for CCSAI; she’s looking to help students through different aspects of her work. Who says you need to wear just one hat? ☺︎

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Index WHAT IS GOING ON WITH OSAP? It has been more than a month since the Ford Government’s announcement of significant changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). Read more to find out what we know about the changes so far. Pages 10-11

10 - 11 CELEBRATION GALLERY 6-7

CCSAI PRESIDENT LETTER PAGE 4

Check out the Courier’s gallery and see the amazing Celebration of Black Culture at the Progress Student Centre. Maybe your picture is there!

AWC: GOOD POSTURE 9

SERVICE SPOTLIGHT: ADVOCACY PAGES 12-13

Back pain? Rounded shoulders? Learn how to improve your posture by following this excersise series recommended by the AWC professional physical trainers.

MARCH & APRIL CALENDAR PAGE 8

INTL. HEALTH PLAN 14-15 Are you an international student having trouble figuring out the Guard.me health insurance? Read the interview and have all your quesitons answered.

LEADERSHIP PASSPORT 17

ISLAND VIBES CLUB PAGE 16

Find out more about the Leadership Passport and how to develop the skills to become an inspiring leader to guide positive changes and transform lives.

FINDING YOUR FOREVER HOME 18

MARCH ZODIAC HOROSCOPE PAGE 19

Randine Fogarthy is the clubs liaison for CCSAI. Read the inspiring story about her finding a forever home in Canada through Centennial College and The CCSAI. 3

MASTHEAD Editor-In-Chief Geoffrey Mosher Graphic Designers Lora Denis Jaime Muñoz Fernanda Oliveira Natalia Borensztejn Contributors Aaron Rothermund Joshua Miller Rashida Powankumar Zainab Choonawala

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS? Geoffrey Mosher Communications CCSAI 416-289-5000 Ext. 8713 gmosher@centennialcollege.ca


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Letter from the

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I hope the winter semester is going great for you so far. While the semester is quickly passing, there is still lots of time to get involved! We have just wrapped up elections and appointments – you can find more details about how to get involved below. I want to first address the upcoming changes to tuition, ancillary fees, and OSAP that the government has announced for Fall 2019. The good news is that all of our domestic students will be receiving a 10% savings on tuition, and all of our students will be able to have a greater degree of choice for what non-tuition fees they pay for. The less than good news for many of our students is that there will also be significant changes to OSAP including the elimination of full tuition grants. While there is still not a confirmed breakdown, we know that all student assistance will now feature more loans and the 6-month interest-free period after graduation is gone. This will make education less affordable for many of our students. The optional funding will also put very important services like academic transparency/grade appeal support, affordable food programs and community-building events at risk of ceasing operation from lack of funding.

SAM CASAIS, PRESIDENT CCSAI SCASAIS@CENTENNIALCOLLEGE.CA 416-289-5000 EXT. 2324

We are working hard with our partners to gather the pertinent information to understand the full potential impact on students and to advocate for changes and updates that will minimize the negative impacts. Please take the time to time to learn more about what changes are coming, to understand what services and activities your ancillary fees pay for and to voice any of your concerns to your local MPPs, the Minister, and Premier – you can find contact information for this on our website under the Board Updates section. We hope you appreciate the value that we bring to your Centennial journey by supporting your academic and personal success. We look forward to continuing to engage with you and hope we can continue to offer you all of our services and support. As mentioned, appointed positions for our 2019/2020 Board of Directors just closed. We have a new group of students helping to lead the CCSAI. If you are passionate about student’s success and want to work towards improving how the CCSAI caters to students reach out to us for any opportunities to get involved. You can also visit CCSAI.ca for more information about our appointed positions and the new board. You can also sign up to volunteer with us by filling the volunteer form on our website (http://ccsai.ca/volunteer-app/). Reach out to us at any time through email, phone, or drop by our offices at any moment!

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During Black History Month the CCSAI invited students to celebrate Black Culture at the Progress Campus Student Centre. The event was filled with all kinds of activities including exhibitions of fashion, arts, food, music and performances. PHOTO CREDIT NATALIE BROWN

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March and April at a glance March 15

March 22

April 4

Winter 2019

12 P.M. - 2 P.M. Morningside Campus Student Lounge

March 15

March 26

11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. 5:45 P.M. - 6:30 P.M. Athletic and Wellness Centre Gym, Progress Campus

DEADLINE TO WITHDRAW WITHOUT ACADEMIC PENALTY

APPOINTED POSITION APPLICATIONS DUE 4 P.M. All Campuses ccsai.ca/elections2

March 19

APPLICATION TO GRADUATE DEADLINE Winter 2019

GET EVENTS INFORMATION AT CCSAI.CA/EVENTS

B A V

BOARD GAMES DAY

GRAD INFO SESSIONS MORNINGSIDE 10:30 A.M. - 11:30 A.M. 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M. 1:30 P.M. - 2:30 P.M. Morningside Student Lounge

March 27

GRAD INFO SESSIONS ASHTONBEE 11:30 A.M. - 12:20 P.M. 12:30 P.M. - 1:20 P.M. Ashtonbee Fitness Centre (Gym)

@ccsaitoronto

April 18

WINTER 2019 SEMESTER ENDS For most day programs

April 19

GOOD FRIDAY College closed

April 22

FULL BOARD MEETING

March 27

GRAD INFO SESSIONS STORY ARTS CENTRE

6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M. Story Arts Centre Cafeteria

7:30 P.M. Progress Campus Student Centre

April 25

facebook.com/ccsai @ccsai

GRAD INFO SESSIONS PROGRESS

WINTER 2019 GRADE REPORTS

April 1

FULL BOARD MEETING 7:30 P.M. Ashtonbee Campus Student Centre 8

Available on myCentennial


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DO YOU HAVE GOOD POSTURE? Even without a professional assessment most people will be quick to answer that no, they do not have good posture. Why? Sometimes it is as obvious as a visual imbalance in the neck, shoulder and upper back area. Sometimes it is from symptoms of pain, discomfort, numbness or tension. Even a general weakness or a lack of flexibility in the upper torso is a sign to most that their posture can use some work.

Below are some things you can do independently to improve your posture

E RG O N OM I CS Your workspace and daily routine should be a posture friendly environment. If it isn’t, you may soon experience carpal tunnel, TSO or other symptoms. If you feel you need help with this and have not done so already, get in touch with Corby, the college Ergonomic Specialist:

WH AT C A N YO U D O TO I M PROVE YOUR P OSTUR E? If there is pain or other severe symptoms it is always suggested to consult with your health care provider or work with a physical or manual therapist to relieve some of these symptoms. If there is pain, managing it should be the priority. If this is your case your therapist will often also give you homework exercises to keep up with.

CAnderson@centennialcollege.ca

B E ING MO R E AWAR E

QUALITY EXERCISE SELECTION

Regular self reminders to sit up straight can go a long way.

B E MO R E AC TI VE Movement truly is medicine. A lack of movement can cause general weakness, muscle atrophy and contribute to illnesses and early death. Just being more active can help you avoid several symptoms and illnesses including bad posture.

You can do all the wrong exercises in the gym and leave with worse posture! Below are exercises recommended to correct one of the most common postural imbalances: rounded shoulder syndrome. Remember that a professional assessment is key to prevention as well as finding the right solution for you.

STR E TCHING Stretching tight areas can also relieve symptoms of bad posture.

CORRECTIVE EXERCISES ROUNDED SHOULDER SYNDROME 9


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What is going on with OSAP? AN ONGOING COVERAGE OF CHANGES TO POST-SECONDARY FUNDING By Joshua Miller It has been more than a month since the Ford Government’s announcement of significant changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) that will see a lower income threshold for those who qualify for grant and/or loan funding as well how much funding will be made available starting in the 2019/2020 year. In addition to OSAP changes, the provincial government has also made many ancillary fees optional under the Student Choice Initiative. What do we know about the changes so far and how have people responded? The major changes had been laid out in an announcement by the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities on January 17th. These changes include lowering the family income threshold for receiving funding from $175,000 to $140,000. As well as changing the ratio of grant to loans for post-graduate degrees, diplomas, and certificates to a minimum of 50%. This will ensure that more money distributed through OSAP will be in the form of repayable loans rather than grants. It will especially impact those students who have been receiving more grant money than loans through OSAP. At the same time, the government has instituted a 10% cut to tuition costs across post-secondary institutions with a freeze to be imposed the following year. These changes are done to save students some money while at the same time to mitigate the cost of OSAP to the government. This change was advised by a report from the Auditor General which states under Chapter 3, Section 3.10 of the 2018 report, that while the increase of grant recipients has increased under OSAP amounting to a $2 billion cost, the admission of new students into post-secondary institutions has barely increased. With only 1% growth for universities and 2% growth for colleges. A large issue has been the removal of the 6-month interestfree period provided to OSAP recipients following their graduation from their respective post-secondary programs. According to the initial report released on January 17th, the ministry will “align Ontario’s repayment terms with that of the federal government by charging interest during the six-month grace period, to reduce complexity for students.”

We spoke on the phone with Abdullah Mushtaq, Director of Advocacy at the College Student Alliance(CSA). CSA is an organization which “advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders.” Mushtaq says CSA was disappointed by the announcement of the most recent changes to OSAP and the introduction of the Student Choice Initiative. CSA released in a statement “ The provincial government has effectively destroyed student representation at the college level and made post-secondary education less affordable by making student association fees optional and financial assistance less accessible.” Mushtaq expands on the importance of student association fees: “they (students) get access to services like a food bank or on-campus services like the service of their student union for academic appeal, centres for marginalized students and international students. All of these things are what the student association provide. If these are taken away students won’t know what they are missing until it is too late.” When changes were being made Mushtaq says “There wasn’t proper consultation with student groups.” He also notes that, as of late, they are now working “pretty well” with the minister’s office partners while also continuing to speak to the various CSA stake holders. In data gathered and originally reported on by the CBC at the beginning of February, the previous OSAP system that was put in place back in March 2017 under the previous government, paid for the average cost of tuition among students who came from lower income households making below $50,000. Over 234,000 students benefited from the non-repayable grants. Students of Centennial College stand to be one of the most affected by the change in policy as it has the second greatest number of domestic college students in the province, amounting to 7,080, who received free tuition through the old program. At the time this data was gathered, this accounted for 72% of all full-time domestic students at Centennial. 10

In a prepared statement from Centennial College regarding the recent changes, they stated. “...The province has not yet clarified or documented the details, and we continue to participate in briefings to learn more. We have always offered affordable education, giving students access to more than $3 million in Centennial College bursaries, and Ministry partnered bursaries and scholarships to help meet their financial needs. Our Doorway to Dollars Questionnaire is your first step in applying for scholarships and bursaries.” CCSAI President Sam Casais echoes the CSA’s concerns of the situation in his written statement to The Courier. “While it was positive to see clear steps made to reduce the cost of education via a tuition reduction, the other portions of the announcement are very concerning... a shift to loans could make education less affordable for a great number of our students. the Student Choice Initiative will pose challenges to the CCSAI and many College departments to deliver all the services we have always delivered to students.”


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Follow this story at thecourier.ca/osapchanges for more updates. Since the announcement, there has been a negative reception from students who are to be the most affected by the significant change in policy. Criticisms took the form of a massive protest of students outside the legislature and the circulation of a petition calling on the Ford government to seize the changes. As of the writing of this article, the petition has received over 247,460 signatures. Regardless of the change, Casais says “We will work hard to serve students as best as we can through these challenging times and hope that students see the value that we bring to their Centennial journey.� To find out how these changes could affect you, speak to a representative at your financial aid office for guidance. For more information contact Student Financial Services office at 416-289-5000 ext. 2457, or email them at: financialaidquestions@centennialcollege.ca.

Top 10 colleges where most students received free tuition*

Rank

No. Students issued free tuition

No. Full-time domestic students

% Students wth tuition paid

1,830

2,518

73

1

Loyalist College

2

Centennial College

7,080

9,894

72

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George Brown College

11,398

16,877

68

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Seneca College

10,930

16,805

65

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Niagara College

4,263

7,177

59

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Algonquin College

9,283

16,169

57

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Fleming College

2,956

5,164

57

8

Fanshawe College

7,513

13,263

57

9

Georgian College

5,144

9,173

56

St. Lawrence College

3,298

5,910

56

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For the complete statement from the College Student Alliance, visit www.collegestudentalliance.ca/2018-news.

Institution Name

*Non-repayable grants that equaled or exceeded the value of "average tuition," as calculated by the government of Ontario, which is $2,768 for college and $6,160 for universities. Source: CBC News analysis of data provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

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WHAT KIND OF ISSUES DO YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH?

SERVICE SPOTLIGHT:

MFA: Mostly grade appeals and student complaints, relationship with faculty, or sometimes with staff, relationships with other students or classmates and any initiatives that students think can make a better campus, for example, recycling, or inclusive washrooms that sort of thing.

ADVOCACY By: Geoffrey Mosher

HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ADVOCATE?

DO YOU REPRESENT THE STUDENTS OR ACT AS A VOICE FOR THEM?

MFA: I started by being a CISA (Centennial College International Student Ambassador) and that put me in contact with all the problems and all the leadership that Centennial has. From that to advocacy was just a small step.

MFA: We are moving into a self-advocacy model where we are still a point of contact for all of those, but we act more as a guide rather than a voice for them. Of course, there are places where we cannot bring 20,000 students, for example, college council, so I have to be their voice but in day-to-day issues like grade appeals, even in initiatives they can speak for themselves and we are there to support them.

MM: I got involved through volunteering at CCSAI and then when they (posted) the position one of the advocates told me I should apply. I didn’t get it on the first time, but I decided that I’d seen the job the advocates were doing and when I saw the position I decided to apply again.

WHAT INTERESTED YOU IN THE ADVOCATE POSITION? MM: I saw how the previous advocates were working on empowering students and giving the voice to them instead of making things for them… that was what told me I should be there trying to help bring the voice back to the students.

SERVICES

MATHEUS FERREIRA ANDRADE

FOR A GRADE APPEAL, WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DO YOU PROVIDE STUDENTS?

WHAT DOES BEING AN ADVOCATE ENTAIL? MFA: The main function of an advocate is to listen. You don’t have all the solutions or the context, but you have to always listen and try to understand. Whether it’s a problem, or an initiative, or a comment you have to always be looking through the perspective of the students.

MFA: We give them a summary of the process. Make sure they understand what are the grounds for the appeal, what’s the best way to contact their professors, we proofread their form and letter of explanation, and we can also be silent supporters for their meeting. The meetings are with the dean, the professor, and the student and sometimes because we have two people from the college the students can feel outnumbered. We are there just to support them; we aren’t there to speak for them but just to comfort them.

MM: We have been making classroom visits and speaking with the students. We have also been doing different activities such as the grade appeal clinics, talking to the students and explaining how they can work through the process by themselves without an advocate.

HAS IT BEEN A GOOD EXPERIENCE? MFA: Yes, it has been an amazing experience. I got in thinking that it would be more challenging than it is, and yes it is challenging, but the rewards have been worth it. MM: I think it’s going better. When I first started with the grade appeal forms they weren’t able to fill out the forms but when we made the clinics more students were able to fill the forms and follow the process by themselves. We were just there providing feedback.

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WHAT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE STUDENTS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ADVOCACY SERVICE?

DO YOU HAVE ANY ACHIEVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT?

MFA: I would like for the students to see all board members as advocates for them. As that support to give them their voice back, that’s what self-advocacy means. Even if we don’t have a position that is specifically “advocate” I would like them to know that we are all advocates.

MFA: More recently we have brought ecampus open educational resources week to Centennial and in March we are going to have an event hosted here at Centennial.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?

WHAT OTHER CHANGES DO YOU SEE AS BENEFICIAL TO THE ADVOCACY ROLE?

MFA: Another reminder that if these students want something, if they feel like they are not being heard or if they just want to see what we do, just got to an office, grab a card and get in contact with us. Our job is to listen to you.

MFA: I see a lot of initiatives that have been brought to the college have gained their own life and these students lead that. So not only are they able to speak for themselves when there are issues, but they are also able to speak for themselves when they want to change something. That’s great for us; because once they graduate they have their voice.

MM: It’s really important that the students know that we can help them – not only with grade appeals and complaints – but we can walk them through the process of social justice issues that they may find on campus. If there is something that they are passionate about and they think they can make a change, we as advocates are here to help them through that process. Not do it for them, but help them work through the right departments and offices so they know the process.

MM: We have been working to make our take our advocate services online. We are working right now so that students can use the form online and through that service we provide them with our feedback.

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International Student

Health Plan Mental Health Coverage

By: Zainab Chunawala

Insurance also covers mental health. Services through psychotherapists and psychologists up to $1000 can be claimed if used.

All registered international students at the College are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan offered through guard.me. This covers expenses that can be incurred from emergency medical services you need while you are studying in Canada and is valid anywhere in the world, except in your home country.

Keep.me safe (Through guard.me) is student support program that provides 24/7 confidential service with advisors who speak your language, understand your culture and are specifically equipped to dealing with the unique challenges that international students face. • You can connect using the My SSP App from Apple or Android store • Calling 1-844-451-9700 for students in Canada or US and 1-416-380-6578 for Study Abroad Students • Chatting with a professional online on the website

How can I get my policy number and health card? Four weeks after the semester begins, all international students receive a PDF of their unique Guard.me Card and policy information on their myCentennial email account. Marion Crawford, the Student Life Coordinator from International Student Services at the college explains the procedure, “Search for your policy information on your MyCentennial email with the term ‘Guard.me’ Once you get the policy number, create an account on the  guard.me website (with your MyCentennial email address as a username and temporary password within the same email) that has details about the plan, nearby medical clinics and option to submitting claims”

How and where do I use my Guard.me card? There are some walk-in clinics that will accept your policy information and you do not need to make any payment since the charges will be billed to Guard me directly. Apple Tree clinics is one such provider. You can visit the website www.guard.me to know which clinics around you have this option. To use this service, you will need to present photo identification, and your guard me card. It’s always a better idea to have money at your disposal, in case anything you need is not covered and requires payment.

What is covered in my insurance plan?

Crawford shares another tip to keep in mind, “Make sure to click a picture of your guard. me card. It’s also important to always have a print out of the card in your wallet since many clinics and hospitals require the hard copy.”

The benefits include 100% eligible charges for doctors’ visits, hospitalization and accidental injuries & emergencies. Prescription medications for up to a 30 days’ supply, and accidental eye and dental injuries up to $100 and $600 respectively. For a detailed benefits summary visit www.guard.me

Mobile Doctor

Pro Tip: You can call (905) 752-6200 / 1-888-756-8428 to find out exactly

Guard.Me also has another option where you can receive assistance. After you sign up on guard.me/mobiledoctor (you will need your policy number), you can describe your symptoms and a doctor will review the information within minutes. You can connect via text, audio and video chat to have your consultation. The doctors can diagnose and prescribe medication as necessary and advise on the next steps.

whether the service you will be taking is covered by the insurance or not. This is important since diagnostic tests, scans etc in Canada can go upwards of $500 + and it’s better to know if these can be claimed before making the out of pocket expense.

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A note of caution: Only limited illnesses can be recognized and treated through these services. It’s important to look at the complete list at https://bit.ly/2GiqCcw  Crawford elaborates on the best practice to follow when deciding what option to use. “The health system in Canada is different from other countries. If you have a medical condition which is minor in nature, consider the Mobile Doctor option which can be convenient. Triage to a walk in clinic if the condition you deem as emergent and ultimately an ER, or hospital.”

How do I make a claim? When you visit a health care provider that doesn’t have an option of direct billing to guard.me, you will be required to make a payment at the time. Make sure to ask for and keep all the receipts, proof of payment and notes, which you will need for submitting a claim. Any claims under $2500 can be made online, through your guard.me account that you set up. You will need your receipts and any medical records that the health care professional provides, and your policy number. For claims bigger than $2500, log in your account, select the mail-in option, and follow instructions. Any claims related queries can be addressed at  claims@guard.me

What happens when I graduate? After the academic year, the student Guard.me insurance is no longer valid. If you would like to continue with the plan, you can do so at a special price, if you choose to buy the extended health plan within 1 month of the last date on your current student insurance. (e.g. If your semester starts-1st September 2018, and your insurance expires on 31st August 2019, you can choose to extend the plan for another 6 months—until 28th February for a lump sum amount: around $360). All current students can also add a dependent (a spouse/child) to their plan through the guard.me website: www.guard.me/centennial The charges are $1.65 per day/per person. The inclusions and benefits differ with these options, its best to familiarize yourself with the policy before purchasing.

Options around campus that accept Guard.me health card: (make sure to call and check for their timings and days open)

Progress/Morningside:

Ashtonbee:

Story Arts Centre

One Care Medical Clinic 1755 Brimley Rd, Scarborough Phone: (416) 290-0361

Primacy - Golden Mile Walk-In Clinic 1880 Eglinton Ave E #152, Scarborough Phone: (416) 285-7575

Albany Medical Clinic 807 Broadview Ave, Toronto Phone: (416) 461-9471

Virtual Options If you are at the Progress campus and would like to see a doctor, Appletree clinics now have a tele-medical clinic at SSAS (right by the gym), where you can talk to a doctor. The timings of operation are 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. - Tuesdays to Fridays. 15

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HOW DID YOU ORIGINALLY GET INVOLVED WITH THE CLUB?

I came to international orientation and I met the liaison officer from CCSAI and she was indicating that we have a decent Caribbean community and there wasn’t any club of this nature. So she proposed it to me and I decided to do it.

winter boots, if you need them, how do you deal with the winter? Even simple things, it won’t just necessarily be about things on campus; how to get your registration done, how to get your SIN sorted out. Little things that we as students would have recognized the importance of having been here.

WHAT WAS THE PROCESS OF STARTING THE CLUB LIKE?

Right now we’re in the process of figuring out how we’re going to handle the succession. When we go to our next meeting that will be something that we discuss in terms of how we’re going to pass the baton on if we’re going to have elections. These are things that will go in our constitution. We’re trying to create those things that will make it easier for another executive to come in. I think the Caribbean population at Centennial is growing. We have lots of students at other campuses too and we hope to have meetings there this semester.

The process was pretty simple. Basically, we went to the open house and we got a lot of students. I actually didn’t know there were so many Caribbean students here until I went to the open house. Although I was told we had a decent size, I never really see them on campus. When we went to the open house we got upwards of 50 people indicating they were interested in becoming a part of the club. I was very surprised. Since we started it, I seem to be recognizing more and more Caribbean people that will be on the campus. I’ll approach them and a lot of them seem to be interested because we’re from the Caribbean so the culture is different, the environment is different. So they appreciate having a club of this nature so we can come together and it’s a community that we’ve formed. For people from the Caribbean community is a big thing.

WHAT TYPES OF PROGRAMMING HAVE YOU DONE SO FAR?

Island Vibes KASHMANE GOLDING President of CCSAI Island Vibes @ccsai_islandvibes

While it’s a Caribbean club, it is open to all people. If people want to know more about the Caribbean and our way of life they are free to join the club.

We’ve been a little slow of the bat because of our challenges with time, but we have a yoga session slated to happen the beginning of next month and we’re also working the CCSAI to collaborate on a Soca-robics session. So it would be incorporating Soca and aerobics. We also participated in the celebration of Black culture that was held by CCSAI and participated in Pride Week. Additionally, we are working on a club constitution. We haven’t formalized it yet, but we are working on a book of resources that everybody in the club can use. You know how in football you have a playbook? This would be something we pass onto the new executive and new members of the club and they keep compiling it. We are hoping to have a good plan of succession, so we pass it on to future people so the club will always continue. So when people come in we can say you’re new to Canada, you’re new to Centennial you need to ensure you have all this done. We want to make it easier for future students who come from the Caribbean who may not know how to access things or what they need to do. One of the greatest challenges students have when they come here from the Caribbean is the transition. You hear a lot about Canada but you don’t really know what to expect. So you come here and you don’t have someone to guide you, you can get lost in the system. You don’t know when’s the best place to buy

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS LOOKING TO START THEIR OWN CLUB?

You need to have an understanding of what it is the people you want to represent need from you. When we were doing the open house, one of the things when I was speaking to prospective members I was saying “tell me what you want from us,” because although we’re trying to create a community for you we want to ensure that we’re providing you with what you need. Every meeting we go to, we try to discuss the challenges that students are facing and what they want to do. One of the most important things, when you are creating a club, is ensuring that you are meeting a need.

WHAT HAS FINDING THIS COMMUNITY MEANT TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU SEE IT GROWING?

In the Caribbean community is a big thing. For example, you have children, we believe your community helps you to raise your children. Community is a major key to how we survive. I find that students gravitate towards that. When a new set of students came to campus in January I was in the bookstore and I heard some girls talking and they sounded Jamaican and I said that we had the club would they be interested in joining. They asked me nothing about the club they just said “yes yes yes” because I find that people want a space where you can associate with people who understand what you’re going through. The professors and students here are helpful, but they don’t understand it from your perspective, they don’t understand the adjustment. When you have a community who you can share that with they understand the struggles. I think it’s a selling point that this is what we focus on. It’s about relationship building and making sure everyone is ok. BY GEOFFREY MOSHER

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LEADERSHIP PASSPORT A TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP JOURNEY THROUGH THE CENTENNIAL COLLEGE SLOAN LEADERSHIP ACADEMY PASSPORT PROGRAM For students looking to get involved on campus, and gain some unique leadership experience, Centennial College’s Sloan Leadership Academy has programmed a truly Centennialized leadership curriculum for the LEADERSHIP PASSPORT. Although this framework has existed before, it has now been further developed and enhanced for students to build leadership capacities, catering to the changing world of work and our community, thereby better suiting the students’ personal and professional needs. All students have automatically been enrolled; they can simply login their ECentennial and see that the Leadership Passport Course Shell has already been assigned to them. Students simply have to participate in these modules to start their Leadership journeys. It’s divided into 3 different areas that students can discover.

1 / EXPLORATION​ 2 / TAKING ACTION 3 / LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGE Ella Bates, the Leadership specialist explains the process of participating in the program, “within each Journey, students complete milestones supported with resources and events to enhance the students’ existing knowledge and experiences. Each

journey can be completed separately or even just the ones the students are most interested in. For each completed journey, a separate certificate of completion is awarded.” CISA (Centennial International Student Ambassador Program) the student leadership conference, Leadership Speaker series, initiatives by SaGE & GCEI are some of the resources that students can engage with and are available every semester. Keeping an eye out on the “Experience Centennial” mobile app is the best way to remain in the loop for when these events are taking place and participating in them. These are completely free and optional activities & prove to have significant value for students. Unlike the previous format of the Leadership Passport, which had a checklist of actions and seminars to complete, the current programming has just these three modules (exploration, action, and leadership for change), which have a set of reflections or guiding questions that students can answer and earn each certificate. Ella elaborates about why it is a great idea for students to pursue this extracurricular credential. She says, “This is a great tool to enable you [students] to have your leadership capabilities, past experience and philosophies credited and proven with certification, a unique experience pioneered by the Sloan Leadership Academy.

Once you have completed all three journeys, you have the opportunity of completing a distinction reflective exercise to have the Distinction not only mentioned at convocation but detailed on your transcript!” It is advantageous to submit your reflections well before you graduate since that allows the College leadership team time to respond back to you with feedback, in case something may be missing that can come in the way of you receiving the distinction. Bridget Olagundoye, a first-year student, in the child and youth care program shares her experience about participating in the Leadership Passport. She says, “I have learned so much about myself while completing the Leadership Program, it was the Milestone of Leadership skills. While writing and answering the questions (reflections), it made me realize, I am not the only one facing challenges in public speaking. Now, I am aware of resources that will help me develop these skills.” Katherine Urueta, a student from the Business Foundation program says: “We find ourselves in a changing world, which requires us to develop the skills to meet challenges that arise in our daily lives. I decided to complete the Leadership Passport because I can empower and acquire new tools that will help me become an inspiring leader to guide positive changes in my community and transform lives.” BY RASHIDA POWANKUMAR AND ZAINAB CHUNAWALA

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finding your forever home By: Geoffrey Mosher What’s your experience been working What was that experience like? with the CCSAI? It was COCA (entertainment conference in New It started first with me getting involved. Getting to a How did you get to be on the board?

country with no family or friends and I was forced to get involved because I didn’t want to be alone. The CCSAI was a way to get involved, making friends and it’s now kind of like my forever home because of it. It has helped me to change how I am; being awkward and really introverted. It has helped me to be more comfortable interacting with people.

What made you pick Centennial? Centennial had the course that fit more into what I wanted to do and it was affordable. It just felt right when I sent in my application for Centennial.

There have been highs and lows but more highs than lows. It allows me to experience more of a country that I know nothing about and made me want to learn more about it. Interacting with mini-versions of myself from Jamaica when I see them at orientation and I can meet their families. Just giving them that reassurance that I wish I had when I just started at Centennial. That’s been a really cool experience for me to connect with students and help them to feel comfortable. Finding that forever home in Centennial and the CCSAI has been a huge deal for me. With conferences and stuff like that, getting the opportunity to come out of the province for the first time was really amazing.

Brunswick), it was a conference with events coordinators, engagement coordinators and club liaisons to help them and to give them ideas as to how to improve their program, what events. I got the opportunity to meet people from all across Canada. Experiencing a different part of Canada was really great.

Do you have any advice for international students looking to get involved? Talk to as many people as you possibly can and try not to be so introverted. Volunteering will change your life when it comes to having that student experience. Make use of that tuition that you have already paid. You want to use all the services that are available from the CCSAI with the lawyer service – which is amazing – First Impressions, all the services that can help you and make you not want to leave like me.

name: Randine Fogarthy Position: Clubs Liaison Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica

Being ok with opening up yourself and being comfortable with someone. Ask about scholarships and talk to departments because it will take you further than you think it would. Two years ago if someone told me I was going to get three scholarships and be on the board of directors and be in charge of the clubs I would have thought they’re lying because I wasn’t close to that two years ago.

Plans for the future? To be a community development worker in whatever facet that is. Mainly I want to focus on student engagement whether it be working the Student Life department at Centennial or another college. I realize through CCSAI that I thrive in that environment helping students and helping them to improve their college experience and their life. 18


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H oroscopes By Aaron Rothermund

Aries

Libra

ARIES (March 21 – April 20) The RAM of Mars is ambitious, enthusiastic, and full of energy. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Be willing to explore unfamiliar territory, and you’ll find a new path emerging.

LIBRA (Sept. 24 – Oct. 23) The SCALES of Venus are inquisitive, reflective, and fair. Fortify yourself, and keep healthy practices. If you keep to your goal your self-improvement efforts will pay off.

TAURUS (April 21 – May 21) The BULL of Venus is brooding, pushy, and confrontational. Make sure you stay grounded. You’re heading into an exciting period of your life, and it will require a calm mind and spirit.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24 – Nov. 22) The EAGLE of Pluto is strong-willed, confident, and rigid. Give yourself a chance to grow roots. Only when you lose yourself in the process will you be able to see things more clearly.

GEMINI (May 22 – June 21) The TWINS of Mercury are argumentative, progressive, and outgoing. Remember to speak from your heart. If there’s something on your mind take the time to understand how it makes you feel.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23 – Dec. 21) The ARCHER of Jupiter is courageous, bold, and sensitive. You have the kind of energy that creates superstars. Keep working hard, and allow your work to speak for itself.

CANCER (June 22 – July 23) The CRAB of the Moon is stubborn, prepared, and capable. Learn to delegate tasks to competent people. The professional side of you is shining, but you don’t have to do it all alone.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 – Jan. 20) The MOUNTAIN GOAT of Saturn is creative, compassionate, and caring. You may feel alone in the intense choices you are being forced to make, but you have resources that can help.

LEO (July 24 – Aug. 23) The LION of the Sun is brave, protective, and fierce. Consider relaxing your expectations. This time of year can leave you feeling weary, it’s time to give yourself more personal care.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 – Feb. 19) The WATER BEARER of Uranus is relaxed, giving, and poetic. Don’t push yourself too hard, your spirit needs time to unwind. Spend time with your friends and family to recharge.

VIRGO (Aug. 24 – Sept. 23) The GODDESS of Chiron is pure, ageless, and positive. Improve your ability to lead by example. Set a constant pace, and put your energy into helping others keep up with you.

PISCES (Feb. 20 – Mar. 20) The Dreamer of Neptune is flexible, fluid, and intuitive. This is the time to share your hopes and dreams with the world. You are about to get a boost of flowing creative energy.

Scorpio

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Profile for The Centennial College Courier

March 2019  

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