Issuu on Google+

The Dalhousie Student LIFE Experience Our Report to Dal Students 2011–2012

Office of the Vice-President Student Services

Sharing the Love of Dal Third-year student Meagan Ellacott is a Dalhousian through and through. She was drawn here by one of Dal’s unique programs — Business Management with a focus on Environment, Sustainability, and Society — and has been active in campus life since Day One. In her first year she was a first-year rep in Howe Hall. Last year she introduced incoming students to campus as an orientation leader, and then decided to share her love of Dal with prospective students and their families as a campus tour guide. “My greatest experience since arriving in Halifax was being an orientation leader. Just like being a tour guide, you’re impacting first-year students by showing them how amazing Dalhousie is. For four days you get to share your love of Dal with over 1,500 students.” “I first decided to become a campus tour guide after being an orientation leader in 2011. I wanted to be able to experience as much of Dal as I could in my four years here.” “When high school students visit Dal for a tour I tell them this school will let them be whatever they want to be. The options for degrees with double majors and minors are endless! There are over 250 student societies that anyone can join. Even the events that the University and Student Union organize are awesome.” “The best part about being a tour guide is the people I meet from all over North America, and even Africa and Europe. It’s really fulfilling to know you have an impact on their decision by showing them the daily life of a Dal student.” “Sharing your love for your university with prospective students is such a great feeling. Every day I remember why I chose Dal.” Interested in working as a campus tour guide? Check out for job postings.

DALHOUSIANS PARTNERING WITH DALHOUSIANS Dalhousie University is the only university in Canada that issues an annual report to students regarding the student life experience. We do this because we genuinely believe that campus life is a partnership between a university and its students. –Bonnie G. Neuman, Vice-President, Student Services While this report covers the 2011–12 academic year, it’s fitting to begin by highlighting a huge event that occurred on September 1, 2012. That’s when our Dalhousie community grew with the addition of about 1,000 students from Dalhousie’s new Faculty of Agriculture. Of course, our newest Dalhousians at the Truro/Bible Hill Agricultural Campus know they aren’t “new” at all — the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) has long been known for outstanding research faculty, a high-quality learning environment, and an intimate collegial community.

While NSAC students have been receiving their degrees under the Dalhousie University name and degree-granting authority since 1985, we all celebrate your new status as Faculty of Agriculture students within the Dalhousie family of academic programs. So, a big welcome to our new students and colleagues at the Agricultural Campus! Our new partnership makes us all stronger. Every year we welcome more international students to our campuses. Dalhousie is truly a national and international university, in the Top 3 in

Canada for the proportion of students from beyond provincial boundaries. You come from around the world — especially China, India, the Middle East, and the United States — as well as from other parts of Canada, particularly Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. Dal is ranked in the top 300 schools in the world, and our diverse student enrolment reflects and contributes to that quality. Across our three campuses in Halifax, our Yarmouth Nursing Campus, our extensive online community, and the Agricultural Campus in Truro, Dalhousians are inspired to partner in learning and constantly improving the campus life experience. Our goal at Dalhousie is to provide the best student experience in Canada. That starts with the core reason you’re here — your academic program — and encompasses all the other aspects of your life while you study at Dal, inside the classroom and out. That’s where your own choices come into play in our partnership with you. Last year we introduced the

INSIDE The Dalhousian Way: Smart Students Making a Difference


Enhancing Your Campus Environment 6 Celebrating Dalhousians: Student Leadership


Helping Dalhousians Succeed


Your Learning Connections


Your Community Connections


Your Wellness Connections


Your Leadership and Career Connections


Partnerships for Positive Change


The Dal Experience: At Home and Abroad


Looking to Our Future


growing our future: Student Kevin Morin tends to the chef’s garden at Dal’s new Agricultural Campus in Truro.

87% 2009 85% “I2006 am satisfied with my decision to attend this university”


2012 2009 2006 81%



85% 84% 83%

Source: Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC), Graduating Students Surveys, 2006, 2009, 2012


new Dal CCR, a co-curricular record to complement your academic transcript and certify how you help make a difference at Dalhousie. Whether it’s campus employment, residence leadership, participation in competitive or recreational sport, community volunteer work, or any of a number of other ways to make a difference, how you choose to spend your time and energy is what really creates your Dal experience. You’ll find the opportunities here to build your future success, in whatever way you choose to define it. Partners don’t always agree on everything which is why partnership agreements exist. Last year the University Board of Governors adopted a fees consultation process recommended by the Dalhousie Student Union, used for the first time last March. Students who participated asked for improvement, with a facilitator to present the information, more time for feedback, and at least two opportunities for input. Vice-President, Academic Carolyn Watters agrees, so Dalhousie students can look forward to an earlier and longer consultation process starting this year. We’re looking at additional solutions as well, since decreasing government funding and rising costs will present financial challenges as we maintain academic quality. Our surveys indicate that half of Dal’s students graduate with student debt. So this year we’re also reviewing our student financial assistance programs, and will start rebalancing in 2013–14 to make financial need, not just academic marks, a stronger factor in our financial-aid programs. We can’t give you the best university experience in Canada without every one of you helping in at least one way. You’re the ones who define “best university experience.” From time to time you’ll hear from us, asking you to complete surveys about various aspects of your experience here, your choices, and your interests. Please take a few minutes to respond. Our president, Board and Senate members, deans, 2  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience




vice-presidents, faculty, and staff all need to know about your experience as a Dal student and hear your thoughts on how to improve. We pay attention to what you tell us, so please fill out those surveys! The partnerships at Dalhousie create a constantly improving campus life experience. From student society leaders to staff in our Facilities





and IT departments, from Student Services staff to Student Union leaders, from student tour guides to University librarians, from our professors to the Rams and Tigers coaches in Truro and Halifax, from alumni to our new first-year class — we all share big pride in our great school and a huge commitment to the success of our students.

The Dalhousian Way:

Smart students making a difference Your Dal experience is about more than just the incredible learning that occurs through your classes, assignments, labs, and group projects. It’s also about your life outside the classroom: your friendships; your participation in campus-life traditions, clubs and societies, and campus events; and your connection to both the Dal and Halifax communities. It’s when you take full advantage of all the opportunities available that you really experience university life. One of our goals in Student Services is to increase campus spirit by helping you build new traditions and by providing excellent service that reflects Dal’s values.

Eyes of the Tiger

Last year, student volunteers logged over 2,000 hours with the International Centre. Their tireless commitment illustrates the enthusiasm and spirit of the international community at Dalhousie. One of these students, Yuxin (Percy) Chen, spent the past year experiencing Dal through the eyes of the Tiger mascot costume. When Percy left his home in Beijing, China five years ago to pursue an undergrad degree in London, Ont., he had all the same worries as Canadian students. But he also had to overcome language barriers and acclimatize to the customs and culture of his adopted home. By the time he came to Halifax to begin his Master’s degree in Economics, Percy had gained confidence in his experiences as an international student in Canada, making him an ideal ambassador for the International Centre at Dal. He leapt at the chance to be the Dalhousie Tiger mascot, recognizing it as a chance to provide a good icebreaker for students to interact as they arrived in Canada for the first time — an experience he had gone through only five years before. Percy donned the Tiger suit during the International Student Orientation, and made a great impression at the airport when he greeted new international students as they made their way through the arrivals area. He also wore the suit during the annual International Gala, a festive dinner in the fall for international and exchange students. He says he’s hard-pressed to pick a favourite moment as the Dal Tiger, rather he’s enjoyed every moment in the suit because he loves to make his fellow students smile. He also appreciated the chance to experience something totally new to him, and hopes it encourages other students to make the most of their time at Dalhousie by never being afraid to try new things. Sure, the Tiger suit can get sweaty, smelly, and hot, but Percy wouldn’t trade his experience for anything. “Everyone’s always happy to see the Tiger,” he says. Would you like to join the Tiger Mascot roster? Contact


of surveyed first-year students in 2010 were satisfied with their decision to attend Dal.

Source: Canadian University Survey Consortium (CUSC) First-Year Students Survey, 2010 The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  3

A Tasty Welcome When you become a member of the Dal family, it’s not just while you’re in school — you’re a member for life. In 2006, we added the annual Induction Ceremony during Orientation Week. It’s the official welcome for new students, held in the Dalhousie Arts Centre, and bookends the Convocation ceremonies you experience when you graduate. Students at last year’s ceremony got a new treat to help celebrate after all the speeches: an ice cream social hosted by the Dal Alumni Association and Student Services, with senior administration staff and volunteers serving up tiger paw ice cream. It went quite nicely with the black and gold Dal scarves they also received!


of surveyed students were satisfied with the opportunity to develop lasting friendships at Dal.

on Thursday, October 20 with the Annual Dinner as well as a concert by Canadian indie band Elliot Brood at the Grawood. On Friday there was an Oktoberfeststyle celebration during the day, followed by Dal vs SMU soccer matches by both the men’s and women’s teams on Wickwire Field. On Saturday, Dal did its own Maritime twist on classic tailgate parties with the Lobster Tailgate, before cheering on the Tigers Football Club to a 27–7 win over the UNB Fredericton Red Bombers. Each faculty also planned its own events, from the Faculty of Management’s Amazing Race-style “Zero Footprint” competition, to an urban design charette by the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, to the popular Dentistry pumpkin-carving contest.


of surveyed students would recommend Dal to others.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

In 2011, Dalhousie participated as a gold sponsor in Halifax’s first-ever Light the Night, and the University picked the event as its charity of choice for Homecoming weekend. Each Light the Night campaign has a survivor or patient who acts as a spokesperson, and Halifax’s honoured patient was Dal alumnus Ryan Joudrey. Fellow alum and Dalhousie staff member Leslie Crowell was the Corporate Walk Chair for the event. The event took participants on a 5-km walk from the Halifax Commons, around the downtown area, and through the Dalhousie campus. Dal was one of 50 teams with a total of over 400 walkers that took part, and fantastically showed off Dal’s school spirit and commitment to the community.


of surveyed students said Dal met or exceeded their expectations.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Light the Night Welcome Back Homecoming at Dal took a long hiatus after 1995, until its successful rejuvenation in 2010. Last year it got even bigger with activities spread over three days all around campus. Homecoming weekend kicked off 4  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

Last year’s Homecoming celebrations coincided with a great charitable event for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. The Light the Night fundraiser began in the United States in 1999 and held its first Canadian event in 2005.

Making Connections If you want to be inspired, you’d be wise to check out some TED talks online. The celebrated speaker series that brings together fascinating people from all walks of life has spread around the world. It has also spawned an

Info in real time: Student, staff, and faculty volunteers help new Dalhousians around campus during the annual Ask Me! campaign.

offshoot called TEDx that takes the concept to the local level. In March, Dal students organized our very own TEDx Halifax event to inspire the Dal community. Held in the McInnes Room, the event featured a wide variety of speakers, ranging from Dalhousie microbiologist Patrick Lee talking about using viruses as anti-cancer agents, to the founder of local café, Two If By Sea, analyzing the amount of connection you may have to a certain cup of coffee. But most impressive was the student content in the event. From powerful speeches to comedic bits and musical interludes, Dal students showed off their incredible talents throughout the day. Student speakers included Tim Disher, the founder of Dal Unplug, and Sagar Jha doing some incredible slam poetry. George Woodhouse and Uytae Lee led the audience in a fun guitar and ukele singalong about the connections in life. “When you book these big names for talks, they always deliver great material, but you expect it, you know they’re great,” says new DSU president Jamie Arron, who co-hosted the event. “We had the idea of getting students, even first-year students, to speak because then you get to see real passion and real inspiration. They have something to prove.” If you didn’t see it in person, look for TEDx Halifax uploads on YouTube.

Strength in numbers: Dal had a great turnout for Halifax’s first Light the Night event.

The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  5


CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT We’re constantly investing in your residences, classrooms, and extracurricular spaces, whether it’s through improvements that you don’t even see happening, or through the construction of entirely new spaces. And the next few years will see a building boom on campus, thanks to the Bold Ambitions fundraising campaign (see page 24). Changing Space

LeMarchant Mixed-Use Building

The Killam Atrium has changed a lot over the years. Did you know the space originally wasn’t an enclosed atrium at all? And it didn’t have any food services or other amenities? True story. Since the roof was installed in 1996, the Atrium has been a popular spot to grab a bite, meet up with friends, and do a little work. And thanks to your input, this summer’s renovations will make it more functional and comfortable for everyone who uses this great space.

More students at Dal means we need more space. So last winter construction began across from Risley Hall on the new LeMarchant Mixed-Use Building. When it opens in September 2014, it will house over 300 students in a new residence spread over the top five floors. Various student services will set up office space on the bottom two floors: Black Student Advising Centre, International Centre, Recruitment and Enrolment Centre, Health Services, and Counselling Services. Student services where students live — it just makes sense!

Did you know? You may pay little notice to the work going on around you, but Dalhousie spends a lot of time and money every year keeping our buildings up to snuff — everything from painting walls and replacing windows, to major stonework and conversions to make our campus more energy efficient. Would it surprise you that we spent just under $5 million on our existing residences alone in 2011–12?


of surveyed Dal students used on-campus Wi-Fi.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

The look of tomorrow: The LeMarchant Mixed-Use Building is set to open in September 2014.

Oceans Excellence Centre Dalhousie already has a fantastic reputation for its science programs, especially those that focus on the ocean. When the $30-million Oceans Excellence Centre opens beside the LSC in January 2013, that reputation will skyrocket. The 68,000-square-foot building will feature four floors of labs and offices, new water tanks to expand the capacity of the Aquatron facility, and a unique container bay that will hold several portable labs constructed from standard 20-foot shipping containers. This will allow Dal researchers and graduate students to work in the same labs out at sea as they do when they’re on shore.

meal. This past year two new options opened in the heart of the Studley campus. A Subway outlet opened in the Killam Atrium and, judging by the lines, proved to be a popular choice. Right across the road, parked on the other side of University Ave. in front of Studley Gym, is Dal’s entry in the food truck craze. Opened in October by Food Services, My Three Cousins features Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese dishes. One of the most popular items so far is the Greek fries topped with lemon, feta, garlic sauce, spices, and Tzatziki sauce for dipping.

Coming Soon to Dal New Food Offerings Dal has a plethora of places to eat on campus, whether you want a quick coffee and muffin or a full

In the next few years watch for new projects: new Learning Commons in the LSC, new Fitness Centre, new Ice Arena. Planning has started

on two new academic buildings as well: an Interprofessional Health Building on the Carleton campus, and the IDEAS Building at Sexton. And, of course, the biggest addition of all is already built, as Dalhousie welcomes a new campus in Truro/Bible Hill for the new Faculty of Agriculture. We’re excited about our new student, faculty, and staff colleagues from the former Nova Scotia Agricultural College contributing to the Dalhousie experience!


of surveyed Dal students were satisfied with the University’s library facilities.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Your space, your ideas: Facilities Management invited students to help choose new fabrics and seating options for the Killam Atrium’s renovation.

The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  7


STUDENT LEADERSHIP Dal students have a long and proud history of combining their academic excellence with service to the University and the larger community. In 2007, the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) created its annual Leadership Symposium for student society leaders. In 2010, the popular Brains for Change Conference (B4C) was started. This fall will see the launch of the East Coast Student Leadership Conference, which will bring student leaders from across Atlantic Canada to Dal. But student leadership isn’t confined to conferences — it happens every day on each of our campuses.

Having an Impact! “University is about the entire experience, from classroom to community,” says Taylor Quinn. “It’s not just purely academic.” It’s that attitude that led the International Development Studies student to being named one of Dal’s Rising Stars at the inaugural Student Impact Awards, a cooperative effort between the Dalhousie Student Union and the University’s Student Services department. A reimagining of the DSU’s annual Student Appreciation Night, the Student Impact Awards combined existing awards and ceremonies, including the Board of Governors Awards, with newly created prizes. In total, there were 86 awards handed out at the March 27, 2012 ceremony. Award categories for students and student groups included academic life, student life and community service, and residence life, with a focus on leadership, entrepreneurship, athletic and academic achievement, and community engagement. The Rising Star Awards acknowledge significant contributions by first-year students to the DSU, campus life, the greater community of Halifax, and beyond. “The Rising Star winners are some incredible first-years,” says DSU president Jamie Arron. “These are people who are likely to be familiar faces around campus in the years to come.” Taylor’s accomplishments included the founding of charitable initiatives, organizing events, holding positions on student societies, and refereeing intramural sports. “Dal is the perfect size,” he says. “It’s small enough that you feel you’re not just a number among the thousands, but a valued member of the community. At the same time 8  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

it’s big enough that you have every opportunity you could ever ask for.” Rising Star winner Kyle Warkentin believes Dal shapes those who will one day shape the world. Over the past year he has enlisted his fellow Nursing students to assist him in shipping 60,000 pairs of shoes to African countries and Haiti. “Dal is an amazing school,” he says. “I’m constantly supported by the faculty and students. It really is an amazing place to grow and develop. Who knows where the world will take me, and it all started here.” In addition to his philanthropy, Kyle started the Dalhousie Alzheimer’s Education Society and presented at national and international conferences on its behalf. Helping others is high on his priority list. “If everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place,” he says. “But the truth is that’s not the case. So I push myself to be the best I can be, because I want great things for the world and I want to inspire others along the way.” Taylor lives by a similar philosophy. “What it all comes down to is: what do you want to be remembered for? What’s your legacy? Once I really thought about those questions and realized how much my volunteering and working abroad brought me joy, I knew I’d found a passion that would consume me for the rest of my life.”

Impact Awards by the Numbers

86 awards More than 200 nominations Over 350 attendees Winners came from: 10 faculties, 8 countries, 7 provinces.

making it feel like home: There were 19 winners of the Residence Life Leader Awards at the inaugural Student Impact Awards.

Did you know? Impact Awards tickets for students were all sponsored by their deans, university administration, and other fans of our student leaders. After the event, photos of each winner were mailed to their parents or other family members as a thank-you for playing such an important part in their success.

Words of wisdom: Former Olympic paddler and current tech CEO Julia Rivard inspired students at the Women in Leadership Dinner.

Dinner of Champions Student-athlete profile: Daniel You Science student/volleyball player Varsity Council co-president (2011–12) Community volunteer (League of Volunteers Extraordinaire, SOS Dalhousie, IWK Health Centre) CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadian AUS James Bayer Memorial Scholarship winner AUS Student-Athlete Community Service Award Dalhousie President’s Award (2011–12) 4.25 GPA

The second annual Women in Leadership Dinner built upon the success of the 2010 event with a sold-out crowd of 192 in December. The fundraising event for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams featured a panel discussion with two Dal alumni who have excelled as community leaders thanks in part to their participation in athletics. Julia Rivard is a former Olympic paddler and is currently a force in the world of cloud computing as CEO of; Dr. Cathy J. Campbell is a former Tiger (field hockey and track and field) who has enjoyed a successful career as a doctor and sports medicine expert. The night inspired the students at the dinner and raised nearly $12,000 for the women’s basketball and volleyball teams.

Come Together for a Cause Our Dalhousie Tigers teams were aiming for more than championship banners in 2011–12 (and they got plenty of those as well). They joined forces to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Atlantic (CBCF) and Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) by soliciting donations and selling CBCF and PCC Tigers T-shirts and other gear at selected Tigers events. By the end of the season the Tigers and their fans raised over $6,500!

Leaders on and off the Field

Superwomen: The women’s soccer team had an incredible 15 members named as Academic All-Canadians.

At the annual Dalhousie Academic All-Canadian Luncheon in November, Dalhousie celebrated and congratulated a record number of Tigers athletes who earned the distinction of being named Academic AllCanadians. The 96 student-athletes represented all 14 varsity teams and nearly every Dal faculty. Science led the faculties with 37 Academic All-Canadians. The women’s soccer team was the most represented of all teams with an incredible 15 members honoured!

We are the champions! To earn Academic All-Canadian status, CIS student-athletes must maintain a 3.45 GPA or higher. Since 1996–97 Dalhousie has been represented 10 times on the national stage with a Tigers studentathlete as one of the country’s Top 8 Academic All-Canadians.

Canadian Engineering Competition After years of competing, a group of students from the Faculty of Engineering brought home the gold medal from the Canadian Engineering Competition in March. With a second-place finish in the Atlantic Engineering Competition in Halifax, the senior design team of Nick Drover, Ryan Robertson, Brandon Haws, and Blair Douglas traveled to Vancouver to compete against seven other universities. Given no budget by the competition, they needed to build a robot in eight hours that would repair modules on a mockup of B.C.’s Sea to Sky Highway. Not only was the team’s robot the second-cheapest one built, it was the only one that could actually lift the modules. For the win they received a plaque, $5,000, and some great recognition for Dal’s Faculty of Engineering.

Dal App Challenge

Dalhousians at the Olympics There were five athletes with strong Dalhousie ties competing at the Summer Olympic Games in London this summer — everyone from an incoming student to alumni. Congratulations to you all and thank you for showing the world Dal’s fighting spirit! • • • • •

Mark DeJonge (alumnus): K1 single kayak, 200m (Bronze Medal) Danielle Dube (alumna): sailing, laser radial (27th overall) Geoff Harris (alumnus): athletics, 800m, (7th in semifinal) Jason McCoombs (1st year): C1 single canoe, 200m (5th in B final) David Sharpe (4th year): swimming, 200m butterfly (31st overall)

What would you want to do with any spare time you have in the month leading up to final exams? Sleep? Study? Go out with friends? Nine student teams from three faculties at Dal decided they’d rather spend a month creating mobile apps — and hopefully win a piece of $1,500 in prizes. On March 28, the teams gathered in the Goldberg Computer Science Building for the first annual Dal App Challenge. After spending the month developing and building their apps, they had five minutes to pitch them to judges Ken Burt, vicepresident finance and administration, and Carolyn Watters, vice-president academic and provost. The first-place winner, Computer Science student Nathan Lapierre, won $750 for his app that helps students find books and articles (down to the exact stack locations) at all of Dalhousie’s libraries. Computer Science students Mark Lewicki and Stu Penner $500 for their second-place Dal Online app, designed to enhance current Dal Online class scheduling using automated features and GPS capabilities. The People’s Choice winner, voted on by faculty, staff, and students at the event, was Mobile App for Dalplex Users, by Mohamad Saliman, Tomasz Niewlarowski, Xiaoyu Yu, and Marek Lipzac. The judges also gave an honourable mention prize of $250 to Computer Science student Connor Bell’s “Dalpha,” designed to support an interactive, social network for note sharing and chatting among peers in the same faculty or class.

AUS Championships Women’s Cross Country Women’s Soccer Men’s Swimming Women’s Swimming Men’s Track and Field Women’s Track and Field Men’s Volleyball

CIS Medalists Swimming: Chris Reith (silver: 1500m freestyle) David Sharpe (gold: 200m butterfly; bronze: 50m backstroke, 100m butterfly) Track and Field: Seth London (bronze: weight throw) Robert McCulloch (bronze: pentathlon, high jump) Simon Watts (gold: triple jump)

Sport Clubs Highlights Cricket (inaugural Atlantic Inter-University Cricket Tournament champions) Men’s Lacrosse (Maritime University Field Lacrosse League champions) Men’s Rugby Division 1 (Rugby Nova Scotia University League champions) Sailing (took part in the 2011 Student Yachting World Cup in France)

Participation in student clubs and organizations by Dal students has increased by over 78% since 2003. Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Leaders of the pack: Half of all Dal Tigers teams won their AUS title in 2011–12.


DALHOUSIANS SUCCEED In Student Services we take a holistic approach to enhancing your overall university experience. It embodies all of Dalhousie’s values, including personal growth and achievement, meaningful contribution, community building, and exemplary leadership. This is why we developed the Student Engagement Model for engaging you across four dimensions of your university lives: Learning Connections, Community Learning Connections Connections, Wellness Connections, and Leadership and Career Connections. Wellness Connections

“A learning disabilities advisor helped me to choose my double major and helped me to see what the best fits were in order to succeed academically. Since university is a bit of a challenge for me, they have really helped me reach beyond anything that I could have hoped to achieve.”

DALHOUSIE STUDENTS Leadership & Career Connections

Stude nt Service Deliver y Enrolment M nagement a Student Engagement Vision

Community Connections


Learning Connections The Start of a Beautiful Partnership With a growing number of students submitting accommodation requests, we found we weren’t able to deliver the level of service we wanted to. And if we’re going to do something, we want to do it right. So after holding a series of focus groups and conducting surveys, we merged the Academic Advising unit and the Student Accommodation unit into the Advising & Access Services Centre. With a larger staff we’ve streamlined our services. Now you only need to make one appointment to create your academic and accommodation plans.

“My Black Student Advisor has helped me handle some academic challenges. She has never let me down and has gone beyond the call of duty. Despite the fact that she felt unwell, she accompanied me to a meeting with university officials about a field education requirement for my program. Acting as a liaison and spokesperson, she diplomatically expressed my worries to program officials. Needless to say, by the end of that meeting my anxiety subsided and I walked away hopeful that things would work out. And they did, because with her help I was able to secure my dream field placement.”

Crunch Time No matter how hard you try to stay on top of your school work, sometimes you end up scrambling to study or complete assignments at the last minute. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. That’s why the Student Academic Success Services units participated in the first annual “KillamKram” in March 2012. In partnership with the Killam Library staff, SASS staff members were on hand to offer assistance in study skills, writing support, accommodation, and general advising. The Bissett Centre for Academic Success was open for students looking for one-on-one support, refreshments were

served, and there were even free mini-massages to help relieve the stress!

Exploring Options The annual Academic Program Fair attracted 676 students on a wintry day in January. The Fair is an opportunity for you to explore the diverse majors and programs at Dal, find out about program requirements, and connect with advisors. Students who attended the fair told us: • 95% would likely make an appointment with an advisor after attending the fair • 99% were more clear about their program options after attending

student satisfaction


were very satisfied or satisfied with their Academic Advising experience.


reported Academic Advising had a positive impact on their success at Dalhousie.

Black Student Advising Centre

Dalhousie continues to improve: Percentage of Students Who Are Verystudents’ Satisfied orsatisfaction Satisfied With Their University’s Concern for Them As Individuals with their university’s concern for them as individuals 100






Dalhousie Peers1

43 45













55 55 54

2012 2004


Peers: A sub segment of our U15 peers — a . data exchange consortium consisting of Canada’s top 15 research intensive, medical/doctoral level schools. Dal is a member of the U15.

61 66 64














62 72
















Source: CUSC Graduating, First-Year, and Undergraduate Students Surveys, 2003-12

Source: CUSC, Graduating, First-Year and Undergraduate Students Surveys, 2003-2012

When the Black Student Advising Centre (BSAC) was established in 1989, it was the first of its kind in Canada. It has become more than just a resource on campus, it’s now known as an integral part of the broader community. It’s also being emulated by other universities. While it offers its own advising services and programs, BSAC staff also collaborate with other units to provide services to students. Partnerships with the Writing Centre and Studying for Success resulted in a 50% increase in students using BSAC’s in-house writing and study skills program this year.


of surveyed Dal students said they used study skills/learning support services, compared to 27% in 2003.


of surveyed students were satisfied with the overall quality of education at Dal.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012 The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  13


Community Connections Living in residence is a fantastic part of the university experience. Not only is it convenient (never having to do the dishes), it also allows you to build a network of friends and peers who support you throughout your entire university career, and allows you to easily become active in the Dal community. Living on campus also offers many leadership opportunities, such as working as a Residence Assistant (RA) or serving on a Residence Council. At Dal, every first-year student is guaranteed a spot in one of our eight residence communities. Over 2,000 new and returning students choose to live on both Sexton and Studley campuses. Another 270 students live in residence at the Agricultural Campus.

Cents of Community Building community is a big part of what the Dal Residence Life team does on a day-to-day basis. Launched in January 2012, the Residence Cents of Community program financially supports studentdriven, community-wide residence events. According to Residence Education Coordinator Melissa MacKay, students received a total of $3,000 in grants to support projects that build a sense of community in their residences. “We wanted to give residents a chance to increase their voice in the community, offer leadership development opportunities, and empower students to define their Dalhousie residence experience,” she says. “After all, a residence is a student’s home.” A committee of students and staff selected eight programs for support: Polly’s Cove Adventure Hiking; Hatfield Farms Trip; Tea Time/Reading Club in the Victorian Lounge; Mini Rez Backyard Carnival; Eco-Cooking Workshop Series; Lunchtime Running Club; Monty Python Improv Circuit; and All-Nighter to benefit Latin America.

Living Learning Communities


ts of community/ residence programming photos here.

Living Learning Communities (also known as clusters) allow students to surround themselves with like-minded people in their residences. Whether you’re a business student, an international student, or concerned about sustainability, a cluster connects residents with peers who share similar interests and passions. Cluster Leaders plan events, offer academic and personal support, and help residents grow. There are two streams of clusters at Dal: academic and themed. Academic clusters house residents based on what Arts and Social Sciences, Business, or Science program they’re enrolled in. This year we also created the Engineering cluster on Sexton campus so Engineering students could be closer to their profs and classes. The Engineering cluster was such a success, that many second-year students have decided to come back and live there again! Themed clusters connect residents with other students who share similar interests and passions. The Environmental Cluster at Howe Hall’s Studley House brings together students who want to explore environmental issues through various programs and events. The International Cluster in the Annex at Shirreff Hall is open to all students who have an interest in many cultures and customs.

Residence Programming Residence leaders (including RAs and house councils) collaborate to create an inclusive community so residents can both live and learn. Every year Residence Life staff work to deliver educational, safe, needs-based programming to students. In 2012, RAs and Cluster Leaders ran over 940 programs for residents. These included trivia nights, dance-offs, and Valentine’s Day candy-grams. Residence council leaders organized many events as well, including fundraisers for the annual IWK charity competition, tours of Halifax, and Dal-O-Ween (the largest Halloween Dance Party in Halifax!).


of surveyed Dal students were satisfied with the University’s residences.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Dal Students Give Back in a Big Way Since 2006, Dalhousie residences have raised over $100,000 for the IWK Health Centre. In 2012 they smashed the previous annual record by $14,000, raising $34,000. Two highlights of the Residence charity competition are always the Soccer Kick-Off in the fall and the Hockey Face-Off in the winter. This year the Trojans (representing Howe Hall, Gerard Hall, and O’Brien Hall) went two for two, defeating the Big Horns (Risley Hall, Shirreff, Mini Rez, and Eliza Ritchie Hall) 2-1 in the Kick-Off and 6-2 in the Face-Off. Though the rivalry is fierce, for residents it’s the charity that’s important.

Creating New Communities In 2012 the two non-traditional residence houses on Henry and Seymour Streets were incorporated into the Mini-Residence community — a logical step since they’re located directly adjacent to Mini Rez and share the beautiful courtyard. This change meant that these houses now operate like a traditional residence, with RAs to provide student support and programming, and an active Mini Rez Residence Council. The change was a great success and the five houses (about 70 students) of Mini Rez are now a thriving, active and tight-knit community.

Finding Community in Student Societies Would you like to see your student group’s achievements highlighted here next September? Send details, pictures, and invitations for your events to

James R. Johnston Chair In 2011 Dalhousie welcomed a new James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies, Dr. Afua Cooper. A group of people from all walks of life got together to establish the position originally — academics, business people, intellectuals, and stay-at-home parents — so it only makes sense that Dr. Cooper’s role, apart from researching Black Canadian history, is to act as a bridge between the black community and the University. One of her goals is to create an online version of all digital formats of Black Canadian history. Dr. Cooper wasted little time putting her stamp on the Chair. She spent the first months on campus meeting with various black Nova Scotian community leaders. In November, she started the Distinguished Lecture Series — a fantastic ongoing event for both Dal students and the larger community. The first

lecture featured noted Halifax lawyer and human rights activist, Burnley “Rocky” Jones, who also happens to be a Dal alumnus. “The lecture series was established to bring together Dal and the community to investigate some topics in black Canadian studies,” says Dr. Cooper. “Through our work, we hope to make black Canadian studies visible in our community in a very real way, and hopefully these lectures can help with that.” In July 2012, Dr. Cooper hosted a group of students from Georgia’s Savannah State University who made the trek to Halifax to learn about the histories of Nova Scotian black communities — histories that aren’t well known in the U.S. It was a fantastic opportunity for the students who visited, and a great way for Dalhousie to help spread the stories of Black Canadian history.

Enriching the student experience: Dr. Afua Cooper’s work as the new James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies will benefit the entire Dal community.


Wellness Connections Healthy State of Mind University can be mentally tough. The pressure of school work, paying for education, and living on your own can take a toll. That’s why we have the Counselling and Psychological Services Centre. Whether dealing with personal issues or challenges arising from the pressures of university, Dal students see the Centre as an incredible mental health resource on campus. In 2011–12, a record 2,158 different students went to the Centre for counselling — an 8% increase over the previous year — with 962 brief initial consultations for students looking for counselling for the first time.

Counselling Centre by the numbers 6,016 individual counselling sessions 615 group program or workshop session participants 99% rated counselling helpful, with 85% finding it very or extremely helpful. 91% indicated their problems had been negatively affecting them academically, but 93% found that counselling was beneficial or very beneficial to their academic success. 39% of clients had considered dropping out of university, but 69% of those indicated that counselling had made this less likely.

Use of student services keeps going up Academic Advising

Academic Advising appointments (including in-person appointments, drop-ins, emails)


Since 2006–07 4,290





2009–10 2010–11

Students who came to the Centre for individual or group counselling sessions






Counselling Services











2010–11 2011–12



Student Accommodations

Total exam accommodations given




1,900 1,782











2006–07 1051

Writing Centre

In-person student appointments with a writing advisor

2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12

2,858 3,723




7,254 8,698

Source: Dalhousie Student Services, 2011–12

16  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

Making it Easier to Live Well Every full-time Dal student has access to the University’s athletics and recreation facilities, including the track, pool, and weight rooms at Dalplex. In the past, anyone wanting to use the cardio equipment had to pay an additional fee. It wasn’t a popular policy with you, so we decided to do something about it. Starting in September, all full-time students can now access over 30 hours per week in the Cardio Plus Centre at Dalplex without an additional fee. Student memberships can be upgraded to unlimited cardio access for just $49 per academic term. You asked, we listened. For student cardio hours, visit


of surveyed Dal students used the University’s athletic and recreation facilities.

Source: CUSC Graduating Students Survey, 2012

Plenty of sporting chances Even if you weren’t looking to don a Dal Tigers uniform, there were still plenty of options for those of you who wanted to join a team in 2011–12: Intramurals

Sports Clubs

486 team and individual registrations

Approximately 3,200 participants

Students participated about 15,200 times

• • •

20 recreational clubs 8 competitive clubs Approximately 1,100 participants

52% interfaculty teams

30% independent teams

18% residence teams

37 leagues

6 mini leagues

Check out to get the scoop on how to sign up for intramurals or join a sports club.

5 tournaments

The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  17


leadership and career Connections Campus life at Dalhousie provides you with limitless opportunities to explore possibilities, try new activities, and work with others to make a difference in the community. With every choice you make, you learn more about yourself, the world around you, and your personal value system. Ultimately you become the person your choices and actions reflect. It’s all about inspiring minds. So who will you become at Dal? And where do you think it can take you?

Getting Students on Record

Pamela Agada is pretty busy pursuing a double major in Psychology and International Development Studies. The degree will look great on her resume but, thanks to the new Dalhousie Student Co-Curricular Record (CCR), so will her out-ofclassroom experience — including acting as vice-president of the Dalhousie African Students Association, a mentor in the school’s Black Student Advising Centre, and a member of the Dalhousie Equestrian Society. “The CCR is a good program and a great incentive to get students involved on and off campus,” says Pamela, the 2012 winner of the International Student of the Year Award. “I feel like future employers will recognize a student’s strengths by the level of dedication and passion they show in being actively involved.” Officially launched in February 2012, the CCR is an official university-validated document listing a student’s school-related activities outside the classroom, meaning no longer will varsity sports, campus societies, or volunteer activities be relegated solely to the “interests” section of a student’s resume. “It will benefit students beyond their degree,” says Chris Glover, manager of the CCR at Dal’s Student Careers and Leadership Development office. “By documenting and verifying their nonacademic accomplishments, students will be able to demonstrate, alongside their academic transcript, resume, and portfolio, all of their other achievements during their time at Dal.” The CCR organizes students’ achievements into five categories: student-held leadership positions; campus and community engagement; 18  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

Making her mark: Nigerian native Pamela Agada has compiled an impressive Co-Curricular Record during her time at Dal.

course-related service or experiential learning; training and development; and awards and recognition. It also acknowledges certain off-campus activities such as study-abroad opportunities and participation in conferences. “It’s a way for the University to say to its students, ‘We appreciate what you’re doing outside of the classroom,’” says Chris. “It’s important for students to make a connection to the campus and the community, because once that happens, they feel like they’re more of a part of this place, and they become more invested in their success and the success of the people around them.” “I think it’s a great idea,” says Nursing student Caitlin Mason. “I’m an active advocate for student

involvement and I hope this will act as a tool to increase the participation of students in committees and extracurricular activities.” Caitlin’s CCR includes her tenures as a representative for the Dalhousie Student Nursing Society, a performer at the Dalhousie Health Professions’ annual “For the Health of It” performance, and as a conference planner for the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association. “It makes me proud to look back on what I’ve been able to help accomplish,” she says. Like Caitlin, Pamela intends to use her CCR to supplement her resume. “If you’re doing something you love and are getting recognized for it, that’s not a bad thing at all.”

Career Centre Engaging and challenging careers are always in mind as you work your way through university. But they’re not necessarily top of mind (your time at Dal is short and you want to enjoy it, right?). The staff in the Frank G. Lawson Career Information Centre and Career Services guide you when you’re trying to figure out what you want to do after you leave Dal. And every year we help more and more of you. In 2011–12 there were 2,526 student visits, 10,387 students accessing info online, 520 email enquiries, and 41 workshops and presentations attended by 2,023 students. Wow, we dispensed a lot of career information!

Mapping your future: Need help planning your career or finding a job? Visit the 4th floor of the SUB and our staff will help you get started.

Governors’ Awards Winners Established in 1992, the Governors’ Awards are the top student awards at Dal. Each year they’re given to up to four students who contribute to the quality and vitality of the University. In 2012 there were four very worthy recipients (pictured below with Dalhousie Chancellor Fred Fountain): Sarah Bouchard: A student leader since she became a residence floor rep in her first year, Sarah has been an O-Week Leader, helped create the Peer Partnership program, has held executive positions on the DSU, and regularly volunteers in the community — all while pursuing a double-major in Political Science and Religious Studies.

Duane MacLeod: A winner in only his second year of the Nursing program at Dal’s Yarmouth Campus, Duane was instrumental in creating the Yarmouth-Dalhousie University Nursing School Society. His efforts helped the school get recognized as a chapter school with the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association. Rebekah Oomen: A graduate student pursuing a Master of Science, Rebekah has been an active member of 19 committees and councils at Dal, including president of the Biology Organization of Graduate Students. She has also

trained undergraduate students in the Aquatron Lab, and worked as a demonstrator for a summer field course and as an undergraduate biology tutor. Chris Saulnier: A two-term DSU president, Chris found time during his Computer Engineering studies to hold positions within the Dalhousie Undergraduate Engineering Society, and has served on the Dalhousie Senate and the Board of Governors. He has also been an active lobbyist in Ottawa as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR POSITIVE CHANGE The best results usually come from good partnerships. No one should go it alone if they don’t have to — in life or work. It’s no different at Dalhousie. Partnerships allow us to improve student services and create opportunities for members of our community to share their skills, knowledge, and resources. Partnerships also let us know how we’re doing when it comes to offering you the best student experience possible.

Fashion Without Borders For the International Development Education and Awareness Society (IDEAS), fashion isn’t just about looking good. It’s about diversity and understanding different cultures. That was the point of Fashion Without Borders, a student-organized fashion show held at the Grawood in November, featuring clothing from six continents. “People usually make a general comment about how pretty clothes are but don’t ask the right questions,” says Andrea Landriault, an International Development Studies student and external coordinator of IDEAS. “We want people to learn about the culture behind the clothes.”

20  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

The show featured over 80 garments from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South and North America — all donated by students and faculty. More than 20 student models graced the runway in outfits ranging from Scottish tartans to Indian Sherwani and colourful patterned African dresses. The night kicked off with a performance by “Dal Drum” and a live art demonstration. “I really enjoyed seeing the many cultures represented through the different fashions,” says Marco Hobbians, a fourth-year international student at Dal. “We really have such a diverse group of students here, students from at least 110 different countries.”

It takes many hands to pull off such a successful event, and the organizers made a point of reaching out to others for support. In addition to IDEAS, 12 other Dal societies were involved, and Student Services assisted with promoting the show on campus buzz boards and in Dal News. Dr. Bonnie Neuman, Vice-President, Student Services, points to Fashion Without Borders as a model student initiative. “The organizers did great work and this is a wonderful idea for communicating an important message in a fun format to the campus community,” she says. In addition to creating cultural awareness and showcasing Dal talent, Fashion Without Borders also raised money for charity. Tickets were $7 in advance and $10 at the door and students could choose to donate their ticket amount to one of four charities: World University Service of Canada, Invisible Children Fund, Giving Voice to Hope, and Amnesty International. By the end of the night $1,100 was raised for the four charities.

Restorative Justice Project Celebrating Sustainability In March, Student Services helped sponsor the third annual Green Gala, hosted by the DSU Sustainability Office. Other partners included the College of Sustainability and the Environmental Programmes Student Society. The evening celebrated all the great environmental work that took place at Dal throughout the year, and acknowledged the contributions that students and faculty members made to ensuring the University becomes even more environmentally sustainable. Thanks to the partner sponsors, the event was free to attend and turned out to be the most successful one yet. So many people came out (approximately 130–150) that the food ran out within the first hour and the student organizers had to order 15 pizzas! Apart from the food, music, and photo booth, the attendees were able to check out posters for the Go Green Campus challenge that students created to show their ideas for environmental designs for the Dal campuses. The winners of the Go Green Campus Challenge were: Matthew Kennedy (first place for his “Adaptive Plant Wall” design); Christopher Andrews (second place for “Crow Box”); and a tie for third place between Sebastian Manchester (“Solar Sauna”) and Joe Glesta, Max Lapiere, and Melissa Wartman (“Loaded Table”). Other winners included: Emma Norton (Green Student of the Year), Dr. Heike Lotze (Green Faculty of the Year), and Wings of Change (Green Student Initiative of the Year).

Safety First There’s nothing more important to us than the health and safety of everyone in the Dalhousie community. That’s why Dal creates strategic partnerships with you and various community organizations to ensure

One of three restorative justice projects in Nova Scotia, the Dal Restorative Justice Project is a partnership between Dalhousie, the Halifax Regional Police, and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice. The pilot project aims to help Dal students who have received a summary offence ticket (SOT) for relatively minor criminal charges. our campuses are safe. In January, Dalhousie Security partnered with Halifax Regional Police (HRP) and neighbourhood café, Coburg Coffee, to highlight crime prevention and safety awareness in the community. The initiative consisted of featuring three different crime-prevention tips on Coburg Coffee’s cardboard cup sleeves. They were each aimed at raising awareness to help decrease break-and-enters, thefts from motor vehicles, and liquor-related offences. This isn’t the only program that Dal partners with HRP. Dalhousie’s Designated Police Patrol and HRP’s Operation Fall Back have been around for eight years, and ensure a dedicated police presence in the neighbourhoods surrounding Dalhousie on weekends from September through November, and on certain other dates such as Munro Day and St. Patrick’s Day. They’re there to keep you, your possessions, and your rental homes safe. Last fall Dal Security Services launched the “You’ll Want to Know” safety campaign to remind the University community to “protect yourself, protect your identity, protect your stuff.” We also have various safety-related services, such as free women’s self-defense courses, the free Tiger Patrol shuttle service, the Dal Alert emergency text messaging system, and a dedicated Security Services emergency number (494-4109).

“Vandalism, for example,” says Dianne Norman, Dalhousie’s manager of student dispute resolution. “If a student smashed a car window, we’d have the opportunity to sit down and talk to them. If they were the type to say, ‘I can’t believe I did this. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’d like to make up for it somehow,’ they would likely qualify for the program.” If a student receives an SOT, they have to contact Dal’s Student Dispute Resolution office within 24 hours to be considered for the Restorative Justice Project. If they’re charged with a criminal offence, they may be referred to the Project by the police or the Crown. But the student has to be willing to take responsibility and be held accountable for their actions, which may include meeting victims in person. “In the case of the car window being smashed, maybe the owner of the vehicle would want to be involved, explain their side of the story, explain how they were late for work and missed a shift,” says Dianne. “The student would learn firsthand how their actions affected others. People are less likely to make the same errors twice once they actually have to sit down and face those they’ve harmed.” Typically a student will make an attempt at resolving the conflict. “There’s a level of accountability and acknowledgement of wrongdoing. Maybe the student offers to replace the broken car window, or the broken car window and the cost of cab fare.” If the victim and the police are both satisfied with the student’s efforts at resolution, the police will withdraw the SOT.

Safe travels: The Tiger Patrol shuttle service is just one of the services available to students thanks to strong partnerships at Dal.

For more information on the Restorative Justice Project, visit


AT HOME AND ABROAD The Dalhousie student experience goes beyond our multiple campuses in Nova Scotia. It reaches out to you across the province and country and around the world. So whether you come from Tatamagouche, Toronto, Toledo, Timbuktu, or Tokyo, we offer both support to help you make your life at Dal as rich as possible and cross-cultural experiences to expand your horizons. International Centre Our campus is diverse and getting more so every year. In 2011–12 the Dalhousie community was enriched by students from 110 countries. At the Dalhousie International Centre, staff and volunteers work hard to help these new members of the Dal community plan and prepare for their journeys to Halifax, and transition into a new school, city, country, and often, culture. From the moment students arrive at the airport, to the day they leave, the International Centre makes sure they feel welcomed and help them become important community members — at Dal and in Halifax. “International students are a significant part of the fabric of our university community,” says Pam Williams, the manager of the International Centre. “We have roughly 1,700 international students from 110 countries. We want to provide appropriate and adequate information and support to international and exchange students to ensure their academic success and integration to Dalhousie and the broader community.”

Since 2000, the gender ratio of Dalhousie students has remained consistent:

The Centre works closely with various groups, including Housing and Conference Services, the DSU, and the Dalhousie International Students Association (DISA), whose mandate is to promote cultural diversity across campus while organizing events and societies that appeal to students from abroad. These collaborations create new initiatives every year to further enrich the student experience.

Welcome to Halifax International Centre staff and volunteers spent much of the last week of August 2011 in the arrivals area of the Stanfield International Airport, greeting international students as they arrived in Halifax. An information table, draped with the Dal crest and banner, provided the students with information on transportation options, orientation events, and the services provided by the International Centre. The Dal Tiger even came out to give our new students a warm welcome!

A decade of student enrolment

55 : 45

35% by faculty

by place of residence

enrolment increase since 2000

Total enrolment



12,201 Undergraduate






Rest of Canada


Professional (ME,DE,LA)










Rest of Canada


Professional (ME,DE,LA)



Total enrolment



Source: Dalhousie Office of the Registrar, Dec 1. 2000, 2011

22  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

Increased Support As the number of international students enrolled at Dal continues to grow, so does the need for support. So in response to students’ requests, the International Centre extended its hours into the evening and created more accessibility to advising on both the Studley and Sexton campuses. The Centre also supports students online before they even arrive on campus. This year it provided an online orientation with details on what students could expect in transitioning into a new culture and environment. It also bumped up its social media presence, including creating four videos for Dalhousie’s YouTube channel that give international students info on Nova Scotia’s climate, living off campus, social life, and health care. “International students are hungry for information even before they come here,” says International Centre advisor, Teresa Inacio. “We’re doing whatever we can to ensure their success academically and socially. Communicating through social media allows us to generate discussion, collect feedback, and build relationships. We want students to know that we’re really listening to them.”

International Student Orientation It’s one thing to come to Halifax from somewhere else in Nova Scotia or another province. But imagine

traveling across the ocean to get here. We want to make that transition as smooth as possible, which is why we have an additional two-day orientation for international students. In past years it ran at the same time as the regular first-year orientation activities, but in 2011 we moved it up to the end of August so no one would miss out on any of the fun of Orientation Week. In addition to the regular campus tours, BBQs, and icebreakers, this year’s class of international students took a day trip to one of Nova Scotia’s most recognizable landmarks, Peggy’s Cove. It was a great opportunity to get to know each other and, for some, experience the Atlantic Ocean for the first time!

The International Centre Effect


of students were very satisfied or satisfied with their International Centre experience.


of students described the International Centre as having a significant or positive impact on their Dal experience.

Exploring Halifax When you choose Dal as your university, you’re also choosing Halifax as your city. It’s no different for students who come from other countries. And why not? Halifax is a great city in which to live and learn. That’s why we encourage all of our students, and international

Friendly arrivals: Dal’s new airport welcome service in September was organized by the International Centre.

students in particular, to immerse themselves in the city and Canadian culture as much as possible. And part of that is experiencing our winters. In October the International Centre organized a trip for international students to the Metro Centre to take in a Halifax Mooseheads hockey game. In January, they bundled up and went skating on the Commons Oval. And in March, international students got to experience a tastier part of our culture when they took a trip to Sugar Moon Farm to learn how maple syrup is made.

Tax Return Clinic Experiencing Canadian culture also means experiencing Canadian taxes. To ease the pain of navigating our tax system, the International Centre organized Income Tax Clinics and helped over 200 students complete and file their returns on time.

International Student Health Insurance It used to be that international students at Dal paid into two health plans: one through the DSU and

the other through the International Centre. You told us this led to some confusion, so now if you’re an international student you’ll only have to deal with one joint-health plan offered by the DSU. Not only will it be easier to understand, it will also save you money.

Dalhousie Intercontinental Cup Soccer Tournament Did you know that soccer is the most widely played sport in the world? It doesn’t matter where you come from, or what language you speak, soccer (or football as it’s known outside North America) is a sport that transcends boundaries. At Dal it brought together over 50 international students and their Canadian friends for the first Dalhousie Intercontinental Cup Soccer Tournament in September. Organized by the International Centre, the Dalhousie International Students Association, and the Tigers men’s soccer team, the tournament kicked off in the afternoon with six regions competing. The afternoon also featured a women’sonly game and an awards ceremony.

International students 90.4%


Middle East







Bermuda & Carribean


Middle East

enrolment increase



15.5 7.0


15.1 Asia



53.7% 2.5

Manav Malhotra and Sagar Jha put on a show at the annual Indian Subcontinent Students’ Association (INDISA) night.

Total: 445 Total: 684

Bermuda & Carribean





2008-09 2011-12

Bhangra brothers:


enrolment increase



50. 6

Total: 739 Total: 1,407





28.4 10.2


50.2 .2

by region

% Other

Source: Dalhousie Office of the Registrar The Dalhousie Student Life Experience  23


OUR FUTURE We have a mission: to be Canada’s best university. And we can be. We have the passion, persistence, and great partnerships to make it happen, but it also takes patience. As we co-create the Dalhousie student experience with you, we use the information you give us to select our priorities for the years ahead. With your help and guidance, we’re working hard to give you the best possible student services.

Campaigning for Students You’ve probably seen the Bold Ambitions signs across campus, but do you know what that’s really all about? Launched in March 2011, the massive fundraising campaign aims to raise $250 million for five main priorities to improve the student experience at Dalhousie: Student Success, Enriched Student Experience, Sustainable Future, Health Care Education, and Enhanced Design and Innovation. Whether it’s constructing new buildings, creating environmental initiatives on campus, or endowing student bursaries and scholarships, the support of Dalhousie’s alumni and friends will have a tremendous impact on Dalhousie students for years to come. Here’s where the money will go: •

Student Success (financial aid, student services, facilities) $82 million

Enriched Student Experience (athletics and arts facilities) $36.5 million

Sustainable Future (research and teaching) $34.5 million

Health Care Education (facilities and scholarship) $70.5 million

Enhanced Design and Innovation (Architecture & Planning and Engineering facilities) $26.5 million

Did you know? The University’s priority is to “endow” donations that are made to support students. Endowing a donation means investing it forever, and spending the investment income each year from the donation — so students at Dalhousie benefit forever. 24  The Dalhousie Student Life Experience

Monitoring our Daily Habits To help offset the environmental costs of producing this annual report to students, the Office of the VicePresident, Student Services consults with Dal’s Office of Sustainability to find an on-campus project that reduces a similar amount of greenhouse gases — approximately one tonne. For the past two years, we’ve planted trees on campus that will each absorb one tonne of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) over the course of their lives. This year we wanted to do something that would be more hands-on for our students, so we

purchased four monitors that were installed on the power meters of each of the Mini Rez houses. The monitors will allow the residents of Mini Rez to track their energy use in real time, and encourage them to reduce their daily power use. It will also enable them to participate in the Eco-Olympics, an annual competition that aims to reduce energy and water consumption in Dal’s residences. These power monitors will help support efforts for at least a 5% reduction of energy over a month period, which relates to over a tonne of CO2e.

Remember to turn the lights off: Electrical Engineering graduate student Mohsin Khan, 4th-year Electrical Engineering student Lauren Haley (and co-op student for Dalhousie Facilities Management), and Master of Resource and Environmental Management (and Office of Sustainability intern) Michael Petrosoniak, hook up the first power monitor to Mini Rez’s DeMille House on Seymour Street.

Rosemary Gill Awards The Rosemary Gill Awards are given each year to Dal staff members who go above and beyond in providing outstanding service to students in non-teaching roles. The 2011–12 winners were: Ken Kam, photographer, Print Shop manager and teacher in the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Barry Lesser, professor in the Department of Economics, Angela McKinnon, director of the Faculty of Science Co-operative Education Program, and Karen Watts, administrative secretary in the Department of Political Science.

Keeping the campus beautiful Every year, the Dalhousie Facilities Management department takes on another section of campus to make improvements to sidewalks and gardens. Dal gives priority to funding your academic programs, so keeping the campus beautiful on a daily basis is hard to accomplish. How can you help? By partnering with us to make small changes every day: •

Bring your own refillable cup for your coffee or tea.

Take those extra steps to the nearest garbage can or cigarette disposal site (oh, and thanks for not smoking on our grounds — Dalhousie is a smoke-free campus, after all).

What extra beauty could our grounds staff create if they didn’t have to clean up after all of us? Join VicePresidents Ken Burt and Bonnie Neuman in their “One-A-Day” vow: to look for and pick up just one piece of litter, or pull out one weed, when they walk across campus between meetings and events. What if we all did the same?

Volunteer with Dal’s Office of Sustainability RETHINK program and come up with your own ways to make sustainability an everyday part of Dalhousie campus life.

New friends: The Dal Tiger and the Ram from the new Faculty of Agriculture help increase school spirit from Halifax to Truro.

With over 20,000 people in our student, staff, and faculty community, and a big dose of Dalhousie Pride, we can all make a difference!

Dalhousie Student Life Experience 2011-12