Category: student life (Page 2 of 10)

Dive In and Engage: Joining Student Council

Esther Hardy, 2018-19 CMU Student Council President

When I first came to CMU, I wasn’t sure how to get involved. There were so many ways for me to dive in and engage, that I didn’t know where to start.

In my second year, I decided to join student council, and it was a great decision.

Student council has allowed me to develop many friendships, to have a voice in what happens at CMU, and it has allowed me to build leadership and interpersonal skills.

Student council committees work hard to organize and host a variety of events throughout the year. From coffee houses, to volunteer opportunities in the city, there is something for everyone.

Some of my favourite events this year were: Film 60 (a student film festival); Taste the World (international students make food from their home countries); Dance Classes (The CMU Keeks dance group teach a variety of dance styles); and The Great Debaters (a fun evening of student/staff debates).

These events brought people together for evenings full of laughter, good food, and great conversation. They’re part of what makes CMU a great place to be. And they inspired me to get involved at this wonderful school.

As the 2018-2019 student council president, I plan to work with my peers on things that matter to students. That could mean organizing for social justice issues or planning fun events for students.

It is important to me that every student feels that they have a voice, and that everyone feels included in our community. I encourage every student to bring your ideas, suggestions, and concerns to me and other student council members next year. We value what you have to say! 

2017 CMU Student Council

If student council sounds like something you want to be involved in, please check it out. In September, we will be looking for Peace and Sustainability Directors and First-Year reps, or you could join a committee team. Our council is full of brave, energetic, passionate people who have a heart for this school, and we would love to have you join our team!

 

Esther Hardy is 3rd year International Development Studies student from Perth, Ontario. She is also your 2018-19 Student Council President!

3 things I wish I’d known: Advice from a first year CMU student

Nicole Ternowesky

“Do you have to wear a skirt and bonnet there?” “Are you allowed to listen to music and watch TV?” “Don’t you have to be a Mennonite to go there?” These were some of the questions my shocked friends and families asked last year when I told them I’d decided to go to Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in the fall. Once I had reassured my family that I was going to an open-minded, welcoming, Christian university, I began to wonder what life at CMU might look like for me. Below is some advice I wish I had known before coming here, and I hope it will help you prepare all you prospective students for your first year at CMU.

1) Your faith will be challenged and nurtured.

Coming to CMU, I thought I knew ‘enough’ about the Bible, the creation story, Exodus, birth of baby Jesus, and His death and resurrection. I wasn’t prepared to read or discuss the tough stuff in the Bible, like violence, oppression, and pain. Often your Bible and Theology courses will leave you with many questions to wrestle with. But CMU is also a place that will nurture and strengthen your faith. As you grapple with these difficult truths, you will have the opportunity to worship God and experience his presence in new ways. Some places where my faith has grown is the prayer room on north, the Chapel on south and in the Poettcker Hall first floor lounge. Addressing the questions that threatened to weaken my faith in God actually helped me to deepen my understanding and relationship with Him.

2) Community is valued and promoted at CMU.

It is very important to participate in the fun events that are planned for the first week of school. This gives you an opportunity to meet other students and make new friends. At this early stage in the year, everyone will be feeling awkward, so don’t worry! I was very nervous coming to CMU that I would have difficult making friends, but I am now in a Snapchat group chat with 20 of my closest CMU friends. But honestly, I have made a some true friends here at CMU who have become like sisters to me. I now believe what people say about forming friendships at university that will last a lifetime.

Nicole Ternowsky - A student slides down a slip and slide during CMU's GO Olympics!

3) Now for the most important part: school.

My first piece of advice is to put yourself out there! Seriously, your professors will notice and remember you. CMU is unique because there is much more opportunity for class discussion and debate due to the smaller class sizes. My second piece of advice is choose classes, projects, and essays you are interested in, because when paper season comes around, you will be exhausted, but you will have learned about material you care about and have gained knowledge you can use in the ‘real world’. My last piece of advice is to invest in a good agenda or day planner. Seriously. Organization is key in university because it allows you to schedule enough time for studying, while still making time for friends, and other events at CMU.

At CMU you will grow as a Christian, a friend, and an intellectual. Looking back at my first year here, I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at CMU, for new friends I’ve gained, and for my growing relationship with God.

Nicole Ternowesky is completing her first year at CMU.


CMU’s next open house is happening on March 27, 2018. Drop in and find out if CMU is the right place for you after high school!

How to manage your fridge…and university

University is all about management. You have to manage your classes, social time, and sleep. But if you choose to move away from your parents’ house and onto CMU’s campus, you need to manage life on your own as well, which includes feeding yourself. If you are in dorms and on the meal plan at CMU, that will basically be taken care of for you. But if you choose to live in an apartment on campus, you will need to learn how to manage a refrigerator.

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It’s trickier than you think. Fridges don’t automatically stock themselves with your favourite meals, and it’s very easy to lose food in the far reaches of your fridge. Just ask some of the students who live in CMU’s Katherine Friesen Apartments.

Two roommates in a CMU apartment spoke to the difficulty of not only losing track of food in your fridge, but losing track of whether the food is yours or your roommate’s.

“Last week I asked my roommate what he was doing with the rice and meat dish that had been in our fridge since I moved in back in September,” noted one CMU student. “He responded by telling me that he thought it was mine. To this day we don’t know whose dinner it was in our fridge for almost six months.”

That’s not an isolated case. One student has managed to house a jar of sweet and sour sauce in their fridge from the start of the year, and another set of roommates noted that they forgot a bag of chilli in the back of their fridge for several weeks. Upon discovering that it had turned fuzzy, they decided to keep it as a science experiment.

Not all fridges contain months-old forgotten food though. One student noted that a pack of organic flax meal was the strangest thing they could find in their fridge, which is quite impressive.

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But fridges don’t just contain bizarre items; they also carry items of food that you just can’t get enough of. For current CMU students, it seems as though dairy products (or at least dairy-inspired products) were at the top of the list to have in their fridges at all times.

For one student, a big jug of chocolate milk is the most important thing to have on hand at all times. Whether for breakfast, or after a sports practice, it was essential to have. Another student couldn’t live without a container of yogurt in the fridge. Yet another student remarked that, “Life is good with a block of cheese.” Even a lactose intolerant student said a block of lactose-free marble cheese is an integral food for her to have around.

All of this is to say that university is a time of learning. You’ll no doubt learn how to organize your classes and notes, and possibly how to organize a fridge too. But you’ll also learn what things are important to you…both with respect to what’s important to have in your fridge, and what’s important to have in your life in general.

CMU’s next Campus Visit Day is this Friday, March 9. Spend the day with us, and find out if CMU is the right place for you.

Inside CMU: The Walk from Marpeck to the North Side

If your plan is to come to CMU next year, there are lots of insider tips you may need to make the most of your experience. Tips like which are the best classes to take, or the best places to find a reasonable price on a textbook. It’s always helpful to know some of the smaller details about a university before you start attending, and CMU definitely has many small aspects that make it what it is. One of those is the much talked about walk from Marpeck Commons to North side of campus in the dead of winter.

Inside CMU: The Walk from Marpeck to the North Side by Jason Friesen

CMUers who were around before Marpeck Commons existed can appreciate that the bridge over Grant Avenue has cut the outside portion of the walk from South to North side in half. But even though Marpeck Commons is a few years old now, how to handle the outside walk to class and work is still a hot topic when the weather gets cold.

The walk is not terribly far, which makes it tempting at times to not go through the hassle of putting on a parka, mitts, and toque. But some days are cold enough that even the approximately 100-yard walk warrants all of your warmest attire. Yet it is still easy to convince yourself that if you take a brisk run across the path, it won’t be so bad.

Needless to say, the strategies of taking the short trek in the dead of winter are varied. Some choose to bundle up as much as possible. Others brave the elements in sweaters and jeans. Some have even been caught running across in flip-flops.

 

Inside CMU: The Walk from Marpeck to the North Side by Jason Friesen

So how should you as a future CMUer plan to cross the campus? Well, who better to learn from than current students? One student said they walk as quickly as possible, with their head down as if they are on a mission. Though it may come across as rude to the people you pass on the path, most are understanding. And the student did note that they do look up and smile at passers-by when they can.

Another student noted that comfort is key. Naturally, they bundle up with a hat, scarf, mittens, and jacket. They say that being bundled up like this allows them to look around at the people they pass to say hi, but that the cold weather still restricts that somewhat.

Though it may seem comical to think about such a trivial thing ahead of your university experience, the fact is that no matter what university you attend, there are going to be small experiences like this that make the university what it is. Transitioning from high school to university can be intimidating and nerve-racking, but knowing some of the ins and outs of the university you plan to attend can really make your first couple weeks of getting to know the place a lot less stressful.

CMU’s next Campus Visit Day is happening on Friday, February 2, 2018. Experience university life at CMU, and learn more of those insider tips along the way. 

5 Keys to Making It Through the Winter Semester

So the Christmas Holidays have come and gone, and now you’re wondering how you’re going to make it through the winter semester. Reading Week is still over a month away, and your study-motivation meter is waning after grinding out the fall semester. So how are you supposed to stay driven and focused and find success, yet still have some fun in the second semester? Well, here are a few CMU-style tips that might help you get through:

1) Make the Most Out of CMU’s Outdoors

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Yes, Winnipeg winters can be cold. But that makes for opportunities that only come in cold climates, so find something you like to do outside. CMU has ice to skate on, trails for cross country skiing, or even just trails to walk on in the forest. Not to mention there are plenty of fields of snow to play in. So find some out-door activities that you like to do, because being cooped up inside all winter is going to drive you crazy.

2) Go to CMU Events

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CMU has no shortage of events to attend. That includes everything from potlucks for apartment students, to music recitals, to CMU Blazers games. Or maybe it doesn’t even have to be a formal event, and you end up just hanging out in a Poettcker Hall lounge instead. Whatever it is, find some people to spend time with, because no matter where you go, you’ll find people worth spending time with at CMU.

3) Make Your Classwork Enjoyable…Or at Least Bearable

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Let’s be honest…classes aren’t always a student’s favourite place to be. But there are lots of ways to make classes more enjoyable. Many classes see profs assign papers and projects that are open for you to decide on the topic. Take advantage of these, and turn those assignments into something you’ll at least somewhat enjoy. I realize not all classes have those types of projects, so in that case, get to know some of your classmates if you don’t already, and study together. As noted above, most things are more enjoyable with someone by your side.

4) Take Advantage of the Coziness of Winter

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When else do you get to wear your favourite cozy sweater every day to class and not get razzed for it? Not to mention snuggling up with a book isn’t quite the same in summer, so here’s your chance to snuggle up with lots of books…and hopefully some textbooks. Grab a favourite blanket and your hot beverage of choice and you’re all set. Seriously, it might help you warm up to those readings.

5) Explore the City

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CMU is a great place to spend lots of time, but there is plenty more to explore around the city during a Winnipeg winter. Head down to the Assiniboine Park to skate on the duck pond or to The Forks to skate on the river, or check out the ice castles at The Forks instead. There’s also Festival du Voyageur in February if you want to get a French-Canadian experience. And that’s just a short list. All the stereotypes are true…Winnipeg knows how to have a good time no matter what the weather is like!

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