This year, Open Education Week is March 2-6. Over 6450 participants across 123 countries contributed to Open Education Week in 2019. Celebrate this year by checking out one of the many free online events being hosted by institutions around the world.
Open educational resources are meant to make education more accessible and reduce potential barriers to education caused by cost and accessibility. Open education can be delivered in a variety of ways, including open and accessible online courses, open and free digitized textbooks, or openly licensed materials that can be found online (like images, infographics, and other media) that can be used in assignments and classes.
Many instructors at MHC have already adopted open textbooks and material for use in their classes; this could take the form of a printed book available in the bookstore or a pdf or link on your course’s blackboard page.
Yesterday marked the official start of Freedom to Read Week- running from February 23-29!
This may have you wondering- what is this week for? After all, it seems like it would be a pretty rare thing to hear someone tell you NOT to read.
However, Freedom to Read Week isn’t really about being stopped from reading. It’s actually to bring awareness to the limiting of reading options available to us, often without us even being aware of it.
I hate to break the hard news: censorship and the banishment of books is still -somehow- a thing that happens all over the world.
Some examples include: >And Tango Makes Three, By Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell was removed from a Calgary elementary school library shelf in 2017 for the “theme of homosexual parenting.” (Council, 2020)
(Can be found in our library here: PZ 10.3 R52 2005)
>The Lord of the Rings series, by J.R.R. Tolkien was burned in New Mexico in 2001 for being “satanic” (Association, Banned & Challenged Classics, 2020)
(The prequel to the series, The Hobbit, can be found in our library here: PR 6039 O32 H644 1995)
>The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie was banned and challenged in various locations in 2018 for “sexual references, profanity, violence, gambling, and underage drinking, and for its religious viewpoint” (Association, Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists, 2020)
(Can be found in our library here: PZ 7 A38 Abs 2007)
>I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas was challenged in various locations in 2017 because it “addresses gender identity.” (Association, Top Ten Most Challenged Books Lists, 2020)
(Can be found in our library here: PZ 7.1.H47 Iam 2014 -2017)
Books are banned and removed from libraries, bookstores, and publishing every day for reasons that are as vast and unique as we are. Unfortunately, this means there are resources out there that people find themselves unable to access.
Now, this may still seem like something that isn’t really a huge deal, and it may not raise concern for you at all. But it absolutely should.
The more books and magazines are censored, banned and made difficult to access, the more your rights are restricted. Removing our choice to read something, because certain groups disagree with its opinions or themes, is extremely limiting to every single one of us.
A book can be challenged for religious themes just as often as another book can be challenged for anti-religious themes. And it’s the same story for every topic you can imagine.
Taking resources out of our reach for whatever reason means we lose the opportunity to explore a unique perspective- and authors lose a chance to share their voice. If the only books that are allowed to exist are books that are deemed non-offensive by every single person- we would have no books. There are not many stories (if any) in this world that can be written without offending someone, somewhere.
So with this all in mind I want to encourage you – during this week and always – to read. Read everything that you have an interest in. Read textbooks, and comics, and novels, and magazines, and articles. Soak up every story and opinion and fact that you can and argue when these resources are removed from your reach. Freedom to read is accentuated during this week, but we should fight for it always. More information can be found at https://www.freedomtoread.ca/
Having sex? Not having sex? It’s February, the Looooooove month, so lets talk about IT! (; Sexual and Reproductive Health!
We all have to worry about it, and the time to learn more is just around the corner! February 10-14, just in time for Valentine’s Day. We know that when it comes to coitus some people get queasy and some people get giggly. Nevertheless, sex is an important topic. Luckily for you, the SA can help you out!
What do we mean when we say sexual health? We mean a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality- with yourself and/or with others. Let’s be serious for a minute. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences. Free of coercion, discrimination and violence. I mean –> CONSENT <– here, people!! Want it simpler? Watch this Tea consent or this Cycling through Consent. Yea, they’re pretty obvious and to the point eh? Good. You get it now.
Did you know- thanks to over 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites- more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired EVERY DAY? STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself (e.g., infertility or mother-to-child transmission). So, if you’re not going to sack it, go home and whack it!
Even if you are not sexually active be sure to still join us in talking about sexual and reproductive health! Learn information on how to ensure you stay healthy in the meantime and once you become sexually active! Sexual health involves more than sexual behaviour. We will have whiteboards placed around the college starting today, February 10th, where you can answer questions and read statistics. Make sure you also check out our sexual health fair on Wednesday February 12th, and you do not want to miss our Naughty Banger Bingo on Thursday February 13th for a chance to win some awesome XXX prizes!
What is happening on February 5, 2020? For Medicine Hat College Library, it seems like everything! And we are bringing it all here for you! From a special one time only event to our standard essential for the semester, check out the day we’ve got planned for MHC!
CBC Massey Lecturer, Tanya Talaga, will be speaking at the Eresman Theatre on main campus at 12-1PM. With her books, Seven Fallen Feathers and All my Relations: Finding a Path Forward, this renowned author is one you do not want to miss.
With topics of inter-generational trauma and its affects, the need and path towards finding reconciliation, and so much in between, Tanya Talaga is a dynamic speaker and story-teller, who will spark the discussion in all of us!
Following this special event is another that our college has come to look forward to each semester; Long Night Against Procrastination! LNAP Winter 2020 runs from 5PM until MIDNIGHT, with all the student services brought to you, after hours, to answer the questions you have as a student. It’s ALL-ACCESS till MIDNIGHT!
Focused on academic and mental health, each session and drop-in option is focused on giving/teaching students the resources and skills needed to be the most successful they can be. The night has so much to offer for every individual, whether you are a self-labeled procrastinator or the top of your class, looking for a quick study tip, and brush-up on APA, or an excuse to snuggle a puppy or work on that sun salutation that seems to have escaped progress since the weather turned cold.
Stay on or get back on track with this amazing night!
Pre-registration begins January 27! Find LNAP members at:
With a busy new semester, months of cold weather, and the stressors of daily life, you might find yourself struggling to cope with it all. This is normal, it happens. The Mental Health and Counselling department doesn’t want you to struggle alone. We’re here to talk to. If making an appointment to speak with a counsellor sounds a bit scary, or like too much of a commitment, that’s ok- we have other options to help you manage!
My personal goal as Mental Health Programmer at MHC, is to help each student feel connected, and like they are a part of a community. College can be a lonely place, and it can be hard to reach out. The activities that we offer aim to increase self-awareness, and build-up your support system. They are mostly drop-in, so there isn’t the pressure of committing your time each week (but please keep coming back if you enjoy it, we’d love to have you)!
Please stop in to one of our groups, or to the counselling department if you find you are needing a little extra support. We have comfy couches, a fire place, TV, and free coffee/tea/hot chocolate!
CBT Self-Help Drop In[Mondays / 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. / C225] Students work independently on cognitive behavioural therapy work sheets, with counselling staff support. Topics include distorted thinking, anger, communication, healthy relationships, and more. This drop-in time is ideal for students who have identified a particular area of work that they would like to focus on. Students are also encouraged to come explore different topics to learn more about themselves.
30 Minute drop-in counselling sessions [Mondays and Thursdays / 1 – 3:30 p.m. / C233] First come, first serve. No appointment necessary.
Knitting Group [Tuesdays / 1:30 – 3 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library] Two wonderful ladies from the Medicine Hat community have volunteered their time to teach students how to knit while they also informally offering mental health support. We will be working together to make a blanket that will be donated at the end of the semester. All materials provided. No experience necessary. (Crocheters also welcome but must bring own supplies).
Animal Therapy [Wednesdays / 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. / Front lounge area in the Vera Bracken Library] Miss your own dog? Wish you had a dog to cuddle? Drop- in to interact with Rocky and Louie to decrease stress and build connections.
Creative Minds Group Starting in February, time and date TBD. This group will consist of creative writing, painting, drawing, etc. and focus on maintaining mental wellness. Students must register for group. Please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
The Inquiring Mind This course is designed to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. The session is three and a half hours and consists of mental health and illness on campus, stigma and discrimination on campus, warning signs, self-care, creating a supportive campus, and practical application. Students must register for session, please e-mail email@example.com if you are interested in attending. Time and date TBD.
Remember- you don’t have to be in crisis to start taking care of your mental health, make it part of your daily routine. We often hear about “self-care” and how you “NEED TO BE DOING SELF-CARE!!!!”. What does that even mean? Well… these groups/activities are a great place to start!
If you are wanting to book an appointment with one of our counsellors, it’s quite easy. Simply stop by the advising desk, or call 403.529.3819. You’ll be set up with a quick 30-minute screening to ensure that individual counselling is the best fit for you, and then you’ll be set up with the appropriate service for your needs.
I am looking forward to meeting you all this semester!
On January 2nd, 2020 we launched our Because the Library is a Space for Everyone initiative. This statement is built out of our Library’s shared values of caring and respect, opening Library up as a place for anyone, for everyone, to find something they can take part in!
Whether hunkering down to study in one of our quiet spaces or our silent space in the room towards the back of the library, or looking to socialize and group work in our collaborative study spaces, or just looking to start a new interest by picking up a new book or tinkering with a new technology, we have the space for you!
From January 2nd through till February 7th, 2020, we are focusing the spotlight on you, the learner. Follow us on instagram @mhclibrary, take a selfie of yourself enjoying the Library and tag us to be entered in to win a gift card to the bookstore. We want to see what you value about the space, what you love most about the Library, and what you want to see more of!
And while we are talking about creating a welcoming environment for all, lets chat about another initiative, Food for Fines, happening from January 2nd through till February 7th.
During this month long period, Library will offer the ability to pay for overdue fines with non-perishable food items. One item will equal $5.00 worth of overdue fines, and up to a maximum of $25.00 in overdue fines, per person, can be waived this way! All donations will be going to our SA’s Food Pantry, helping to assist students through the tough few months of Winter Semester.
For more details on either initiative, come to the Library and talk to one of our lovely staff members. We can’t wait to see you!
Aaaaand we’re back! A little bit groggy and nostalgic about leaving behind a sense of holiday freedom, but happy to re-establish a new and healthy routine! Let’s face it, those sweets and savories gave us more than a few ideas for New Year’s resolutions. But every year it’s the same song and dance, after a few weeks we are suddenly unmotivated and can’t seem to hop back into the motivation station. The trick is finding something simple that we can maintain to get us on track this New Year. Come check out the SA Office, we are here to help with just that!
In our SA office we are all about YOU, the students! Need a hand navigating the college campus? We can direct you. Want to find out about services offered on campus and from us? We can tell you. Want to know quiet places to study alone or communal places to hang out? We have answers. Need to rent a locker? We are happy to help. Curious about the Health and Dental Plan? We offer that! OR do you just want a bit of down time and a puzzle or coloring sheet? We have those too.
We’ll be hanging out. Every day. In F113. Across from Crave.
Finals are here! Whether you are studying for the big final, or working on your last assignment or paper for your class, the Library is here for you!
On Sundays in December, Vera Bracken Library will be staying open an extra two hours! Come spend some time from 1:00PM to 10:00PM on:
Still need a spot outside of the Vera Bracken Library’s regular and extended hours? Check out our blog post about Places to Study Outside of the Library! Each space is specially rated to address the biggest standard needs of students. Judge and choose for yourself the best option to fit you.
So far for this year we have the following planned:
November 23 – ‘Korea Night’ – will be hosted at the student residence community room, organized and hosted by the SA Diversity Club (TENTATIVE)
November 25 – ‘Celebration of Colors’, 4:30pm – 6:30pm in the Crowfoot Room –An awareness event around India and Indian culture. Join our students in an opportunity to share their culture over dinner, music and presentations. Ticketed event $12 each.
November 26 – ‘Open Dialogue: Culture Exchange’ in the glass enclosure in the Vera Bracken Library – Anonymous questions boxes will be set up around campus in November, students staff and faculty can submit questions they have related to cultural diversity on campus and in the community in the box. The questions will be discussed on November 26 a the informal session, all are welcome.
November 27 – ‘Wellness Wednesdays, what does mental health look like/mean to you?’ in the cafeteria hallway – We will be asking students, both international and domestic to answer this question. The idea is to get a range of responses to show the diverse responses from students across campus.
November 25 – 29 “refuge Canada Display, in the Cuboid – In Partnership with the Esplanade and Refuge Canada we will have an interactive raft display on campus to promote the Refuge Canada exhibition.
Needing more outside this week of events? Let’s talk about the International Resource Room!
Are you an international student who sometimes feels like this?
…but you want to feel like this?
International students studying in Canada face many challenges. Our goal in the International Resource Room is to help international students in mainstream programming succeed in their new educational environment. In order to support students on this journey, we’re available Monday to Friday from 8:30 – 3:30 in B368. In addition to the drop-in service, we offer sessions to help you take your studies to the next level. Topics include:
Organizing a paragraph
Introductions and Conclusions
Studying and Test Taking Tips
Be sure to come up to the third floor above the library to room B368 and say hello!
Wahooooo – it’s Fall Reading Break! I don’t know about y’all, but if you’re anywhere near as tired as we are, then this break couldn’t come at a better time. In fact, did you know that the SAMHC advocated for this break for 5 WHOLE YEARS to get it into the MHC calendar? It was hard work but so worth it – and we’re just as thrilled to be reaping the rewards with everyone else 😀
While everyone is off campus getting some needed rest and relaxation, we figured it might be good to give 3 of our top ways to beat procrastination and de-stress over break to help make the most of it!
Exercise – Exercise is not only proven to help lift your mood but it’s also a great way to help boost your ability to get back to work when you’re struggling with a paper or study guide. Best of all, if you’re in town still, the gym at MHC is free to students – all you need to show is your campus ID!
Connect – Connection is one of the major keys to happiness. Take time over the break if you’re home to reconnect with family and friends or if you’re still in the Hat, get out and get into our vibrant community. Whether it’s for a coffee or even a short walk, connecting in some way will make you ready to tackle those assignments with a fresh brain!
Treat Yo’ Self – As famously stated on Parks And Recreation, you gotta treat yo’ self every so often! Channel your inner Donna and Tom and go do something you LOVE! Even if it’s just taking the time to watch your favorite movie or read a few chapters of your favorite book, a little treat will go a long way to helping you de-stress and that’s really what this break is designed for!
Now get out there and enjoy the break – we’re packed and
ready for a little R&R ourselves ;D