Tag Archives: values

Division of Students Highlights of 2018

On behalf of the Division of Students at York University, happy holidays to our community of students, staff and faculty! We wish you all a restful, wonderful winter break and a happy, healthy 2019.

As we finish off the exam period and look forward to the next term, it is a good time to reflect on all the great work that has been accomplished this past year.

The Opening of the Wellness Hub

York University’s Health Education & Promotion team officially opened the Wellness Hub in September, offering drop-in support, resources and referrals to students, staff and faculty on all aspects of wellness, including nutritional, sexual and mental health.

Located in the Ross-Vari Link at S107 Ross Building, the Wellness Hub is staffed by a team of peer health educators and student nurses who are using this experiential education opportunity to bridge their classroom knowledge with practice to complete their community placement requirement.

The Opening of the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education

Earlier this year the Division was proud to announce the opening of the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education (The Centre) at 301 York Lanes. The York community was invited to meet the team during an Open House in October, tour The Centre and learn more about support networks, the Sexual Violence Policy and current initiatives such as training & education at York. The beautiful new office overlooks the Harry W. Arthur Common and provides a calming physical space where survivors and all those affected by sexual violence receive compassionate services with dignity, privacy and respect.

Debbie Hansen, Executive Director, Community Support & Services, explains that “the Sexual Violence Response Office was created as a result of the Policy on Sexual Violence. We support the entire York community. Our biggest focus is creating awareness: to communicate with our community about who we are, what we do and how we support survivors.”

New Vision and New Initiatives from Student Accessibility Services and Student Counselling & Development

In late 2017, Learning Disability Services , Mental Health Disability Services and Physical, Sensory & Medical Disability Services  were collectively renamed “Student Accessibility Services” (SAS) and Personal Counselling Services was renamed  “Student Counselling & Development” (SCD).

York’s decision to focus on these two support pillars emphasized the significant role of SAS in helping to make the campus more accessible for learning. The name change to Student Counselling & Development better reflects our mandate to help York students realize, develop and fulfill their personal potential in order to maximally benefit from their university experience and manage the challenges of university life.

SCD holds free workshops open to all York University students with no registration required. Some run individually, such as Stress Management, and some run in a series of three to four workshops, like Managing Shyness & Social Anxiety. Each workshop takes place in a professional and supportive environment where students receive guidance as they navigate through any personal student development.

#HeartOfALion Rebrand and a New Mascot

In August, hundreds of York University students, staff and faculty made their way to York Lions Stadium for the celebration of “the next era of athletics and recreation at York.”

The event, #HeartOfALion Day, brought the campus community together for the official unveiling of the new Lions logo that features a sleek and fierce-looking lion head in York’s signature red. Also unveiled was the new Lions mascot, Yeo, whose name was picked by students in an online contest. The name pays homage to our first mascot “Yeoey” the Yeoman. The event also featured students modelling the new line of branded clothing.

The new branding and image was more than a year and a half in the making and the York community was consulted throughout the process. One of the key contributing factors to the new logo was the question “What does it mean to be a Lion?” in a pan-University context.

The common attributes of a Lion, they found, were: being open and accepting of everyone in the “pride”; being courageous, persevering and standing up for what you believe in; having the heart of a lion; and being a leader.

Ready, Set, YU!

The Ready, Set, YU! program began in September, 2018 to support the participation and success of new students who, without specialized interventions and support, would not otherwise access or attend postsecondary education.

Ready, Set, YU! employs work/study students as peer mentors who hone their leadership skills by helping other students be successful and give back to the York community. The project is funded under the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development’s Ontario Post-secondary Access and Inclusion Program (OPAIP) funding initiative.

Peer Teams to Support Students with Financial Services, Careers and Learning Skills

In 2018, we launched three peer programs to support students with learning skills (LSS), financial services (SFS) and careers.

SFS peers are student leaders on campus who are trained by Student Financial Services to provide students assistance with Financial Aid inquiries (Scholarships & Bursaries, Student Accounts, and OSAP). Key areas the SFS Peers can help with:

  • OSAP (full time and part-time student loans and repayment)
  • Scholarships, awards and bursaries (how to apply)
  • Student Account (how to read monthly statement)
  • Budgeting and saving on interest
  • Out-of-province financial aid and US loans

Our new Career Peer Educator program at the Career Centre. A team of highly-trained, resourceful and friendly Career Peer Educators were brought together to help develop the skills and mindset to navigate a student’s career journey as well as support career-related inquiries including:

  • Resume & Cover Letters
  • Job Searching & Networking
  • Interview Skills & Preparation
  • LinkedIn: Building a Profile & Job Searching
  • Exploring What You Can do With Your Degree
  • Resources at the Career Centre and on Campus
  • Navigating the Career Centre Website

Learning Skills peer team offer drop-in services help undergraduate and graduate students achieve their academic goals by teaching them how to manage their time, how to study and learn more effectively, as well as keep up with readings and course work to get the most out of their studies.

YU START Reaches 9000+ Students and Opens to Parents

This year York’s New Student Transition Program, YU START was bigger and louder than ever with over 9,000 students participating. This year the program was also open to parents and family with a range of new services to help parents and families of students during their transition to University.

Once again, the Division of Students wishes everyone in the York community a relaxing and safe winter break! Please note that the University will be closed from December 22, 2018 to January 1, 2019. Administrative offices re-open January 2 and classes resume January 3.


In my family, volunteering is non-voluntary. From a very early age, I was schooled on the concept of privilege and my responsibility to give back. For both my parents, volunteering is as fundamental to their Canadian identity as hockey and the Northern Lights. These days, when they could be basking in their well-earned retirement, my Mom spends most of her free time supporting Victims Services while my Dad strives to improve the lives of people living with disabilities.  (Learn more about my Dad’s passion and the work both my parents do to support my brother Michael.) They are heroes to many, including me.

Drawing on the example they’ve set, I’ve embraced a wide variety of volunteer opportunities over the years; sometimes, because I thought I should while at other times because it felt good to be needed. These days, the focus of my volunteering is on Governance. After eleven years on the Board of Directors at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, I joined the Board of Trustees at Holland Bloorview Hospital in 2010.   Holland Bloorview is known globally as a leader in rehabilitation medicine for kids with disabilities. Their vision is a world of possibility for children and youth with special needs.  They live a commitment to client and family centered care and do amazing work, for example, in the areas of acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, and autism.

Here’s the lesson these two most recent volunteer commitments have taught me:  you usually get more than you give. In both instances, I initially accepted the invitation to join the Boards  because I thought I had something to contribute. Without question, however, my life has been enriched.  Professionally, I’ve made great contacts and had exposure to mentors who work in a diverse array of sectors.  The personal benefits, however, are far more profound. I am a better parent, partner and friend because of what I’ve learned from watching kids and families manage through unimaginable circumstances. I am often humbled by their courage and strength.

I know you are busy—we all are. But here is my best counsel:  make the time to give back. It’s good for our communities, and for you as a person.

The Division of Students rises to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

In the true spirit of “living our values”, Vice-Provost Morrison, Director of Sport York Jennifer Myers, members of the York Lions football team and York Lions staff have risen to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!

The challenge involves people getting doused with buckets of ice water on video, posting that video to social media, then nominating others to do the same, all in an effort to raise ALS awareness. People can either accept the challenge or make a donation to an ALS Charity of their choice, or do both.

Watch the videos here:

Janet Morrison takes on the ALS #IceBucketChallenge!

York Lions | 2014 Football team does the ALS #IceBucketChallenge!

The York Lions Staff ALS #IceBucketChallenge!

The York Women’s Soccer team takes on the Ice Bucket Challenge

The York Men’s Soccer team responds to the Women’s Soccer team nomination

York Lions’ Syd Brown takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

York Men’s hockey family takes the ALS #IceBucketChallenge for Kyle Ruppe

York University Residence Life team’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Assistant Registrar, Graduate Assessment & Transfer Credit, Andrew Wilson takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

Senior Leadership from the Division take the Challenge!

Visit the ALS Association website to learn more about Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Follow #IceBucketChallenge on Twitter and Instagram for more news about the campaign.

Updated October 16, 2014