February 27, 2015

U of A Pride Week: A time to celebrate and learn

With U of A Pride Week taking place February 28 - March 7, Dean of Students, Dr. Robin Everall shares her thoughts on this exciting opportunity to celebrate our diverse and inclusive campus.

Pride Week 2015 Schedule
It is important to the Office of the Dean of Students that students of all sexualities and genders find support and care within our campus community. U of A Pride Week is one of many ways to showcase and share information about the resources and support we have on campus. It provides us with an opportunity to continue the dialogue around building and supporting a safe and respectful campus for sexual and gender minorities and allies. This exciting week is filled with a variety of events for everyone. From the festive atmosphere of the Pride Parade to the Intersections of Queer Symposium, students, staff, and faculty have a variety of opportunities to celebrate our identities and to learn how they intersect and impact one another.

February 19, 2015

Improve your self-esteem, improve your life

February is National Boost Your Self-Esteem month. The Community Social Work Team's Genevieve Jacques explains how self-esteem is a catalyst for our mental health and suggests ways we can boost ourselves up.

Students often find themselves wishing they could do better in school, become more relaxed during the day, or just find more enjoyment in the little things. Why do we have a problem achieving these things? For many of us, the answer is usually found in our self-esteem. The degree to which we value ourselves affects how well we can do in school and life. But what is self-esteem exactly?

Self-esteem is the beliefs that we hold about ourselves: our abilities, the kind of person we are, our limitations, our future expectations/achievements, etc. When we have healthy self-esteem, we have a positive outlook about ourselves. We believe we are deserving of respect from others and deserving of positive outcomes in our lives. When we have low self-esteem, we place little value on ourselves and focus on weakness or mistakes we have made. We also blame ourselves for our shortcomings and have difficulty recognizing our own strengths and positive aspects. These different levels of self-esteem have a deep impact on our mental health and, therefore, our well-being, affecting our daily lives.

February 12, 2015

Lessons from the Alberta Student Leadership Summit

The first annual Alberta Student Leadership Summit was held on January 31st at the U of A. Keanna Krawiec, undergrad student and communications assistant with the Office of the Dean of Students, attended the Summit and shares a few things she learned about developing leadership skills.

Lately, there has been much conversation on campus about leadership and the great opportunities for students to get involved or take on leadership roles. These all sound very exciting, but if you are like me, the idea of leadership is confusing and often overwhelming. This past January, I had the opportunity during the Alberta Student Leadership Summit to learn how students, staff, community leaders and entrepreneurs define leadership on their own terms. While I was hoping to develop a clearer understanding of leadership, I learned that it means something different to everyone, and that there is no one definition of leadership.

How do we become leaders? From the keynote speakers to the presenters throughout the day, I gathered advice on how to define leadership on my own terms. Brought down to the basic level, the advice was overwhelmingly simple and straightforward, and offers a best practice tip sheet that students can follow as we build ourselves into leaders right now, and into the future.