Aaahhh… the Holidays :-)

Midterms and finals for half courses will be upon us very soon. The pace has picked up on campus, and I can definitely feel it in the air. Robarts is packed once again, as is almost every one of my not-so-secret anti-Robarts study spots. Luckily, all of our hard work will be rewarded shortly thereafter – the holidays are fast approaching! Yyyaaayy!

What are your plans for the upcoming holidays? Aside from catching up on readings for next semester *shifty side eye*??? Will you be here in Toronto? Are you going away to visit family and friends? For some, the season is of religious significance; for some, it’s a time to spend with family or friends that they hardly get to see otherwise; and for some, it’s a much-needed break from the frenetic pace of the life of a university student.

If you’re on campus, there are some events that you can check out to get into the holiday spirit. For example, the Varsity Arena is hosting a Skate and Create event on November 25th from 9 – 11pm.  Skating, button-making, and free hot chocolate and Timbits? And free skate rentals? Get into it!!! Also, Hart House is hosting a Winter Buffet from December 15th to 17th in the Great Hall. Tickets are $33.00, and can be reserved at www.uofftix.ca or by calling 416-978-8849.  It features live jazz – which is always a win-win situation, if you ask me.

So many of us originally come from other countries or were born here but have ties to other countries. I fall into the latter category. At any rate, the season means that many of us will be going away to visit friends and family. I’m excited because this year I get to step out of the cold for a moment and into my family’s home in Trinidad; it’s not something that can feasibly occur every year, so it’s not something that I take for granted.

For those who are headed “home” for the holidays, packing that suitcase presents a bit of a challenge. You want to pack enough clothes to take you through your trip, but you also know that you need to leave space for the gifts that you’re going to give, as well as space for the care package that your folks are inevitably weigh you down with upon your return. Mine is sure to contain frozen homemade bread, and homemade pepper sauce (??? Yes, you read right).

Whatever your plans are for the holidays, I hope that you get plenty of rest, get through your readings (ahem), and basically enjoy your time off to the fullest!

It’s not to early to get into the spirit of the season! On that note, I present Ella Fitzgerald with the Song of the Week. Enjoy…

CLICK THE LINK

Eat your heart out Don Johnson…we’ve got vice too!

If I told you that there were plain clothed officers on campus, would you be surprised? I was. Don’t imagine Don Johnson in a white blazer, a pastel vee-neck, and penny loafers without socks. Think more of a someone who might be your age, dressed like you, riding a bike like yours.

Your reaction to this news may differ depending on your propensity towards partaking in illegal activities on campus. Personally, I think that this presence is a good thing. Imagine my bike or your bike in the process of having its lock broken off. Now place a plain clothes officer trained to identify illegal activity, causally approaching said thief. What joy to know that the person who was attempting to pinch your primary mode of transportation, was being arrested.

I realize, by their very nature, many people are intrinsically opposed to authority. Yet I think we as a student body should be more aware of the Campus Police and what services they offer.

I admittedly didn’t even know where their office was located until last week. It’s at 21 Sussex Ave. (at Huron – also famous for its many clubs). I had gone to speak to an officer to get some background information for my previous post. I was surprised to find out that the youngish looking guy who was dressed in regular street clothes was an officer. He was really friendly and he freely offered a lot of information about the Campus Police. In no way are these officers sneaking around campus. They are more concerned about protecting the student body and trying to ensure we all remain safe.

Campus Police HQ at 21 Sussex Ave. (at Huron)

Campus Police HQ at 21 Sussex Ave. (at Huron)

The Campus Police have a lot of programs that operate for the sole purpose of protecting us. Programs like WalkSmart which offers student escorts through campus from Monday to Friday, 7pm to 12am. There is also a Bicycle Registration Program, which may help to deter theft or reclaim a bike if it is found after it has been stolen.

The Campus Police also perform Building Patrols which monitor campus buildings after hours. If you are not in the habit of hanging around lecture halls at 3AM, it may seem as though this service has little to do with you. However, consider this scenario. You have a paper due tomorrow. The library that you were planning on burrowing into, in an attempt to write a 12 page paper in 12 hours, is closed because it has been burglarized! I cringe at the thought! Luckily for us the Campus Police Building Patrols help to ensure this doesn’t happen.

It’s really a police force that works for us. They are both a visible and invisible force on campus. Even if you don’t use any of the programs they offer, we should all at least know where their office is, in case we need help or have to report a crime.

Though the sight of a police officer might make some people nervous, there are ways to ease the tension. Here’s a little experiment. Try saying hi to a Campus Police officer the next time you see one walking up St. George. They are not cyborgs. They will respond. They might even give you a big Don Johnsonesque smile!

You can check out the Campus Police website and find more information about the services at their website.

Stay safe!

-Lori