Exclusive: Guelph-Humber will not be moving as strategic plan is developed

The University of Guelph told The Avro Post on Friday that there are no plans to physically relocate the University of Guelph-Humber “at this time” amid an ongoing process to develop a new strategic plan expected to be completed by the spring.

After a report revealed that last year that Guelph-Humber’s sole building at Humber College’s North Campus was over capacity and there were unverified rumours that the university would be moved, questions arose over its future.

Guelph-Humber was established in 2002 through a partnership between the University of Guelph and Humber College.

Officials pointed to a new webpage dedicated to bringing together all resources to do with the partnership between Guelph and Humber including an operational review undertaken during the fall of 2017.

There has not been a new strategic plan since the governing framework of Guelph-Humber was written in 1999 to establish the university and so a year-long process was launched last May to make a new plan, according to a press release from the presidents of Guelph and Humber.

Guelph-Humber graduates receive a bachelor’s degree from Guelph and a college diploma from Humber. Guelph-Humber students have access to many of the supports provided by Humber and are also members of the IGNITE student union.

How an election panel at the University of Guelph was cancelled

Special Report

Controversy has flared up after a federal election panel discussion was cancelled at the University of Guelph over the presence of the contentious People’s Party, sparking a fiery debate in the community over freedom of speech and how to best regulate it.

As is common on post-secondary campuses across the country, the panel was put together in an effort to engage and inform students ahead of the Oct. 21 federal election. Students will be part of the largest voter block on voting day, according to political analysts.

Organizers of the panel, the Central Student Association and CUPE 1334, did not initially invite the People’s Party candidate. However, on Sept. 27, a faculty or staff at the university let Mark Paralovos know there was an upcoming panel that did not include the PPC candidate.

Paralovos told The Avro Post that at this time he contacted the CSA requesting to join in. He received a response from the student union, who apologized for the oversight in not inviting him and said that he could attend as a federal candidate in the Guelph riding.

After the People’s Party candidate was confirmed for the debate on Friday, there was backlash in the community and several individuals, including some known left-wing activists, started placing pressure on the Central Student Association and CUPE to uninvit Paralovos to the debate, encouraging those interested to email the unions to complain.

On Monday, Paralovos was informed by the organizers of the panel that his invitation was rescinded. He responded inquiring why, but there was no response from the CSA or the workers’ union, who were silent until releasing a public letter on Tuesday evening cancelling the event entirely.

A PPC election sign in west Guelph, Ont. on Sept. 20, 2019.

Organizers said that because of the provincially mandated freedom of speech rules for post-secondary campuses, they would be obligated to include the People’s Party candidate in the panel or risk consequences such as the province cutting funding to the university.

There were rumours posted on social media on Monday that the University of Guelph was placing pressure on the unions to include Paralovos in the debate but both Paralovos and a CUPE spokesperson said the rumours were not factual, a development not previously reported.

CUPE spokesperson Jensen Williams told The Avro Post in an interview early on Wednesday afternoon that there was a second reason the debate was cancelled: the university had received threats from Paralovos that he would hold “a rally” and they were concerned it could turn violent.

Paralovos vehemently denied ever making such a threat. In a follow up later on Wednesday, Jensen said that the claim that the candidate was making such such a threat was incorrect.

Instead, she said, it was the university administration that assumed Paralovos and his supporters would protest the panel should he not be invited. The candidate denied that he would have protested, preferring instead to spend the time canvassing the residents of Guelph.

While the threat of protest claim was unfounded, there is precedent for protests involving the People’s Party to turn violent. A PPC event with leader Maxime Bernier at Mohawk College on Sunday drew over 100 demonstrators.

Some were supporters of Bernier but many were protesting his presence on campus, according to local reporting. Hamilton police ended up arresting four people, two each from the opposing sides of the confrontation.

Bernier was accepted in September to attend two official debates by the federal commission.

The debates with other party leaders will be broadcasted nationally and was seen as a major win for the PPC after Bernier, a former Conservative cabinet minister, appealed a decision blocking him from the debates due to initially not meeting certain polling criteria.

The decision was unrelated to party policy.


‘Mandate for hatred’

The Central Student Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees division at the University of Guelph laid out why the People’s Party of Canada would not be allowed under their respective mandates in an open letter on Tuesday evening.

In the joint statement, the unions said that they “operate under an anti-oppressive mandate and commitment to upholding equality and protecting marginalized groups from hate and violence on campus” and that their members needed to be protected from PPC ideals.

The decision was made not to invite the PPC candidate because the policies included in the platform of the party “discriminate against people in the University of Guelph community, particularly marginalized groups, and therefore contradict the work of the CSA and CUPE 1334 to make an inclusive campus for all students and workers,” the release said.

CUPE spokesperson Jensen Williams outlined several of the specific platform planks the organizers felt was a threat to those the unions represent, calling the party’s ideals a “mandate for hatred”. She said because of this, organizers were within their right to cancel the panel.

The PPC’s immigration policy states that immigration policy can only benefit Canadians “only if we welcome the right kind of immigrants”, saying it “should not be used to forcibly change the cultural character and social fabric of our country.”

In its “Canadian identity” platform plank, the party calls for an “end to official multiculturalism” and aims to repeal the Multiculturalism Act while cutting immigration by over half and up to over two-thirds.

When it comes to refugees, the People’s Party would, if elected, significantly cut refugee acceptance while clamping down on border security. The party would also declare the entire Canadian border an official port of entry to clamp down on illegal entry from the United States.

These and other PPC policies are directly in contradiction with the unions and their own mandate to eradicate hate and discrimination while upholding equity and equality”, Jensen explained to The Post on Wednesday.

“Our decision was based on [the] principles of our organization but it is also to set an example that hate should not be given a platform,” she added.


What now?

Mark Paralovos is looking into his legal options. He told the Guelph Mercury Tribune that he finds the statement released Tuesday “libellous” and would be “investigating his legal options”.

Organizers of the now-cancelled debate have directed students to head to the 100 Debate on the Environment on Thursday at Centennial CVI, or the Guelph Chamber of Commerce debate next Wednesday at Guelph City Hall — both debates will feature Paralovos.

“The organizers of this event stand by the decision not to let the PPC candidate speak on campus,” the Tuesday statement from organizers concluded, adding that “we do not want to compromise the safety of students or workers by bringing this candidate and their supporters to campus.”

With files from Guelph
Politico and TAP.

Federal debate at University of Guelph scrapped over PPC policies

The student government and a workers’ union at the University of Guelph decided on Tuesday to cancel a federal debate scheduled for the next day as provincial policy would have forced organizers to allow the local People’s Party of Canada candidate to attend.

The Central Student Association and CUPE 1334 said in a statement that they have the right to bar individuals from having a platform to speak on campus if allowing them would “jeopardize or compromise our anti-oppressive mandate and the safety of our students and workers.”

Based on the party’s platform, the two organizations found that the PPC policies “discriminate against people in the University of Guelph community” and thus contradict the CSA and CUPE’s work to “make an inclusive campus for all students and workers.”

However, due to freedom of speech rules mandated by the Progressive Conservative government earlier this year, the organizers could not hold a federal debate on the Guelph campus without allowing the local PPC candidate Mark Paralovos to participate.

If post-secondary institutions did not implement the free speech policies, they would be left vulnerable to funding cuts by the province. Therefore, to keep Paralovos off the debate stage, the unions cancelled the election event altogether.

Organizers told The Avro Post on Wednesday afternoon that Paralovos had threatened to arrive on campus with supporters to protest the debate if he was not invited. Jensen Williams, speaking on behalf of CUPE, said that they did not want violent protests similar to what occurred recently in Hamilton.

Jensen nearly five hours later told The Post that her claim that Paralovos threatened to protest if he was excluded from the debate was false, and that it was the University of Guelph administration who assumed there would be violence because of what occurred in Hamilton.

The decision to not invite Paralovos and subsequently shut down the debate so he would not protest was a non-partisan one, Williams stated. The spokeswoman pointed to the immigration, refugees and Canadian identity planks put forward on the People’s Party platform as attacking minorities represented by both the unions.

Requests for comment sent out to the provincial government and Paralovos have not yet received a response.


An election weeks away

The Federal Election Panel Discussion, which had over 100 Facebook profiles marked as “interested” or “going”, was planned as a way for students, who are part of the largest voting bloc, to get a sense of the parties available to them on Oct. 21, when the country will vote.

Originally invited was Liberal incumbent MP Lloyd Longfield, Green Party candidate Steve Dyck, Conservative Party candidate Dr. Ashish Sachan, New Democrat Aisha Jahangir and the Communist Party’s Juanita Burnett.

However, there was some pressure for Mark Paralovos, the People’s Party of Canada candidate, to be invited. Paralovos has previously struggled with receiving access to local debates and campaign events, but has since been welcomed to attend several after reporting by local media.

The move by the unions has resulted in backlash from Paralovos and his camp. In a tweet, the federal candidate implied that there could be legal action.

Paralovos asked on Twitter: “What I have to wonder is: do these two who have signed their names to this libellous and defamatory statement understand what they’ve done?”

“I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” he added, posting a link to a section of the Canadian criminal code dealing with libel, a law that covers the slander of individuals.

People’s Party leader, Maxime Bernier, has been accused of racism and discrimination, which he has denied. Specifically, there has been backlash to the part of the PPC platform calling for cutting immigration into Canada by over half, citing the economic impact of current levels.

Earlier this year, a visit by Bernier was made in secret after a location change due to what the PPC called safety concerns after anti-fascist activists planned a protest. As Bernier spoke to a private audience with Paralovos, a protest was held at city hall.

Former student union president questions IGNITE moves

Jack Fisher, former president of the University of Guelph’s student union, questioned on Thursday the legality of IGNITE’s statement banning students from attending Board of Directors meetings without special permission from its executive director, telling The Avro Post that provincial law does not explicitly ban members from forming a gallery at a Board gathering.

Citing provincial law, the student union on Wednesday said that students were no longer allowed inside the Board meetings, where decisions are made related to IGNITE’s usually $11 million budget. The directors are elected and paid for by students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber.

“There is no part of the Ontario Corporations Act that says, in any way that ‘only the directors’ have the ‘right to attend meetings’, Fisher said. He added: “This could be something from IGNITE’s own bylaws that were amended post-conception — as most corporations do, but citing the OCA in this way does not  look to be a fact.”

The act also specifies that public meeting minutes must be made accessible to all members, unless the Board of Directors have voted to hold all meetings in-camera. This type of move could not have been made by the Board in a formal vote as there has been no meetings since Aug. 14, the last known date when the website still encourages students to come have “open and honest conversation”.

It was this Ontario Corporations Act that IGNITE cited when they published a memo online saying that students would only have access to the meetings with approval from Ercole Perrone, the top staff member at the student union. The note also states that past meeting minutes would only be available if an interested party contacted Perrone, in direct contradiction with the OCA, which states that public minutes must be available to members.

While the OCA does outline specific rules pertaining to members meetings, such as annual general meetings and additional “general member” gatherings, it does not detail specifics about how board of directors meetings are run. It only covers director responsibility, election, removal, and general business.

IGNITE is considered a non-share corporation under provincial law. Fisher told The Avro Post that, unless otherwise specified, there can be unlimited members of such a corporation. The current constitution of IGNITE defines all members as full-time students who have paid their activity fees as members, which poses a contention because that fee no longer exists as it has now been split up due to the Student Choice Initiative.

Technically , IGNITE is operating with a faulty constitution which is likely to change via a ratification process at the Special Meeting of the Members. All signs point to that October meeting only being open to those students that stayed opted in to either all the IGNITE fees or at least the governance fee.

When IGNITE argues that only the Board Directors “have a right” to attend the meetings, Fisher questions the legal argument they put forward.

“Is the board the only certified membership?” Fisher asked, answering his own question with a “no”.

“IGNITE holds a Certified Meeting of Members and and Annual General Meeting. Hosting a CMOM and allowing the student vote implies that anyone eligible to attend would be a member,” he continued. Essentially, students qualified to go to the Special Meeting taking place in October are also qualified to attend the Board meetings, according to how the law is laid out.

A non-share corporation such as IGNITE is beholden to a board of directors in line with other publicly registered corporations in the province and boards do not by nature or explicitly deny the presence of “members”, of which all full-time students are according to the constitution, Fisher explained.

“It is my belief that they have a responsibility to the student body to be transparent with their fiduciary duty. Even though the students vote on the decisions of the board once a year,” the former CSA president told The Post.

“There is nothing that prevents a silent gallery from existing at a board of directors meeting.”

Despite the fact that a board of directors could vote to go private, or “in-camera”, with their meetings, Fisher told The Post that as a former president he finds it contradictory to a student union’s purpose.

“Student associations like IGNITE have a responsibility to the students they represent to be transparent with their decisions, especially, not excepting, when those decisions pertain to student fees,” he explained.

“While it’s a tough time right now with the Student Choice Initiative, it would be best practice to begin new habits of transparency and communication rather than shutting down student attempts to engage.”

Jack Fisher was the Central Student Association president for the 2018-2019 academic year. Now graduated, he is continuing his studies as a post-graduate at Sheridan for journalism.

Students unite against Ontario government changes in rally

Eli Ridder | Report

An alliance of campus groups and the Young Liberals hosted a rally on Wednesday at the University of Guelph against the significant changes to student financial life made by the Ontario government last week.

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Rally Sign / Eli Ridder

Former Liberal education minister and Member of Provincial Parliament Liz Sandals criticized the changes, which will include a 10 per cent tuition price cut, less grants in the Ontario Student Assistance Program and optional student fees starting in August.

Sandals, who previously represented Guelph at Queen’s Park, said it was her, MPP Deb Matthews and ex-premier Kathleen Wynne who orchestrated the OSAP overhaul that came into effect in the fall of 2017 that gave free tuition for some 200,000 students.

These changes — the Ontario Student Grant program — came with more grants so that more students could go to post-secondary institutions for less in Ontario. However, this was wiped off the table by Premier Doug Ford last Thursday.

Representatives from the campus Liberals and New Democrats also spoke out against the changes at the rally along with the Central Student Association’s Vice President of External Affairs Kayla Weiler. A representative of Guelph’s MPP spoke as well.

There were some 30 students that watched the speakers, however, there were hundreds streaming by as they made their way through the University Centre. The campus Young Liberals initiated the event and brought in keynote speaker Sandals.

The province announced the changes on Jan. 17, the second time in two years there will be major changes to how students apply and receive a mixture of grants and loans from the Ontario Student Assistance Program, among other student life altercations.

Link: 10 Major Changes by the Ontario Government

The second-in-charge of the post-secondary institutions file, told The Avro Post on Friday that the Ontario government is “putting students first”, and giving those enrolled freedom with the “Student Choice Initiative” — which are optional student fees.

Student unions, including the University of Guelph’s CSA and the University of Guelph-Humber and Humber College’s IGNITE have railed against the optional student fees, saying it threatens their democratic government, clubs and some services.

MPP David Piccini, parliamentary secretary to the education minister, said that dental and health services are “essential” and therefore would remain funded. CSA Vice President Weiler said that the current fees allowed certain services to remain affordable.


‘Show up, unite, fight back’

Vice President Weiler, who an elected representative for students at the University of Guelph, said that students will be the “victims” of the provincial changes, saying that students united are stronger and can vouch for more publicly-funded education.

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Weiler On Stage / Eli Ridder

Weiler described an effort by the CSA, the student union for Guelph, to bring together student leadership across the province to protest and attempt to halt grant cuts and the optional student fees initiative, which she says will harm unions and clubs on campus.

“We need to work together. We need to stand united. We can’t fight against each other over the scraps that are left from the government. If we put in the effort we will see results. Show up, unite, fight back,” she told The Avro Post.

Weiler confirmed that IGNITE was included in the advocacy effort, saying that unions are not going “to work in silos” and that executives are “trying to make this a province-wide effort” — adding that Guelph-Humber students are free to reach out to the CSA.


Initial story — more details to follow. Images from The Avro Post

Raymond aims for 2-day Guelph fall break

Eli Ridder | Report

After leading a delegation of students into a meeting with a vice provost over mental health issues earlier this week, Victoria Raymond said on Thursday that her aim is to establish a two day fall break at the University of Guelph, a move that could take a few years.

She tweeted shortly before 11 a.m. that the main goal of the Tuesday meeting was to institute “a fall break within the next year or two that is at least two days long.

“I think we can all agree 2 days, if strategically placed, won’t disrupt the semester too much.”

Raymond, who posted a viral tweet last week criticizing mental health supports at Guelph, admitted in her Twitter chain that “it’s harder to find fast solutions for things that are institutional, systematic, require a larger budget etc”.

“Don’t get me wrong, that’s a fight, but it takes longer. a fall break is something YOU, the students, can easily decide on [and] it’s something we desperately need,” she said.

A fall reading week has been considered in the past by the Guelph administration.

Following the tweet that went viral, Guelph’s Vice Provost of Student Affairs Carrie Chassels meet with Raymond and her peers in an attempt to find solutions on Tuesday.

Chassels Meeting: Read More

Raymond said her and three other students had a “constructive talk” with Ms. Chassels, a discussion the vice provost said lasted two hours.

The group put forward suggestions, including the idea to “provide a longer fall break, to increase awareness of services available on campus, and to make mental health education and training modules available to students both in person and online.”

The University is Guelph followed up with a statement that signed appreciation to Raymond and her peers stepping forward and detailed the mental health supports already in place.

“The university appreciates the input of our students and having heard from them, we will now move ahead and take action,” communications director Lori Bona Hunt told The Avro Post in an email Wednesday.

The University of Guelph’s mental health portal has an extensive amount of recourses for students to access via the Counselling Services homepage, with options for students to take in a variety of circumstances.

The university’s response came after The Avro Post published the accounts of several current students who detailed their experience with the mental health supports on campus.

Students Detail Experience: Read More

Students at the University of Guelph-Humber rely on the services provided by Humber College’s Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, but it is not clear how the two campuses compare for mental health care.


Image of the University of Guelph from previous files.

Well-being of students at Guelph a ‘top priority’

Eli Ridder | Report

The University of Guelph responded to a series of mental health stories published by The Avro Post this week, saying that the well-being of students is the university’s “top priority”.

Following a tweet that went viral blasting mental health supports from student Victoria Raymond, Guelph’s Vice Provost of Student Affairs Carrie Chassels meet with Raymond and her peers to find solutions on Tuesday.

“The university appreciates the input of our students and having heard from them, we will now move ahead and take action,” communications director Lori Bona Hunt told The Avro Post in an email Wednesday.

“It is our hope that the current social media discussions will soon end, as they are harmful to many of our most vulnerable students, especially when misinformation is shared” or when others make “disparaging comments that make students believe they are being mocked or bullied.”

Vice Provost Chassels said in a statement emailed to The Avro Post on Tuesday that the University of Guelph “has one of the most robust mental health systems for assisting students in Canada.”

“We want to assure all students that numerous mental health services and resources are available through the University, including immediate assistance and support for students assessed as requiring urgent critical care. “

The mental health advocate with the viral tweet, Victoria Raymond, said her and three other students had a “constructive talk” with Ms. Chassels on Tuesday afternoon, a discussion the vice provost said lasted two hours.

Article: Carrie Chassels Meeting

The group put forward suggestions, including the ideas to “provide a longer fall break, to increase awareness of services available on campus, and to make mental health education and training modules available to students both in person and online.”

The University of Guelph’s mental health portal has an extensive amount of recourses for students to access via the Counselling Services homepage, with options for students to take in a variety of circumstances.


Better supports than city

Chassels said in her statement to The Avro Post that Guelph, like other universities, is “seeing a steady increase in the number of students experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges.”

Guelph works closely with the Canadian Mental Health Association to provide “help and resources” to the student community.

The university takes an “integrated approach” to student wellness with 23,000 students on our Guelph campus have access to 16 counsellors, two full-time equivalent psychiatrists and a team of family physicians.”

This beats the City of Guelph’s four provincially supported mental health counsellors, according to 2017 figures, Chassels said.

“Our campus services include early warning programs, peer helpers and residence life assistance; counsellors available through our Student Counselling Services; psychiatrists in Health Services; programs in our Wellness Education Centre; and a Student Support Network with drop-in hours.”

Chassels noted that there are free off-campus resources too, including the Good2Talk helpline, the HERE-24/7 helpline, the Distress Centre and a crisis text line through Kids Help Phone.


More details to follow. Image of the University of Guelph from OneClass.

Students detail experiences with Guelph university’s mental health services

Eli Ridder | Special Report

“We don’t offer help just because you don’t want to study.”

This is what one University of Guelph student heard from Bonnie Lasby, the program counsellor for 12 majors on campus.

Thomas, whose full identity The Avro Post has withheld due to concerns over privacy, went to Lasby in confidence over an existential crisis that he believes was mild depression a few years ago while working on his undergrad.

He added that, on top of his depression, he has “always had trouble with tests and it’s never really been something that’s had a chance to be addressed,” causing mental health struggles over high-pressure testing.

Thomas heard that there were some students who were “given an alternative”, and asked Lasby about accessing the accommodations others were receiving.

The counsellor told the barely coping student that “we don’t offer help just because you don’t want to study”, a reply Thomas told The Avro Post has been “burnt into my mind as the mentality UoG has toward me and my struggles with high pressure testing.”

“It makes me feel isolated, and like I can’t ask for any help.”

This meeting took place sometime in 2013. Shortly after the meeting with Lasby, Thomas switched out for a general science degree and took a break before re-enrolling for an honours degree despite knowing it was going to be a battle.

Since then, Thomas, who says he is timid already, has only been able to approach a few professors for the help he needs for the testing setting, and this often determines the outlook of a semester.

“I go from doing very well during a semester to scraping by because so many of my marks are tied up in heavily weighted tests,” Thomas said, saying that two hour tests will damage his academic focus and functionality.

Though Thomas says he wished he got the help he needed for mental health from the University of Guelph, it was that he “was basically called lazy for reaching out” that made him disenfranchised and angry.

“It was infuriating that I had the courage to approach the schools representative, and she made me feel like an idiot for it,” he wrote to The Avro Post.

“I was mad at them for not helping me, mad at myself for asking, mad at myself for needing help, and it wasn’t a healthy situation that I struggled with for a long time afterwards.”

There are four counsellors for the Bachelor of Science programs at the University of Guelph, according to the university website. The Avro Post has reached out to Bonnie Lasby and the University of Guelph for comment.

The university did later give a response to the series of stories The Avro Post published, with officials saying that the well-being of students stood as their “top priority” and detailed their mental health supports.

Thomas and several other students have come forward to The Avro Post with their stories of mental health at Guelph following a viral Dec. 5 tweet by Victoria Raymond blasting the university’s health supports.

The Ontario University and College Health Association, or OUCHA, published a survey in 2016 that found the rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts on campuses have experienced a dramatic increase since 2013, the last study it carried out.

Suicide has become the second-highest leading cause of death among Canadians aged 15 – 34, according to statistics provided by the University of Guelph.

That statistic does not include the number of students who have considered suicide or who have dropped out due to depression or other mental health related issues.


Professors

Jane Smith, a name to hide the identity of another Guelph student, told The Avro Post that “professors aren’t doing a great job at helping kids with mental health issues either”.

“I had to ask a professor if I could do a presentation at a later dat because the night before I was on the floor having a panic attack because I didn’t understand the content I was supposed to be presenting,” Smith said.

The professor responded by saying “I don’t really know you so I’m not sure why you’re telling me this”, dismissing her struggles. Smith found it hard to believe he did not “know her” because the class had 11 people.

Smith is enrolled in one course this semester that features over 100 pages of “DENSE” reading per week, giving her a workload of 500 pages to consume each week.

“And that’s just the readings, we have to pick between the readings or doing assignments because the workload is way too much,” she added.

Philosopher fourth year Smith was not aware the university had a trained psychiatrist on campus until the Raymond tweet, and went into some detail regarding the mental health supports offered by Guelph.

“The walk in facilities aren’t adequate, they run from 8-4, but with a bunch of kids trying to see someone, you end up waiting for up to [two] hours to see someone,” she sent in a message to the Post, adding that students “actually have to make an appointment” for the walk-in service.

“The most they’ve done so far with respect to ‘helping’ the mental health stuff is adding a ‘friendship bench’ that’s yellow and says ‘yellow is for hello'”, she wrote, referencing the Friendship Bench organization.

The non-for-profit Lucas Fiorella Friendship Bench was launched in 2015, and seeks to connect those experiencing mental health issues on post-secondary campuses with local and community services, as well as raise awareness and educate on illness symptoms.

The Friendship Bench, which is also available at Humber College, sends students to a mental health landing page on the university website, which features a phone help line and a portal for getting assistance.


Editor’s Note: Other students have come forward to The Avro Post regarding mental health supports at the University of Guelph, and their stories will be published in a continuing series of posts.

Image of the University of Guelph from Wikimedia Commons.

Students cite ‘constructive talk’ with Guelph vice provost over mental health

Eli Ridder | Report

Following a tweet that went viral blasting the University of Guelph for its mental health supports, Victoria Raymond said her and three other students had a “constructive talk” with Vice Provost of Student Affairs Carrie Chassels on Tuesday.

Raymond sent out a tweet after the late afternoon meeting, saying “[I] can assure you she took our concerns very seriously” and “took vigorous notes [and] talked seriously about implementing our suggestions and solutions.”

“Rest assured she is listening,” the Guelph student ended off the post by writing.

Vice Provost Chassels replied to the public tweet by thanking the group of students “for making time to share your insights and recommendations”, saying “we will definitely share your input with others throughout the university so we can work together to put your ideas into action!”

Read Original Story: TAP.ca

Chassels told The Avro Post that the meeting went for over two hours, with the students bringing up solutions that including a variety of strategies.

This included suggestions to “provide a longer fall break, to increase awareness of services available on campus, and to make mental health education and training modules available to students both in person and online.”

“I really appreciated their time and input, especially during this busy exam time.”



More details to follow. Image of the University of Guelph from previous files.

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