Back by popular demand, our third Galapagos tour is on the books and has already had a good number of people signed up. Interestingly, three of the first four people to enrol for the 2020 trip participated in one of our previous Galapagos tours (2015, 2017). I am writing to invite you to join us on what previous travellers have called “the trip of a lifetime” (a most appropriate cliche). To reserve your spot on this trip and to lock in the current price, enroll by clicking on the link below and paying a $199 deposit. The trip is limited to a total of 35 travellers; all spots on previous trips were taken (we have only seven spots left on this trip and I would like as many of them as possible to go to students).

The cost of the trip (for students) is $5584. This price is very competitive compared to commercial tours (which often do not include airfare). Ours is an all-inclusive price (return airfare from Toronto to Quito and Quito to the Galapagos, hotels, meals, ground and water transportation, admissions, etc.). On previous trips, travellers ranged in age from 11 to 80+ and came from Vancouver to St. John’s. Whether in Quito or on Galapagos, we will be accompanied by an Ecuadorian Tour Director (for previous travellers, we will have Victor again!) at all times. On Galapagos, we will also be accompanied by three Park Naturalists (the Galapagos Islands are a National Park). Between them, these four resource people know EVERYTHING about the social history, religious history, natural history, art, music, cuisine, politics, economy, etc. of Ecuador. Their knowledge will greatly enhance your travel experience. Nipissing students participating in this trip can earn three course credits towards their program requirements by taking either BIOL 4506 or UNIV 3006 as a spring course in 2020. IF THE TRIP IS FULLY SUBSCRIBED, I AM CONFIDENT (but cannot as yet carve in stone) THAT I WILL BE ABLE TO REIMBURSE $400 TO EACH OF THE FIRST 8 STUDENTS TO REGISTER FOR THE TRIP AND “GALAPAGOS COURSE”. (If we have only six students, this would become $500 each.)

The trip has been posted by EF Tours at ; after going here, you can register by clicking on the ENROL NOW tab. Our travel itinerary is attached here and is also on the web site. Please email ([email protected]) any questions you might have, call me at ext. 4323, or drop by and see me in H214. ALSO – check out the EF TOURS website where many general travel issues are addressed. If you are interested in receiving updates about the trip, please let me know and I will add your name to my mailing list. – Peter Nosko

NUSU Statement on Education

The Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) has expressed disappointment in the recent news of changes to education from the provincial government.  

Since the announcement in January regarding the new tuition framework for Ontario universities, many student unions and students have been concerned about the future of education. This matter was furthered by the changes to elementary and secondary education.

Of particular concern for our students is the removal of the interest-free grace period, the changes to OSAP, services fees opt-out, as well as the grant to loan ratio. By significantly lowering the qualifying family income threshold, and shifting the focus from grants to loans, the provincial government is limiting accessibility and imposing a greater burden of debt on students. Many of our students have expressed that they feel they are no longer able to pursue a postgraduate degree due to the lack of grants now offered.

Minister Fullerton has stated that her ministry has heard directly from numerous groups regarding the changes to elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools. We have been unable to find which groups have been consulted and in what format their feedback was received. We are worried that the voice of the north has been muted and the difference in needs to our southern counterparts has not been considered.

We stand with the high school students voicing their concerns about the proposed changes. A large portion of Nipissing University’s population are concurrent, consecutive, or Faculty of Education students. These individuals are hoping to spend their lives working with youth and positively contributing to this province, yet their future is now uncertain as there will be a reduction in jobs as well as support through educational assistants. The increased class sizes and mandatory online courses will not only impair learning for students that require one-on-one interaction, but it will also severely lower the number of teaching positions available. This will lead to fewer extra-curricular activities being offered both in sports and in the arts.

These changes also impact those of our students who are parents. The mandatory online classes will increase the financial barrier that many have when it comes to education. Although these classes will still be part of the high school curriculum, those who do not have access to personal computers or internet at home, will struggle to complete the assignments.

To see funding being taken away from schools, the very institutions that support and shape the future of this province, is a concern. This is exacerbated by the fact that millions of dollars are now being funnelled into programs such as horse racing. This is telling the youth of Ontario that their education and future is less important than these programs.

Although we understand that cuts must be made to lower the deficit, these cuts should not be made on the backs of educators or students. We implore Minister Fedeli and Minister Fullerton to engage with educational bodies, students and parents in an open and transparent forum, to see the long-term effects of their changes.

-NUSU Executive

RSD Approved Events

Looking for RSD approved events? Check out the following to fulfill your requirements!
Want to Be a Volunteer Writer for Buzzfeed?
Students will be shown how to become a Community writer for BuzzFeed. They will learn how to gather information, writer articles and get published. Students will create an account, and help assist in writing an article within the session.
March 21, 2018
Contact NUSU for more information
Involvement Outcomes: Synthesis, Decision Making, Communication, Idea Generation, Research
Amnesty International Nipissing Community Action
This is an opportunity for students to actively get involved in human rights, volunteerism and letter writing.
Please join us to write letters supporting two men imprisoned for peacefully opposing slavery in Mauritania and several women and men attacked by far right organizations for participating in a Women’s Day March in Ukraine.

This is a come and go event—come for as little or long as you like. As always, refreshments will be provided.


12:30-2:30 PM in A244 (the NUFA Office).
March 23, 2018
Involvement Outcomes: Communication, Diversity, Empathy, Ethics, Social Responsibility
Three Minute Thesis – Attendee
3MT® is a university wide competition for Masters and Doctoral students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges. Attend this special event to learn about the current graduate research happening at Nipissing University.
March 23, 2018
1:00-3:00 pm
Involvement Outcome: Research
Three Minute Thesis – Presenter
3MT® is a university wide competition for Masters and Doctoral students in which participants present their research and its wider impact in 3 minutes or less to a panel of non-specialist judges.
The challenge is to present complex research material in an engaging, compelling way, using only one slide. The three minute thesis competition provides graduate students with an opportunity to refine skills that can be transferred after graduation to diverse career paths. Distilling research into a clear form, without over-simplifying or making overly-complex, and highlighting the wider implications of this research are important skills to carry into post-graduate employment and public service.
Involvement Outcomes: Communication, Initiative, Organization, Research, Synthesis
Undergraduate Research Conference – Presenter
Presenters deliver a fifteen minute oral presentation of research or engage in a poster presentation at the Undergraduate Research Conference. The work presented is the summation of a student’s research project over the semester or year and is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their research excellence to the university community.
Involvement Outcomes: Communication, Receiving Feedback, Research, Synthesis
Exploring Learning Styles – Academic Success Workshop
Learn about the learning styles students typically relate and adhere to when learning. Subsequently we’ll discuss study and test taking strategies that suit your learning style to maximize academic success while minimizing stress associated with assignments and exams!
March 22, 2018
Involvement Outcomes: Excellence, Functioning Independently, Organization
Building Resilience
This workshop allows students to reflect on factors that make people more resilient and how they can develop these things in their lives. We will look at challenges and setbacks commonly faced by university students and strategies to address these challenges. We will conclude with a time of reflection, where students will consider present or past challenges they have faced.
March 29, 2018
2:00-3:00 pm
Involvement Outcomes: Empathy, Initiative, Responding to Change
CIC Speaker Series: Col. Krista Brodie from the Department of National Defence
April 10, 2018
Location: TBA
Involvement Outcomes: Research, Synthesis, Ethics

NUSU First in Country to Partner with Military Veteran Family Program

28th August 2017

The Nipissing University Student Union (NUSU) and the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) announced their partnership today in an effort to give more assistance to military families and former personnel. Acknowledging the valuable skills and strengths acquired from military training and military family life, while being proactive to the potential challenges that can arise in a university environment during a Veteran or family member’s transition from military to civilian life, the Nipissing University Student Union and the Military Family Resource Centre have forged a partnership.

“It is our hope that members, veterans and families will feel accepted, understood, and valued for their important skills and experiences as they adapt to the university environment. NUSU, the MFRC, and the Veteran Family Program are committed to easing the transition from military to civilian life for members, veterans and their families,” said Tina Thomason, Veteran Family Program Coordinator for the North Bay Military Family Resource Centre.

The Nipissing University Student Union is the first Student Union in Canada to partner with MFRC and their Veteran Family Program.

“We applaud the work that the MFRC does for those who protect our country and the families that support them. It is an honour that we are the first Student Union in Canada to partner with the Military Family Resource Centre, especially the Veteran Family Program” stated NUSU VP Governance and Legal Affairs, Cooper Allen.

With Frosh Week starting tomorrow and engaging over 400 new students, the Student Union had over 60 Frosh Leaders attending the press conference dressed in red in honour of the service personnel of Canada.

Sydney Lamorea, NUSU President stated, “It was a fantastic moment to be able to see so many of our Frosh Leaders stand in support of this partnership. With Frosh Leaders being one of the first groups new students encounter, it is important that former military personnel and family members know that they can speak to our staff, executives and frosh leaders for assistance in their transition.”

MP Anthony Rota, who was unable to attend the press conference, sent a message of congratulations to both parties. “Congratulations to the Nipissing University Student Union and the North Bay Military Family Resource Centre for establishing this exceptional new partnership and helping former service personnel, and the loved ones who stand behind them, reach their post-military educational and career goals.”

To find out more information about the MFRC and Veterans Family Program, please visit For more information about NUSU please visit

Hearing & Listening: Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid for Adults who Interact with Youth

From Saturday, March 18 to Sunday, March 19, 2017, I attended the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Adults who Interact with Youth program. The venue was in Nipissing University and it took two full days to complete it. I had heard about the program from the Record of Student Development (RSD) website, and Student Counselling Services. I attended the program because I wanted to learn more about how to talk to individuals who were developing a mental illness or are experiencing a mental health crisis.

On the first day, our instructor, Sarah Cantin, asked us to introduce ourselves to the group. She also gave each of us a copy of the MHFA for Adults who Interact with Youth book. We covered topics such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, psychosis, and more. For each topic, we analyzed a specific piece of artwork. Some were abstract, and some were straightforward. It was interesting to listen to everyone’s interpretation of the piece. After our input, Sarah read to us the artist’s description of the work. The art pieces and their relation to each mental illness was one of the things that I liked about how the program was instructed.

Throughout the two days, there were plenty of activities that kept us active and engaged. It also helped us to remember important information such as the acronym ‘ALGEE.’  I wanted to talk about the activities that we participated in:

  • Phobias – One of the activities we engaged in was for the phobia section of the course. Sarah placed slips of green paper around the room. The green paper had a phobia written on it. Beside this was a blank piece of paper in which we wrote down our guesses. Some of the guesses were quite funny and bizarre.
  • Communicator and receiver – Another activity emphasized the importance of truly listening to people we communicate with. The group broke off into partners. One person was the communicator and the other was the receiver, or the listener. Our backs faced each other throughout the activity. The communicator was given a piece of paper that had a drawing on it. The communicator was then asked to describe the image, but here’s the catch: The communicator was not allowed to say the actual object’s name (i.e., table, chair, hat) or call out the shapes that were in the image (i.e., circle, square, triangle). So, the communicator had to be really creative with how they were going to present and communicate the image. Meanwhile, the receiver was asked to remain quiet. They were not allowed to give any indications of whether or not they understood the communicator’s instructions.
  • Case Study –Sarah gave us all a case study scenario and we had to partner up with somebody to act out the scene. We role played multiple scenes that were intended for certain topics in the course. One person would be an individual with a mental illness, while the other person provided mental health first aid. This activity was quite challenging for me. There is a difference between talking and listening to your friend and talking and listening to somebody you might not know and are providing mental health first aid to. When talking to a friend, I find myself guilty for interrupting them because I might have experienced a similar event that they were talking about, or I interrupt them because I want to give them my opinion on something. However, when providing mental health first aid to somebody, you have to listen attentively with no judgment, reassure them, and provide them with information regarding appropriate professional help.

Overall, the Mental Health First Aid for Adults who Interact with Youth workshop taught me many lessons. The lesson that was the most important to me is that listening is not an easy thing to do. It isn’t easy to give people our full attention because our mind begins to wander to other topics. This is what usually happens to me, which is partially the reason for when I interrupt others when they are speaking. So, I want to become a better listener and interrupt less when I am having a conversation with somebody. There is a difference between hearing what a person is saying and listening to what a person is saying.

I recommend this workshop to everyone. Thank you, Sarah Cantin, for being a wonderful instructor!

Mikee Layaoen is a fourth year student in the Psychology program minoring in Human Resources.





Humans of Nipissing U- Ben Bao

What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone?

“Don’t believe in whatever I say. Because whatever I say is from my opinion, my perspective, concluded from my experience and it is not representative of any kind of your experience, of your mind. That’s probably one thing I realized coming here. I realized how different people can be and there’s no point in me trying to inflict or impose my opinions on other people so that they are the same with mine, because we are never going to be the same. Never. Right? If somebody invented some crazy mind infecting virus, you can probably make everyone the same. Now I’m just getting too sci-fi here. Don’t believe what people say to you and try to kind of think independently. And don’t even believe in THAT! [laughs]”

Ben Bao

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans Of Nipissing U- Emily Brown

“What generally makes me happy? Uhm kind of just hanging out with friends. Like I don’t feel the need that like we have to talk all the time, like we can just sit in comfortable silence and like… That really, really works. That makes me happy. Yeah! Seriously like the little things like the book store… little things like that.”

Emily Brown

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Where did you learn the most about yourself?

While I was putting dry dishes away, this question came into my mind. I was thinking about the skills I’ve learned in my previous jobs and thought about where I discovered new things about myself the most. My first answer was here, at a university far from home. But it wasn’t necessarily the distance between here and home that made me more independent. It was the belief and goal that I had to create to discover myself, for this chapter of my life is crucial to establishing who I wanted to become.

And though at times I may still be distant to who I want to be and what I want to do, my thoughts always circle around to the pronounced difference of who I was in high school in comparison to who I am now. I have told myself this before, and I will continue to do so for a long time:

I have grown. I have grown in ways I never knew I would. University has given me a reason to go beyond my boundaries and say goodbye to the limitations I set for myself. And I want to continue to reflect about myself. I’ve acknowledged I’ve changed into a person I never thought I could be – a good change; those around me can see it too. And that’s what I strive for every day. To become a better person and to constantly look for inspiration around me to guide myself towards that direction.

I do not want to find comfort in this knowledge I have of myself that I have matured tremendously. For accepting this observation of myself means rejecting my potential. I have yet to find my own potential, and what sets me apart from others. And the only way to do so is to try and do something beyond what I believe I can achieve.

I may not succeed, but for me, there is an abundant amount of joy that accompanies the action of trying.

So thank you, university, for being a place of discoveries. Though I will give my farewell to you soon, I will never forget the beloved people I have met, whom you’ve taken care of under your roof.

And thank you to myself, for your constant reminder of the strive towards improvement and growth.

Mikee Layaoen is a fourth year student in the Psychology program minoring in Human Resources.

Humans of Nipissing U- Adele Orr

“Oh, I’m a hard core fan [of Harry Potter]. Absolutely. [My favourite was] uh, number six. Yeah number six. Unpopular opinion but I think number six was the best one [of the series]. I don’t know, there’s just something about it! It’s got… In my opinion it’s got the most action. People will fight that, but uh, it’s, I don’t know I just really like the book! A lot happens. A lot is revealed in that book. There’s a lot of mystery in that one, a lot of weirdness. Things that you didn’t expect to happen then all of a sudden… You see kind of a darker side to some good characters that you’ve been taught to, not worship but like adore. And then you see a lighter side to some dark characters… It’s my favourite in the series.”

Adele Orr

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Humans of NipissingU- Sayyadah Merali

“There’s one thing I learned last month. I try to make every month a lesson, you know like January, February, March… So last month I learned that don’t expect anything from anyone. If you give someone something, do it with all your heart. For example, I gave someone a gift and the person didn’t say thank you to me. So I told my fiancé that this person didn’t say thank you to me. And he was like, “If you give a person a gift, do it with all your heart. You don’t need to expect to get a thank you from them.” And I was like, that is so true. We often do things and expect them to say something back. Or [for example] if you hold the door for someone, you expect them to say thank you, but if you do it with all your heart, you just wouldn’t care if they said thank you or not. Do it with all your heart as long as it makes you happy, right? So I thought that was an important lesson to learn. Whenever you do something for someone, you always expect them to say something nice or [receive] something in return. It’s not business, it’s kindness.”

Sayyadah Merali

Photo by ©Isaac Bender

This interview was conducted for the Humans of Nipissing University page. Please go to to see other people share their stories.

Copyright © 2019 Nipissing University Student Union