Photos by Kyle Lougheed and Kelly Stifora
Text by Kelly Stifora

At Brandon University a vibrant Student's Union organization, active, energetic students and a focus on the mission of developing graduates that go on to become well-rounded citizens ensure there is always something interesting happening on campus and off. Here, we present for your viewing pleasure a sampling of images representing some glimpses into what student life outside the classroom was like ay BU during the 2007-2008 academic year.

The Lighting of the Lamp of Knowledge during September's Launch Ceremony marks the official beginning of the academic year at BU. In 2007, the lamp was lit by Physics and Astronomy student Christopher Pugh, pictured here with Mrs. Sharon Young, a BU alumna (Bachelor of Science in Mental Health, 1993) who delivered the keynote address at the ceremony.

Ontario singer/songwriter Sam Roberts brought his band to town for the Brandon University Students' Union's (BUSU) Rock the Block event on August 31. Roberts played to a sold out crowd of 1,500 people on Rosser Avenue in downtown Brandon, commenting on stage about how well he had been treated by BUSU. The event prompted the Brandon Sun to comment that "the city owes BUSU a round of thanks not only for putting on such a successful show, but for choosing to locate it in downtown Brandon instead of on campus."

In September, BU welcomed the first two recipients of the newly established Schreyer International Student Bursary: Mr. Marco Mwenda from Mwanza, Tanzania and Ms. Immaculate Nabisere from Mpingi District, Uganda (pictured here with BU President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Louis P. Visentin (left) and the Right Honourable Mr. Edward Schreyer). Marco enrolled in BU's Environmental Science program, while Immaculate is studying Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies and will serve as a BU Student Ambassador in 2008-2009. The Schreyer International Student Bursaries were established to enable students from Africa to attend BU in pursuit of an undergraduate degree, and are awarded on the basis of academic performance, community service and demonstrated financial need. They cover the tuition, room and board of recipients for the duration of their degree studies.

BUSU President Nathan Peto (at the grill) dishes up hot dogs for students at BUSU's annual Free BBQ, held on the first day of classes (September 4) to welcome back returning students and ensure first-year students to have an empty stomach adding to their confusion!

Every year, a group of BU students goes above and beyond by agreeing, on top of their school work and social obligations, to serve as BU Student Ambassadors. The Ambassadors conduct tours, let prospective students follow them around as Students-for-a-Day, and travel the prairies to help with recruitment presentations and other activities. 2007-2008 saw an especially gregarious group of ambassadors in (clockwise from top): Jesse Snyder, Lesley Towler, Megan Forrester, Jeff Manchur, Jackie Simpson, Katie Gullett, Carter McLean, Courtney Wrightson and Allison Whitehead.

Shrouded in secrecy during the summer of 2007 while renovations and remodeling took place inside, SUDS (The Students' Union Drinking Spot) held its Grand Re-Opening and Unveiling on September 7. The festivities included a 20th Anniversary Social featuring the bands NuPhunk Orchestra and Chess Club, and were timed to coincide with BUSU's Orientation Week. The fun kept rolling all week with a Comedy and Karaoke Night, a Games Night, a Coffee House Night, a Jazz Night and a Grrrls Night.

BUSU's Jocey Turnbull (left) and Melissa Martin (centre) get some help sorting out donated food for the Brandon University Food Bank. Each year, BUSU and the Assiniboine Community College Students' Association compete in a friendly Halloween Food Drive for their schools' respective food banks – in 2007, the students gathered a whopping 7,500 pounds of non-perishable food donations!

A large crowd of women, men and children gathered in campus on October 3 for the annual Take Back the Night event organized by the Brandon University Women's Collective. The event, which promotes women's rights and celebrates the burgeoning position of women in society, included a walk during which participants wore multi-coloured bandanas displaying messages of support. Afterwards, participants were invited to Brandon's Lady of the Lake for drinks and entertainment.

School of Music students Nathan Layh and Nathan Crook perform at the opening of the new School of Music Students' Lounge on November 15. The lounge was renovated last fall, with improvements including new flooring, new furniture, a paint job and a new refrigerator and microwave, thanks to donations from the BU Alumni Association and from BUSU.

Brandon University students used their annual Day of Action rally, held on February 7, 2008, to call on the Manitoba government for more funding to BU's science teaching labs. During the rally, BUSU President Nathan Peto presented Brandon-East MLA Drew Caldwell with a petition containing more than 1,000 signatures of BU students, faculty and staff. Mr. Caldwell promised to deliver the petition directly to the Premier's Office, and on April 9, was back on campus to announce a special $450,000 grant from the Province for updating science teaching lab equipment!

BU students from the Biomedical stream of the Department of Biology gave up their Saturday on February 2 and piled up their coats in the corner of a Brodie Building classroom so they could take advantage of an Interview Preparation Workshop for students pursuing studies in medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, respiratory therapy, optometry, dentistry and veterinary studies. The workshop was hosted by the Manitoba Office of Rural and Northern Health and delivered by 22 students already studying in professional schools.

It was hard to escape the reach of gaming phenomenon Guitar Hero III this year, and BU was no exception! Here students line up on a cold January night in SUDS to unleash their inner rock god, while a couple of their peers focus on hitting the right notes.

Brandon University Bobcats women's volleyball middle Ashley Creighton and men's basketball guard Yul Michel were named the male and female athletes of the year at the 2008 BU Athletics Awards Banquet, held at the Canad Inns Brandon Roadhouse on April 10. In these photos, Creighton receives the Nancy Stanley Trophy for Outstanding Female Athlete from Dr. Nancy Stanley, and Michel receives the R.J. McCarthy Trophy for Outstanding Male Athlete from President Visentin. The annual celebration of athletic and academic excellence at BU, hosted by Athletic Director Kirk DeFazio, was attended by some 200 faculty, coaches, supporters, players and family members.

April 24 saw the official launch of the new BU NOW Information System, created by BUSU with financial support from the University. Here BU President Dr. Louis P. Visentin and BUSU President Nathan Peto address the media in front of a screen displaying one of the system's messages. BU NOW, which consists of monitors placed in all buildings across the campus, provides info on news and upcoming events, and can be employed as an emergency alert system in times of crisis.

Ever aware that it is never too early to start cultivating new students, researchers, and faculty, Dr. Visentin made a special visit to Brandon's Y West Early Learning Centre during I Love to Read Month in March, where he wowed these young up-and-comers with his humour and story-telling skills. (Photo courtesy of Kate Gross)

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ISSN 1708-721X