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An “Eye-Opening” Experience: STU Cares Day of Action gives students an in-depth look at issues of homelessness and food security in Fredericton

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, March 19, 2018
Taking an in-depth look at homelessness and food security in Fredericton was an eye-opening experience for students at St. Thomas University.

Students recently got a glimpse of the realities of these issues during the STU Cares Day of Action—a one-day event that connected them with local organizations working on the front lines of homelessness in the city, including the Fredericton Community Action Group on Homelessness, the Community Kitchen, and Liberty Lane.

For Anna Sirois, a first-year student from Edgecomb, Maine, the event was more than a volunteer opportunity.

“Attending events like these doesn’t only provide volunteer experience, it educates you on the reality of a lot of issues we discuss in the classroom,” she said.

 “In my Sociology classes, we’ve learned a lot about inequality in society between gender, race, and class, and it was eye-opening to see the inequalities in a real life and in a local setting.”

Students spent time preparing and serving meals at the Community Kitchen, and learned what initiatives exist to help create permanent housing in the city.

Homelessness in Fredericton came to life for the STU Cares Day volunteers when a guest speaker told his story of living on the streets while suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Emilia Gutérrez, a first-year student from Quito, Ecuador, said this was the most impactful part of her STU Cares experience.

“It was an amazing experience to talk to him. It surprised me how someone who had such a rough life—not knowing where his next meal was going to come from or where he was going to spend the night—could remain so positive,” she said.
“It was an eye-opener to see how people struggle on the street, but also how many people are willing to help others.”

Gutérrez is studying Human Rights and this experience reaffirmed her passion for that field of study and provided a direct link to her course material.

“Activities like this remind me why I chose to study Human Rights. In this case, the right to health, food, and housing isn’t being fulfilled,” she said.

“This event really put into perspective what we’re learning in class and I’m excited for future STU Cares Days that will further enrich my university experience.”

Jennie Giles, a second-year student, originally from Ontario, said she thinks volunteering, helping others, and giving back to your community is essential to a liberal arts education.

“This was my first time being involved with STU Cares, and I absolutely loved it. It was inspiring and educational,” she said.
“It really helped put what we learn in class into practice.”

Apply to St. Thomas University for September 2018 now!

Kiara Landry talks about her decision to join the STU community in a letter to a future STUdent

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Kiara and her parents at the 2016 Fall Open House
Hey Future STUdent!

I’m Kiara, a first-year student at St. Thomas University (STU) from Charlottetown, PE.

I know it can be stressful to choose a university. A year ago, I was in the same boat. I hope sharing my experience will help you decide if STU is the right place for you.

Making the decision to join the STU family

I wasn’t interested in moving away until I spoke to a STU admissions counsellor. I was intrigued by the small class sizes and psychology program at STU, which could help me in achieving my goal of becoming a psychiatrist.

If you haven’t yet decided what to major in, there’s no pressure at STU. You have first-year to take different classes and decide what you like.

As my time in high school came to an end, I had to make the big decision. I applied for scholarships and told myself if I received one from STU I knew it was meant to be. I was awarded a Harrison McCain Scholarship and everything fell into place. I was heading to New Brunswick in the fall!

My first weeks

If I had to describe my first weeks at STU using one word it would be “welcoming.” Arriving on move-in day was like a breath of fresh air. I was nervous because moving to a new place is scary, but Residence Advisors and Welcome Week Leaders were so full of spirit and joy that STU quickly began to feel like home.

I found it crazy how fast and easy it was to make friends. Welcome Week is packed full of fun activities to help you meet new people in your residence, in other residences, and to also become familiar with Fredericton.

What classes are like

Like any first-year student, I was nervous to start classes but eager to start learning. Each class has a maximum of 60 students, but most of mine have fewer which made the transition from high school easier. Professors do their best to remember everyone’s names, which helps make them approachable when you have a question.

What STU has done for me

Coming to STU has given me pride, confidence, and happiness—from just the first few months. The possibilities at STU are endless. You can meet your forever best friend, you can take advantage of amazing opportunities, and so much more! I couldn’t imagine my life without the STU community.

I hope my experiences will help you decide if STU is the right place for you.

Best wishes,
Kiara Landry


STUISA Multicultural Fair 2018 -- March 24

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, March 13, 2018
The 2018 STU Multicultural Fair will take place Saturday, March 24 at 5:00 pm in the Kinsella Auditorium.

The event, which is hosted annually by the STU International Students’ Association, brings together the cultures and traditions of the university’s international students. Proceeds go towards a STUISA funded bursary for international students in need.

This year's fair will include a traditional fashion show, talent show, and food tasting, as well as a craft sale and booths showcasing the diverse international community at STU. 

Students $10
General Public $15
12 and Under $5

Tickets include one plate of food.
To order your tickets, e-mail
Tickets will also be sold at the door. 

Mental Health: A Load Off the Mind—Yellow Box Gallery

PUBLISHED DATE: Monday, March 12, 2018
The Yellow Box Gallery at St. Thomas University is proud to host its first juried exhibition of student work on the theme of student mental health.

A call for submissions went out in September 2017, inviting the student population to submit work that illustrates how students experience, understand, and are affected by mental health issues in their own lives, in the lives of those around them, and in the community at large.

The resulting exhibit features the work of six current students and alumni: Katelyn Brinkman (mixed media), Kailer Boyne (painting), Dana MacDonald (photography, drawing), Veronica Nugent (digital painting), Brianna Ormond (watercolour, drawing), and Natali Ortiz (video).

This exhibit seeks to challenge mental health stigma that students face, and other barriers to full community participation; to explore art as a means for social change; and to actively seek engagement with the broader community to encourage positive mental health activism.

The Yellow Box would like to thank fellow jury members Dr. Erin Fredericks (Sociology) and Dr. Marvin Claybourn (Psychology) for their enthusiastic support of the project, and thoughtful consideration of the submissions.

The exhibit opens on Wednesday, March 21st, 12:30 pm at the Yellow Box Gallery (3rd floor McCain Hall, St. Thomas University), and runs until May 14th. All are welcome.

Contact Kim Vose Jones at for more information.

The YBG hours are:
Saturday: noon – 5:00pm
Sunday: noon – 11:00pm
Monday to Thursday: 8:00am – 11:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 9:00pm

Public Speaking and Negotiation: Students gain invaluable experience at the sixty fourth Harvard National Model United Nations

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Students in the St. Thomas University Model United Nations class gained valuable experience in public speaking and negotiation at the sixty-fourth Harvard National Model United Nations.

Representing the country of Iran, Philippe Ferland, Rachelle Patrick, Jarrod Ryan, Rachel Slipp, and Emilie Hanlon joined more than 3,000 delegates from around the world to participate in various committees to work toward resolutions of global issues.

Ferland and Patrick were part of the Arab League; Jarrod Ryan worked within the Economic and Financial Committee; Slipp’s involvement was on the Commission on the Status of Women; and Hanlon represented Iran on the World Health Organization.

Ferland, a fourth-year Psychology major, said the hands-on experience in negotiation and team-approach to creating working papers was invaluable.
“It’s very subtle and interesting and would be tough to simulate in a classroom because it’s something you have to be able to perform to really understand,” he said.

“Fifty per cent of the work teams do in committee is spent outside the committee room drafting working papers in collaboration with other countries and then negotiating mergers with other blocs.”

As a first-time delegate at the Harvard-hosted event, Ferland was surprised by the originality of the statements delivered by other countries. He said this was one aspect of the competition that was educational while also fostering creativity.

“Speeches maintained their own flair but also developed with the ongoing conversation, which depended completely on their skills as speakers in being able to adjust and work with the conversation topic,” Ferland said.

“People at HNMUN really showed us flexibility in performing duo speeches, having their personalities and words mimic those of historic leaders from their country, and just being extremely enthusiastic and charming.”
Faculty Advisor for the Model UN class at St. Thomas, Stephanie McAnany, said the students spent a great deal of time diving into their topics and learning about Iran’s foreign policy in preparation for the event in Boston. 

“The students are challenged by having to think quickly on their feet, speak in front of a large number of delegates, many of which are from ivy league schools in the United States, and become leaders within their own committees,” she said. 

Founded in 1955, the Harvard National Model United Nations is the largest, oldest, and most prestigious conference of its kind. STU has sent a team to the competition for over two decades.

ACAA Men's Volleyball Champion and Rookie of the Year, Christian Christie, on Why he Chose STU

PUBLISHED DATE: Friday, March 2, 2018
Christian and his team after claiming the ACAA Men's Volleyball Title, February 2018
Hi Future Tommie!

My name is Christian, and I’m a first-year student-athlete at St. Thomas University (STU). I’m studying Criminology and playing on the men’s volleyball team. I moved to Fredericton, NB, from Langley, BC, to attend STU, and I’m writing to you as I know how difficult choosing a university can be.

Choosing STU

I used to live in Truro, NS, and when I moved to Langley, my eyes were opened to the various opportunities available at the many universities across Canada.

I knew someone who attended STU, so I reached out to him to ask him about his experience. He had nothing but good things to say about the university, its community, academics, and sports programs. This made me excited about the possibility of going to STU. After speaking to the men’s volleyball coach, I realized STU was a perfect fit for me.

First days on campus

I have immensely enjoyed my experience at STU thus far. I arrived the day after move-in day due to my flight, but I was still greeted with open arms and immediately joined in on the Welcome Week activities. I went downtown Fredericton to check out the city with my roommate and some new friends who are now some of my closest friends. The transition to living on campus can be scary, but everyone in residence has been—or is in—the same position, so everyone relates to what you’re going through.


I have greatly enjoyed all my classes at STU. I like how you can take first-year classes from different subjects without it interfering with getting your degree in four years. My largest class is only 60 students, which can sound daunting but my sister attends another university, and her classes are regularly in the hundreds.

What STU has done for me

Coming to STU has allowed me to continue playing the sport I love while giving me the opportunity to further my education in a way I know will lead me to a job after obtaining my degree. It has allowed me to live away from home while still feeling like I’m part of a family.

Finding the best fit for you is so important. For me, there is no place I would rather be than here in Fredericton at STU. I wish you luck with your decision and I hope to see you on campus next year here at STU.

Christian Christie

APPLY to St. Thomas University for September 2018 now.

The Mass Collection of Information on Canadians a Cause for Concern: STU Professor Testifies before Committee Examining Bill C-59

PUBLISHED DATE: Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Human Rights professor Dr. Christina Szurlej is advocating for greater protection of individual rights within Bill C-59 which seeks to revamp Canada’s national security framework.
Bill C-59 is the government’s response to consultations on Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act, 2015 to ensure “national security laws and policies reflect the rights, values and freedoms of Canadians.”
Szurlej appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security in Ottawa to comment on the Bill.
“It has some positive aspects like creating an Intelligence Commissioner and National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, but other parts of the Bill overstep human rights protections, including privacy and fundamental freedoms,” says Szurlej.
The Bill allows for bulk collection of ‘publicly available’ information ‘relevant’ to the work of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) without the consent or knowledge of Canadians. No direct link to preventing threats to security would need to be established.
“This can result in or encourage commodification of personal data, where third parties sell information the individual thinks is private. Third parties can include hackers who have obtained the information through illegal means.”
Another risk is if Canadians don’t know what information has been collected, they can’t challenge its authenticity. This is problematic when advancements in computer software are making it easier to fabricate information.
Face2Face technology, for example, allows the user to superimpose their facial expressions and movements onto any face captured on video. The result is a realistic-looking video of the subject saying anything the user wants. This could interfere with the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial, especially if bulk data is used to predict the likelihood of an individual committing an office.
Algorithms could even be misused to gain a significant advantage during elections by identifying undecided voters and revealing how to sway them.
“If this pillar of Canadian values falls, so too does individual security, self-fulfillment, autonomy, and a thriving democratic society,” she said.

“Today we are at a crossroad. Canadians need to ask if this is the direction we want to take as a nation.”

In Case You Missed It (Open House): Student-Professor Panel Q & A

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, February 20, 2018
We were pleased to host more students than ever at our Winter Open House. Just because you couldn’t make it doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on the important tips and information shared with future STUdents.

Below is a review of what was asked and answered at the Student-Professor Panel.

If you still have questions, reach out to our Admissions Team.

Q: What's available at St. Thomas for extra academic support to ensure I succeed in my first year?

St. Thomas Student Services Office offers fantastic resources including Peer Tutoring, The Writing Centre, the Learning Strategist, Academic Advising, the Student Accessibility Office, Student Counselling, and more. We encourage you to reach out and take advantage of these offices—they’re here for you!

We also can’t underscore enough how available and willing our professors are to meet with you to discuss class content, your upcoming paper, and more. Classes are capped at 60 students, and most classes at STU have much fewer, which means your professors will get to know you, your interests, and be invested in your success in their classes.

Q: Do you ever feel like the small, intimate environment at STU is too small?

Not at all. We talk a lot about the small, close-knit community at St. Thomas, but this is in comparison to most other universities, which tend to be much larger. Because St. Thomas is primarily undergraduate and liberal arts, we don’t have tens of thousands of students sectioned into different departments and buildings. Here, almost every building houses faculty offices, classrooms, study spaces, and other shared spaces that almost everyone on campus will co-use, creating a sense of community. Since all undergraduate students are part of the Bachelor of Arts program, you could easily have class with almost any student (or professor) on campus. This means you get to know more people, from within and outside your major(s), and have more of a sense that the entire campus is yours, not just one small part of it.

This also makes it easier to join multiple clubs, take courses from different departments, and connect with faculty, staff, and students you may not necessarily have a class with, but with whom you may have other interest in common.

We are “small” but we still have more than 1,800 students, more than 30 academic majors, and offer some of the most unique academic and experiential opportunities in the country. That we’re small means YOU will have more chances to learn about and engage in these opportunities.  That’s why we really are “the small university of big opportunities!”


Furthermore, Fredericton is a college town, home to a number of other institutions, many with whom St. Thomas shares facilities like the Harriet Irving Library and co-hosts events such as the Annual Ekpahak Student Orientation Powwow. This provides even more opportunities to connect with people.

Q: Do you ever have trouble getting into the courses you want to take?

No. Your Bachelor of Arts is designed to take four years, which means you have four years to take all the courses you want and need to. If a class is full in your second year, and you aren’t able to get in, you can try again in your third or fourth years. If the class is full, it means it popular and will continue to be offered. Although we talk about capped classes of 60 students, when we notice a particular course is full, we often add another section to accommodate students who couldn't get into the other section. When you make your way through your degree and near the end of your time here, you will notice that registration begins every year with the fourth-year students, then the third-year students, and so on. This is to allow students nearing the end of their degree the first chance at course selection.

Q: What's your advice for balancing school work and curricular activities (sports, clubs, etc.)?

Some students actually find it easier to balance their schedules and work when they are more involved on campus through Athletics, the Students' Union, part-time on-campus work, or one of the many clubs and societies. There is a sense of support among campus groups, where students can relate and help one another when it comes to managing class work and other activities. Having a friend proofread your paper, or spend some time on the bus to a game talking about an upcoming midterm can have positive effects on your in-class performance.

However, putting too much on your plate is something to avoid. Panelists recommended starting slow in your first year. Try to stay focused on the most important things (your school work!), and don’t be afraid to reach out for help at the first sign of struggle—whether you talk to your coach, a professor, the learning strategist on campus, a tutor, or even a classmate.

Q: What should I know about going to my very first class?

All you really need is a notebook and an open mind. Professors know you’re worried, and they’re going to start slow before picking up the pace. Don’t buy your textbooks before the first class; you may find after the first class that it’s not for you. Allow yourself to try it, and if it’s not a match, you can switch into something else early and easily.

Q: Do you recommend living in residence for your first year?

Absolutely! Residence is the easiest way to immediately feel like part of the STU community. Living with other first-year students is a great way to not feel alone in what will be all new experiences. Upper-year students living in residence are specifically there to help you adjust to your new surroundings. Residence Advisors and Residence Coordinators took their jobs because they want to make you feel at home. Study buddies down the hall, house dinners, and more will help you form a close group of what will be lifelong friends. 

If you’re from Fredericton and choose to live at home for first-year, there will still be many ways to get involved in Welcome Week and beyond. The “Off Campus” community is as important as our residence students, but if you can, we definitely recommend living in residence.

APPLY before March 1, 2018 to be considered for major scholarships and bursaries.


Participate in Ireland Travel-Study - May 23 to June 20, 2018

PUBLISHED DATE: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Irish Studies is offering a chance to study and travel around Ireland in 2018!
IRSH 3213-Lines of Vision: Landscape, Art and Irish Writing will provide students with the opportunity to explore the cultural and artistic values of Ireland while visiting the locations connected to the country’s myths, sagas and folktales. 
Highlights of the many sight-seeing opportunities the 28-day course includes visits to the Cliffs of Moher, the Giant’s Causeway, Newgrange and the Hill of Tara, as well as a bus tour of Dublin itself.   Students will stay in university villages or hostels, and will get a chance to learn from some local university professors through guest lectures.
The course will take place May 23 - June 20, 2018. 
There are a limited number of students that can be accommodated so please contact Professor Lorraine Nolan at or 460-0325 for more information and price for this all-inclusive trip.
Irish Studies

Irish Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides students with the opportunity to explore the heritage, culture, history, religion, politics, literature, fine art and film of the people of Ireland and the communities of its Diaspora.  St. Thomas offers an Interdisciplinary Minor in Irish Studies. 
IRSH 3213 - Lines of Vision: Landscape, Art and Irish Writing explores the cultural and artistic value of mythical Ireland and will allow students to better contextualize Ireland through viewing its landscape and creative community through the lens of myth and saga. This study-abroad course will help students learn how environment, landscape and produced images influence not only what is being communicated by a culture, but why it is communicated in that matter.