Unconventional Study Hubs

With midterm season approaching, you might be cracking down on those books. You’ve heard of Schulich, McLennan, Redpath, the typical locations… if you’re looking for innovative (or simply less crowded) areas to study, feel free to check out my list of favourites!

  1. Trottier Building, 3rd and 4th floors. Lots of room and really fast internet. You’ll be able to find a space here even during exam season; unfortunately, you’ll have to ask an eng or compsci friend to let you in after hours or on the weekend. You can also try to sneak snacks from the ECSESS/CSUS lounge or buy coffee at Paramount!      (more…)

Why does POWE Matter?

Organizations like Promoting Opportunities for Women in Engineering (POWE) have existed for a while now. McWiCs, MWNG, MWiL, and others also come to mind when one thinks about female groups on campus. While these organisations have different mandates and cater to varying populations of students, they share the strive for female empowerment.

Let’s take a closer look at POWE today and understand why it’s such an important organization for all genders. POWE is a “philanthropic group at McGill University under Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS) that helps, discovers, moulds, supports and promotes every girl who nestled the ambition to adorn an iron ring”. POWE focuses on both female engineering students at McGill and future female engineers as young as primary school girls.

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Working sans Work Study

The beautiful list of jobs available to those that qualify for Work Study is a prized possession. Postings are varied, though some jobs are more popular than others, so there is an adequate selection of employment opportunities on campus. However, the seemingly abundant pool of jobs is nowhere near enough to satisfy the pool of Work Study students and applicants. And what about those that do not qualify for Work Study? I myself have tried to apply twice in my time at McGill, outlining extenuating circumstances with no success.

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McGill’s Laptop Sticker Obsession

If you walk through the doors of McLennan or Schulich, you will be pleasantly greeted by the sight of colourful stickers adorning student laptops. Travels, bands, interests, and food decorate the visages of students’ computers. It doesn’t end there, either; these little knick-knacks also pop up on phone covers, notebooks, and even headphones. Outsiders might be confused by the dedication that McGillians have for their stickers. Why are they such a necessity? Why do students obsess over stickers?

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Describing “Srat” Life

To be honest, so-called “Greek” life isn’t a big deal at McGill. We don’t have the same reputation for giant frat parties that our American counterparts hold. Sororities and fraternities are not officially part of the university, unlike other campuses. Events like Derby Days are unfamiliar to students, whereas Hype Week rings a very strong bell.

I decided to give it a go this year by joining McGill’s newest sorority, Alpha Phi, as a founding member. I was expecting a student organization that empowered women and lots of stereotypical sorority activities. But the movies were all wrong; being in a sorority is nothing about finding a way to go to parties or hazing (in fact, there are strict anti-hazing policies!)

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Conference? What’s that?

Conferences? What are those? I’m not referring to the conferences that are added to your VSB when you try to configure the best possible schedule at the start of the semester. I’m talking about CDE, or the annual Conference on Diversity in Engineering.

Every year, the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES) hosts several events. CDE provides invaluable knowledge on a multitude of issues, including indigenous perspectives in STEM, women engineers of colour, and rape culture. In fact, McGill hosted the 2016 CDE a year ago…

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Living with Roommates

Living with roommates is exciting, perhaps daunting, and very eye-opening. I never had a roommate when I lived in a first-year residence at McGill, so I wanted to give it a try my second year at university. Having listened to my peers throughout the year, I thought I knew enough about rooming with someone: dividing the chores, respecting each other’s space, all that jazz. I began to search for an apartment with the friends that I made in residence around March and finally found a suitable place that was within each of our budgets. However, there was so much more to learn about living with other people or in my case, three other people!

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Transferring Faculties… and Changing Your Life!

I always thought I knew what I wanted to study in university and what career path I wanted to follow after my studies. BSc in Neuroscience or BA/Sc in Cognitive Science, followed by med school and a promise of steady income for the next 50 years. I dedicated my time to researching the smallest details, even reclaiming my Québec residency to increase my chances of acceptance into medical school.

After one year at McGill, everything changed for me. I realized that I could not follow a curriculum filled with rote memorization and that I had a surprising knack for mathematics. For women in STEM, it’s not abnormal to receive little or no support from teachers and other members of authority when we show interest in maths and sciences.  (more…)

Involved, Not Involved, and “Too Involved”

The start of a new semester is always filled with excitement, nerves, add-drop season, and the dramatic shift from perpetual procrastination to keeping up with classes. For returning students, it’s an opportunity to see friends we haven’t connected with for a while. For new students, it’s the beginning of new friendships and connections at the university. For new and old alike, it’s a period of time where we join new clubs and organizations, both on-campus and within the Montréal community!

When I started my first year at McGill, I was hesitant to join student societies and other groups because hanging out with strangers was terrifying. I wanted to concentrate on my studies, meet people living in my residence, and save enough time to Netflix daily.  (more…)

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