Introduction - Trent University

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					Introduction                                                          Trent University
Having been exposed to this and that and successfully endured its     A young, innovative university, Trent University was founded in
pain, we now grant you the right to more trouble and tribulation      1964 on the belief that learning is an individual, life-long pursuit
for your own growth and for the fulfillment of the destiny            and that student choice, flexibility and the opportunity for
associated with you. May the ancestors continue to stay by your       interdisciplinary study are part of a high quality education. These
side.                                                                 key principles continue to define Trent’s unique character today.
                                                   Malidoma Somé
                                                                      Trent recognizes that the best learning experiences take place as a
Somé’s Dagara heritage, recognized that every life transition leads   result of important connections – from intimate class sizes to
us to new challenges and that the process never ends. As students     friendly and approachable faculty, students have access to a range
begin a university career at Trent, we know that there will be        of support services required to be successful. Combine this with
many changes experienced by them and their families.                  Trent’s picturesque location on the banks of the Otonabee River in
                                                                      Peterborough, and you have a university environment that cannot
We also know that the whole student comes to Trent and that the       easily be matched.
student comes with important family support, values, and
concerns. The approaches of the student, the university and the       College Life
family will not always match perfectly, but the overall goal of       Each student, living on or off campus, becomes a member of one
seeing the student through the university career with a focus on      of the university’s six colleges. Each College is a centre of
academic and personal development and well-being is common to         academic and social activity, housing professors’ offices, small
all.                                                                  lecture halls and seminar rooms. The Colleges sponsor visits by
                                                                      scholars, writers and public figures, and organize lecture series,
The following material is designed to share thoughts from some        seminars, concerts, films, dances and pub nights. The college a
parents and students, provide an opportunity for reflection, offer    student is affiliated with will become a defining part of the Trent
up-to-date information on issues and resources and, hopefully,        experience.
assist in the transitions experienced by students, their family and
the campus community.                                                 The Transition to University
                                                                      The experience that parents had as students, and the experience
We look to you for input so that we can continue to update.           that your students will have, are dramatically different. Being a
Please send your ideas and observations to                            student is no longer the primary identity of participants in at any time.                                 university life and students do not separate themselves from
                                                                      family, friends, and work to engage exclusively in campus life.
Welcome! And thank you for becoming part of the Trent                 Technology is a constant that keeps everyone in touch, travel
community.                                                            between cities is a norm that takes students home often, many
                                                                      students extend their time in university and work to pay bills, and
                                                                      many students obtain a degree with courses form more than one
                                                                      institution. They look for information from many sources and do
not accept that a classroom is the best or only educational             Family, culture, religion, gender, sexuality, place of origin, socio-
environment.                                                            economic background, abilities and community will all influence
The Millennial Student                                                  how the student experiences campus life and approaches this
The “millennial” student is difficult to define. Some identify          transition.
themselves as a boring generation that lives in fear of all that goes
on in the world around them and wanting nothing more than               Students may be:
stability; while others call themselves the “look at me” generation         The first, second or third generation of a family to attend
raised on technology and finding everything from sex to drugs to               university;
be boring. If there is any characteristic common to students                From rural or urban settings;
coming to university in 2007, it is that parents are more involved          From a white or blue collar family;
in the lives of their teenagers than any previous generation. This          Paying for their own education or funded by the family;
means that teens are looking to parents for information and                 Travelling great distances or retuning home each night;
sometimes advice. The more parents know about the university                From a two parent family, single parent, multiple
experience the more effectively you will respond.                              generation, or with siblings or grandparents in a guardian
It is important to identify what it is that you and your student
                                                                            From a home filled with uncertainties or violence;
expect from a university education and to know the goals of the
                                                                            From a home with consistency, love and support;
institution, the goals your student has, and the goals that you have
                                                                            Parents may be male and female, or of same gender.
in supporting the university adventure for your student. When
these goals are complementary, the experience will be much more
                                                                        The family of origin and geographical setting will influence:
successful for everyone involved.
                                                                            The family experiences during transition
Students identify the most important task of the university career          The way the student experiences the campus
as establishing a sense of who they are and how they are going to           The way other students experience him or her
be as adults in this world. (Chickering & Reisser)
                                                                        When students’ university experiences takes them into a world
Each student will build his or her own identity in response to each     that is very different from their parents’, they become
challenge that they face, according to the skills they develop and      “Straddlers” – living in two different worlds and not at home in
the skills that evolve to be able to meet the next challenge.           either. Families may feel this in different ways. For example,
                                                                        parents in blue collar jobs often say that they want their student to
The challenges will come in many forms – challenges to what             have employment options other than physical labour. A
they know about their physical and intellectual abilities; and          university graduate may work more hours at a white collar job and
intense emotional responses as they experience unfamiliar               report less satisfaction than their counterparts in a labour-based
situations and try to find balance between independence from            job. Or, students living far from home may experience more
their past and incorporating their past with their future.              homesickness and feel pressure to choose between school and
                                                                               Worried about how they will handle social situations and
                                                                                fit in;
Culture, Religion and Spirituality                                             Worried about getting along with roommates;
Families are sometimes concerned that students will lose interest              Worried about new responsibilities like paying the phone
in the cultural or religious values of their family. Surveys of first           bill.
year students do show a decline in participation in religion-based                                                     (Coburn & Treeger)
activities, but a consistent interest in spirituality and in
understanding the role of faith in their lives.                             Some students will procrastinate about responding to
                                                                            university mailings and deadlines that parents don’t even hear
Ability & Disability                                                        about. Some will pack and re-pack or avoid it altogether. A
Who we are is inherently a factor of our sense of our own and               student may get a pre-set idea about what they have to have in
others’ abilities. Including students with physical, psychological          their room to survive in residence or be positive that if their
and learning disabilities in the learning environment requires the          roommate likes country music that they will never get along.
community to expand its forms of communication and education.               And they’ll probably spend a lot of time with friends when
During their transition period, all students will learn about their         you are hoping to see them before they start the semester.
own abilities and the different abilities of others. This in turn will
support the development of mature relationships and integrity            Once They Get to Campus
through knowledge and empathy of themselves and those around                    Students often call during down times so that you don’t
them.                                                                             always get the full picture of the good things
                                                                                  happening. It’s re-affirming to learn that they know
Sexual Identity                                                                   that you might have some problem solving ability that
A young adult’s sexuality is a significant component in                           they haven’t achieved as yet.
establishing their identity and healthy relationships. Student will             A student might call for advice and support, but not
consider their sexual preferences and the role of sexuality in                    take it. Some things don’t change.
relationships with other men and women.                                         Students with older siblings will still turn to them for
                                                                                  advice before parents.
Anticipating the First Year                                                     Students find there is NO correlation between initial
As students prepare to leave for university, parents might think                  contact with roommates and ultimate compatibility.
that a stranger has moved into the house. Students will be:                     Homesickness is normal, especially after the first few
     Excited to leave home – if only they could take the car;                    weeks of hectic activity settle into routine and the full
     Concerned about losing touch with the family dog;                           impact of making a commitment registers.
     Excited about independence & freedom – no more curfew;                    Time management is the number one challenge for
     Excited to meet new people and leave the old school                         academic success. You may wonder if there is any
         behind;                                                                  schedule at all as they grapple with this life skill.
     Excited about having fun that mom and dad don’t know                      Friends made in the first few weeks often change as
         about;                                                                   first impressions fade.
          Thanksgiving weekend is a watershed when students                generation. Taking time for yourself becomes more
           re-visit high school friends to see how everyone,                important than ever.
           including themselves, is doing. They learn that the             They come back! Over 60% of graduating students plan to
           friends – not them, the friends – have changed and that          live at home while starting a new career and paying off
           there is no going back.                                          student loans.
          Winter break is time to re-energize and you wonder
           how that will happen if the student is out with friends   What if a Student has to Leave University?
           all the time. Everyone looks forward to the visit and     A University career may be disrupted by:
           everyone looks forward to its end.                            A health problem;
                                                                         A change in family circumstances such as a death in the
Engaging in Campus Life                                                     family, a divorce or loss of job;
Student satisfaction and retention are directly related to               Realization that the campus setting does not match with
involvement in the campus community. From something as                      the student’s identity and values and that another choice is
simple as attending class to being a member of a student club or            best for their well-being;
taking on a leadership role, participation and involvement can           A change in financial resources.
improve academic success, enhance well-being, and provide a
sense of belonging. Trent’s small size, faculty involvement, and     A student’s unexpected return to the family home is disruptive for
extensive leadership opportunities provide many opportunities for    all involved. The return may represent additional stress of caring
all students to be involved in many different ways.                  for someone who is unwell, adjusting to new family
                                                                     circumstances or generally re-thinking the university option and
Parents talk about their Experiences                                 wondering what will happen to all of the emotional and financial
    Responses vary from laughter and relief at finally getting      planning that went into getting the student to campus.
       the student to the campus, to tears as a sense of the
       vastness of the life changes registers.                       Remember that in a world of life-long education and multiple
    If the last child has just left the house you may enjoy the     career changes, there will be many opportunities for the student to
       freedom of having more orderliness in the house and a         re-initiate a university career if and when it is the best option.
       little privacy or wonder what comes next.                     University officials can assist in ensuring that necessary
    Siblings will miss the student even if the one at home has      withdrawals, deferrals or leaves are in place to facilitate return to
       been measuring up the vacated room for weeks.                 campus if and when the student chooses.
    The car is in the garage with gas and tuned to your radio
       station.                                                      Campus Safety
    Change of family size can mean changing use of house            In 2007, Health and Safety became the second highest concern
       space or re-locating. You might want to mention this to       listed by surveyed parents of university students, second only to
       the students before they come home to a new address.          concern for academics. School violence is not new to the twenty-
    Parents may be supporting students and older parents at         first century. What is different is the intensity of the violence and
       the same time in what is known as the “sandwich”              its impact on everyone’s perception of what it means to be on a
university campus. Shootings on Dawson College and Virginia           haven’t learned what the norms are and second, because they are
Tech campuses are recent examples of the anger that one               still adjusting and trying to fit in. Encourage students to report
individual can release in a way that changes lives forever.           any of the following and remind them that it is for their safety as
                                                                      well as the safety of others:
Predicting who might become violent, where or when, is difficult.              1. violent behaviour
The entire community has to be involved in prevention, reporting,                      a. assault
response and, when necessary, recovery.                                                b. sexual assault
                                                                                       c. vandalism
Prevention: Every conversation you have with your students                             d. domestic violence
helps them to make good choices about the ways in which they                           e. harassment
interact in their community.                                                           f. substance abuse
    1. Avoid stereotypes, especially those that lead to violence                       g. self-harm
        themselves and misdirect observation of behaviours that                        h. bullying
        may be indicative of future violence. For example, Lauren              2. threats of violence
        Spiro (2007) reminds us that, “The public perception that              3. possession of weapons
        people who are mentally ill are typically violent is
        unfounded. In fact, research shows that people diagnosed      Response:   If a student is in a violent situation:
        with psychiatric disabilities are far more likely to be             1.    protect themselves first – get away
        victims than perpetrators of violent crime.”                        2.    protect others by alerting them to the risk
    2. Actively discourage all bullying and aggressive behaviour            3.    let security and emergency personnel do their jobs
        that marginalizes others.                                           4.    have a plan in place for contact with home and keep
    3. Accept your own instincts and encourage students to do                     local and emergency contact information up to date so
        the same.                                                                 that students can be located during emergencies.
    4. Be realistic about where there is genuine cause for fear.
        Unnecessary worry can actually negate our ability to          Recovery: When a single student, group of students or a campus
        recognize when we are in situations in which we should        is victim of violence, everyone has a role in recovery. This can
        truly be afraid.                                              include talking with friends, counsellors, or guides, and re-
    5. Encourage behaviours that promote safety and well being.       establishing daily activities.
        PaperClips Communications recently published “tips” in
        “Is My Child Safe on Campus” that have been included in
        the student handbook.

Reporting: Even with information about suspicious behaviour it
can be difficult to anticipate violent behaviour, especially if the
source is outside of the community as it was at Dawson College.
Students who are in transition to a new community are often
reluctant to report suspicious behaviour, first, because they
Academic Life                                                                 Student Success                    Degree Completion
The academic experience at university will not be the same as it     Education = learning,                 Education = Credentialism – a
was at high school, and students cannot expect that they can         knowledge, understanding              degree
approach their university education in the same way. Many report     Faculty are educators                 Faculty are service providers
ambivalence about the experience to come and will describe:          Student engaged in the                Disengaged – misses class,
                                                                     classroom – attends,                  limited participation, talks more
      Enthusiasm for the different approach to learning at a        participates, talks about             about grades than about what is
       university and the adult interaction with faculty.            material covered in class and         learned
      Confusion about what faculty expect. There doesn’t seem       assignments in integrated way
       to be a “right” answer because more complex thinking is       Engaged outside the classroom         Disengaged – attends class and
       expected.                                                     – talks to faculty, participates in   leaves. Doesn’t problem solve
      Being overwhelmed by the volume of reading and the need       opportunities for additional          or time manage to include
       to retain more information.                                   learning, involved in campus          campus and work or family
      Being excited and indecisive about the options available.     activities                            activities.
       Students will change classes and majors as they find the      Knows responsibility for              Combative about grades and
       right fit. This is an important and normal process!           completion of reading and             faculty expectations instead of
      Feeling incompetent if the first grades are lower than        meeting deadlines.                    learning from them.
       expected or confident and affirmed when they learn that       Focus on self-efficacy.               Focus on self-esteem.
       they are doing well.                                          Independent problem-solving.          Continue to look for
                                                                     Knows assistance is available         intervention from parents or
How the student approaches their university education and the        and accesses to learn how to          service providers. Expect
expectations they have of it will have a big impact on their         problem-solve.                        service provider to “do” instead
experience. Increasingly, a degree is viewed as the only means to                                          of “teach to do”.
employment and, consequently, as a commodity to purchase.
Professors talk about the pressure to inflate grades when students    There are many people who can assist a student in navigating the
argue that they “worked hard”. Students need to understand that      academic environment and in getting the most from the
time spent and volume of work will not necessarily translate into    experience possible.
higher grades and, more importantly, that grades are there to help
them improve and to be ready for what comes next. The student        Senior Tutors – Each college has a Senior Tutor who is available
with a B or even C average, who has struggled with difficult         to help students with academic decisions such as adding and
concepts and developed solid critical thinking skills will quickly   dropping courses, as well as authorizing course overloads.
surpass the peer in the workforce who found the “easy” grades.       Through Senior Tutors, students are able to gain personalized
                                                                     advice and guidance as they move through their academic career.

                                                                     Academic Advisors – Each student is assigned an Academic
                                                                     Advisor who is available to help first-year students with course
selection and scheduling challenges. All students meet with their      sacrifices to achieve educational goals. These discrepancies can
Academic Advisor during Introductory Seminar Week at an event          manifest in low grades and reluctance to access the services that
called the Academic Advising Forum.                                    would be most helpful to these students. Helping your student set
                                                                       clear academic goals and encouraging use of resources can
Faculty – The faculty is the teaching staff at the university and at   improve academic success.
Trent, every faculty member is affiliated with a specific college.
Through small class sizes and faculty involvement in college life,     Wellness and Academic Success
students are often able to establish frequent contact with faculty     Better health results in greater educational attainment and in turn,
both in and out of the classroom.                                      more education results in better health according to research
                                                                       released in 2007. (Gan & Gong) The student lifestyle is about
Teaching Assistant (TAs) – Many large classes use TAs to               being in settings with many people every day and it is to be
decrease class sizes. TAs are generally graduate or upper-year         expected that students will be exposed to viruses and habits that
students who have shown excellence in the subject matter and           will put their well-being at risk. Healthy diet, exercise, good sleep
contribute additional perspective and teaching style to the class.     habits not only help build the immune system for good health,
This gives students a wider range of viewpoints and helps students     these habits also help with concentration and retention of
develop critical thinking skills.                                      information.

Academic Skills Centre – students in any program, at any stage         While it’s natural to want to let the student take a break at home
of their academic career can access services at the ASC. Services      on weekends by letting them sleep and indulge in favourite foods,
include one-on-one sessions to discuss essays in progress,             providing a forum for family activity and a healthy meal can do
research skills, grammar and style, exam preparation or time           more to boost their spirits, relieve tension and improve over-all
management*. There are also mini-courses and workshops on              well being for academic success.
topics such as writing essays and lab reports.
*Note: Academic Counselling Centres surveyed in Canada in              Technology and Academe
2007 list Time Management as the #1 student inquiry.                   Probably the single biggest difference between a parent’s
                                                                       experience as a young adult and the student’s is the pervasiveness
Peer Mentoring – This is a service that matches students with          of technology.
other students to provide group and individual academic support,
study sessions and advice.                                             Technology is praised for the way it helps students:
                                                                           Connect to classmates and professors
Academics and Gender                                                       Stay connected to home
Getting students to access the available services can be difficult.        Complete research and coursework
The 2007 National Freshman Attitudes Report indicates that male            Take notes and store information
students tend to have more confidence in their abilities for               Be involved in campus activities such as running for
university success, but in fact enter with less ambitious                    student government
intellectual interests and sharply lesser study habits than their
female counterparts. They also indicate less willingness to make
At the same time, technology presents new challenges to students’       The university-student relationship is one in which the university
development and well-being.                                             becomes the facilitator of the student’s choice and is governed by
    1. Articles abound on electronic communication having a             the following:
        negative impact on an individual’s ability to interact in            The Mental Health Act considers a student an adult at age
        person and on how it undermines the development of                      16. The student can accept or refuse medical treatment
        critical thinking skills.                                               and all interaction between a doctor or counsellor is
    2. Plagiarism rises dramatically when students research on-                 confidential.
        line and fail to acknowledge the source of their                     The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy
        information. Excuses about not knowing that this is                     Act (FIPPA) guarantees a student the right to privacy.
        plagiarism are not accepted and failing to reference                    This means that everything from grades to whether or not
        material from any source can result in a failing grade on               the student is attending the institution is confidential!
        the assignment. If the practice is repeated it can eventually           Disclosure of information is only considered if: there is a
        lead to suspension.                                                     clear risk to the student or from the students; there is
    3. Students using Facebook, U-Tube and other sites, often                   imminence or urgency to the risk and there is serious
        fail to recognize the public nature of the material that they           threat of harm involved. What a parent classifies as a
        post. Suspensions from Varsity sports teams and from                    risk and what the law deems a risk may vary. If a
        school have resulted from inappropriate on-line                         student is conscious, mentally sound and says that a
        behaviours. Employers who monitor sites have chosen not                 parent cannot be contacted, parents may not be
        to offer jobs to graduates whose on-line postings show                  contacted.
        questionable conduct.

Blaming the medium will not change the reality of technology and        University Education and Finances
its presence in academic life. Facebook alone boasts 4 billion          In 2007, the Education Policy Institute released a report on “Real
page views per month in Canada in March 2007.                           Tuition” showing that when tax benefits and inflation are
                                                                        considered, tuition costs in Canada have not changed since 1999.
Students need to recognize that technology comes with                   Still, the cost of education is the top concern for 45% of parents
responsibility and that no one has a full understanding of the          surveyed in the same year.
impact of technology on our lives in the academic, employment or
social context. Tips for use of on-line sites are in the student        A government survey of student finances found that the average
handbook as a starting point in this thought process.                   student saves $4000 from summer employment and earns an
                                                                        average of $6000 working an average of 19 hours per week during
The Parent – University Relationship                                    the school year. (These amounts will vary from student to
Parents may be surprised by the legal relationship that the             student.) The gap in the total average cost for the year and the
university has with the student and how restrictive that can seem       student income is generally funded from a variety of sources.
to the relationship that the university has with the parent.
                                                   Off         At      Excellence in academics provides the first option for scholarships,
  Average Costs 2006/07           In Residence
                                                 Campus       Home     but there are many additional options. 15,000 individual awards
   Tuition/ancillary fees -                                            are available from organizations in Canada. Researching the
                                     5507          5507        5507
            full time                                                  source of funds can be the next most important thing to
Residence:                                                             researching the university the student attends.
  single room/full meal plan                                           Students can:
                                     9332            -           -
                         (max)                                                Talk to high school guidance counsellors about local and
double room/flex meal plan                                                       school- specific awards;
                                     6068            -           -
                          (min)                                               Research local and national service agencies, especially
              OR                       -             -           -               ones of which parents are members;
     Rent/Utilities/Food                           5800         400           Identify what they offer as applicants in terms of
      Books & Supplies               1000          1000        1000              community activity, work experience and special
Telephone (monthly/install                                                       interests and match these to the organizations goals.
                                      450           550        250
          + long dist.)                                                Two good web sites to research:,
    Laundry ($5/week +                                       
                                      170           170          -
    Trips home or Local                                                Bursaries
                                       ?             ?         350
       Transportation                                                  Qualified students who did not receive a Renewable scholarship
           Clothing                    ?             ?           ?     are eligible to receive a $500 entrance bursary. Notification of
      Spending Money                                                   this bursary is included in the Offer of Admission. Application
 (entertainment, field trips,                                          for in-course bursaries and awards are available in January 2007.
                                     1000          1000        1000
   internet, personal items,
        insurance, etc.)                                               The provincial government has also allocated $3 Million to
                                   $14,195 -                           bursaries for First Generation students. For information see
           Totals                                 $14,027     $8,507

                                                                       OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)
Scholarships                                                           Integrated Canada and Ontario student grants and loans up to
Trent’s National Renewable scholarships range from $1000 to            $350 per week, take into account family size, income and student
$2500 based on final entrance marks. Students receive first            income. Electronic applications are at or in
notification with the Offer of Admission and a confirmation for        hard copy at the Financial Aid Office. Interest-free loans are
the final amount in August. The scholarship will be credited to        disbursed in 2 instalments in September and January. Instructions
the student account to be used for part of the first term fees. To     are sent to the student’s summer address in late August.
renew each year, the student must complete five full-credits (or       Ontario has increased the number of grants for 2007 and has a
equivalent) with an 80% average.                                       new website at for information.
OWSP                                                                        Parental co-signers are required, unless a student can prove
Ontario Work Study Program is an OSAP program that provides                  sufficient financial income during the study period to
approximately 380 part-time jobs to students on campus who have              cover the interest charges.
applied for OSAP and not received sufficient funding. Students              Negotiate the ability to pay down a loan by any amount at
can earn up to $2000 per year if approved by the Financial Aid               any time without penalty.
Office.                                                                     Emphasize to students the need to make payments on time
                                                                             and keep records. If payments cannot be made, don’t
Parents                                                                      ignore them. Talk to the bank to work out deferral
The OSAP program expects a parental contribution to a student’s              options.
education expenses if the student is a dependent. A dependent is
any child who completed secondary school 4 years ago or less, is        Loan Repayment
not married, does not have a dependent child and has not worked         The Ontario government reviews misreported income and
24 consecutive months. The parental expectation is normally             subsequent payment of loans. Students sign a contract when they
based on the previous year’s taxable income, but appeals may be         receive OSAP saying that the Assistance Program will be notified
possible where exceptional circumstances have occurred.                 if their estimated income for the year changes. The government
                                                                        also sends outstanding debts to collection agencies.
Parents with Registered Education plans or investments should
confirm available allocations for each year.                            Universities must notify OSAP if a student drops a course,
                                                                        reducing tuition and/or changing fulltime status to part-time, or if
If the total financial resources from the sources listed above do not   the student leaves university.
cover expenses, all major banks offer independent student loans or
lines of credit. 30% of students with loans borrow from private         Graduates should check the criteria for loan payback programs.
sources. If you are considering this option, Deirdre McCurdy            There are often options to reduce interest or suspend monthly
(2003) in “Concerning Student Loans”, recommends the                    payments without penalty if a graduate’s income is sufficiently
following:                                                              low.
      Analyze loans and lines of credit for the best option based
         on need                                                        Credit Cards
      A loan must be taken all at once and the student starts             “If one has a heartbeat the likelihood of credit approval is
         paying interest immediately.                                      high.”
      A line of credit is available as needed and interest only
         applies to money used.                                         In 2002, 65% of undergraduates at 30 universities had one or
      Shop around – rates differ between institutions.                 more credit cards that often represent the student’s first experience
      Don’t be intimidated – bargain and negotiate.                    with credit. Offers for credit cards often include low introductory
      Collateral keeps rates down.                                     interest rates that appeal to the student, but the rates usually
                                                                        skyrocket in 3 to 6 months. Every application for a credit card
                                                                        shows on a credit history and can make the applicant look credit
hungry. Students should consider carefully which card offers the          Use common garbage receptacles in residence and
option most suited to them and shop around. (TransUnion 2006)              apartments.
Mis-use of credit cards can result in:                                    Conduct a lot of business on the internet.
    Additional debt at graduation at high interest rates.
    Risk of defaulted payments that lead to a bad credit rating.   If your student is a victim of identity theft:
    Greater potential for identity theft.*                              Notify individual creditors
    Negative impact on future jobs if employers check                   Contact the 2 credit reporting agencies to put Fraud Alert
       financial history (which many now do).                               on name at Equifax Canada (1-877-249-2705) and
                              (Pasternak, 2002)                             TransUnion (1-877-525-3823)
                                                                         File a police report
*Identity Theft is when a person’s identification is used by
someone else to make purchases, acquire credit cards in the         Paying It Back
victim’s name, get a job, access transcripts, or establish a new    Liz Pulliam Weston, in “How to Pay Off Your College Debt
identity.                                                           (2002) calculates that if the minimum payment is made on the
Prevention:                                                         average credit card debt carried by students at the end of
    Check credit rating regularly. or              university, in 18 years the student will have paid double the 1-866-525-0262)                           original debt. At graduation Pulliam recommends the following
    Shred all documents with personal information.                 approach to student debt:
    Don’t respond to phone calls for information verification             pay student loans and/or other low interest loans at the
    Don’t have a driver’s license or credit card number printed              minimum and pay off high interest credit cards first;
        on cheques and pick up cheques at the bank.                        build an emergency fund to cover 3-5 months expenses
    Whenever possible don’t give a SIN as identification or               contribute 10% of income to RRSP’s
        carry the SIN card or passport.
    Watch for shoulder surfers and camera phones.
    Decline key chain credit cards.
    Do get credit cards with photos and keep copies of front &     Taxes
        back of all cards & phone #’s of credit card companies      Students will receive a T220A form for tax deductions based on
    Don’t assume that public computers are secure.                 tuition paid during the tax year. If the student received a
    Know where your credit cards are                               scholarship or bursary a T4A form will also be issued for that
                                                                    income. Transportation deduction for full-time students will be
Students are easy targets because they:                             included with the tuition tax form.
    Are often casual about credit cards.
    Carry parent’s cards with high limits.
    Receive many offers for cards and give out information to      Potential Additional Deductions
       get the card.                                                Keep receipts for moving expenses if the student is going to move
                                                                    more than 40 kms away from home. These receipts can be used
for tax deductions against the taxable portion of any scholarships,   setting spending limits, counting drinks, going out with groups,
fellowships, bursaries, prizes and research grants.                   and trusting friends to speak up when they drink too much. Still,
                                                                      for some students alcohol can become a problem and 31% of
If the student moves more than 40 kms from home to start a job or     youth deaths in Canada are caused by alcohol and drug use.
business, they can deduct moving expenses from the earnings at             Behaviours of problem drinkers often start in high school
the new location.                                                          Under-age drinking is not sanctioned and permission from
                                                                              parents cannot be granted in absentia to include premises
                                                                              away from the family home
After University                                                           Consumption of alcohol is not an accepted excuse for
      Colleges’ Ontario Environmental Scan of 2007 shows that                conduct issues
       in 5 years there will be fewer people entering the                  Over-consumption of alcohol accounts for a significant
       workforce, resulting in greater demand for people with                 number of missed classes and relationship issues
       knowledge and skills that are current.                         For information see:
      Seventy percent of all new jobs will require a post-           or
       secondary education                                            Drug & Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART)
      As of March 2007 employers still say that there is a               1-800-565-8603
       “seekers” market.
                                                                      Discrimination or Harassment
      With the graduation of the double cohort, positions in
                                                                      The goal on any campus is to provide an equitable, supportive
       graduate schools across the province are expanding to
                                                                      environment that respects diversity and is free from
       make room for future gradudates. (Gladstone, 2007)
                                                                      discrimination. When this is not a student’s experience, the Trent
                                                                      University’s Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Office is
Students surveyed by Universum in 2006 show a distinct
                                                                      available for general questions, education and consultation on
difference from their predecessors in terms of career goals. The
                                                                      human rights issues and/or concerns and to provide guidance on
top career goal is to have a balance between personal and
                                                                      the Trent University Policy on Discrimination and Harassment
professional life. They also want a progressive work environment
                                                                      specifically by any member of the university community.
with flexible hours, casual atmosphere, incentives, maternity leave
                                                                      The policy can be found at:
and a good location. They are also looking for companies that
have an interest in the environment and that are good corporate
                                                                      or.php. For more information, contact: Rhonda Smith, Manager,
                                                                      Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
                                                                      Office Hours: M, T and alternate F -- 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
                                                                      Phone: (705) 748-1011 ext 7725
Challenges to Student Success
While 80% of students drink, fewer than 13% say they have been
                                                                      Gambling develops into a problem for more than twice as many
injured or have damaged property after drinking. Seventy three
                                                                      Canadians aged 18-24 than for the rest of the population. Most
percent (73%) protect themselves by using designated drivers,
                                                                      popular is online poker, an activity that increased 4-fold between
2001 and 2005 according to the Responsible Gaming Council.            cause of death amongst university students after accidents, but
For information check Know the Score, an interactive gambling         being at university actually reduces the risk factors for the age
awareness program or                                  group. (

Illegal Substances used or possessed on campus can result in          Eating Disorders
termination of residence and campus sanctions. Addiction and          A student with a history of an eating disorder will continue to be
assessment counselling is available at Forecast, 130 Hunter St.       challenged while on campus. Other students may develop an
Peterborough. (705) 876-1292                                          eating disorder in response to the pressure of academic life,
                                                                      expectations for achievement and the emphasis on body image
                                                                      from the traditional university age group. Anorexia Nervosa is
Mental Health                                                         dieting and over exercise to the point of starvation. Bulimia is
This generation of students accesses counselling centres in record    binging on large quantities of food and then purging using
numbers for psychiatric disorders, depression, or relationship        laxatives or vomiting. Over-eating is over consumption to the
issues. Students who require mental health support should:            point of significant unhealthy weight gain and affiliated health
    1. check with Counselling Services to identify location and       problems.
        resources for short term care.                              Roommates are often the first to notice unhealthy patterns and to
    2. locate hospitals and private practices for long term care as   assist with referrals. Remember that a change in eating patterns
        required;                                                     does not necessarily represent an eating disorder unless there are
    3. review coverage under the Health Benefits plan or parent       extreme changes in body weight and patterns of behaviour.
        health plans;
    4. check with Disability Services for academic support;           Self-injury may be practiced by as many as 1 in 10 teens. The act
    5. be familiar with privacy and consent policies.                 provides short term relief of internal tension, anxiety and low self-
                                                                      esteem by stimulating a morphine-like substance associated with
Depression is listed as the #1 issue for students who seek            self-defence and harm (Winkler, 2003). Behaviours may include
counselling at Canadian university counselling centres.               cutting, burning or hitting. For information see
Symptoms are often misinterpreted as typical teen-aged      
behaviours such as lack of energy, angry scenes when people try
to get them to do something, persistent patterns of irritability or   Prescription Medications such as insulin, ventolin, Ritalin and
hopelessness. Short term depression and anxiety are to be             prozac are now prescribed at a rate such that it is estimated that 1
expected during the initial transition to university. When            in 4 students are taking at least one prescription medication.
symptoms last more than two weeks it is important to seek             University life can affect how medications work when sleeping
assistance. (                            and eating patterns change or when time management and
                                                                      scheduling challenges result in inconsistent use of medication.
Suicide is not as prevalent amongst university students as media      Students may need assistance in establishing new patterns to
attention suggests. According to David Jacobs, past president of      ensure medications continue to be effective.
the American Association of Suicidology, suicide is the leading
                                                                         3. Access public websites in advance for information on
Sexual Assault                                                              preparing for emergencies. Ensure that you and your
Students test boundaries, explore new freedoms, experiment with             student have supplies for the recommended 72 hours.
alcohol use, meet new people and try to make good first                     Sample site:
impressions. There is pressure to fit-in, to grow up, and to get         4. Access the Trent University website to be aware of the
along. In addition, date rape drugs in the form of Rohypnol or              Crisis Response Plan and Pandemic Plan for Trent.
Ketamine can increase the risk of not being aware of what is      
happening during a high risk situation. Students who are victims         5. Practice, and encourage your student to practice, measures
of sexual assault can contact Counselling Services, Health                  to prevent infectious diseases.
Services, or Campus Security for assistance.
                                                                      APPENDIX B
Safety and Sex                                                        Trent Central Student Association Health Benefits Plan
Health services personnel on campuses report that students are not    Eligible students automatically pay and are enrolled into the
as well informed about sex, birth control and STI’s (Sexually         TCSA Benefits plan. Eligible students are:
Transmitted Infections) as most adults think. Health Educators,       * UNDERGRADUATE Full-Time*
student leaders and dons offer programs on safe sex practices and         Includes nursing, domestic and international- Sept. start only
Health Services provides consultation for a pro-active response as    * CONSECUTIVE EDUCATION Full-Time and Part-Time -
well as testing and treatment.                                             Sept. start only
                                                                      * GRADUATE STUDIES Full-Time- Sept. or Jan. start
Emergency Preparedness -- Infectious Disease Planning                 Fees
                                                                      The fee for the TCSA Benefits Plan is automatically invoiced with
Recent challenges to public health in Canada in the form of           tuition and ancillary fees. Total cost : $248; $136 health, $112
SARS, Norwalk virus, and salmonella, have resulted in                 dental.
preparedness plans being encouraged for all Canadians.                Coverage
                                                                      September 1st, 2007 to August 31st, 2008.
There are many things that you and your student can do to prepare     Opting-Out
for emergencies, whether related to infectious disease outbreaks or   Each student is given one opportunity to opt-out of the TCSA
other public emergencies:                                             Health & Dental Plans each year if they have existing coverage.
    1. Ensure that your student has updated local contact             Students may either opt-out on-line or in person.
       information, permanent contact information and                 Students wishing to opt-out in person must complete a waiver
       emergency contact information with the Office of the           form through the TCSA benefits office by the advertised deadline.
       Registrar and, where applicable with Housing.                  Proof of comparable coverage (letter or benefit card from your
    2. Discuss with your student a family plan for contact in case    carrier that includes the student's name) must be submitted along
       of emergency. Who will contact whom? What if phone             with your signed waiver form. Students wishing to opt out on-line
       lines and electronic communication are unavailable?
can do so by visiting Note: this website         Ph: (705) 748-1107 Fx: (705) 748-1108 or
will only be active during the opt-out period.
                                                                       You can also access information on the TCSA's website
The opt-out deadline is approximately the end of September. It is      ( 24 hours a day including frequently asked
the students' responsibility to complete the opt-out process           questions, the Benefits Guide which details the coverage provided
either by waiver form (with proof of coverage) or on-line by           and links to claim forms and other helpful information.
the advertised deadline. Approval of waiver forms will result in
the plan fee being refunded. Students will receive a refund
cheque which they can pick-up from the TCSA benefits office.
Due to administration time the cheques will not be available until     STUDENT SERVICES
                                                                       Academic Skills The Academic Skills Centre at Trent University
Once a student has opted-out of the plan(s) their opt-out status       is dedicated to instructing undergraduate and graduate students in
will be valid for the remainder of their time at Trent University      the skills necessary for success in university. In Peterborough and
provided that there is not an interruption in their studies nor a      Oshawa, we provide individual and small-group instruction in
change in student status (e.g. falling below 3.5 credits per year or   writing and study skills, including: Grammar and Composition,
travelling abroad).                                                    Critical reading and thinking, Research and citation, Time
                                                                       Management, Listening and notetaking, Oral presentations, exam
What if a student loses alternative coverage?                          preparation, Mathematics. Phone: (705) 748-1720
Students that have waived their benefits can opt back into the plan
if they lose their alternative coverage. Students must opt into the
plan within 30 days of losing alternative coverage or during the       Athletics and Recreation
opt-out/opt-in period.                                                 Athletics and Recreation invite you to take advantage of our
                                                                       facilities for “drop in” recreation, a great workout, to participate in
Can dependents be added to the plan?                                   our intramural / Campus Rec. or varsity programs. New this year
Each year, students are given an opportunity to purchase one full      will be a downtown gymnasium in the Argyle Street facility
year of family coverage for spouses and/or dependents (children)       opening mid September. Activities and schedules are posted on
by completing an application form at the TCSA benefits office          the web site at
and paying the family coverage fee.
                                                                       Career Centre
Where Do I Go for Help?                                                The Career Centre facilitates student employment during a
Please contact the Student Benefits Plan Administrator at the          student’s time at Trent and after graduation. We encourage Trent
TCSA Student Benefits Office on any matter for which you               students to begin exploring career options in their first year to
require personal attention:                                            assist in making course choices, understanding the transferability
                                                                       of their skills, and eventually making satisfying career choices.
TCSA Benefits Office: Champlain College, Room S109                     Services include:
Tracy Milne, Benefits Plan Administrator
     Print and online career and employment resources                 Health Services
     Access to on- and off-campus opportunities                       The goals of the Health Service are to increase the health and
     Resume critiques and Career Counseling                           well-being by helping students to make positive health decisions
     Career Events, Fairs, Workshops                                  and build skills to carry out these decisions. In addition to its
The Career Centre can be reached at 705-748-1011 x1385,                education role Health Services provides clinics for students with or                             medical concerns. Male / female physicians and a nurse are
                                                                       available for office clinics.
Conference Services
Conference services co-ordinates room bookings and other non-          Housing Department
academic uses of Trent’s facilities. Residence rooms can be            The Housing Department is responsible for the residence space in
booked for public use during the summer months. Tel: 748-1260.         each college at Trent and can be reached at
                                                              or (705) 748-1011 X5127, Off-Campus
Counselling Centre                                                     Housing listings are available at
Counselling Centre personal are available to all students. Through
discussions and goal-setting, counsellors can help a student to        Indigenous Student Services
more fully understand themselves, their concerns and learn             Indigenous Student Services offers a number of services for
effective coping strategies. A few sessions of individual              Indigenous students from all disciplines and for all Indigenous
counselling are often sufficient to find a solution or at least to     Studies students. These services include a Peer Tutor and
view the problem from a more manageable perspective. Group             Academic Coaching Program, providing individual academic
therapy and workshops on selected topics are offered throughout        assistance as well as workshops throughout the year; a Cultural
the year. We can be reached at (705) 748-1386.                         Advisor who can assist students with respect to cultural teachings,
Disability Services Office                                             protocols and ceremonies; an Indigenous Student Counsellor and
The Disability Services Office (DSO) is here to assist students        Academic Advisor who can help with personal and academic
with disabilities throughout their academic career at Trent.           issues that arise during the academic year.
Academic accommodation services are provided on an                     The Trent University Native Association is organized by, for and
individualized basis and are based on the documented need of the       about Trent’s Indigenous student population to provide cultural,
student. All services are provided in a confidential manner.           recreational and social events throughout the year as well as or contact us at (705) 748-1281.            providing a forum to discuss and deal with Indigenous issues.
                                                                       Indigenous Student Services is located in the First Peoples House
Food Services                                                          of Learning, Enweying Building. Student space is provided in
Food services are available to residence students through the          Mshiikenh: First Peoples Gathering Space, located on the lower
dinning halls located in each college. Students with special dietary   floor of Enweying. Nendimowin: Elders and Students Centre,
needs should contact the Food Service provider Aramark at 748-         located in Enweying 322, provides computer and printer access.
1512. Off-campus meal plans can also be purchased by visiting          Tel.: (705) 748-1011 ext. 7466
the Aramark office in Otonabee College and cash sales are also         Email:
available at each dining location.
Multi-Faith Spiritual Affairs Coordinator                                      Fee, Susan. My Roommate is Driving Me Crazy! Adams Media, Cincinnati:
The Multi-Faith Spiritual Affairs Coordinator acts as a resource               2005. ISBN: 1-59337-269-8.
for students who wish to become involved or to seek the services               Howe, Neil and William Strauss. Millenials Go to College. AACRAO: 2003.
of any of Peterborough’s religious communities. The                            ISBN: 1-57858-033-1.
Coordinator is also available to those students who feel that they
could benefit from assistance that is spiritual in nature.                     Nault, Wanda and Mary-Beth Raddon (editors). Knowing Students: Student
                                                                               Research on Student Life. Brock University, 2005
Office of Student Affairs (OSA)                                                Parton, Andie and Lynn Johnston. Leaving Home: Survival of the Hippest.
OSA provides administrative support to the student services                    Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City: 2003. ISBN 0-7407-3303-6.
departments listed below and coordinates campus programs,
Introductory Seminar Week and Parent Orientation. Questions or                 “Undergraduate Experience at Canadian Universities” Research Report from
concerns about student life and comments about this booklet can                University of Manitoba, April 2006.
be directed to 748-1011 x5123.

Peer-Mentor and Academic Coaching Program                                      References used to develop this handbook can be found at
The Peer Mentor Program matches upper year undergraduate and         
graduate students with first and second year students to help them
with both their academic work and the transitions that come with
entering university. Workshops are held throughout the year on
topics such as Time Management & Exam Stress.

Resource and References

Borgenicht, Joshua, David Worick and Jennifer Piven. Worst-Case Scenario
Survival Handbook: College. Chronicle Books, San Francisco: 2004. ISBN: 0-

Carlson, Richard. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff.
Hyperion, New York: 1997. ISBN: 0-78688-185-2.

Chickering, A.W., and L. Reisser. Education and Identity (2nd ed.)
Jossey-Bass, San Francisco: 1993

De Becker, Gavin. The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from
Violence. Mass Market Paperback, Albany:1998. ISNB: 0-4402-2619-8.

Diller, L. Running on Ritalin: A Physician Reflects on Children, Society and
Performance on a Pill. Bantam, New York:1998. ISBN: 0-5533-7906-2.

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