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Student Life

Flu season and the savvy student

Posted by Ellen Avery on November 14, 2014 @ 10:16 a.m. EST
Tags: Flu season, Health, Illness, Vaccination


Overwhelmed lecture halls, communal living spaces and high amounts of social activity make university campuses a perfect breeding ground for the seasonal flu virus.

Despite the increased exposure associated with student life, the United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) estimated only about 13 per cent of post-secondary students are electing to get their vaccine every year.

Troy Day, an evolutionary biology professor at Queen’s specializing in mathematical modeling of disease and virology, said students should be getting their vaccines for two different reasons. Not only does the shot provide potential benefits to their own health, but it also benefits the health of the community as a whole. “Even if I am not terribly vulnerable to adverse effects, if I can weather it out and I’m not worried about dying, by being infected I help spread the virus in ... Read more...

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Queen’s faces of mental illness: Loving my body again

Posted by Taylor Smith on November 12, 2014 @ 07:45 p.m. EST

As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Lifestyle featured personal stories from Queen’s student each day from Oct. 6-10. We’ll be continuing the initiative throughout the year with more stories. If you’re interested in submitting a story, please email journal_lifestyle@ams.queensu.ca.

Taylor Smith

When I was 12, I started hating my body.

I’ve had to repeat those words over and over again for the last nine years. When doctors ask if I can pinpoint when my life went wrong, I say that sentence.

I went for many years without knowing the true meaning of mental health stigma. I made the same jokes as my friends about people being crazy or insane. The weather was bipolar or the organized kids were OCD.

It was funny, and we weren’t hurting anyone right? Wrong. It took me a long time to see that these words weren’t ... Read more...

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Bring back basic

Posted by Claudia Tsang on November 7, 2014 @ 10:39 a.m. EST
Tags: Basic, Fall, Pumpkin spice, Starbucks, Stereotypes


Standing in the Starbucks line, I’m mentally preparing myself to order my pumpkin spice latte.

I can’t help but feel self-conscious because it’s so overdone, so mainstream — it’s so basic. And being dubbed those five little letters makes me almost feel ashamed of myself. But why should I be embarrassed?

Why has it become not okay to like heirloom pumpkin candles, enjoy my salted caramel everything, wear thick knits in “sweater weather” and love essentially everything that’s good in this world? We throw the term “basic” around so casually now that the condescension that seeps through every pore of that word is easily overlooked.

“Basic”, in its most quintessential simplicity, is no longer indicative of classic goodness. Instead we’ve made it so we’ve become equated with being predictable, unsophisticated, uninteresting. We’re boring.

And with the increasing pressure to be ...

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AuthenticallyU: Promoting positive body image

Posted by Katherine Meagher on October 31, 2014 @ 10:31 a.m. EDT
Tags: AuthenticallyU, Body image, Club, Eating disorders


Disordered eating and other concerns associated with a negative body image have become more widely understood as serious and pervasive, but it can still be hard to find support from sympathetic voices on campus.

Dani Keren, a fourth-year life sciences student, is seeking to change that reality. She’s the founder of AuthenticallyU, a group on campus that seeks to improve eating disorder awareness and body image positivity on campus.

Keren sat down to talk about the club (which has since changed its name from Authentically Me) and the importance of body positive conversation on campus at Queen’s.

Can you explain the club’s name?

It’s called Authentically[U] because we basically decided that the best way to encourage body positivity and a general celebration of self-esteem on campus would be to centre the club around celebrating our uniqueness. So all of the ... Read more...

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Breaking the sexual assault silence

Posted by Torri Odell on October 31, 2014 @ 10:11 a.m. EDT
Tags: Project Unbreakable, Sexual assault, Sexy Queen's U, Survivors


Last week wasn’t any ordinary week — it was Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

From Oct. 20-26, Sexy Queen’s U held a number of events on campus to raise awareness of sexual assault, including a resource fair in the Queen’s Centre, a mock sexual assault trial and one particularly important event: Project Unbreakable.

Project Unbreakable is a photography campaign started in 2011 by Grace Brown, a 19-year-old from Massachusetts. The goal of the project is to give a voice to sexual assault survivors. They’re given the chance to open up about their assault by being photographed with a sign explaining their assault, quoting their abuser or quoting someone else in response to their assault.

Sexy Queen’s U, an anti-violence group that creates awareness about campus sexual violence, spearheaded their own Project Unbreakable by asking sexual assault survivors on campus or ... Read more...

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Treasured tales

Posted by Katherine Meagher on October 24, 2014 @ 11:26 a.m. EDT
Tags: Alumni, Graduates, Homecoming


At 4 p.m. last Saturday, I opened my door to five eager faces, all of which were attached to women sporting shirts that read “Aberdeen Alumni”. I had just met the former tenants of my house.

Excitedly, they rushed in and took my housemates and I on a tour of our own house, explaining how our kitchen used to be a bedroom and where the balcony had been.

None of us could stop laughing. This wasn’t the first time we’d been paid a visit by a former resident on Homecoming.

As the group of Aberdeen alumni made their way out, we joked that in a few years we’d come back and do the same for the new tenants.

As students, we’re only ever a few short years away from being alumni. Every conversation we have with alumni on Homecoming asks ... Read more...

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Where, oh where is our fall reading week?

Posted by Megan Hendry on October 24, 2014 @ 10:57 a.m. EDT
Tags: Fall reading week, Mental Health, Midterms, Stress

Reading week

When I began studying at Queen’s, fall reading week was something given only to the magical lands of Laurentian and the University of Ottawa, and well, they seemed really far away, so it was understandable.

Yet, when I started hearing about friends at University of Toronto and McMaster getting four-day weekends in lieu of an actual week, I started to feel royally ticked off.

And now that close to every school in Ontario (Waterloo is the only notable exception) has a full week, or at the very least two extra days off, I’m left with one question — how can Queen’s have nothing?

At first, the notion seemed silly. There has never been a reading week in the fall, so why should it start now?

Yet during a conversation with my housemate, Roisin Donohue, ArtSci ’15, she raised the really ... Read more...

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Knitting basics

Posted by Christina Di Cosola on October 23, 2014 @ 10:30 a.m. EDT
Tags: Crafts, DIY, Hobbies, Knitting, Knitwear


Knitting is a simple and productive hobby that’s easy for anyone to develop by following a few simple steps.

When it comes to choosing the supplies for knitting, it depends entirely on what’s being made. Simple items like scarves and headbands will require basic 8-10mm needles and thicker yarn, which is great for those new to knitting.

There are many places in Kingston that supply knitting needles and a variety of yarn brands and colours. Michael’s, located at 656 Gardiners Rd., has a great selection and commonly has items on sale. Wal-Mart also sells yarn and knitting needles, although the selection at Michael’s is greater.

Knitting can be a difficult hobby to get the hang of initially, but after a little practice it becomes almost second nature and easy to multitask while doing.

The first step in knitting is casting stiches onto ... Read more...

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Queen’s faces of mental illness: Eating disorder recovery

Posted by Hannah Roy on October 23, 2014 @ 10:25 a.m. EDT
Tags: Eating Disorders, Mental health, Mental Illness Awareness Week, Stigma

As part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Lifestyle featured personal stories from Queen’s student each day from Oct. 6-10. We’ll be continuing the initiative throughout the year with more stories. If you’re interested in submitting a story, please email journal_lifestyle@ams.queensu.ca.

WARNING: This piece talks about eating disorders, depression and suicide, and may be triggering for some readers.


When I was in high school, very little emphasis was placed on mental health. Mental health and mental illness awareness wasn’t talked about much. That’s something which has always bothered me.

October is a month for me that’s filled with a strange bitter-sweetness. Between Thanksgiving and Halloween festivities and the return of Homecoming here at Queen’s, you’d think October would be filled with nothing short of fun and games. In some ways, it is. In other ways, it’s a subtle reminder of the years ... Read more...

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Dianne’s Fish Bar: One bite and you’ll be hooked

Posted by Tegan Raco on October 21, 2014 @ 03:11 p.m. EDT
Tags: Dianne's, Downtown, Local food, Restaurant review, Seafood


It’s over halfway through the semester and the stress of student life is evident on the drawn faces of Queen’s students everywhere.

Due dates are rapidly approaching, patience with messy housemates is wearing thin and the very thought of prepackaged food makes you shudder. Every now and then it’s necessary to break free from our chaotic lives, and there’s no better escape than to explore Kingston’s incredible restaurant scene.

The names of restaurants like Le Chien Noir, Atomica and Harper’s Burger Bar may sound familiar ― they’re some of the most popular restaurants in the Limestone City. But many people are beginning to discover the new restaurant that has joined The Black Dog’s collection of gourmet restaurants.

Fully operational since 2013 and located on the corner of Clarence and Ontario Streets, Dianne’s Fish Bar has caught the attention ... Read more...

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