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Going the Distance: Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSAA)

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 31, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: Alumni, Clubs on campus, Queen's Student Alumni Association (QSAA)

The Queen’s Student Alumni Association (QSSA) reminds students of an often forgotten fact: the Queen’s experience doesn’t end after four years.

While QSAA may be known for bringing high profile speakers back to campus, they do more than that. Offering hired leadership positions as well as a Backpack to Briefcase program to teach career skills are just some of the other ways that QSAA ensures students get exposure to a wide breadth of tools before they graduate.

I spoke with three of QSAA executive members, including vice president of events, Taylor Jennings, ArtSci ’15, vice president of volunteers, Jessica Beakbane, Comm ’14, vice president of marketing and communications, Hillary Maynard, ArtSci ’14, about the ways in which QSAA does more than bring alumni back to campus:

QSAA - VPs

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Kingston Olive Oil Company

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 31, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: downtown Kingston, Gems of Kingston, Kingston Olive Oil Company


Kingston Olive Oil Co - cover

As I’m swishing my sample of Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil around, I’m told that sampling olive oil is similar to wine. The owners of Kingston Olive Oil Company, Shaun and Julia Finucane, have brought fine olive oils and balsamic vinegars to the Limestone City. The store is located near the corner of King and Brock Streets.

Shaun instructs me to place my hand over the oil and move the cup to swish the oil around, in order to heat up the aromas and spices. You then take a large portion of the olive oil in your mouth, letting the liquid rest in your mouth. I’m told that the more oxygen and air you’ve inhaled, the more aromas will be released. Let the oils linger in your mouth – so you ... Read more...

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Passing off the torch: Queen's U Compliments

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 31, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: Botterell Hall Lady, CoGro, Facebook, Queen's U Compliments

The founders of Queen’s U Compliments are graduating. With them goes one of the largest and most positive campus movements of past years, but they plan to leave the page in good hands.

Their page started a global trend of spreading positivity and celebrating the beautiful, but often unrecognized, gestures of students and community members on school campuses everywhere.

I spoke with Amanda Smurthwaite, ArtSci ’14, to see what she will miss the most:

Q: What has been your favourite moment running Queen’s U Compliments?

A: One of our favourite messages was from the very beginning, … it might have been October 2012 … It was something like, “I love you more than I like sweet chili heat Doritos,” and it was just so random and it just all struck us as really funny.

Another one we really loved was a compliment that was sent in for Vicky Andrews, ... Read more...

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More than a one-stop coffeehouse: Common Ground (CoGro)

Posted by Michael Green on March 24, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: CoGro, Common Ground


CoGro Camilla James

From proposals to top secret bagels, Common Ground (CoGro) is a big part of typical campus life for many students at Queen’s.

Five different people wave to Camilla James, head manager of CoGro, as she arrives to The Brew, an offshoot of CoGro located in the JDUC. Camilla waves back with a big smile.

Here’s everything we all have been wondering about CoGro:

What is the biggest challenge running CoGro?
James: Honestly, we have 130 staff members and I want to make sure everyone feels fulfilled, included and like they’re performing well in the work place. I want them to feel like they are part of something positive.

This is a challenge as I think about it all the time.

What changes have made CoGro the student service what it is today?
James: ... Read more...

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Charity and chips: More than another Poker Club

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 17, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: charity, Clubs on campus, poker club

With this semester marking its second year, Queen’s University Poker Club (QPC) is relatively new but offers more than a chance at luck, but also at charity. QPC, which is comprised of a six-member executive team, organizes monthly tournaments, where they donate their proceeds to select on-campus charity groups.

I sat down with one of the co-presidents of QPC, Ian Attema, ArtSci ’15, to learn more about ways in which poker is more than a game, but also a place of community:

Q: Why did you choose to start QPC?
A: I went to [Herstmonceux Castle] in first year, and a group of us guys coming back from the castle in second year decided we wanted to get involved in some way and one of my friends who actually no longer goes to Queen’s University came up with the idea of a Poker Club … ... Read more...

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A little bit of Paris: Geneva Crepe Café Bistro

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 10, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EDT
Tags: Creperie, dessert, Gems of Kingston, Geneva Crepe Cafe


Geneva Crepe Cafe - cover

Stepping into Geneva Crepe Café Bistro evokes my more savoury memories of French cuisine. Although I may not be able to find a crepe as cheap as five euros or an authentic Nicoise salad while living in the Limestone City, Geneva is a great alternative to a trip across the Atlantic.

One of the biggest intrigues has been the adoption of locally sourced food by many restaurants, including Geneva Crepe Café Bistro. The owner, Genevieve Patenaude, adds that the smoked salmon in my crepe came from the BC coast.

Since the creperie’s opening in August 2010, each crepe is made fresh to order, and the most important part of any meal – the ingredients, especially the produce – are handpicked by Patenaude herself.

For someone with no prior ... Read more...

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Fashion, beauty and lifestyle at Queen’s

Posted by Jessica Chong on March 3, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EST
Tags: beauty, fashion, Queen's

With so many opportunities to get involved at Queen’s, sometimes those with a fashion-forward mind just want to get their manicured hands onto something a little more creative or expressive. If following fashion and beauty mavens on Twitter hasn’t satisfied your fix, here are a few ways to find your creative outlet on campus:

Get involved with a fashion show
If you’re a makeup or hair guru, consider lending your talent behind the scenes of a student-run fashion show. Part of the fun is meeting students who love fashion as much as you. Dolling others up for a photo shoot or the runway can be a thrill better lived out through on-campus involvement. Being on the executive committee, as a fashion or clothing exec, means you’ll be dressing the models and liaising directly with the clothing sponsors. There doesn’t seem to be an easier way to know what’s current ... Read more...

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Clubs on campus: Queen's Soul Food

Posted by Jessica Chong on February 24, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EST
Tags: Queen's Soul Food, shelters, student-run

On a typical night, it takes less than 30 minutes – sometimes 15 minutes – for shelters around Kingston to have trays of unconsumed food delivered from Queen’s cafeterias.

Soul Food, comprised of an 11-member executive team, organizes the delivery logistics and picks up leftover food from all three campus dining halls, located at Jean Royce Hall, Leonard Hall and Ban Righ Hall. They supply shelters such as Dawn House Women’s Shelter, In From the Cold Emergency Shelter, Ryandale Shelter for the Homeless or the Kingston Youth Shelter.

I sat down with this year’s co-chairs, Roya DelSol, ArtSci ’14, and Sarah Hobbs, ArtSci ’14, to discuss ways in which Soul Food, now in its fifth year, has grown in prominence:

Q: How long have you been with Soul Food?
DelSol: I’ve been involved with Soul Food for more than four years now … At first I was ... Read more...

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Baking up west-end charm: Bread and Butter Bakery

Posted by Jessica Chong on February 3, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EST
Tags: bakery, Gems of Kingston, west end

Come this spring, the Bread and Butter Bakery will be celebrating 16 years in the west end. Originally located two stoplights down Bath Rd., the bakery outgrew its original location eight years ago and moved to accommodate their expanding business.

The owner’s daughter, Katie Whitall said its current location is three times larger than before. Including her parents, her sister and herself, 35 people staff the bakery.

When Whitall, originally from the Niagara area, graduated from the business program at the University of Ottawa, she returned to work at the family bakery. This arrangement allowed her mother to devote more time to what she loved best – baking – while Whitall handles the frontend and management responsibilities.

“[My mother] can then bake and train and help others grow … There’s a lot of cooking programs, but there aren’t a lot of baking-focused programs,” Whitall said.

With ... Read more...

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From a delegate’s perspective: Queen’s Conference on Philanthropy (QCOP)

Posted by Jessica Chong on January 27, 2014 @ 06:00 p.m. EST
Tags: philanthropy, QCOP

Two days later, a dozen speakers and panelists broadened my view on apathy, passion and rage.

Speakers at the sixth annual Queen’s Conference on Philanthropy (QCOP) ranged from Canadian Olympic team wrestler Ohenewa Akuffo to former child soldier Michel Chikwanine. Other speakers included Russ McLeod, chief operations director of Me to We, Adil Dhalla, director of culture at the Centre for Social Innovation, Shawn Cheung, founder of Raising the Village.

The conference opened with an odd metaphor: one of the co-chairs, Christie Park, Comm ’14, described QCOP as her baby finally being born, after nine months of intensive planning and stressful nights, she added. It was a strangely heartwarming description that bespoke of the organizer’s enthusiasm for the weekend.

QCOP, more than anything, appeared from the outset as a labour of love.

Principal Woolf followed with a story about Alfred Bader, a fitting example of a ... Read more...

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