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Student Ideas & Coffee

Tue. Nov. 17, 2015

Last Thursday evening, the HIVE provided the perfect setting for the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications' third annual Student Ideas & Coffee. Co-hosts Chantal and Tyler started by introducing one another. Both spoke about wanting to help create an inclusive campus atmosphere with a greater feeling of community, before introducing and saying a little about each of the speakers.

Here’s a look at some of the speakers and their presentations.

  • Shanae gave a talk that she’d prepared on Catholic sex, abortion, and contraception for a course she’d taken, “Religion and Contemporary Moral Issues.” She talked easily about the doctrines and philosophical tenets behind the beliefs and practices and the implications in today’s society (family planning).
  • Si, a first year student studying physics, has a passion for science. He used magic tricks to show that there was science behind these phenomena. Science, he describes as a never ending process of learning about the world around.
  • Janell, a third year student in RHET and PSYC, shared a presentation she had done for “Indigenous Representation in the Media and Society.” In it, she’d looked at representations of indigeneity on campus, using a series of photos, putting this to her own singing of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” One photo was of a memo announcing that courses in intermediate Cree and Ojibwe are now being offered at UWinnipeg, a good thing - yes. But Janell explained she found herself questioning why it is that Indigenous languages aren’t supported with the same tenacity as English and French.
  • Jack is a student interested in creative writing and photography and says he finds inspiration in ordinary people every day. He read some of his poetry - “Forgotten Words” and “Hooks and Crooks and the One Eyed Jack” - before reading a story about a boy’s curiosity. The boy’s grandmother and uncle are building something in the woods, a smokehouse, but he’s not allowed to see or even ask about it. He prefaced the story by explaining that his parents had been shamed into hiding their culture and therefore didn’t pass on the language.  
  • Stefanie, in her third year of the joint communications program (UWinnipeg/Red River College), shared an editorial she had written and produced for a course at RRC entitled, “Get rid of the loser point," referring to the point NHL teams get when games end in a tie. (Teams that win in overtime or in a shoot-out get a second point.)

The goal was to provide an inclusive atmosphere on campus where students would feel inspired to create and share and it was all that. There was a lot of diversity: in topics, ranging from the more fun – Si’s magic and his love of science – to the more serious, Janell and Jack’s very personal recognition of the loss of culture in a society shaped by colonialism; and in the style and manner of presentation, ranging from Shanae’s spirited speech to Stefanie’s video editorial. All of the speakers and presentations were well received by the audience - as were the coffee, tea, hot chocolate and baked goods!