A day of fun de-stressors
Giulia Rizzo CONTRIBUTOR
Photo: Left to right (All Commuter Dons): Jace Lee (3rd-year Commuter Don), Alex Tonelli (3rd-year Commuter Don), Karina Stellato (4th-year Commuter Don), Nick Rita (4th-year commuter Don) and Fion Yung (1st-year Commuter Ambassador)
As the clock strikes 12 on Halloween night, fear creeps into the hearts of all university students when they realize that exams are fast approaching. With anxiety mounting, existential crises occurring daily, and caffeine intake tripling, it’s no wonder our mental stability takes a nose dive during this season. For University of Toronto (U of T) commuters, like myself, this season may be increasingly daunting as we don’t have ready access to a supportive university community, like students who live on residence. However, hope is not lost when we have amazing organizations like the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) Commuter Dons, who, with the support of the Office of Student Life, host amazing community building activities.
The latest event was “Cookie Fest,” held on November 13, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event sought out to relieve students’ stress by offering free massages, life-sized board games, arts and crafts, and, most importantly — a wide variety of free cookies! Accolades must go out to Student Life Coordinator John Taylor who was principally responsible for securing the event’s partnership with the Multi-Faith Centre, who provided the masseuses. Students were encouraged to sign up for a massage session, where a professionally trained masseuse was able to “knead” their troubles away. If that wasn’t phenomenal enough, the event partnered with “Trek for Teens” to provide life-size board games, such as Connect 4 and checkers. For the less adventurous individuals, regular-sized board games were also available and provided by Pair-a-Dice — which on a side note, must be commended for their clever name! Next, students had the opportunity to let their creative juices flow with the arts and crafts tables. Miniature easels, canvases, and art supplies were readily available for the students who dared to put their art history knowledge to practical use. And again, for the more demure attendees, adult colouring pages were made available to those who just wanted to colour inside the lines.
While all the activities mentioned previously did go above and beyond all my expectations of what an event could offer, the real “gems” were the cookies themselves. If you’re a broke university student like myself, then you will appreciate the fact that all the cookies were free. Generously, volunteers from Cleans SMC, the Italian Undergraduate Student Cultural Association (IUSCA), and others baked trays upon trays of cookies. They had everything from spiced oatmeal raisin cookies to the tried and true chocolate chip and everything in between. After massages, board games, arts and crafts, and cookies, it doesn’t seem like it could get any better than this, right? Wrong! One final trick the Commuter Dons had up their sleeves was a partnership with David’s Tea which provided free tea for the whole event.
It is sufficient to say that this event went above and beyond my own expectations. It was incredibly well planned and coordinated and put the students’ needs above all else. This event has inspired me to attend any and all future USMC Commuter Don events, and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a bit of fun infused into their academic lives. If this article has left you disappointed that you missed out on such an event, then don’t fret. Tentative plans are already being made for another event set to come later this season, before winter break.