As those of you who have read my bio will know, this is my third year at Western. And as practically anyone after first year will tell you, there are services that they did not know about and wish they did. Before you roll your eyes and stop reading I implore you to read just a bit further. I have had a rather colourful few years here Western (for lack of a better term) and this has enabled me to learn about way more services than the average student is aware of.
Western Access: As someone who started O-Week in first year with a concussion, I learned to appreciate this service rather quickly. Essentially, if you have a serious disability (ie concussion, being on crutches or in a wheelchair, or a broken collarbone) you go to Services for Students with Disabilities and bring a doctor’s note saying that you have a temporary/permanent disability and would like to take the Western Access bus. This is a wheelchair bus that will pick you up any time from 8 am-10 pm every day during the school week (except on Friday when the service ends at 7pm) and will pick you up and drop you off any where on campus. This is really important for people like me who wipe out in the winter with alarming frequency as it saves time and money for hospital visits etc. You can book rides ahead of time to get to class, but you can also call the driver up and ask him to pick you up as soon as he can. The morning driver’s name is Doug and the afternoon driver is Paul. Both of them are super friendly and helpful. Their jurisdiction goes from Brescia to Kings so anywhere on campus you can get driven to.
Kings/Brescia Bus: Still on the issue of transportation, consider taking the Kings/Brescia shuttle busses around campus. You do not need to show your bus pass or any type of identification to ride and it too goes from Kings to Brescia with a few stops along the way. Not many people take the bus because they think they have to attend one of the affiliate colleges but this is definitely untrue! The information about it is here: http://www.kings.uwo.ca/kings/assets/File/currentStudents/campus_services/kings-bus-schedule.pdf
The Leadership and Mentorship Program (LAMP): I am a bit biased for this one as I am responsible for all of the first year A&H students, but it is still a service people should be more aware of! The LAMP programme is many things but I like to think of the mentors as an interesting cross between a friend, parent, counsellor, and tutor. All mentors have office hours where the only thing they are supposed to be doing is helping students but sadly students rarely go. Mentors are there to talk about anything and everything from course planning, to the best super powers, to personal and academic concerns! There is even a program called LAMP 2.0 for all of you second year science students!
Council Office Hours: For those of you not in first year but wanting to talk about your options, remember that all members of faculty student councils have mandatory office hours that are rarely taken advantage of. Council office hours are a great way to learn about events on campus as well as how to increase your leadership capabilities in ways you may not have previously considered. There are no appointments necessary and there is usually someone in the council office from about 9-6 every day. Council members tend to spend a lot of time with professors so we can help you think about which professors to talk to about grad school or which professors cater best to your learning style.
If you have any questions about Western’s multitude of services, please do not hesitate to contact me!