September 22, 2019

By Jessica Towriss, Spoke News

A lull in an otherwise busy atrium at Conestoga. Photo by Jessica Towriss, Spoke News

With the fall semester beginning at Conestoga College, the halls have been full of new and returning students. With returning and first-year students, Conestoga College has welcomed a record-breaking population of more than 13,000 full-time students and more than 38,000 part-time students across all Conestoga campuses.

With the influx of students, the college has hired more than 100 full-time employees to contribute to student success, increasing the number of full-time employees at Conestoga to more than 1,200.  With the fall term beginning, new students can find many services ranging from transportation to health services.

Conestoga Student Inc., known as CSI, is the official student association for all Conestoga College campuses. The association represents both full-time students and part-time students with services that appeal to everyone. CSI offers many services like entertainment, food support, funding, leadership development, shuttle bus, wellness and student representation.

“We’re very excited for the 2018/19 school year, which will be action-packed with various events and opportunities for getting involved,” said Aimee Calma, president of CSI. “In the next couple of weeks, students can look forward to several important and exciting opportunities, including the Global Services Leadership trip applications and The Leadership Conference.”

Student Recreation Centre at Conestoga College’s Doon Campus. Photo by Terry Foster, Spoke News

Another service available for student use is the Student Recreation Centre. It offers a range of programs and facilities to encourage student engagement in health and wellness. The centre has multiple gymnasiums, an indoor running track, fitness centre and health and wellness offices.

Conestoga College is also a member of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) and the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA). The college offers several varsity sports for students to join, such as rugby, soccer, volleyball and more. Students can also access drop-in fitness classes through the recreation centre on certain days of the week. Classes range in variety to pique different student interests; these include yoga, cardio, cycle fit, Pilates and Zumba.

During the year, the stress of school can impact a student’s well being, whether it be mentally or physically. This is why students can access services through the Wellness Centre. It has dedicated health practitioners for massage therapy, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment. Students are able to access these services, as well as mental health services. In addition, they answer all inquiries regarding student health insurance plans, including helping students submit claims to insurance companies. The health plan at Conestoga aids students in being able to obtain the services at a more affordable price than at an outside source.

“We are able to direct-bill to the CSI health and dental plan, so for students who have the extended plan, they would just pay the 30 per cent of the appointment out of pocket that the plan doesn’t cover,” said Claire Palvetzian, the Wellness Office coordinator. “Even if students don’t have an injury that they need fixed, a treatment at the end of class or at a time during the day is a great way to help manage stress levels and enjoy some self-care.”

Even with the big influx of students this year, Conestoga College has services to offer everyone. From mental health and physical recreation to everything in between, the school is staffed and equipped to provide support to students year round.  

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