UCC space realignment will enhance student experience

A collaborative effort between the University Students’ Council (USC) and the university, involving realignment of space in the University Community Centre (UCC), through minor renovations, will result in improved support and services to Western students.

The realignment will result in the relocation of the Peer Support Centre and Western Chaplains Services, as well as a consolidation of student spiritual reflection spaces. Space planning activities are currently underway and it is anticipated that the new spaces will be ready in January, said Ruban Chelladurai, Planning, Budgeting and IT vice-president.

The three services and activities will be located as follows:

  • The Peer Support Centre in UCC 256 and 258;
  • Chaplains Services in UCC 38; and
  • The student reflection and prayer spaces in UCC 38, adjacent to the chaplains.

The Peer Support Centre is a collection of student-led programs and services that promote health and wellbeing, as well as celebrate diversity. Matt Helfand, USC president, said the new location would provide student volunteers with greater visibility and a space that’s better located to provide effective peer support.

“The Peer Support Programs play a vital role in support undergraduate students,” Helfand said. “The Peer Support Centre operates on an informal basis to encourage students to drop-in – which helps eliminate the intimidation factor of a more formal set-up. Its goal is to provide a comfortable environment for students to meet, talk and receive support. Its hope is that the new location will help enhance the USC’s ability to provide the peer support programs that meet the needs of our students.”

The relocation for the Western Chaplaincy will provide for expanded programming and office space.

Chelladurai said the planned new student reflection and prayer space will consolidate the current reflection space in the second floor of the UCC, as well as the Muslim student prayer space in University College, into a single location with more space. The design of this space will incorporate a separate prayer room for the Muslim students, who have specific prayer needs multiple times throughout the day.

“These changes are in keeping with Western’s commitment to supporting the physical, mental and spiritual needs of our students,” Chelladurai said.