Diversity, student engagement key pillars at The George

The George student residence has no shortage of activities

With the school year in full swing, staff, students and community members took time to mark the grand opening of The George on Sept. 14.

In celebrating George Brown’s first student residence, the messages of college president Anne Sado and minister of the environment and climate change Glen Murray, went far beyond mere brick and mortar.

Murray noted the diversity present in The George. “You’ve got the world living in this building,” said Murray. The minister also lauded Sado’s leadership and the George Brown community.

“In a world of division and politicians who divide us too easily, this place is an island of the celebration of learning, knowledge and human diversity,” said Murray.

Lyla Daniel, a resident adviser and second-year nursing student who served as the event’s master of ceremonies, believes that having such a diverse group of residents adds value to the education at George Brown.

“Not only are we here to experience a traditional education in order to prepare us for the workplace, but we’re also here to educate ourselves in terms of people and being humans of this world,” said Daniel.

Going hand in hand with The George’s diversity is an emphasis on community support and activity. This falls in line with the 2014-17 Strategic Mandate Agreement, a collaboration between George Brown and the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and University, which placed student engagement as a major focus in retention efforts.

The George features ping-pong tournaments, group cooking classes, a weekly food market, escape room scenarios and a host of other events and opportunities according to Sado.

“This is a whole new type of student experience and student residence, designed to foster interaction, collaboration and the use of state of the art technology,” said Sado. “At The George, studying and socializing can happen anywhere.”

The building is well-furnished with technology, including multiple levels of security, motion sensor lights, automatic blinds, exercise equipment and high speed internet. Even the laundromat is cutting edge, featuring app and text support, sending alerts when machines are free and when a student’s load of laundry is done.

The George houses 500 students across floors three through nine, with one resident adviser and about 75 students per floor. Sado hopes that by year’s end, the first group of residents will have a positive message to share with the next.

“I hope they’ll say this was one of the best experiences of my life, that you’re going to learn a lot, get involved, get engaged, take advantage of everything that’s here, because it will make a difference to you and your experience at college.”

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Diversity, student engagement key pillars at The George