By Marie-Pier Deschênes
Looking for hot topics to discuss around your lunch? The Gazette team has made a list of 12 interesting facts to become an expert ès campus life!
- We have these three underrated services:
- Free Store (647 King Edward): Drop off things you don’t want and pick up things you do want — for FREE. Since opening, the Free Store has collected 15 tons of free stuff from the residences.
- Muggy Mondays (at the Free Store): Get free coffee, tea or hot chocolate if you bring your personal mug at the beginning of the week.
- Pet therapy: If you’re experiencing anxiety or going through a difficult or stressful situation, spend time with Sassy, Tundra or Rusty Bear, three trained fluffy (canine) friends.
- We have a six-story living wall (vertical garden) in FSS: it cleans the air and regulates the humidity levels in the building, and has a constant stream of water along the edge that gets absorbed into a cloth, keeping the plants fresh (now you know how they water the plants).
- The FSS data centre more than doubles the national average for energy efficiency and harvests the excess energy from the computer labs and servers to heat the building in the winter. That’s why the FSS heating system was only used three days last year.
- Community gardens (40 plots) are open to staff and members of the community. There are two gardens on campus: a historical garden site behind the University Centre and another site at 651 King Edward, near the Free Store.
- We’re aiming to be a car-free campus within 10 years!
- Facilities are adding twizzies, braille on sidewalks that leads to braille maps showing directions to campus buildings. This project has started on the north end of the campus and will eventually expand to the south end. *Update 24/07/2014 : this project will no longer take place for monetary reasons.
- Our campus covers 42 hectares and 25% of it is green space. There are over 1,100 trees on campus!
- The soccer field turf at the Minto Sports Complex is made out of the rubber from donated shoes, and is lead-free and 100% recyclable.
- Parents, grandparents and friends can now order a variety of Premiere Moisson “care packages” for students living in residence. They can be ordered online, and even include birthday cakes!
- The buildings are connected through a system of overpasses on the humanities side of campus, and underground tunnels on the science side. Maps on the uOttawa website show you the shortest or warmest route. Good to know in the winter!
- Tabaret Hall was originally built in 1885 but was destroyed by fire in 1903. It was later rebuilt in sections starting in 1905. It was one of the first buildings in Canada to be made with reinforced concrete, and is now fireproof.
- New York architect A.O. Von Herbulis based the design on the Capitol Building in Washington.
- The uOttawa logo was inspired by the huge columns in the front entrance of Tabaret.
- There is an Olympic-sized pool on campus that we use as a “dive-in theatre” to screen films. It has four diving boards, and according to an old tradition many current students aren’t aware of, after their last exam of the winter session, students jump off the diving board of the year they’ve completed.