December 2018 Top 5

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2018

The month of December has been an interesting month... Here are a few examples of comments we received and how we fixed it!

Where there is smoke, there’s… a tendency to litter

What was the problem? Half a dozen students asked to install ashtrays on campus because many smokers tend to throw their cigarette butts on the ground.

How did we fix it? The University has installed a temporary ashtray at Desmarais to encourage people not to put out their cigarette butts on the ground when they are smoking on the outdoor benches. However, an ashtray near the Morisset terrace (as many students requested) will not be installed, because this area of the campus is designated as a non-smoking zone. It is forbidden to smoke there. Staff will still clean the terrace and the cigarette butts that fall between the cracks of the pavement stones.

Did you know?

 Our thanks to Marc St-Amour and the Facilities team, as well as Pierre-Yves Leroux for working together to solve this problem.

Improving Campus Maps

Your suggestion: Make the “you are here” symbols on campus maps easier to spot! It can be difficult to orient oneself on campus because the maps are visually crowded and those symbols are small and hard to find. 

We listened to you! The University’s Facilities team is looking into a way to make the “you are here” symbols more visible and standardize this across campus maps.

Our thanks to Marc St-Amour and the Facilities team for being so open to this student’s suggestion!

Help Me Help You Help Me

What was the problem?

What was the problem? A student had trouble getting a hold of staff at the Counselling and Coaching Unit to book an appointment.

How did we fix it? The Counseling and Coaching Unit got in touch with the student immediately to help her book an appointment and to ask her what they could do to help.

We’ve received over forty comments about the need to improve our mental health services on campus. Students almost always mention that the staff is friendly and competent, but that wait-times are too long, that there is a cap on the number of appointments allowed, and that these teams are severely understaffed. The University is currently looking to better advertise mental health services and to make them more accessible to all. Our team is aware of these issues and is working very hard to address them.

Did you know?

For someone who is in distress or in a crisis, there are several resources (by phone or online) available. Please note the region and the language of the service:

Good 2 talk, Post-Secondary Student Helpline
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
1-866-925-5454

Crisis Line
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Within Ottawa: 613-722-6914
Outside Ottawa: 1-866-996-0991
*Age: 16+

Information and community services 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
211 (Ontario)

InfoSanté Help Line
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
811 (Québec)

Distress Centre Ottawa and Region
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
English Only
Distress: 613-238-3311
Crisis: 613-722-6914 or 1-8866-996-0991

eSantéMentale.ca 
24 hours a day, 7 days a week

If you are concerned about yourself or someone else, or if you would simply like to know more and mental health and wellness, we invite you to consult our web page.

Our thanks to Denise Belanger, University of Ottawa Health Services, for very quickly contacting the student to address her concerns.

Automatic External Defibrillators on Campus

What was the problem?

What was the problem? After experiencing an unfortunate situation, a student expressed his concern with regard to the availability of automatic external defibrillators on campus. The student requested that more devices be added on site, in order to maximize the speed with which one could locate and use a defibrillator in an emergency.

*What’s an AED? An automatic external defibrillator (AED) is a tool that, when used during the first few minutes of sudden cardiac arrest, can greatly increase a victim’s chances of survival.

How did we fix it? In the last few months, we received funding for the acquisition of three additional AEDs. These devices will be installed in the Tabaret, Morisset and possibly the Faculty of Social Science buildings. We would like to submit a project during the next year, to insure that there are more devices available and accessible in buildings on campus.

Did you know? The University of Ottawa currently possesses over 20 defibrillators, including 8 devices on campus, 6 units in the university’s sports centres, 5 units in our residences, and 3 devices in protection services vehicles.

Our thanks to Julie Carpentier, director of Protection Services, for taking the time to respond to this student’s concerns by providing a complete and exhaustive list of all the AEDs on campus, and by specifying the measures that will be taken to insure the safety of all persons on campus in this regard.

Payroll Deduction Program

What was the problem? Over twenty students and members of the faculty expressed their concern regarding the recent decision to discontinue tuition payment by payroll deduction. This program allowed students to pay their University fees in regular installments without incurring interest or late fees. It was important for students, especially international students, without a tuition scholarship.

How did we fix it? Unfortunately, the University has decided to abolish the payroll deduction program, given the small number of students that used it and the many administrative problems it caused for both staff members and students.

The University is aware that the abolition of this program is leaving certain students in a financially vulnerable position. If you are one of these students, here are some tips and resources:

  1. It is still possible to use the "Promise to pay" program, which allows students to pay the second half of their tuition fees in two monthly installments (once a month).
  2. Students can make an appointment with a student account counsellor to discuss any financial issues, if necessary. Contact InfoService to make an appointment.
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