As Jacqueline Harber climbed into the furry black and white costume, she checked off yet another box needed to achieve her goal.
Dressing up as Brock’s mascot, Boomer the Badger, was one of many optional tasks offered to the 21-year-old Grimsby native as she completed the University-wide Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC) program.
With 10 domains featuring a total of 67 different activities to complete, the initiative has become an increasingly effective way for Brock students to become involved in areas and initiatives throughout the University and broader community while also maintaining a record of their experiences.
For Harber, who learned about the CWC during a Smart Start summer orientation session prior to her first year at Brock, the idea of completing such a diverse amount of extracurricular activities in just four years initially seemed daunting.
“In my first year, I was a bit overwhelmed because there were so many different options,” she said. “But the tracking system is very clearly laid out, and that makes it easy to reflect on what you’ve accomplished.”
Harber used her CWC activities to spur her involvement in all areas of the Brock community, including getting messy at September’s popular Grape Stomp event, participating in student governance as a student-at-large representative, taking in arts presentations at Rodman Hall and strengthening her in-class abilities with A-Z Learning Services workshops.
“I think it really helped me get a well-rounded Brock experience,” she said. “The domains are diverse and allowed me to discover different things at Brock and around the region. I always wanted to do more than just go to classes while I was here.”
The CWC learning domains include arts and culture, Brock spirit, career preparation, community engagement, diversity and inclusion, global awareness, health and wellness, innovation, leadership and teamwork, and personal growth.
When it comes to innovation, Harber helped pilot the BrockU 4U campaign, which offers a resource centre for students to learn about the University through written pamphlets and pop-up booths around campus.
But her favourite CWC activities fell under Brock spirit.
“There were so many fun things in there and it was easy to do a lot of them in my first year,” she said. “The highlight was getting to be Boomer at some of the Niagara Principal’s Scholarship presentations. I had always wanted to try being Brock’s mascot, and the CWC provided the perfect chance.”
Engaging in the diverse activities also provided an unexpected benefit.
“The CWC helped link me with on-campus jobs,” Harber said. “Thanks to the connections I made around campus, I worked as a Brock ambassador and for Smart Start.”
The program also prepared Harber to take the next step in her journey — working for the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as a summer student in St. Catharines before heading to the University of Waterloo to begin an MA in Political Science in September.
“Getting involved out of the classroom helped me develop a diverse skill set that I can use going forward in my career,” she said.
While she prepares to graduate on June 5, with an Honours BA in Political Science and a minor in French, Harber offered up some advice for incoming students and others considering completing the CWC.
“It’s definitely worth it,” she said. “It helped me see the whole picture, and going forward, the transcript shows employers and grad schools how involved I was.”
Harber said she found the CWC experience rewarding.
“I worked really hard, and to see that I have both my degree and the CWC certificate shows that my hard work paid off,” she said. “All of my involvement at Brock is valued and contributed to what university should be — a full and balanced experience.”
To learn more about the Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum program, visit the ExperienceBU website.