“I didn’t know I could do it, but I did it!”: An Interview with our Second Year Rep, Jay Modi


“When I decided to run for second year representative, I had no goal in mind. All I knew was that I wanted to get involved and hoped I would be able to set achievable goals along the way. I wanted to bring people together.”

Jay Modi

Jay Modi, Second Year Representative, Augustana Students’ Association. Photo submitted.

Jay Modi is one of our two Second Year Representatives for the 2022-2023 academic year (along with Husna Usman, who the Dag had a chance to speak with earlier this year — check out Husna’s interview here). Jay is an international student from Kenya majoring in Biology. He is not quite sure what he wants to do with his degree (I’m sure most of us can relate), but he is deeply passionate about the field of Biology and is sure to figure it out along the way. 

When asked about why he decided to run for Second Year Representative, he told the Dag that he wanted to bring people together. “I understand the anxiety of coming to a new place and trying to make new friends and studying. I personally have had a good experience here thanks to the friends I have made, my colleagues and my professors, so I want everyone to have a similar experience. I want to listen to their voices and concerns. Rather than let those voices be cut off, I want them to be heard.” 

With the ASA restructuring in the upcoming year, there will no longer be a first, nor second year representative. The Academic Policy Committee (APC), which Jay is part of, is responsible for implementing faculty based representatives instead of representatives by year as, according to Jay, “a lot of issues students face also come from the courses they take–especially those required to fulfill a major.” In the future, there will be, for example, a Science Representative and a Social Science representative, among others.

Augustana is a small campus that offers great opportunities to easily connect with professors, academic and wellness services, and other students. The ASA and the clubs on campus often organize events to encourage student participation and enjoyment; one of the latest events being the Casino Night which Jay helped organize and participated in. Eyes wide with excitement, Jay described the event: “It was terrifying! I did not know how to deal cards and I had to learn how. Everyone had a pop, there was fake money which we treated like real money, and it felt like they were all in it to win it. It got intense as we played poker and blackjack. People were clearly enjoying themselves.”

Despite being a huge introvert, having the opportunity to lead forced Jay to put himself out there. He says pushing himself into student leadership “felt really good. I didn’t know I could do this but then I did it. I am doing it. And I want it to be a representation of what you think you cannot do but you can. You absolutely can!” 

Be sure to follow the ASA’s social media to keep up to date with changes to student governance and upcoming events!

Casino Night at Augustana


Have you ever wanted to go to Vegas and do as the rich do at Caesar’s Palace? Have you wanted to raise the stakes and win big — just like in the movies? Well, Augustana’s very own Casino Night was enough of a practice round for Vegas.

Casino Night is a yearly celebration and a grand opportunity where several prizes can be won. This year, there was a brand new Tefal air fryer, a loudspeaker, a sunset lamp and various different gift cards and packages to be won! The theme was Monte Carlo, and students showed up in their richest looking attire to gamble (wisely, of course) and enjoy the night with fancy hors d’oeuvres and finger foods (and, of course, the classic chips and pop). 

The rules of playing were as follows:

You would receive 200 fake bills to either keep or gamble for bigger bucks. The aim was to earn as much as possible to put it towards the grand finale: The Auction!

As the night grew longer, some had Lady Luck shine on them, while others were better off not participating in the game of losing fake money. Yet, people enjoyed themselves overall. Especially due to the well dressed ASA members, who played their roles as dealers to the letter. If you didn’t end up winning in the auction, don’t worry! The ASA set up a giveaway for the people who weren’t as lucky. There were several giveaways from Boston Pizza, Starbucks, Tim Hortons and more! I myself was able to snag a giftcard for some pizza. Overall, the best part of the entire event was the fact that everyone had fun, regardless of whether they won or lost. I, personally, had a great time watching people pretend to be a part of the casino royale atmosphere and encourage others to go beyond their comfort zones to win the big bucks.

“Casino Night was vibrant and had such a festive atmosphere, full of energy and excitement. The excitement from guests and the games offered everything and contributed to a lively environment– it was a blast to be a part of!” – Miron Nekhoroshkov, First Year Representative

“I had an exciting time at casino night, especially because it was my first experience with gambling of any sort. Even though it was with counterfeit money, it was a thrilling experience taking risk with friends.” – Denzel Kalmoni, International Student Experience Representative

ASA members and Augustana students enjoyed Casino Night on January 26th. Dagligtale News photos.

A Change in the ASA Structure: An Interview with our First Year Rep, Miron


If you have yet to hear, the ASA is on the verge of going through certain specific changes in terms of restructuring. For starters, they have proposed the removal of the first and second-year representatives, changing the system to one revolving around academia. The new proposed structure includes science, social science and fine arts and humanities representatives. My main question was what the current reps thought of this, so I asked Miron Nekhoroshkov, our first year representative, about his take on the matter.

I wondered why Miron wanted to run for the position of first-year rep, given that it’s a lot of pressure as a first-year to represent many voices.

“I always had the intention of running for school council, “he replied. “Anything in my high school specifically. But I never got the chance to do that because I came from a small school, and the council was shut down for almost four years. Another reason is I felt that I could adequately do the job. I felt that I talked to many individuals daily, connecting with the community, so I felt I could represent a community that I was supporting.”

I also wanted to know the best part of working for the ASA and what got him motivated for the job. “See, you can go into the office and sometimes pick up snacks. That’s a huge plus.” He joked. But overall, the best part of being a rep was how people positively reacted to him. “you’re initiating positive change. You’re getting their voices heard while meeting new people every day. When I do my office hours and sit down in the forum, I talk to some of the individuals, creating new connections, which is always a great feeling to be able to achieve something,” he said.

Miron also informed me of the several duties that come with being part of the ASA. “I’m part of the Budget Revenue Committee (BRC), which is a subcommittee within the ASA and is based around the organization’s finances, like funding clubs for activities. We provide emergency bursaries to students in need of it.” I also found out about other committees within the ASA, such as the awareness committee (in charge of Awareness Week). “There’s a lot of overlap between the community and different organizations,” he said.

We finally got to the burning question. How did Miron really feel about the proposed removal of his position? “At first I was scared because I felt like I was going to lose my position,” he responded. “But I recognized something. I have friends in other universities and they also have this system. And I just believe that this is a more adequate way to represent and allocate delegates their responsibilities, and create a form of student union, because first years were a fairly big group with a lot of different needs. A representative can take care of those needs they have had in the past, but it just makes the work easier and you could feel more comfortable talking to another person of the same faculty.”

Miron also discussed his future plans at Augustana, “I want to get more businesses interested in our university and include them. I believe it’d be better for the students so they could find us as their new target population and give us more discounts. The other thing I’m planning on changing is our merch to boost student morale.”

Miron additionally had a lot to say to future individuals considering joining the ASA: “There are always possibilities to volunteer. We have many subcommittees you can try to apply for, like the BRC, or other main committees. There’s a library committee to work with the library, there are a bunch of ways to contribute in general. Just get involved with the school.”

All in all, Miron was on board with the general restructuring; but if you think the new structure is not the best idea, feel free to drop a comment on the ASA page or let us know how you feel about it.

Dates to look forward to:

Club Fair: Wednesday, January 25th, 10 am to 2 pm.

Casino Night: Thursday, January 26th – Theme: Monte Carlo (so get your fanciest gear out, folks!)

Off-Campus Supper: Thursday, February 2nd – Off-campus students can get their free ticket at the ASA (Hurry, before they’re gone!)

Drag Bingo and Dinner: February 4th

Last class bash: March 31st

Make sure to tune in to the ASA instagram (@uofa_asa) for the latest events!

Interview with the Harry Potter Club President


The Harry Potter novels are a well-known and roaringly successful book series by JK Rowling that have been made into a popular film franchise near and dear to many of our hearts. A few Augustana students recognized this and have given us the opportunity to join our very own Harry Potter club and feel like a wizard on campus. As the club is non-academic, it allows students to unwind and make fond connections with individuals with similar tastes in fantasy franchises. As a fellow Potterhead and Slytherin, I wanted to gain deeper insight into what the club was all about and the fun activities they have in store for us in the Winter semester! I had a lovely conversation with the Harry Potter club president, Nicole Roy, where we discussed our favourite books and movies out of the franchise, as well as the current and upcoming plans we have yet to see from the club.

What’s the reason you started watching Harry Potter?

“I started watching Harry Potter after I read the series when I was younger. I fell in love with the books, and it was breathtaking to see the characters I grew up with be depicted on the big screen–though the books are superior!”

What made you fall in love with Harry Potter?

“I loved the magic and whimsy that the series brought. The writing transports you into Hogwarts. As you read each book, you watch the characters grow into adults and deal with trials and tribulations they never imagined themselves to face. The characters are very relatable, and each page leaves you wanting more and more. A common thing for many lovers of books and movies is the nostalgia the series brings. Many Potterheads grew up with the series, and it now serves as a reminder of their childhood. Newer fans are only beginning to discover the magic within the series, which is beautiful to watch. Overall, I fell in love with the series for many reasons.”

What’s your favourite movie and book out of the series, and why?

“My favourite book is the Prisoner of Azkaban, and my favourite movie is Goblet of Fire. Both have such fun storylines and are exciting to read and watch on-screen!”

Why did you decide to create the Harry Potter club?

“The Augustana Harry Potter Club was founded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the club events were conducted virtually, and as we transition back into in-person learning, we are trying to make our club more accessible. All the events we typically held were made online, so turning them into in-person endeavours has been exciting. Our mission is to create a community for new, old, or curious Harry Potter lovers and bring the magic of the wizarding world to Augustana by offering a creative outlet through various Harry Potter-themed activities. We are also Augustana’s first fantasy-themed club!”

What activities have already occurred in the club? 

“We have held a Sorting Ceremony, a Movie Night, and a Banner Night this year!”

What kind of activities do you have planned for the club members in the future?

“We are still working on concrete plans for the winter semester. We plan to hold a general meeting in early January, once students return from winter break, to reach out to more students and build more community!”

What’s something about Harry Potter that means the most to you?

“Harry Potter teaches life lessons through its stories that stick with the reader. I also love how these characters make their way into our hearts and stay with us throughout our life.”

So there you have it, folks! Stay tuned for the fun events we’ll see in the Winter Semester, and be sure to follow the club on Instagram: @augustana.hpc. The Harry Potter Club is sure to amaze you with its new exciting activities that are sure to bring all the Potterheads together!

Banners created by the Harry Potter Club during their Banner Night event. Photos submitted.

In-and-Around ASA events


I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to conduct an interview with a member of the Augustana Students’ Association this week, something I was excited about, as I’d had next to no dealings with the organization at a personal level beforehand. 

Kyra Gusdal is a fourth year Drama major and the current Vice President of Student Life within the ASA. She hails from Wetaskiwin, Alberta where she has lived for most of her life, and was drawn to Augustana because her parents, grandfather, and brother attended in the past. In her own words, it seemed like the logical next step. She had seen multiple productions from the drama program as a child and knew it was what she wanted to pursue.

“I’m from Wetaskiwin, which is small, and this was a small campus. I know all my professors’ names. It was my last class of the semester today and I just sat for twenty minutes after, just chatting about our lives, so it’s nice to have that opportunity to really connect with your professors that you might not get somewhere with a larger campus size.”

As VP of Student Life, Kyra helms many student initiatives, as well as being involved with event planning for student events as chair of the Activities Committee and championing any issues that may arise. She initially pursued the position owing to her skills and talents as an organizer, remarking that she felt she could use the position to have a large impact on students and student issues around the campus.

“This year, a big initiative I’ve been working on has been the gender neutral washroom campaign. There’s a pilot program at North Campus that’s supposed to transfer through all the campuses, so my job is to see that student voices are actively represented … a lot of my time is spent making sure that what students need is actually following through.” On this front, by the end of the year all single-occupancy washrooms will be made gender-neutral, and multi-occupancy washrooms are being evaluated for placement within the Forum building. Additional projects include campus-based sexual violence prevention and response initiatives.

“Of course there’s always challenges that come with any student advocacy position,” Kyra notes. “There’s only one thousand students here but we’re such a diverse group of people that it’s sometimes hard when you’re sitting in those meetings [with administration] to give voice to so many of them. So it’s always a challenge to make sure that we’re accurately representing all of those students.” She considers it equally important as a representative of the student body to maintain a high degree of transparency and open information between all parties in discussion, noting that it’s the best way to have every issue be taken seriously and prepared as well as it can be. When asked about her feelings on this year’s ASA and how their opportunities have developed, Kyra responded that she felt they were, in one word, “unstoppable.” 

For students who are interested in using ASA services, they have a website (located here) and an Instagram account (@uofa_asa) where events and services are detailed. For in-person questions or consultation, the ASA office is open weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM. Individuals interested in joining the council or applying as a volunteer should enquire with members of the ASA regarding both, especially the former, as elections will be coming up in the spring. Kyra’s advice to those interested: “Just do it! The ASA has made my experience at Augustana so much better than it would have been without it, and we’re really lucky to have an organization like this.”

Kyra Gusdal, ASA vice president of Student Life. Photo from web with permission.

An Interview with AQUA


Augustana Students at the recent AQUA Tie-Dye event on November 18th. Photos submitted.

The Augustana Queers and Allies club (AQUA) was formed to provide a welcoming and positive atmosphere for all students, with particular attention paid to those who belong to gender and sexual minority groups. I was quite impressed by this group’s existence and the events they have come up with over the years. I wanted to know what led to the development of the club and the achievements they’ve amassed. I was fortunate to speak with the AQUA club president, Janiel Dillon.

My first question was about the club’s main objectives and manifesto. 

“Well, like any other manifesto, ours is there to help guide our actions and ensure that they align with the values that we have at AQUA. With every event, social media post, and everyday interaction with our team, we want to ensure that those who are a part of any sexual or gender minorities are respected.,” Janiel replied.

Janiel emphasized the fact that the club essentially aims for everyone, not just minority members, to feel wanted in a community. “When has there ever been a place where non-LGBTQIAS2+ people are unwelcome? This is why clubs like AQUA are created in the first place, not to be a space where only people in the community are included but so that everyone can be equally accounted for.”

I wanted to know if the club had received any negativity or backlash due to ignorance or lack of knowledge about the club. “I cannot say that I have received any backlash per se. Usually people seemed pleasantly surprised that the club has survived another year and make reference to the events that we have hosted in the past (especially So You Think You Can Drag). However, there have been some times when it feels that the air has been taken out of the room when I mention that I am the president of AQUA (typically from people who don’t already know the club and seem a bit put off when I explain what the club does and what it stands for).”

“With every event, social media post, and everyday interaction with our team, we want to ensure that those who are a part of any sexual or gender minorities are respected.”

Janiel Dillon. President, AQUA.

Moving on to club events, AQUA recently held their first event of the year: Tie-Dye with AQUA. Accordingly, we discussed certain hardships they faced when planning the event. “So far we have only had one event. Our team is mostly built out of new members except for one other member who is graduating this term and myself. Therefore, it has taken a lot of trial and error to get to this point.” Personally, I thought that the event was a significant success for all the students involved, and would never have guessed that it was planned by a junior majority executive!

AQUA is notorious for its over-the-top and next-level events, so naturally, I was intrigued about the upcoming events my budding first-year self has yet to experience.

“When it comes to events, we have a couple that we are planning on bringing back in the same way or others that we plan on putting our own spin on.” Janiel happily offered. “Right now, we have a couple of things on the drawing board that may end up being unfeasible, but we are willing to try everything and to learn from any mistakes along the way. Right now in terms of pride week, the definite things we have in mind are So You Think You can Drag, a showing of Moonlight (in collaboration with the Afri-Youth Club), another tie-dye event, a luncheon with Pastor Craig about queer topics in the bible, and a jeopardy night about Rupaul’s Drag Race.”

As an international student coming from the UAE (a place where belonging to the LGBTQ2+ community is banned), the openness, freedom, and diversity in sexuality and gender in Canada was quite a culture shock for me when I first arrived. I felt an immediate sense of familiarity, but I wondered how AQUA has been acclimatizing students like myself to feel more welcome and accepted.

Needless to say, I gave Janiel quite a bit to think about in terms of future events. “While we are not doing anything specifically to welcome international students into the community, we do try to create events that everyone can feel welcome to attend and participate in (which is why most of our events are free to attend and on campus). Coming from someone who is also an international student from a country that is not so welcoming to those in the community, I have always thought of AQUA as a club that embodies acceptance. Perhaps I was a bit misguided to think that everyone just thought the same way, but I know that whenever anyone participates in our events, we here at AQUA always do our best to make it a fun and accepting space for them. We listen to our community, therefore, if anyone of you who are reading this interview has any ideas about how we can be more accommodating to our international community, or you just have any general suggestions, feel free to message us at our email augustanaaqua@gmail.com or our Instagram account @augustana_aqua.” 

All in all, I had a great time discussing the latest events we have to look forward to from AQUA with Janiel. I am grateful for the excellent opportunity to get to know the community as well through the club. Make sure to pay attention to the AQUA club’s social media for more information about Pride Week and other upcoming events in the new year!

Considering the Meaning of Talent


Contemplations after attending “Augustana’s Got Talent” and a word from the 1st place winner.

This year’s “Augustana’s Got Talent” was fabulous. The lineup of acts was a joy to watch, and I was pleasantly surprised by the range of talent on stage. What made attending this event especially interesting was witnessing the remarkably talented and creative side my peers possessed, something I would not have deduced simply passing some of them in the halls of Augustana.

The deceptively simple act of even getting up on stage in front of a large crowd warrants substantial courage, let alone feeling confident enough to perform and reveal parts of oneself under bright lights and entranced gazes.

During the show, I started to contemplate on the manifold meanings of the word “talent.” When I think of talent, I often think of a concept outside myself. Most of the time, I associate that word with possessing a tangible, visible ability—such as playing an instrument, singing, or dancing. I think, to have talent is to be able to do something well, to stand out. If talent can be defined as a special quality that makes you stand out, then there are so many ways one can be “talented.” 

To gain a deeper appreciation for what it’s like up on the AGT stage, I wanted to ask the first-place winner, Lemuell Pagulayan, what his experience was like. I asked Lemuell the following series of questions: “How do you feel about having won? Were you surprised, and how nervous were you to perform in front of a large audience? Lemuell’s response was:

“Winning unexpectedly gave me a feeling that was not that easy to comprehend. Yes, it gave me a sense of appreciation and a moment of fame, but it did also add a sense of responsibility. The main reason I decided to perform was because someone asked me to. I changed the songs I performed last minute because I wanted to dedicate them to someone. So I’ll take this win even if it was not what I had originally anticipated to come out of the evening. It was fun, I was a bit nervous when I went on stage, but once I got the first note right, it was all a matter of confidence.”

Lemuell Pagulayan, AGT Winner

Lemuell’s statement gives me some valuable insight, and knowing the motivation behind his performance is especially inspiring. After learning about the feeling of nervousness Lemuell had before going on stage, I was all the more impressed by his performance because he indeed came across confident, and it radiated in his singing. As it turns out, changing the songs last minute paid off, $1000, to be exact. Congratulations to Lemuell! 

I would like to thank the Augustana Students’ Association and all those who performed and were otherwise involved in making “Augustana’s Got Talent” so memorable. Overall, talent comes in so many forms, and it was great seeing such a wide array of it. Who knows, maybe I’ll participate in AGT next year? I’ll start practicing my juggling.

Keeping up with the ASA


On Wednesday November 16th, 2022, the Augustana Students’ Association (ASA) gathered at the Wahkohtowin Lodge at 5:30 pm for their general meeting to discuss ideas and projects for the growth and development of the Augustana students. This article includes a recap of the major discussions and addresses made at the Annual General Meeting, followed by an interview with Jewel Naicker, president of the ASA.

Jewel Naicker, ASA President

The ASA president, Jewel Naicker, began her report with the following statement:

“Given that the government structure in the university is ever-changing and student needs are ever-changing, a great challenge has been holding the university to account as well as making the students’ voices heard. The students’ voices are always loud and clear; however, the voices are many and they are growing louder. I understand the overwhelming nature of consuming what students have to say but at the same time, everyone who steps foot into this institution has a duty to the students… It is imperative that student leaders refine their methods of advocacy to ensure that students not only hear answers to their questions but see answers and change.”

Jewel recognized that students face certain issues, and assures the students that their problems are being relayed to the right authorities and will be answered. 

In her report, Jewel said her focus is on three main topics: sexual violence, gender-neutral washrooms, and food insecurity. She is working to provide students with an internal sexual violence committee and encouraging students to speak about important issues. She also hopes that the right sexual violence orientation is provided to athletes, and that orientation content is dynamic and pertinent to this constantly evolving topic. Jewel is also working with the Vice President Student Life, Kyra Gusdal, in order to provide gender-neutral washrooms for students. Regarding food insecurity, she has been working with the Dean’s suite and the ASA has been allocated funds to combat food insecurity. One way to combat food insecurity is the provision of monthly breakfasts.

“It is imperative that student leaders refine their methods of advocacy to ensure that students not only hear answers to their questions, but see answers and change.”

Jewel Naicker

Kyra Gusdal, VP Student Life

Kyra’s role involves helping the Activities Committee plan events and advocate for all student life issues.

Kyra discussed upcoming (at the time of the meeting) student events like Augustana’s Got Talent, and her plans to ensure that student voices are heard in the gender-neutral washroom campaign. She also talked about school clubs. This year, the ASA added six clubs to an existing tally, bringing the total number to 17. She also spoke about more fun club meetings and interactions. Kyra acknowledges that risk management is a problem that clubs face in Augustana. This led to the installation of a tutoring system for clubs to guide their activities and ensure student safety. The clubs also implemented a two-demerit system, which has already seen one club getting suspended.

Kyra’s goals are summed into four main points: installing adequate gender-neutral washrooms on campus, including an addition of multiple occupancy washrooms, implementing the Augustana-specific sexual process mapping document and ensure that it is well incorporated into our campus and easily accessible, making sure that ASA events for the rest of the year are high quality and safe, and encouraging ASA clubs to follow safety guidelines.

Ursula Pountou, VP Academics

Ursula’s role includes advocating for student academic needs, handling student academic appeals, and updating ASA policies and guidelines.

One of her current goals is to make Professors release their syllabi about two weeks before the commencement of the semester. This change would enable students to know more about courses and aid in course selection.

Saim Khokhar, VP Finance

Saim’s role in the ASA is to generate revenue, provide updates on the audit,and general updates on the handling of finances.

He spoke on the successes of the VP Finance office, including co-op programs, student discounts, and a campus kitchen. Augustana’s co-op program includes a science internship program and an art works experience program. He also mentioned student discounts which have been put in place for the students: 20-30% discount for a taxi service going from Edmonton to Camrose and vice versa, 35-dollar student discount spa service for a 60 min session, etc.

Eylul Evren, VP Communications

Eylul spoke about the available ASA healthcare plans.

Jewel Naicker, ASA president. Photo submitted.

What are the goals of the ASA this year?

“Branding, which means having a stronger presence on campus and letting students know the options and rights they have from the ASA. Changing the narrative that the ASA is a party planning committee and making it known that efforts are being made to provide a safe space for students on campus. Having an impact on any outreach methods that are available to the university and using the medium to change the toxic sexual culture on campus.”

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced personally and as the ASA president?

“Personally, it’s been a lack of experience. I wasn’t on the ASA team in the past, except for being a one-time student rep. Before now, I didn’t know who to go to and wasn’t aware of the connections formed or policies put in place, etc. Learning who to go to and asking lots of questions has set back the pace of my efforts but now I’m finding my feet. I’m putting the pieces together and leaning significantly on my executive team for support.”

What is your role as the ASA president?

“My role as an ASA president is to keep my ears to the ground and keep myself in touch with all student issues that arise. But in a more formal capacity, my duties are to make sure the ASA runs to maximum efficiency, maintain internal and external relations, advocate for students, and give back to students as best as I can.”

What are your major projects?

“I am currently working on issues of sexual violence, gender-neutral washrooms, and food insecurity in Augustana.”

Describe your process for making large, long-term strategic decisions.

“When it comes to long-term decisions, we first consult the students. Because I’m blessed with a good team and we have good foresight, everyone looks at the situation together and we all contribute our ideas. It takes place a lot through conversation. 

Our change in meeting structure has also helped the way we think about future projects and make sure that our projects are sustainable. In this new meeting structure, we use the 40-60 method, where 40% of our meetings look into the past and 60% are on how to use the past to affect the future.”

What is your experience with leading the ASA so far?

“I have loved it and I want more of it! I also wish I could do it beyond my graduation. I think I have found my place and purpose and the organization re-affirms my values.

I think it’s been an extremely valuable experience for me, especially when working towards the same goal as others.”

What stance does the ASA take when the school management does not make favorable decisions or wastes time when making such decisions?

“It’s mainly about accountability. We want the school to be accountable, and have structures and policies in place, and we would work together with the school to prevent the same issues from occurring in the future.”

Are there plans in progress to make sure that the school provides more filling and enjoyable meals for students?

“There have been efforts to discuss the food situation in the past, but they were largely unsuccessful. Going forward, it would be beneficial to start up the conversation again, given that they are under new supervision. 

With the overwhelming amount of student voices on this, I think it is worth bringing up the issue of food security. We’ve mainly been focusing on the quantity of food in our appeals, but we’ll also include appeals for an increase in the quality of food.”

What advice would you give to students looking to join the ASA?

“Know your ‘why’. You don’t get credit for a lot of the work you’re doing. There’s a lot of hard work put in behind the scenes and it isn’t always successful. Be aware of your reason for joining, and if your why aligns with the ASA’s values, then go for it.”

The Augustana Psychology Club: Building Community and Promoting Mental Health


The main focus of The Augustana Psychology Club is to engage individuals on campus with psychology and bring more awareness to mental health on campus. The club aims to build a community through academic events such as peer tutoring, psych information night, and future opportunities. In addition, non-academic events are done to increase awareness and promote good mental health on campus by having activities such as yoga night, bake sale to raise funds for mental health resources, and movie night.


We want to form a community of students who are interested in mental health and psychology outside of classes, where people can come in and enjoy themselves.

Ava Lang, Psychology Club president. Photo submitted.

President of the Psychology club, Ava Lang. Ava is a 4th year psychology student, who, at academic advisor of the club Dr. Paula Marentette’s suggestion, decided to get the club going this year. Photo submitted.

. . .

The Dagligtale sat down with Ava Lang, the president of the Augustana Psychology Club, to chat about the club’s upcoming events and goals for the future.

The Psychology Club, like most clubs on campus, was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the club has not been as active as its members–or potential members–would’ve liked, and they have had few events in the past three years. However, as everything is being held in person this year (so far!), that is all about to change, as the club has a few events planned for this academic year. 

Dag: What kind of events has the club held recently?

Ava: We did an info night about how to apply to grad school. So we had Dr. Rebecca [Purc-Stephenson] come in and she gave a very nice and informative presentation on that. There was lots of great feedback from everyone that went; they loved it. That’s the only one we have had so far. 

D: What upcoming events is the club planning?

A: We have trivia night coming up on [November] 23rd. Anyone can join, come out and learn while having fun–hence the trivia. We are also going to do a Kahoot, and the winner gets a gift card. 

As part of Wellness Week, we have an art therapist coming on December 1st. She is going to give a presentation and talk about how she uses art, colours, and shapes to improve mental and emotional well-being. We are still in the process of planning, but she might even have an activity planned! After the presentation, participants will get to sit down and draw or paint, whatever they want to kind of get the stress out. And lastly, we are planning a movie night on December 7th–there might be a $3 entry fee–where we’ll watch Shutter Island and have people unwind before finals.

(If you are interested in stimulating conversation, there will be a short discussion after the movie, sharing your thoughts and possibly analyzing the movie from a psychological perspective.)

D: Is the club still looking for executive members?

A: At the moment, no we are not. Next semester for sure, as most people on the board right now will be graduating. We will be sending out a notification to club members via email and posting on instagram as well to see if anyone wants to apply to be on the executive board. It is an excellent opportunity to get involved with the school and the psychology professors on campus, plan activities and be there for the community!

(Anyone can apply to be on the executive board, and the club is looking forward to having people from different years be involved in the club as to expand the club’s demographic.)

D: How does the club get involved in the Camrose community? Do you do activities with local charities or organizations?

A: We did want to do a fundraiser for the women’s shelter in town. It probably won’t happen until next year but we would love to give back to the community. It’s hard to find the right charity or shelter or organization to donate to, but we think the women’s shelter would be a good fit.

. . .

The club meets up at least once a month, and you can get in touch with the club through their email: augpsyc@ualberta.ca and follow their instagram page @augpsychclub where they post all of their upcoming events.

Upcoming Psychology Club events:

Nov 23: Trivia night @ 7 pm, AULIB 2-102

Dec 1: Art Therapy @ 7 pm, place TBD

Dec 7: Movie Night @ 6:30 pm, C 167