Category Archives: Connecting@UC

New Zealand Sign Language is Essential

NZSL is essential for Deaf people in education, health, workplaces and to be able to participate equally in society.

This year’s theme for NZSL Week 2022 is ‘NZSL is Essential’.

The meaning behind this theme is multifaceted. As you are aware, the word “essential” is well used these days and the Deaf Organisation is drawing on this to put a spotlight on essential workers who are Deaf.

It also highlights the fact that NZSL is essential for Deaf people in education, health, workplaces and to be able to participate equally in society.

To show manaakitanga, whanaungatanga and tiakitanga to our Deaf UC community and those with other impairments/disabilities, we are celebrating NZSL Week at UC.

Learn how to order your coffee in NZSL today and get a free hot coffee for ordering in NZSL this Wednesday!

The following cafés on campus are participating:

  • 1894
  • Nuts & Bolts

Celebrating SVA over Student Volunteer Week

This week we’re celebrating our awesome volunteers for 2022 Student Volunteer Week. 

Throughout the week join us as past and present UC Student Volunteer Army (SVA) members share special moments from their time with SVA. 

Daniel Stack (2016)

As Christchurch moved forward with its earthquake recovery, the amount of silt to be shovelled and yards to clean thankfully started to dwindle. The SVA’s response to this was to carry its momentum into initiatives that focused on sustained community engagement.

The idea for an In-Schools programme came from the simple premise that people are intrinsically kind, but often struggle to find an avenue to channel this kindness. Our aim was to take a group of high school students and equip them with the skills and support they needed to start their own volunteering journey.

With close support from staff at UC, we created the UCAN Volunteer programme in 2016 and ran two separate initiatives, one with year 10 students and the other with year 12.

I was immediately awe-struck at the maturity, compassion, and ambition we saw from both of these groups; these were young people who had an immense drive to help others.

Giving them a space to meet like-minded people and helping them to develop as young leaders was an incredibly rewarding experience. Since then we have seen a plethora of “mini SVA’s” pop up in schools as this culture of volunteering has cemented over time.

I am so happy to have been a part of this endeavour and given the chance to meet people who embodied the values that I still strive to live by to this day.

To find out more about SVA or get involved with volunteering for yourself visit here.

I was Covid ‘sad’ – is that a thing?

I’m back at work after experiencing my turn with Covid-19. I’m really thankful that it was all mostly ok health wise. Even though I felt rubbish for a few days, I felt like there was a high possibility that all would eventually come right.

What did take me by surprise was how socially and emotionally isolating sickness is. When you’re unwell it’s like all your thoughts revolve around yourself way more than usual. Will I get better? When do I need to take Panadol next? What do I want to eat? Why aren’t more people checking in on me? How will I catch up on work? What happens if I feel worse tomorrow? I imagine as a student you also have your worries about your own workload, events that you may be missing etc.

None of these questions or thoughts are wrong – they are all valid questions but they all have the interconnecting vibe of being about me.

I have never studied psychology but in my small human wisdom, I suspect thoughts like the above can easily drift into anxiety type thoughts and behaviour. I guess because you are unwell, it’s hard to not let these thoughts and questions become replayed over and over again which don’t help when one is already isolated.

In Chaplaincy or the faith space, one antidote to thoughts like this is to think of others. When we think of our spiritual wellbeing, part of maintaining that ‘health’ is being there for others or at the very least recognising that we are all going through stuff! For each of us that may look quite different but the good thing is that it takes our eyes off ourselves and any anxiety we may be feeling and onto something else. I ended my isolation/sick time feeling like I didn’t particularly want to see anyone or do anything but forcing myself to reconnect and be in other people’s space and issues has really helped.

If you have felt isolated or down due to Covid-19 or any of the circumstances around Covid-19, know with that you’re not alone. Please reach out if you would like to chat through this further.

Ngā mihi