Best place for a nap: Pool gallery viewing area
Favourite campus food: Pulled pork poutine from Urban Market
Best campus coffee: The Campus Coffee Company
Favourite watering holes: Hudson’s on weekends, Studio on Thursday
Perks: Gorgeous coulees
Best hangover breakfast: The Telegraph Tap House’s $3 weekend breakfast
Where to live: West side within walking distance
Best place to study: Bread, Milk & Honey café
Worst place to study: Outside (too windy!)
Best giveaway: SU free popcorn Fridays
Coolest elective: The History of Rock and Roll
Best campus events: Fresh Fest, Last Class Bash
Best live-music venues: The Owl, Attainable Records
Official school motto: Fiat lux, “let there be light”
Best place to live for first-years: On campus
Best place to grab late-night pizza: Two Guys and a Pizza Place
Most original social event: Kummoniwannalaya
University Insider: Kate Kovacs, 23, Education
Although I started my post-secondary education at the University of Calgary, the massive class sizes and atmosphere were too impersonal for me. However, I found the opposite to be true at the U of L. Built on Blackfoot territory, some areas of the campus are quite old and extend down into the picturesque coulees that characterize Lethbridge. Still, the school is constantly being updated and improved: Mount Blakiston residence, Markin Hall, and the 1st Choice Sport and Wellness Center were all built in the past 10 years. The Destination Project, a new science and academic building, will be completed in 2019. The university’s amazing reputation for a quality liberal arts education combined with the culture of inclusion has left me grateful I didn’t choose a different school. While my class sizes have ranged from about 275 students (in “The History of Rock and Roll,”) to 11 students (in “Modern Buddhism,”) nearly all of my upper-level professors know me by name.
Because the U of L is attended by about 9,000 students, you can expect to see a lot of familiar faces around the school. Residence is a viable option for first-years but there are a ton of great off-campus housing options around the city. Although we are an academically driven group, the U of L is also—dare I say—a bit of a party school. The Students’ Union fosters this reputation by hosting many events throughout the year, cultivating a sense of community and helping students get to know one another in a safe environment. Despite the growing admission numbers, it’s still easy to find a niche within our friendly campus.
The university gym, recently updated based on user feedback, has many regular members. However, it is usually fairly easy to find a machine, and staff members are friendly and helpful. If the gym isn’t your style, athletic facilities also include a pool, an indoor track, a bouldering cave and a challenging climbing wall. There are two main food courts on campus, and the friendly Campus Coffee Company beats the long lines at Tim’s. There’s an on-campus pub (the Zoo), the Helen Christou Gallery and a Women’s Centre. Extracurricular activities range from the Board, Ski and Surf club to the Headbangers Society for metal fans. Overall, there is an activity or group for everyone at the U of L (and if there isn’t, the Students’ Union will help you start a club!)
With a population of 89,000, Lethbridge thankfully lacks big-city traffic. The multicultural, vibrant downtown offers options for students to enjoy time outside of school. The Owl and Attainable Records are both excellent venues to catch live, albeit hipster, local music. Club Didi is a “gathering place for the city’s queer community,” and Casa and the SAAG are both popular art galleries. For the more outdoorsy, the coulees are a breathtaking place to hike. But be warned: Lethbridge is notorious for up to 100 km/h winds.
For more information on local events, check the city’s event page.