Algoma University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more

Melanie Purificati, 21
Psychology and English

Melanie Purificati (Courtesy of Melanie Purificati)

Why did you choose Algoma?
chose Algoma mainly because I wanted to stay close to my family. Algoma was very generous with scholarships and bursaries, and attending a smaller university had great appeal to me.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
At the beginning of my fourth year, I was feeling lost. I wondered whether my program was right for me. I decided to meet with one of my professors, and he had such a positive impact on my confidence. I could not have been happier about the future. Similarly, when becoming the president of Jack Algoma U (a mental health awareness organization), I was feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities, and I again received much understanding from my professors.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
Yes. On campus I am involved in Jack Algoma U and the school’s newly revived newspaper, the Sentient. Algoma makes an effort to make students aware of the many different clubs and organizations they can join.

What do you think of your professors?
In my experience, most professors are very accommodating and dedicated to their students. They are responsive with email, kind, approachable and thorough. They value the opportunity that small class sizes provide everyone to connect with one another. Professors understand the barriers that can sometimes impair students’ ability to meet deadlines. The professors ensure that you understand the material and have what you need to succeed.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
Signing up for classes is typically easy. Being at a smaller university allows students more flexibility and availability with class sizes, so we don’t have to stress too much about not getting into classes that interest us. Contacting administration can be tricky at busier times of the year. It’s important to make an effort early on to meet with advisers to ensure you receive a timely response and get the resources you need. Professors are also very helpful when the administration is overwhelmed.

What is off-campus life like in Sault Ste. Marie?
Sault Ste. Marie has an increasingly lively downtown area. There is plenty of music, art and great food around every corner. There are many places to go hiking, stargazing, skiing, camping and exploring. It can be extremely therapeutic when dealing with the stress that can come with school.

PROFILE: Algoma University | Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. | Founded 1964

If I wrote the school motto: ‘A place to thrive’
Best place to live: East end Queen Street: beautiful, near the water and lively!
Best place to study: Downtown library
Best campus events: Consent Is Mandatory bingo, drag shows and Halloween events
Weirdest tradition: Sharing cafeteria poutines in the Speakeasy
Best campus food: The cafeteria makes a mean black bean burger with fries
Best cheap lunch: A hot soup or sandwich from Scott Coffee Co.
Best pizza: Aurora’s Pizza & Spaghetti House
Best place for a fancy dinner: Antico
Best bar for hanging out: Smokey’s Patio when the weather is nice; everyone is your friend there!
Best live music venue: OutSpoken Brewing; great drinks too
Best hangover breakfast: Anything from the Breakfast Pig, especially the crepes
Best place for a nap: In the sun on the beach at Pointe Des Chenes
Best weekend activity: Exploring one of the many hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing trails on the city’s outskirts: Hiawatha, Robertson Cliffs, Gros Cap and Havilland Bay to name a few
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The amazing diversity
If I could change one thing about the school: I’d like more places to gather on campus with friends

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