University

Thompson Rivers University: Student life on campus

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

Azul-Sky Billy, 22
Communications, public relations and English

Azul Billy (Courtesy of Azul Billy)

Azul Billy (Courtesy of Azul Billy)

Why did you choose TRU?
I chose TRU out of convenience. It’s close to my home in the Yukon (relative to most other Canadian universities), and TRU has a seamless process for transferring credits. My Yukon University certificate in multimedia communications enabled me to jump right into my second year of a communications degree at TRU. Once I came to the school, I discovered many other perks, such as the stunning campus situated on the unsurrendered lands of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc peoples.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
Some of my best experiences at TRU have been provided by TRUSU, the student union, including the Back-to-School BBQ, when students gather in our campus commons to meet new people, eat good food and find out about services available to them. I also appreciate TRU’s commitment to open educational resources (OER), a program that helps students cut costs when they access learning materials.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
In my third year, I got involved with the student union. I held a position on the student caucus and was a student representative on the TRU board of governors. In these roles, I was able to advocate for TRU students and learn about the way the institution governs itself. In my fourth year, I was elected to serve as president of TRUSU. I’m now going into my fifth year and was recently elected vice-president external of TRUSU.

What do you think of your professors?
I like TRU’s small classes, where profs put in the effort to remember your name. This makes it less intimidating to approach them. A lot of faculty go above and beyond in various ways: helping students find practicums, providing research opportunities and adjusting their course delivery to try to give students an optimal learning experience.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
I find the school’s administration difficult to communicate with. Sometimes, to address one issue, you have to take multiple steps and contact various departments. But most institutions probably deal with similar struggles. I figure these issues, as annoying as they can be, are just part of the university experience.

What is off-campus life like in Kamloops?
You can do many things in Kamloops year-round. If you are outdoorsy, you can enjoy the hiking trails and ski runs. If you need an urban fix, Vancouver is just a few hours away by car or bus.

PROFILE: Thompson Rivers University | Kamloops, B.C. | Founded 1970

If I wrote the school motto: It would be in the traditional language of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc peoples
Best place to live: Off-campus near the university, but be prepared for roommates because housing costs are through the roof right now
Best place to study: House of Learning for the big windows or the TRUSU building for a lively feel
Best campus events: Back-to-School BBQ, Consent Tea, Long Night Against Procrastination
Best campus food: The Scratch Café run by the culinary arts students
Best place for a fancy dinner: Accolades Dining Room
Best giveaway: The weekly sustainability giveaway
Best bar for hanging out: The Den
Best live music venue: BlueShore theatre
Best hangover breakfast: The Austin Grill
Best place for a nap: The Wellness Centre has a silent no-tech zone where I have caught a few Z’s
Best weekend activity: I love saving my weekends for hiking
The thing that surprised me most about the school: How Indigenized the campus is: student supports, faculty/staff/admin supports, courses offered, designated spaces, acknowledgements, advisory and much more
If I could change one thing about the school: I would focus more on how the university is upholding and truly committing to the 94 calls to action for truth and reconciliation

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