Congratulations to Algonquin College’s Umbrella Project for receiving the 2017- 2018 OACUHO Program/Service Award!

OACUHO PROGRAM/SERVICE OF THE YEAR AWARD: The program/service of the year award is granted to an institution that has implemented a program or service that is responsive to a need within the housing field.

NOMINATION CRITERIA: Institution in good standing with the OACUHO Organization. Program/Service is associated with an identifiable need in the Housing field.

For the past three years, through compassion, objectivity and non-judgement ‘The Umbrella Project’ has reduced the harm and unwanted consequences associated with alcohol and other drug use at Algonquin College Residence.  This partnership between Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services, Algonquin College and Algonquin Residence Life, has used a harm reduction approach to inform and transform residence policies and practices impacting the student experience at each and every opportunity for engagement.  From staff education, to programming, to judicial approach and structures of policy and procedures, the expertise of the AC Umbrella Project has complimented Algonquin College Residence Life’s community development and educational model using preventative and post-intervention harm reduction tools.   

Examples of Activities Catalyzed by the Umbrella Project include:

A Rideauwood Harm Reduction Consultant (Amanda Neilson) housed directly in residence who provides rigorous staff training, research to back targeted and informed programming, and consultations with Residence Life Staff and students throughout judicial processes.

All residence staff participating in core and ongoing training on Harm Reduction tools

Participation in the National College Health Assessment for the first time to gain concrete data on student trends regarding substance use

A full review of our ‘Residence Community Living Standards’ including changes to adopt the Best Practice recommendations of the “Gold Standard Checklist for Campus Alcohol Policies” by Dr. Strange of Acadia University and subsequent training to support full alignment with the shift. 

The recruitment of 8 Algonquin Child and Youth Care Practitioner Students to create and execute programming and engage in student follow-ups.

Programming to complement each phase of the student life cycle.  In addition, National Addiction Awareness Week and Harm Reduction Week programming leadups to Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day in partnership with College and Community Partners.  Programming also weaves into Sexualized Violence Prevention Programming and Mental Health Programming consistently. 

Weekly SMART Recovery meetings in residence