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Algonquin College News

Algonquin College Residence Life Team hosts Canada-wide CLC Retreat

July 9, 2018
The Algonquin College Residence Life Team will be hosting Residence Life Senior Staff on July 10-11 for the Campus Living Centres Residence Life Management Team Retreat. This Retreat is hosted on a yearly basis at different Campus Living Centres properties by the Residence Life arm of Campus Living Centres.  The retreat contains an opportunity for Residence Life Senior Staff to connect, engage in professional development and prepare for the upcoming residence Life staff training conference where all resident advisors and community advisors are trained across the entire company. 
For the very first time, the Algonquin College Residence Life Team, with the approval of Campus Living Centres has invited the Director and Assistant Director of Residence Life along with all its Residence Life Managers, Residence Life Coordinators and Residence Community Advisors from each of their properties across Canada to extend this retreat by 2 days to participate in the Algonquin College Umbrella Project’s two-day Harm Reduction Training.
Algonquin College Residence has been celebrated by Campus Living Centres and various other post-secondary institutions for their championing of the AC Umbrella Project having recently won the Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers ‘Service Award’ (Source: and with the newly launched cannabis legislation, housing departments both inside and outside CLC are hungry for the Umbrella Project’s highly coveted expertise. 
Amanda Neilson, Algonquin College’s Harm Reduction Consultant along with her colleagues from Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services will be presenting the two-day training on ‘Understanding Substance Use and Harm Reduction’, ‘Motivational Interviewing Skills’.  This will include a discussion on how the new cannabis legislation relates to the housing field
The retreat will also be opened in the Mamidosewin Centre by its new official drummer as well as an indigenous elder to perform a land acknowledgement and speak to indigenous healing methods as they relate to harm reduction.  On day two, the Mamidosewin Centre will guide the attendees on a walk through the AC Botanical Gardens. 
About Campus Living Centres:
Campus Living Centres was founded in 1989 with the purpose of assisting colleges and universities and with the planning, design, financing, and management of student housing and conference facilities. As the largest operator of student housing in Canada, Campus Living Centres (and our affiliated companies) has a portfolio of approximately 20,000 beds, which includes a combination of both managed and/or owned student housing developments.  (Source:
About the Umbrella Project:
The AC Umbrella Project is creating a safer space on campus to discuss how the use of alcohol and other drugs impact students’ lives and focuses on helping students reduce any problematic effects they may experience.
The Umbrella Project provides training, workshops, education, awareness, and support services for students and staff. (Source: )
Outline of the Training Itself:
Umbrella Project: Harm Reduction Training
Day 1: Understanding Substance Use and Harm Reduction
This training will teach you how substance use can impact students and how harm reduction can effectively reduce possible risks. 
The training will cover:
  • The continuum from substance use to substance-use disorders
  • Impacts on the brain and neurobiological development
  • Biopsychosocial factors
  • Risk factors and denial/defense systems
  • What harm reduction is and how it can be utilized
  • The new cannabis legislation
Day 2: Motivational Interviewing Training
This training will provide further learning and understanding of substance use and ways to reach different populations. The “Understanding Substance Use Training” must be completed before Motivational Interviewing can be taken. 
This training will cover: 
  • An understanding of specific common drugs of misuse and ways to promote internal motivation to move forward through the stages of change.
  • Review recovery pathways and how to support your clients throughout the recovery process and addiction treatment system.
  • Clients with addiction issues can often provoke strong feelings of transference and counter-transference* in helpers and ways of coping with these feelings will be addressed.
  • Experiential activities include role plays and case studies for working with clients through the stages of change.