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It’s no secret that university can be a challenging experience, but Shira Sneg and her colleagues at the Resource Centre are working hard to provide a safe space for students.

The Resource Centre is a student-led and volunteer-based service which encompasses three entities: the Pride Resource Centre, the Women’s Resource Centre, and the Peer Support Network, which focuses on mental health.

Located on the main floor of the UNC, the Resource Centre focuses on building an inclusive community for students. “Primarily, we are here to listen,” Sneg explains. “The fact that we have students here that also know what you might be going through and can refer you... I think it’s really necessary.”

“I struggled myself, and that really affected my mental health. And so I’ve seen what it’s like to have a hard time walking to a counsellor… it can be such an intimidating thing.”

Sneg started working at the Resource Centre last year when the three entities moved into their new shared office space. After initially serving as interim coordinator of the Pride Resource Centre, Sneg created a new position that would oversee all three entities. She now serves as head coordinator and works with the coordinators of each individual unit to ensure that they are fulfilling their purpose and working together effectively.

In addition to being a listening ear, the Resource Centre also organizes outreach events such as Out Week, the Vagina Monologues, Thrive Week, movie nights, and knitting circles. UBCelebration is another popular event created by Sneg herself, which takes place on the International Day of Happiness. This year the Women’s Resource Centre is also looking forward to collaborating with the Student Union to facilitate a Women’s Conference.

The biggest change for the Resource Centre this year was an $1100 renovation that has allowed the office to become a much more welcoming space. Already student traffic has been significantly higher than in previous years. “I think that we’re now a real safe, welcoming place on campus because of the room renovation.” She thanks the Student Union for its support of the Centre and especially of the renovation project.

To celebrate the updated space, the Resource Centre will be holding a full-day launch event including food, live music, drag and burlesque shows, and glow-in-the-dark activities on the Commons.

The Resource Centre serves students mainly on a drop-in basis, Monday to Friday from 12:00-5:00pm. They are also looking for volunteers, especially for events. Students can sign-up to volunteer at tiny.cc/signuprc or email Shira Sneg at resources@ubcsuo.ca.

Sneg encourages students to drop by the Resource Centre anytime to talk, study, or just hang out. “No one judges you. That’s exactly why we are here,” she stresses.

“In terms of what’s going to come, I think it’s going to be incredible.”