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Sheridan’s ‘Fuse’ fizzles; Grassroots Center springs up

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Sheridan’s Student Leadership and Engagement along with Student Services have announced the January launch of the new “Grassroots” student office. Located in B-wing at the site of the former Fuse (adjacent to the security office) the new Grassroots center will serve to encourage students to become involved in activities on campus and beyond. Organized by Joe Henry and Diana Herholz, the space will also be used to host and display student projects, and promote support and volunteer groups.

“The idea was to promote an opportunity to connect students with various resources on and off campus,” Henry said. “Students are at the grassroots of everything, and they’re involved in everything on campus, so this center is designed to involve students at the grassroots level, and is named as such.”

“We’re inviting contributions from all students across all programs, and we’d really like to advertise that,” added Herholz.

Sheridan students are already extensively involved in bringing the Grassroots office to life, providing labour, creative design and materials. “The ‘Grassroots’ name was thought of by a staff member, but students have been involved with this all the way along,” Henry said. “We’ve had students who are peer mentors, who work in illustration, in interior design, who have been providing input on what that space will look like – the colour, the design. It’s really a space for students, by students. Clubs can use it, anyone can use it.”

The cost of refurbishing the office space has been kept to a minimum thanks to the generosity of Sheridan students. “Cost has been fairly minimal,” Henry explained. “We’ve obviously paid people to be involved, we’ve had to paint, put in furniture, but the cost has been minimal. The students helped offset the cost, the stuff was there to be used, and we were fiscally responsible.”

“We’re really trying to highlight that involvement. We’re working with non-profit groups, internal groups like the peer mentors, we’re leveraging everything we can here. The space used to be called the Fuse, and we were lucky enough to take it over, and provide that connecting point where people can go to, to get information.”

In the past, opportunities such as those soon to reside at the Grassroots office were scattered across Sheridan. “To some extent, it’s an improvement over past student resources, because everything is collected in one place. It’s still the early days, so we’re not certain of the organizations that will use the new space. If students want to connect with a number of non-profit organizations, there will be a wealth of information,” Henry said.

Already, a number of organizations are planned to hold office at the Grassroots centre. Henry and Herholz explained: “Links2Care is a senior help program located in Halton region. It provides friendly visits to seniors who are shut-ins, and provides an opportunity to have that social support. It would be interesting for students who want to work with seniors – social services, for example.”

“Then there’s Community Living Burlington, it is an organization that supports people with intellectual disabilities. It supports the mentally ill in the area.” Other organizations include the Youth Exchange Program, the Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services of Halton (S.A.V.I.S.) and Danielle’s Place – a support centre for eating disorders.

Students with questions or requests for booking can contact Joe Henry ( or Diana Herholz (

This story originally appeared in the Sheridan Sun.

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Written by tomczerniawski

March 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

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