Getting there is the longest walk of all the affiliate campuses but King's still stands out from afar.
While students may venture off-campus to escape the concrete walls of Weldon in favour of King’s library — known as Club Carter — there’s more to the affiliate than just a pretty place to study.
Founded in 1954, the liberal arts affiliate is a Catholic college that prides itself in smaller class sizes and a closer sense of community.
Associate professor Pamela Cushing describes the often-forgotten campus as “a group of learners that’s the size you can wrap your arms around.”
With a population of staff and students just under 4,000, smaller than a first-year class at Western, she couldn’t be more right.
“It’s hard to walk across campus and not see someone that you know,” Cushing says. “It gives students a sense of belonging and connection.”
Cushing explains that King’s small size is something that sets it apart from main campus and gives students a really unique advantage. A smaller population means that students have more opportunity to connect with faculty and contribute to research projects.
“They can get involved in research and course development in a way that really helps to discern their own career paths forward,” she says.
Third-year criminology student, Alex Peca admits that a smaller class size is one of the main reasons he chose King’s over main campus.
He viewed the sea of students at Western as intimidating: “I felt like I couldn’t really say much because I felt more shy."
Third-year political science student Kevin An agrees that there is less competition at King's, as well as more opportunity to speak with professors and get valuable one-on-one help.
Cushing explains that the diversity of courses at King’s is also a selling point because it offers more specialized classes for students to explore, such as modules in disability studies and social justice and peace studies.
King’s allows for a more specified education and as An points out, “You still end up with a Western degree at the end of it.”
“One of the nice things about the affiliates is that part of our mandate is to try to concentrate on course areas that main campus does not,” says Cushing. She adds that since the disabilities studies module began only three years ago, the program has already attracted 250 students in first year alone.
Third-year BMOS student, Connor Fehr, proves that King’s courses open students' eyes to different streams of learning.
“My most interesting and favourite class thus far was a business ethics class,” he says. This class has helped Fehr focus in on a more specific career path. He plans on continuing his studies of the environmental effects of business.
Aside from the leg up, King's seems to provide academically, Fehr adds that the school spirit tied to #IGoToKings is something that sets it apart from other campuses.
“I think being a bit further from main campus, we are all proud to call King's home,” he says.
Whether it’s the small school vibe, the variety of courses or the chance to cram for exams in Club Carter, King’s is sure to welcome new students with open arms and lots of school spirit.