The Brown Family House of Learning: Gems You Need to Discover  

The Brown Family House of learning, also known as HOL, is a place that every TRU student needs to explore. You’ll find your own hidden gems, but these are a few of my favourite parts of this four-story building. While people tend to know that HOL has a Tim Hortons and the library within its walls, there are other features you won’t want to miss.  

The Quiet Study Pods and The Library  

Image of study pods on the fourth floor of HOL taken from above.

HOL has new study pods that were created to isolate you from the person next to you. You cannot see what they are doing, nor can they see what you are doing. Therefore, everyone is minding their own business, focusing on their studies. These pods also have an outlet where you can charge your laptop or phone – fully charged devices mean you can stay for a longer time if needed! The quiet study pods are located on the third and fourth floors of HOL. On the third floor you will also find the library, your go-to place to find resources to help with any research journey. Here is a small tip: if you need help with your research, you can always book an appointment with your library advisor, who is there to assist with questions and concerns.  

The Makerspace 

Image of two people working in the Makerspace podcast studio.

I call this place the “wow place” because there are so many different technologies for learning and experimenting. For instance, you can make a button with a design you’ve created. There is also a podcast room, with a microphone and green backdrop, giving students the opportunity to record a podcast while even green screening their background. If students have an interview assignment, they can record the interview in the podcasting room, provided they email the makerspace ahead of time. One of the many things I love about TRU is that they encourage students to be creative in a variety of ways. You can check them out here.

HOL 190 or British Columbia Centre 

Photo of the university Senate meeting in HOL 190

TRU has prioritized the indigenization of campus, and you can find many examples of this in House of Learning. HOL 190 is the largest lecture room on campus, holding up to 300 people. It is in the shape of the traditional Secwépemc Pit Home, also known as a winter home. There is also a piano in this room, so if there is not a class in session, students are free to play the piano.  

Indigenous Artwork  

Have you ever wondered why there is a Coyote on top of the HOL building? Well, it symbolizes our commitment to realizing the potential opportunities Higher Education can provide. The coyote, known as Sk’lep in Secwepemctsin, is a symbol of change and it is here to remind and influence the faculties within TRU. Sk’lep is just one example of the artwork present around House of Learning.

The Salmon Stream  

Photo of the Salmon Stream floor artwork in HOL taken from above.

When you are waiting for your order from Tim Hortons, just look to the floor and you will see a Salmon Stream running through the ground. This Salmon Stream is beside what was originally the living wall in HOL. Just look closely and you will be able to see large salmon and the rocks on both sides of the stream. 

TRU is a wonderful place, each building with different gems to discover. I’m grateful to pursue my education on this land and at TRU. 

Future Student Ambassador, Maryam – Bachelor of Arts, “The Brown Family House of Learning: Gems You Need to Discover”, 10 Nov. 2022.

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