Doing good outside the dorm

New clubs help students in residence engage in community

Members of the Community Connections Club pose for a photograph.

Photo by Keeley Braustein-Black

The University of Winnipeg’s department of campus living has launched three new clubs to help students and community connect.

Being a student away from home can be difficult sometimes and that’s why it’s important to help students in residence get out of their rooms and socialize, Rasmeet Arora says. 

Arora is the senior resident advisor and leader of the new Community Connections Club where the main focus is to create volunteer opportunities for students living in residence, to help build their resumes and create connections.

Many students are confused as to where to start volunteering, he says.

“When the students go (volunteer), they don’t have to be alone,” Arora says.

The second new club is a social media and student outreach club. It promotes events and news around campus through social media to let people know what’s going on around campus and what’s available to students.

“This way we have a better way to reach more students and especially through social media, we reach future students and let them know that we have activities planned for them,” Taylor Harrington, a member of the social media club, says.

Last, there is the student engagement committee. Its purpose is to plan events and programs for students in residence. They set a time and roles for each committee member in a particular event.

“With the assistance of (the) other two committees (Community Connections Club and Social media and student outreach club) we try to make bigger, better events,” Masrine Edwards, a member of the student engagement committee, says.

Among some of the clubs’ activities are fundraisers, socials and calls for donations. They also host “eye opener” events – movie nights surrounding different social issues, like bullying and suicide prevention – every month to spread awareness.

Despite the clubs being quite new, they’ve already managed to help many people and community groups. They gathered 14 students to volunteer at Siloam Mission, collected donations for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winnipeg and raised money for CancerCare Manitoba.

“What’s really good about our committee is that we not only make opportunities accessible to students, we make students accessible to volunteer organizations,” Katie Woychyshyn, member of the Community Connections Club, says.

Being students in residence themselves, the members understand what others may be going through.

“We want to be able to make a difference in society. I, personally, have been through a lot of struggles and so has my family,” Arora says. “Sometimes I hoped there was someone out there to help us through our struggles. So this thought inspires me to help others in this society.”

The future goal of all three clubs is to open up to the larger student community, including not only students in residence, but all students at the U of W and even other students in Manitoba.

Published in Volume 70, Number 14 of The Uniter (January 7, 2016)

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