BY SHAFAQ PARWEZ
Students, for the most part, have now settled into their new winter semester routines, so now is the time to get involved.
Conestoga College has a number of groups and activities which make students feel comfortable while promoting a healthy environment on-and off-campus.
Student Life is just one of the departments which adds colour to school days and reduces the stress of hectic student schedules and studies.
Founded in 2005, the department continues to celebrate diversity and promote respectful behaviour at four Conestoga campuses. Staff organize events and activities on campus that engage and reward students for participation, one of which is the Get Involved Fair.
The event is multi-faceted. It entertains participating students and also provides an opportunity for them to volunteer. Applying for a position to help others gives students a chance to add to their resume and learn valuable life skills such as leadership and socializing.
The fair was held at the Doon, Cambridge and Guelph campuses from Jan. 24-26.
The Doon event drew a large crowd and the lower atrium was abuzz with excited students. A DJ was present who played multilingual tunes to the delight of the multicultural students and attendees.
CSI members manned booths in the lower atrium where a passport activity had been organized. Students had to visit a minimum of three booths and ask at least one question of each exhibitor. In exchange, the students received a sticker for their passport. Participants were required to submit their completed passport with stickers to the Student Life Information Desk or the CSI booth in the lower atrium to be entered into a draw. The prizes included gift cards and spa services vouchers. Participants were also given a free Subway sandwich after they submitted their completed passport.
Around 40 exhibitors took part in the three-day fair. The exhibitors said students were actively engaging in dialogue and exploring the different ways in which they could volunteer in the community.
Kevin Guay, recruitment co-ordinator at Extend-a-Family Waterloo Region, was one of the exhibitors. This local agency supports individuals with development disabilities.
“We work with the individual, with their hopes, goals and interests; whatever they are interested in doing with the government funding they have.”
When asked about student turnout and interest at his booth, Guay said several dozen students stopped by over the course of the day.
“Some are looking for some of the candy on the table while others are looking for job or volunteer opportunities and we load them with all our information.”
Bryan Smith, Scouts Canada’s Central Escarpment Council’s area support manager, said his association was looking for volunteers over the age of 18 to help with mostly outdoor activities for individuals aged 5-26. Volunteers help with organizing trips to different destinations within the community such as the fire station, police station or camping.
“We require volunteers to spend a couple of hours in the week with the youth who then decide what activity they want to do,” said Smith. “They do active games, they do crafts and go on visits.”