By ASHLEY SPRAGUE
The Get Involved Fair at Conestoga is a semi-annual event that the college hosts at three campuses. It is a chance for students to get involved with events in the community and on campus and also an opportunity to earn recognition on one’s co-curricular record (CCR). Having volunteer experience on students’ CCRs is a great way for them to one-up their resume and stand out from others who have the same diplomas or degrees as them, when competing for jobs after graduation. It is also a wonderful way to show initiative and gain experience.
Kendra Foord, a student engagement programmer at Conestoga, said, “I volunteered when I was a student, and I wouldn’t have had the success in finding a job that I did have if I hadn’t volunteered. So, I really believe in connecting students with opportunities to get involved and expand their skills.”
Teddy Hiadzi, the communications assistant at the student recreation centre, suggests students get involved with intramurals, fitness classes and come out to the games at Conestoga.
“Health and wellness is a huge part of the students’ success, outside of academics. We’re trying to promote to students to come out and get engaged, stay healthy and get fit,” he said.
Something that may be interesting to the avid reader is Conestoga Reads, technically a book club run through Doon campus’s Library Resource Centre. The first meeting for Conestoga Reads was last Thursday, but students still have the opportunity to sign up. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood will be the first book that is discussed. They meet twice a month, alternating Wednesday and Thursday evenings. This is an opportunity for book lovers to earn recognition on their CCR.
Paul Cochrane, a waste diversion/sustainability co-ordinator, is planning on running some pilot projects at the college related to sustainability and was requesting student volunteers. This is an on-campus opportunity at Doon and Cambridge campuses for students interested in working in waste management. The project will entail having a centralized waste station where students will leave their waste and cafeteria trays at a table, and the student volunteers behind the table will separate and sort the waste.
“I’m wondering if it is something we can promote long term at the campus or not. It will be a great experience, and I want to eventually incorporate sustainability into this as well,” said Cochrane.
Some students may be worried about how to make time for volunteering while being in school and balancing work. When Foord was asked about this, she said, “One of the easiest ways to get involved is with English conversation partners. The volunteers fill out a form with their availability and are matched with a student they can be on campus with for only an hour a week. Also, a lot of our organizations recruit for different events. So if you can volunteer for five hours at an event, once a year, that’s another way to work around a school/work/life balance. Students need to prioritize their own health and wellness above all else, so we recognize that.”