When I joined WUSC Regina, just a few months over a year ago, it was clear from the first meeting that this organization was the one that I had been searching for. Five years in university, and all those five years I had been searching for a group to put my energy in to. I don’t mean that other groups on campus don’t have noble and admirable goals, and that they don’t do amazing work – only that none of them inspired me to commit myself, and none of them had easily accessible ways for me to get involved.
It was clear that WUSC was what I had been looking for. The first planning meeting laid out all of the campaigns that we could get involved with, but we decided as a group to take that first semester to rebuild, get to know one another, and build the kind of group that makes people feel connected to it and to one another. And it worked.
Weekly meetings, sending members to the AGA conference in Ottawa, and monthly events created a strong group, and a small but dedicated membership. In January we decided that we were ready to move to the next step – presenting ourselves to the campus population, and proving that we were a group worthy of students’ time and attention.
So we planned our mock refugee camp. We presented the stories of three of our students, partnering with Amnesty International, Luther College and the Women’s Centre to discuss issues of human rights, religious persecution and gender discrimination, and with the help of Luther we provided free portions of foods found in African and Nepalese refugee camps. The feedback was incredible, with students and faculty alike joining up, donating, and passing along our information to friends and family. You can check out more on that event here:
With the momentum created during the mock refugee camp, we waded into the summer with a strong and vibrant new executive. By the end of the summer we had secured office space, prepared for our incoming sponsored students Semere and Muse, created manuals for future executives, and were ready to launch our Shine a Light campaign.
And the Shine a Light campaign, although it isn’t over yet, has already been such a huge success! From a bake sale to an extraordinary lecture by Ted Jaleta, the ways in which we have been able to engage with the U of R student body have been so much fun, and such a success.
I am so proud of the work that the WUSC Regina team has done in the past year – we have grown from a two-person executive (huge shout-out to Jana and Zaid, who carried the team for so long) to a thriving ten-person executive, semesterly campaigns, monthly activities, and an extraordinarily committed and passionate membership. I just can’t wait to see what WUSC accomplishes in the coming months, and the exciting new ways in which it will support our sponsored students in the coming years.
To the students of the U of R: if you are looking for an organization that you can pour yourself into, that you can be passionate about; that will earn you that satisfying feeling that tells you that you have accomplished something worthwhile; and that allows you to help real people in a tangible way, then WUSC Regina is your organization. Honestly, I urge you to look into this group. And if you do, make it work for you: the most exciting part of joining an organization that is rebuilding itself is that there is so much room for growth, both for the organization, and for you. This kind of organization coupled with that kind of transformative moment is a rare opportunity. Seize it.