UTMSU’s WUSC 101 event last week explained to students the roles held by WUSC and its plans regarding student refugees.

The World University Services of Canada is a non-profit organization working with Canadian colleges and universities. According to its website, their aim is to address international development issues, such as the equitability and sustainability of underprivileged youths worldwide.

According to Marise Hopkins, UTMSU’s VP external, in an email to The Medium, the WUSC 101 event aimed at increasing awareness of WUSC, and providing students with opportunities to do volunteer work, fundraising events, and engage in topics of education advocacy.

“The purpose of organizing events like WUSC 101 is to better educate the membership on the organization, as well as get students involved in the advocacy work associated with the organization,” said Hopkins.

According to Hopkins, WUSC will concentrate on developing its Student Refugee Program this year, which is a student-levy sponsored program for student refugees.

The SRP at UTM was approved in 2007, and has since been welcoming one refugee student to UTM every year.

Peter Kungania, a WUSC coordinator, stated that with increased awareness and participation, WUSC can lobby UTMSU and the administration to give more refugee students a chance to get an education at UTM.

Besides SRP, another event on WUSC’s agenda is the Uniterra Symposia.

Hopkins stated in the email that the event is expected to take place early this winter semester.

The purpose of a Uniterra Symposia, according to Hopkins, is to allow students a space to discuss “issues pertaining to international development” on campus.

Kungania also talked about upcoming WUSC fundraising events, like Ride for Refuge—set to take place on October 4—and Shine a Light.

The Ride for Refuge participants will be given a choice of cycling or walking, and for every mile, WUSC UTM will be raising money to help “the vulnerable, displaced and exploited”, according to the WUSC website.

WUSC’s campaign, Shine A Light, addresses education and gender gaps for refugee children by funding after-school classes for girls.

Kungania stated that WUSC is not only exclusive to UTM students, but is also open to their friends, families, and people who live near UTM, if they want to volunteer with the program.

Kungania also relayed hopes to have all members of WUSC and student bodies take initiatives to create plans and take part to carry out future activities for the rest of the year.

“Students are free to come to our meetings to learn more about what we decide to do this year,” he said.

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