By: Cate Talaue (@talu3who)
The Brock community and the Niagara region is nothing short of resourceful when it comes to building volunteer experiences and creating new social connections. During O-Week, BUSU coordinated with on-campus clubs and community-based organizations in order to market their services to the student body. However, what most of these clubs and organizations experience during O-Week is a lot of enthusiasm about getting involved but not enough commitment. Oftentimes, they end Vendor Fair with pages filled with contact information but rarely are they ever able to recruit them all because after O-Week’s excitement has started to dissipate and so has the eagerness to get involved.
First and foremost, you are a student and it is understandable that school is important: why else would you be paying these outrageous tuition fees? But what most students don’t know is that getting involved actually boosts your academic success. In fact, it has been scientifically proven that students who are active on-campus and in the community:
- Have a higher academic success rate
- Establish a deeper connection with the school and the city
- Are leaders who are most likely to succeed in influencing others to volunteer
- Continue to volunteer post-graduation
- Lead happier lives with a growing positive outlook on life
With these and other benefits, it is surprising that volunteer-based organizations are aching for more bodies and it isn’t for a lack of marketing and advertising. However, there is something about Brock and its volunteers that stand out. Brock is famously known for catering to “both sides of the brain,” intermingling and balancing academics and passions. While on the surface, the University seems to be like any other Ontario university, what the school offers in terms of ensuring a top notch student experience .
VolunteerFEST is one of many ways that Brock connects with the passionate side of the brain, inviting local organizations and on-campus clubs to talk to students about getting involved in the Niagara community, because if they didn’t hit it home during Vendor Fair, they definitely will at this annual event that is taking place on Thursday, Sept. 11. Situated along the perimeter of Guernsey Market from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., these organizations are here to network with students, staff and faculty. What is most appealing about this event is that there is always something for everyone. Ranging from the Cancer Society to Big Brothers and Big Sisters as well as Brock’s very own Student Justice Center, it is all too evident that any student can find a place that caters to their individual passions.
The newest additions to the VolunteerFEST are the Food Drive, which takes place during the duration of this event, accepting non-perishable food items as well as the ExperienceBU Campus Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC). Madeline Van Hemert, who works for the Student Life & Community Experience department as the Community Partnerships and Experience BU Coordinator, is heading this addition and is excited about what this co-curriculum has to offer to students.
“The CWC has been created for students to expand on their academic knowledge, put it into practice and experience new things. When attending events, students can have the option to swipe their attendance or they can report it on their own directly to ExperienceBU.”
Keeping in mind the ‘what’s in it for me’ question, Van Hemert mentions that students have the option of printing a PDF copy of their CWC progress to attach to their resumes and build their portfolio, giving students yet another resource that adds to the flair of Brock and its students.
To set up your profile today, log in to ExperienceBU at experiencebu.brocku.ca using your my.brocku.ca username and password. For instructions on how to set up your profile or navigate ExperienceBU or the CWC, check out brocku.ca/experiencebu