What’s in store for 2019?
author: taylor balfour | news writer
Apathy Into Action, Mental Wellness Week, and Frost Week
With the winter 2019 semester now under way, clubs and organizations at the University of Regina are getting ready for another semester, and another year, of events and activities.
In the first month of the semester alone, the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU)is planning a slew of events to get students back into the school mindset.
For starters, URSU has started off the new year with the spirit of generosity, setting up donation bins for URSU Threads and URSU Pantry.
URSU Threads is a donation service started by the Students’ Union to provide students in need with professional attire for jobs and work interviews.
“Making a great first impression can go a long way to ensuring a student takes the first big steps down the career path of their choice,” the URSU website explains.
“A well-made, well-tailored suit can give one the confidence needed to enter the work world and excel after their university education is complete.
“If you’re going for a job interview, work term or doing a presentation and don’t have professional attire, don’t worry we’ve got you covered! Thanks to the generosity of Moores Clothing, Dress for Success Regina, and members of the community, we are able to provide students with (gently used) professional attire for men and women.”
As for URSU Pantry, it was a program created to address the growing numbers of post-secondary students relying on food banks for meals.
“This valuable service offers food and other necessities to more than 100 students who are facing food insecurity within our campus community,” URSU’s website says.
“Started in 2016 with the support of Regina Food Bank, this program has flourished and been one of our fastest growing programs.”
When the Regina Food Bank announced that they would no longer be able to support the pantry “as their own supplies are becoming limited,” URSU turned to the University of Regina community to help support the event.
“This development is not only heart-breaking for us but more importantly it can be life-altering for all those students who have come to depend on this support from URSU,” their website states.
“That is why we are appealing to you – our campus community – in an effort to keep our Pantry full and our students fed.”
On Jan. 4, URSU announced that their new donations bins for both URSU Pantry and URSU Threads had arrived and were ready to accept donations for the winter 2019 semester.
“These snazzy new bins will help us collect more food, toiletries, and clothing for students in need,” their Facebook post read.
“The green one is for gently used business attire like suits, dresses, shoes, and accessories to go to URSU Threads and it is located under the south-facing staircase in the Riddell Centre. The blue one is for the URSU Pantry items like non-perishable food, toiletries, and other essentials and is under the north-facing staircase.”
URSU is also planning their annual Mental Wellness Week from Feb. 5 to 8.
“Too often those dealing with issues of mental health have to suffer in silence and feel isolated by their situation,” URSU said, describing the plans for 2018’s Mental Wellness Week.
URSU’s lineup also has Frost Week from Jan. 16 to 18 which includes events such as group skating, sledding, free breakfasts in The Owl, movie marathons, and more.
Aside from URSU, the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG]) also has a plethora of events planned for the winter 2019 semester. In specific, the organization has been working on their Apathy Into Action conference, once again taking place in January 2019.
“Apathy Into Action is coming up on January 25 and 26. It’s a free two-day social and environmental justice conference that we’re holding here on campus,” Julian Wotherspoon, Outreach & Events Coordinator for RPIRG, ex[plained.
“The Friday is going to be super exciting. We have mini sessions throughout the day starting at 10 a.m. and going through until about 3 o’clock. We’re going to be talking about things like consent, things like the Regina Blue Dot and their renewable Regina campaign, addressing racism on our campus.”
“Then we’re going to be, through the power of the internet, bringing in some students from the McGill student strikes that we saw late last year and they’re gonna talk about that campaign and what it takes to organize students against things like unpaid internships or in our case we’d love another opportunity to talk about high tuition and those types of things,” said Wotherspoon.
“It’s a general talking about how to organize students,” Krystal Lewis, the Executive Director, at RPIRG said.
“We think it’ll really resonate students that are concerned about high tuition and unpaid internships or just anything that’s frustrating them on campus and they want some tools or ideas for how to do their own stuff here.”
“To continue that on Saturday we have our friends from Next Up Saskatchewan to do a full day more intensive workshop about student tools for making change and building that collective power and those skills for students to do stuff, fight back, act up,” Wotherspoon continued.
“Alongside that, URPride will be doing one of their positive space trainings.”
On RPIRG’s website, they describe the event as an event where “sessions are organized over a number of days to engage students and the community in current issues impacting Regina, the U of R, and the world beyond our home.”
“The goal of the conference is to introduce or provide information about these issues, as well as to equip students and community members with the skills needed to organize around these issues,” their website states.
“This is our 11th year running this,” Lewis explaind, “and a big focus on this is less of a focus on profs, really big names to come talk, this conference is about students hearing from their peers about cool things going on.”