Huron University College celebrates 20th anniversary partnership with WUSC
Credit: JEN DOEDE
Huron University College celebrated its 20th anniversary of their partnership with the World University Service of Canada organization. Through the Student Refugee Program, 21 student refugees have had the opportunity to study at Huron.
On March 19, a variety of speakers took to the podium in the Great Hall to make some important announcements and share some of the work the university has done regarding its partnership with WUSC. This partnership has existed for over 20 years.
Barry Craig, the principal of Huron University College, announced that up to five student refugees, who have already arrived in Canada, will receive full-tuition scholarships from the university upon registration. Over the past 20 years, the university has helped 21 student refugees attend the institution through the Student Refugee program.
Craig explained that over the next five years, all Huron students will be involved in social justice or community service as part of their degree. “The WUSC program for 40 years has brought 1700 student refugees to Canada out of war-torn countries to receive a post-secondary education. We are so happy to be [partnered with the WUSC organization] for 20 years. We have been bringing a student every year as a refugee, covering their expenses and allowing them to study in safety in Canada. For us, it’s a perfect partnership,” Craig said.
The student body at Huron demonstrated their advocacy for international initiatives via voting to increase their individual contributions through student administration fees by 33 per cent (previously $15 and now $20) to allow more student refugees to attend the university. Dylan Matthews, president of the Huron Student Council, explained that the student council hosted a referendum to increase the WUSC Student Refugee Program fee by $5 annually. The student council began exploring the notion about a year ago. ”We worked hard, collected signatures, went through council a few times and in January, [we had the] referendum and we got a 75 per cent turn out in favour of it,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the students of Huron or my institution.”
In addition, the institution announced that it will match the student levy and increase funds in order to support the Student Refugee Program through WUSC. “These actions align with our mission – fostering a sense of responsibility for society exercised both locally and globally,” Craig said in the news release.
The University also recommitted a $60,000 scholarship from last September for students who were affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) decision from the Trump administration. According to a CNN article titled “What is DACA and why is it ending?”, DACA was an executive action taken by former U.S. President Barack Obama. The action allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. under 16 years of age to apply for protection from deportation. Once completing a background check, these individuals could receive two-year renewable permits to work and study in the country. About 800,000 individuals were protected under DACA when the Trump administration announced its plan to phase out the policy.