This year the Council of Canadians' Brandon chapter attempted to get student interest in starting a social action group at Brandon University. They felt that a campus should be abuzz with discussion about issues faced by students, Manitobans, Canadians, minorities, etc. They hoped a group of students would form, and choose issues of particular interest to them, and speak out about them in whatever way they chose. Both meetings they held had poor turnouts however and there was some disappointment about the lack of interest in talking about the issues that affect us all.
I personally went to the meetings, hoping to find other people on campus with passions for environmental issues and racial issues. There is something powerful in a group of people who all have passions for various causes coming together to discuss them and act on them. There is amazing potential for creating awareness, sparking discussions and changing minds. Standing alone for a cause can be scary and can feel hopeless, but standing together is a way to make real change.
The intention of the Council of Canadians was to give BU students who were interested in forming a club some support, and encouragement, whether the students wanted to start a club completely separate from the Council of Canadians or to assist them in starting their own Chapter if that was the decision made by the students. They were hoping for whatever the students chose to do to be completely independent, deciding on causes based on shared passions.
Scott Blyth of the Council of Canadians encourages the students at BU to come together and form a social action group. His statement is as follows: “We certainly are in an interesting and, at time, very scary world. It would be my humble opinion that a university should be a hot bed of social activism. Are you happy with what is going on in Brandon? Are you happy with what is going on in Manitoba? In Canada? In the World?
Well speak out about racism, speak out about climate change, speak out about clean water, stand up for democracy! Stand up! Speak out!! Why is there no social action group at B.U? Clear your throat and speak out!
If you are interested in starting a Social Action club on campus, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.