Students turn Dal SUB into mock refugee camp
Society hopes to educate students through real-life experiences of others
January 31, 2013, 2:36 PM AST
Last updated February 1, 2013, 9:33 AM AST
A student society that sponsors refugees to come to Dalhousie turned the Student Union Building into a refugee camp today.
The group, which aims to educate the student body about the World University Service of Canada, transformed a lobby usually filled with couches and students enjoying a midday snack or study session into a cardboard-lined camp. The lobby displayed tents, laundry and a campsite for cooking.
“The idea came back in September,” said Marissa Ley, a Dalhousie psychology student who was part of the planning committee for today’s event. “We knew we wanted to do something big, and thought of doing an event where you had to bail a professor out of jail.”
She said the idea quickly turned into an awareness campaign.
“It’s great that we have students walking into the SUB and wondering what’s going on – what this stuff is for.”
The Dal WUSC chapter sponsors two students each year to come from refugee camps to study and complete a degree at Dalhousie. This year, they sponsored two students from Somalia, who spent time in camps in Kenya.
Dal has been sponsoring student refugees for 31 years. A $1.50 levy is included with Dal students’ tuition to help support the refugee program.
Ley says the society worked closely with students who have first-hand experience with camps.
“We wanted this to be as authentic as possible,” she said. “But obviously, it’s a little cheery in the SUB and hard to replicate the atmosphere.”
Take a look at the refugee camp WUSC set up in the Dal SUB: