Volunteers needed for International Days

Shaun Hunjen performs during last year's International Days celebration. PHOTO BY HUGO YUEN

Sarah Makowsky–News Editor

With International Days festivities fast approaching, organizers are seeking much-needed volunteers to help make the event a success.

This is the event’s 18th year, and it has become “so much larger than the organizing team can handle, that in reality, we need a large number of volunteers to come forward and assist in very specific areas of International Days,” said event assistant Gabriela Pauls.

The celebration of world culture spans from Feb. 7 to 11.

“We’re really in the process of recruiting [volunteers] right now, so that we can get a better handle on the events and make sure things run smoothly,” said volunteer co-ordinator Glynn Brothen.

Volunteers will also get “a taste of what actually goes [on] behind the scenes,” said Pauls.

Volunteer opportunities are based on skill set, interest and availability.

“Any type of skill set that you have, we can definitely try and place you somewhere where you have that ability to use your skills,” said Brothen.

“If anyone volunteers, even if they give us just an hour, that’s still something.”

Approximately 90 volunteers are required for the flag parade. During this event, participants march through campus carrying a flag representing a different country. Program handlers, gallery assistants and passport ‘stampers’ are just a few of the numerous other volunteer positions available.

“We understand a lot of students have classes, but we still encourage them—do an hour here and an hour there and choose the events they want to participate in,” said Pauls.

T-shirts are provided to volunteers and those who commit at least two hours of service are given a $10 meal voucher to obtain food from anywhere on campus.

Volunteers not only help with specific events, they have the opportunity to participate, acquire information and meet new people.

“We want to create a more globally-minded campus and educate students on different cultures and diversity around the world,” said Pauls.

There are other perks, aside from free food, a T-shirt and newfound knowledge.

“[Volunteers] can also get time toward their Global Competency Distinction,” said Pauls. Global Competency provides students with formal recognition for their international and intercultural experiences. This is noted on a student’s final transcript. A total of 15 volunteer hours is required for completion of the Global Competency certificate.

Volunteer information sessions will be held in the TRUSU boardroom Jan. 25 from 3 to 5 p.m., Jan. 27 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Feb. 2 from 3 to 5 p.m., and Feb. 3 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm.

Additionally, organizers for International Days will conduct classroom visits and be standing in the International Building and on Student Street in Old Main with information for those interested. Prospective volunteers can also e-mail internationaldays@tru.ca.

“Come and join this event, come and learn about different cultures, come and experience something else, get to know other people, feel part of what it is to [participate] in university activities,” said Pauls.

For more information on International Days and volunteering, visit www.tru.ca/internationaldays.