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New Student-Run Service RAISE Launching Soon
This winter, the Federation of Students welcomed a new service to its roster: RAISE – Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity – hopes to tackle issues of xenophobia and racism through a variety of on-campus services.
Through education and advocacy, peer-to-peer support, and events and outreach, RAISE encourages an inclusive atmosphere in which all students can come together and express themselves - and makes space for those who traditionally have not had their voices heard.
“RAISE provides a certain platform for those who have never been given that designated platform," said Ethan Candler, fourth-year kinesiology student and advocacy director for RAISE. "By addressing these issues, RAISE is beginning the process of creating a campus that is made for every type of person.”
Everyone deserves to feel included and appreciated. Students at the University of Waterloo are no exception, and RAISE understands the need for a service that unites students together to promote equality and inclusivity.
For second-year arts and business student and RAISE coordinator Hanan Thibeh, RAISE is important because it can provide a sense of belonging for marginalized students.
“It gives students a chance to say, ‘hey, I’m here.’ It allows these individuals who have felt like they don’t belong to have a space on campus, and it gives them a voice,” she said.
The effects of racism can be seriously harmful one’s mental health, so RAISE provides students feeling marginalized or mistreated with peer support to ensure they can reach out in a non-judgemental atmosphere. Office hours run in Room 2141 of the SLC from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For a more confidential visit, students are encouraged to drop by RAISE from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. during peer support hours.
The third pillar of RAISE prioritizes community building, and with this comes a focus on weekly “vibe nights." Students are encouraged to attend the vibe nights and connect with like-minded students who may have similar experiences tackling issues of racism. The nights are meant to be light-hearted and a way to build a sense of community.
RAISE has lots of events in store for the student body, including movie nights, ice cream socials, spoken word, and discussion panels. Follow @uwraise on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date with the vibe nights!
RAISE will be officially launched on February 27 with a reception at Federation Hall. The reception will feature appetizers, performances, and speakers, with the overall goal of educating students on the role of RAISE on campus. Keep up with their Facebook page [external link] for information on tickets.
Interested in being a part of RAISE? Spring term applications for volunteer, executive or coordinator positions will be up on LEADS starting February 4! For more information you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.