- Shivam Sadana
Enactus Bringing in a Positive Change
Enactus Cape Breton University came together in July of 2018 and has been engaging students in various projects that benefit not only the community but also the environment. It is a student-run volunteer organisation that initiates projects which are created to empower the community based on that community’s needs, which they fulfill through entrepreneurial action. This organization was brought to CBU by two students, Michaela Epifano, the current President of Enactus, and Brooklyn Galbraith. Currently, the group is made up of 34 members from all different educational backgrounds and from various cultures and countries around the world.
Enactus is in 36 countries around the world
Within this short span of time, Enactus has successfully executed several projects, with more to come soon. One of their projects was called ‘12 Days of Local’, this initiative focused on promoting shopping at locally owned and operated businesses during the holiday season. The group interviewed the owners of 12 different businesses and promoted them by posting their interview on the group’s Facebook page last December. Some of the businesses they featured include Get Nauti, Fired Creations, and the Cape Breton Fudge Co.
Behind the scenes with member Dipanshu Grover at the Cape Breton Fudge Co. (Enactus Facebook Page)
Nik MacDonald, co-manager of The Green Project, said, “We have been initiating projects that have directly benefited the students and the community. There is one more project that will soon be on the ground, this project is called ‘Colour Pop’, this project focuses on giving grade school students the freedom to paint the walls of their school with more vibrant colours. This activity will be stress relieving, will lead to better performance in academics, and improve overall wellbeing, including mental health.”
Enactus also organized a project called the ‘Media Crash Course’, which teaches students basic graphic design and social media marketing skills which can be implemented both inside and outside the classroom. To date, they have taught roughly 275 students.
Enactus is looking forward to taking part in ‘Green Week’ from March 25th to the 29th. Their focus is to make CBU a greener and more environment-friendly school. Navy Nguyen, who is a co-manager of this project, told us “We throw away approximately 57 million straws every day. That is 2 billion every year. Switching to paper straws would help reduce a significant amount of plastic from ending up in the ocean. We reached out to the management of the food services on campus, Chartwells, which is owned by Compass-Canada to encourage them to switch from supplying plastic straws to paper straws at food vendors. Thankfully, our proposal was well received. Paper straws will be available upon request started March 11 in the cafeteria and the Verschuren Center Cafe except for Tim Hortons (they have their own policies)” Nik added, “To encourage students to carry a reusable cup on their person, we will be providing them with incentives like Orange Army Points. We will be distributing cards in which the students will collect stamps when they use a reusable cup at any of the numerous locations across campus and earn Orange Army Points. Each stamp is worth 10 orange army points. Those who complete the 20-stamper card by the end of the semester will receive 250 points. The student who has the most Orange Army Points at the year’s end will win a paid-for a round trip flight to anywhere in North America. Who wouldn’t want to win that?”
For all of the events and activities Enactus organizes, funding is required. To help take care of costs, Enactus has sponsorship options available. Through the sponsorship package, Enactus receives funding from a sponsor and, in return, the sponsor is promoted at various levels depending on the amount they contributed. Enactus has garnered support from various departments of the university such as the Students’ Union, Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy & the Environment, and Compass Canada, and this support will hopefully help make their upcoming projects a success.