OTTAWA – Approximately 50 delegates of the Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union (SUSK) from post-secondary institutions across Canada gathered in Ottawa on May 4-7 for the 2017 National SUSK Congress. This year’s theme for the congress was “True North SUSK and Free.”
The four-day event was dedicated to encouraging and challenging leaders of the Ukrainian Canadian student community to come together, discuss and deliberate relevant questions and issues, and spearhead the future of youth leadership and involvement in Canada and Ukraine. Areas of discussion included: motivating volunteers; Ukrainian student organization; engaging your community; grants and fund-raising; and marketing.
John Velinga, CEO of Multiculture Bevco, was the opening guest speaker. He followed his presentation with an exclusive launch of the company’s rebranded product through a vodka-tasting event.
Each participating Ukrainian student organization (USO) briefed the delegates on their respective activities, associated successes and challenges, as well as recommendations for the future. The McGill Ukrainian Students’ Association was chosen as the winner amongst competing USOs and was awarded two complimentary passes to Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival in Dauphin, Manitoba.
First-time delegate Sophia Pidzamcky of the University of Guelph said: “This year marks my first time at a SUSK congress. In as short of a time as the congress lasted, I felt that I as an individual, as well as a member of my club team, we were able to draw inspiration from experienced speakers and other clubs across Canada. There was an excellent program that included engaging activities spanning various levels of participation – from lectures to networking opportunities to ‘zabavas’ – in conjunction with dynamic venues. The best venue was very much a tie between the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada and the Lago Bar and Grill overlooking Dow’s Lake! I was also amazed by the take-away lessons I learned in my four days, as well as sightseeing and touring that was expertly integrated to diversify the program! I cannot wait until next year to reconnect on the national level. Until then, the Guelph Ukrainian Students’ Club will implement themes from this year’s congress. Thank you to all of the people who made SUSK 2017 a great experience.”
As with every SUSK congress, a new national executive board is elected. This year, Stephanie Nedoshytko of MacEwan University was elected president after previously serving as external relations director. Ashley Halko-Addley of the University of Alberta was elected as executive vice-president.
Other positions filled on the board were: Kimberly Gargus (University of Alberta), vice-president west; Mattay Dubczak (Western University), vice-president central; Boyan Woychyshyn (McGill University), vice-president east; Adelia Shwec (University of Ottawa), external relations director; Raya Dzulynsky (Western University), internal relations director; Orycia Karpa (University of Winnipeg), project director; Hannah Picklyk (University of Winnipeg), media director; and Cassian Soltykevych (University of Alberta), immediate past-president.
SUSK is a national student organization comprising Ukrainian students’ organizations at post-secondary institutions across Canada. Founded in 1953 in Winnipeg, and falling inactive in 2001, SUSK was revived at the 22nd Congress of Ukrainian Canadians in Winnipeg on October 2007. SUSK’s mandate is to advocate concerns relevant to Ukrainian Canadian students. SUSK serves as a national forum in which these concerns are discussed and acted upon. It is the coordinating body for Ukrainian students’ organizations through Canada.
Sponsors of the 2017 SUSK Congress included the Shevchenko Foundation, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, Buduchnist Credit Union, the Ottawa Community Foundation, the Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa, Rodan Energy Solutions, Cholkan and Stepczuk LLP, the Ontario Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Ukrainian National Federation of Canada, Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, the League of Ukrainian Canadians, Capital Ukrainian Festival, Multiculture Bevco, Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival, Rosewood Estates Winery and Molson-Coors.
For more information, readers may contact SUSK President Stephanie Nedoshytko at 780-616-4652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.