Western's CEL in the News

University College Hill in spring

Our programming and commitment to community engagement extend beyond one-off experiences and interactions. Our team, students, and collaborators are committed to continual learning and actions.

Take a look at some of the featured stories that have recently made headlines.

CityStudio Partnership

Community Engaged Learning at Western is excited to launch CityStudio London, an innovation hub harnessing student talent to tackle London's challenges alongside City staff and community, with the aim of producing more projects that meet community-identified needs. CityStudio London is a collaboration between Brescia, City of London, Fanshawe, Huron, King’s, Pillar Nonprofit Network, and Western, with courses offered to students beginning this September.

Stay tuned for more news on this partnership!

The Gazette: Addiction on Campus: Resources out of sight, out of mind

CEL students, Taylor Pratt and Rebecca Hocke, collaborated with Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) in March 2019 to host the first of its’ kind Recovery Addiction Awareness Day (RAAD) on campus. This event was the final project determined by this community partner’s need – to open conversation about addiction and recovery on campus.

Read the full story here.

CBC London Morning: Alternative Spring Break

Interview on CBC London Morning (February 20, 2019) with our Global CEL Coordinator, Kate Placide. London student Lubna Kara is using her vacation time to give back to the community. She talks about her experience and coordinator Kate Placide tells London Morning about how the alternative spring break program started.


Global News: Thousands of Western students participate in Orientiation Serves Day

Over 2,500 first-year students at Western University will be getting their hands dirty Saturday when they take part in Orientation Serves day.

The initiative – piloted for the first time last year – sees Western partner with local organizations to send students into the community for one day of volunteering during Orientation Week.

“We designed it so that students can get involved in the community and find out more about their new city by getting involved with different organizations,” said charity orientation co-ordinator Jenna Froebelius.

Read the full story here.

London Free Press: Western University students end orientation week with good deeds across London

More than 2,500 Western University students fanned out across the city Saturday, lending a helping hand to about 60 community groups.

The students wrapped up orientation week with Orientation Serves, where students give back to the community — from planting trees to scrubbing down the London Children’s Museum, painting a fence at Eldon House and even planning a flash mob at Innovation Works.

“Coming to western isn’t just about coming to school, it’s about coming to the city as well,” said Peshawar Mini, a biology student at Western.

“This is a break from concerts, events and we go into London and help the community. It helps us understand the community,” said Mini, who helped scrub the Children’s Museum.

“Sometimes, kids like to throw things around,” said the second-year student. “There’s been a lot of disinfecting.”

Read the full story here.

Western News: Bringing Classroom Knowledge to the Community

The one thing Stephanie Hayne Beatty hears most often from students enrolled in a Community Engaged Learning (CEL) course is the class helps “learning come to life.”

“The whole idea is students are able to take their classroom knowledge into the community and take that community experience and apply it back into the classroom,” said Hayne Beatty, Associate Director (Experiential Learning) with the Student Success Centre (SSC).

But the benefits of, and praise for, the program – run by the SSC – extend beyond Western’s gates, she added. Late last year, CEL was recognized with a 2017 Pillar Community Innovation Award in the category of Community Impact.

Get the full article here.

Western News: Bringing Student Service to the Community

For one frenetic, blue-sky day last September, 2,500 Western students planted trees, cleaned parks, organized a picnic for newcomers and washed cars to introduce themselves to the London community. The relationships launched that inaugural Orientation Serves Day have become a foundation for closer student ties to the city – and for an even larger event planned for Orientation Week 2018, organizers say. “This was a bold effort to initiate a philosophy of being a citizen and resident of this community,” said Richard Caccamo, Coordinator of Orientation Initiatives. Organizers wanted to make sure students caught a deeper vision of the city they’ll call home for four years or more. On the Saturday before classes began, students collectively spent about 7,000 hours getting to know the city – literally from the ground up. Events included 24 organizations at 20 locations, in warm and sunny weather that was ideal for outdoor work.

Read the full story here.

Western News: Bringing Volunteerism to the Community

They serve with willing hands and see the world through new eyes. Since Western’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program began in 2003, its tagline has been Be the change. Participants have taken it to heart, through the experiences they have had, the people they have met and the self-exploration they have done. This group shatters any stereotype of millennial self-absorption as they volunteer with purpose, giving generously of their time and talents to be the change and do good in the world. The program gives students a chance during Western’s Reading Weeks in February or in October, or after final exams at the beginning of May, to connect with communities in 15 different locations – from the City of London in Western’s backyard, to regions across the globe.

Read the full story here.

Western News: Pillar Nonprofit Network: Community IMPACT Award

In 2017, Community Engaged Learning won the Pillar Nonprofit Networks IMPACT Award.

Read the full Western News Article here