Issues range from environment to corporate responsibility
Students return from national conference
By Michelle Osmond
Engineering student Julie Hedderson is enthusiastic and prides herself on being a very outgoing person. She also plans to get the most out of her time at Memorial, just one of the reasons she applied to attend Withinsight 2006, a bilingual, non-profit, interactive, four-day conference for post-secondary students from across Canada. 150 post-secondary students were selected to attend the conference, which took place from Jan. 25-28 in Ottawa. The theme of Withinsight 2006 was “Leadership in Motion,” focusing on the challenges facing the next generation of Canadian leaders and engaging youth in the policy-making process.
Ms. Hedderson said she found the conference very inspiring.
“It was great to be surrounded by so many students dedicated to changing Canada to making it a better place for us to live and raise our children.”
Students from 32 different universities and 47 disciplines made up the group of delegates.
“It was an incredible mix of people. It was absolutely amazing how we all meshed together to form an effective team to change our country,” said Ms. Hedderson. She says she was also very honoured to have been the only Memorial student chosen as one of 14 delegates asked to help select policy and present it at the final banquet. The team met for hours to formulate a policy report, which they presented to the delegates and special guests.
“I spoke on a prominent issue in our country and in particular our province of Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘brain drain.’ Brain drain is when educated people leave their country or province for work. This was a issue of particular interest for me as an engineering student of Memorial University because I am well aware that many graduates of my program are forced to leave the province for jobs.”
But the conference wasn’t all work. “We also had the opportunity to skate on the Rideau Canal, have many social lunches and dinners, see the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the Nations Arts Centre and also walk around the city on our free time.” Ms. Hedderson liked the conference so much she plans on becoming a regional co-ordinator for Withinsight to encourage more Memorial students to attend.
Withinsight was created by a Queen’s University student in 1997 and is completely organized by students. From energy and the environment, to corporate social responsibility, the conference seeks to empower students to develop innovative solutions today for the problems of tomorrow. The end result of the conference is a report that details the discussions of the nation’s current leaders and the delegates of the conference. It will be distributed to various governmental departments and agencies.
The other Memorial students who attended the Withinsight conference were Kate Boland, Angela Wareham, Keith White, Allison Tucker, Danielle DuChene, Trevor Hickey and Zoiey Cobb.