Why we give: Capturing the spirit of Caritas in Mount students
From our beginning in 1873, Mount Saint Vincent University has been committed to nurturing socially responsible global citizens, at home and abroad. Community giving, social justice and volunteerism are all traits strongly associated with the Mount. Each day, Mount students are making a difference in the lives of others. Caritas Day is a chance to spend some extra time giving back and to celebrate these efforts.
A tradition that dates back to the fire of ’51
In 1951, a devastating fire destroyed the one and only building that made up Mount Saint Vincent College (photo shown at left).
The surrounding community of Halifax graciously offered aid in the Mount’s time of need by providing many supports, including classroom spaces for students to continue their studies through the rebuilding process.
The actions of the community inspired the Sisters of Charity–Halifax to establish Caritas Day as a means of giving back. Today, the last Wednesday of each month serves as a day for the Mount community to give back to the city that once gave so much to the Mount in a time of great need.
Bright student spirits
The Mount prides itself on being home to students with generous hearts and open minds. From fundraising efforts and advocacy to supporting peers through acts of kindness, the spirit of Caritas is strong every day on our campus. This year, we are happy to highlight the community-minded efforts of seven Mount students. Scroll down to meet them.
Hometown: Coldbrook, NS
Program: Fifth year, Bachelor of Arts in French
With an open heart and ready ear, Chris is a known campus leader and advocate. In 2017, Chris created the “Freeing Your Wellbeing” event that provides students with a safe space to express their mental health through art and self-expression. As a member of SAMHI (Student Athlete Mental Health Initiative), he helps plan events including the annual MSVU/SAMHI Bell Let’s Talk Day which brings Mount athletes together in conversation to break down stigma surrounding mental illness. Outside of mental health advocacy, Chris organizes MSVU Love is Love, a campaign to promote love equality, provides support for Students’ Union events like Orientation Week, and is a Champion Crowd Pumper with WE Day.
Hometown: Butare, Rwanda
Program: Third year, Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing
Honorine John’s passion for giving knows no bounds. Her experiences as a WUSC (World University Service of Canada) student have given her the opportunity to assist new students transitioning to the Mount through the Student Refugee Program. She sits on the Mount’s WUSC Local Committee as Vice President of Finance. She helps students set up their finances, refers them to staff and services across campus and helps them construct personalized education plans. Honorine makes it her mission to show students how they can shine on the Mount campus by becoming involved, building relationships and being confident. She takes this mission on through her work with the Mount’s Business and Tourism Society, where she is Vice President External Events, and through regularly volunteering with the Students’ Union.
Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas
Program: Third year transfer student, Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management
Although only in his first year at the Mount, Rex has quickly made a name for himself as an enthusiastic volunteer on campus. He has been noted by his peers as going above and beyond his regular duties as a Residence Assistant, giving his time to lend a hand to his fellow transfer and international students adjusting to life at the Mount. Recently, he has begun leading a new Bahamas Multi-Cultural Dance group on campus, organizing performances that bring students together in dance and celebration. Through these initiatives Rex strives to make the Mount community feel like home for everyone.
Hometown: Bedford, NS
Program: Fifth year, Bachelor of Public Relations
Kelsey’s passion for sports and her philanthropic spirit have inspired the next generation of Mount athletes to take action both on and off the court. In 2015, Kelsey founded the Students for Wishes program, a student society dedicated to fundraising for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In 2016, she launched the MSVU Athletes Christmas Charity event, which rallies Mount athletes to collects gifts and donations for The Shoebox Project, an organization that aids homeless and at-risk women across North America. Kelsey also works as a head coach for Special Olympics basketball in Bedford and Sackville, and sits on the Organizational Committee for the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon.
Hometown: Millbrook, NS
Program: Fourth Year, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
A leader in social justice movements, Kehisha brings initiative to action by propelling forward important movements across campus. Kehisha has worked with the Aboriginal Student Centre on events including Walking With Our Sisters and the Inclusive Women’s March. At these events she has held important roles including lead keeper, head organizer, marshal and drummer. To the student body Kehisha is a well-known face and friend to many through their work with the Students’ Union as a senior Orientation Week leader, Geek Squad Society President, and student events volunteer.
Hometown: Malagash, NS
Program: Third Year, Bachelor of Public Relations
Jordan’s compassionate demeanor stems from deeply rooted family values. In honour of his late mother Jackie Boyd, Jordan organizes an annual softball tournament to raise scholarship money for his hometown’s high school. On campus, Jordan joined the Cancer Fighting Crew Student Society and bravely volunteered for the “Get Waxed” leg-waxing competition to raise funds for cancer research. He can also be found volunteering with the Students’ Union, Special Olympics, MSVU Athletics Christmas Charity event and sporting Tenfed clothing for Kids Against Hunger Canada.
Hometown: Greenwood, NS
Program: Third Year, Bachelor of Science Communication
Since being honoured in 2016 with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, Emily has kept busy with a variety of new volunteer initiatives in her hometown and on campus. She has built an extensive resume of volunteer experience by embracing her passions for the sciences and helping others. This year, Emily is leading a new Environmental Advocacy Society that raises awareness for environmental awareness and action on campus. She also volunteers with the WISE Atlantic (Women in Science and Engineering) conference held annually at the Mount.