Who You Gonna Call?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So the Katimavikers are back in town, and not a minute too late! For all of you who don’t know about the program, Katimavik is a national program that teaches youth a valuable lesson about life, the universe, and everything. Follow this link for a much better description than mine.

Now this is the third year that Katimavik will be working with the Office of Campus Sustainability. I will be the first to admit that I perpetuate the myth of the Katimaslave (esclavavik pour les francophones). Really! I have them come in every day and work like dogs for basically no pay.

And of course this blog is about demystifying things… so here goes.

It isn’t actually easy keeping Katimavik participants motivated (that’s their real titles but sometimes I just give up and call them parts). Think about it, if you weren’t getting paid, what could I possibly offer to get you to do some back-breaking labour? Especially if some of the things we have them do is pretty monotonous.

So the solution??? We tell them what it is they are working for. Sometimes it is unstitching coats, so that they can be donated to the homeless; sometimes it is painting buckets, to give them to residence students who couldn’t recycle or compost otherwise; and sometimes it is making big signs about cycling, to encourage the campus community to get out of their cars.

Time and time again they have never failed us. Muggy Mondays, PRD, Green Campus, Physical Resource Services, the Office of the President, Parking and Sustainable Transportation, the SFUO, (really, need I go on?); every one of these groups owes an incredible debt to our participants. In fact, you might say that they are the parts that make the campus work towards being more sustainable.

Today, after helping out with PRD, I had them help re-organize the 200 Lees Campus Furniture Recycling space. And wouldn’t you know it… they exceeded expectations again. So next time you see our participants picking up garbage, painting giant murals, or handing out free coffee, you might want to thank them on behalf of us all.

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