Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Being Xaverian: StFX students make a difference, build community, make positive changes – it’s what Being Xaverian is all about

September 2nd, 2021

Being a good neighbour and caring for your community is something that StFX students demonstrated in spades last year while everyone learned to navigate the restrictions that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Now, StFX is building on that sense of caring and looking out for each other in a new campaign called Being Xaverian, reminding StFX students to continue to make a difference and work together to take on community issues. 

“Being Xaverian is designed to help support our students to understand the potential StFX has for them, and to help our students, especially new students, to understand how they can contribute to the community at StFX and to the broader community in positive ways,” says Elizabeth Yeo, Vice President Students.

“It’s to help students think big picture, relate it to our community and our interactions, really from day one.” 

Being Xaverian also helps remind students that when they join the StFX community, it’s with an understanding that there’s an expectation of being a Xaverian. It’s in the way we do things, the way we respect and care about ourselves and the community in which we live. 

Student Services launched three interactive, online modules this summer targeted at first year students, Safer Socializing @X, Consent Education is Visible @X, and You Belong @X, that promote education, outreach and resources around social movements issues such as MeToo, Black Lives Matter, anti-racism, sexual assault and mental health. 

In September, when students arrive in residence, the modules will be followed up with a series of programming, Ms. Yeo says, that builds on that theme of taking personal responsibility and creating a culture of respect and looking out for each other.

Materials will also be provided to off-campus students, directing them to the module resources and to the updated Good Neighbours Guide. StFX President Dr. Andy Hakin, Antigonish Mayor Laurie Boucher, Warden Owen McCarron, and other members of the leadership team will also continue the practice started last year of making off-campus house calls to talk with students, including on how they can make positive contributions to the community. 

“The program has big ideas that I think are really exciting for StFX students,” Ms. Yeo says. “Many students bring a deep interest and commitment to community and social justice to StFX.

“We’re emphasizing that positive community. You’re able to have fun, but you’re doing it with care for your community, and ultimately, that’s what being a community member is about.”

That’s what being Xaverian means.

Helping provide education and outreach and issuing a call to action is exciting.  

“StFX has a long history of social justice, community service and positive action. COVID gave us an opportunity to pull this together into a student focused strategy, to provide education around the issues and to highlight the capacity to change and take positive action,” Ms. Yeo says. 

She says the COVID-19 pandemic really shone a light on how important it is that individuals work as part of a community to maintain not only their health and safety, but that of their friends, neighbours and the larger community. 

StFX students responded to COVID in such positive ways, and their integrity and dedication to upholding the public health laws was inspiring, she says. 

Building on that concept, she says Being Xaverian looks at that personal responsibility and how we turn that to other issues, how we make sure students know that they have it in their control to impact change, and how StFX supports the students to do so.  

The name, Being Xaverian, really resonated, she says, as StFX students are already well-known as being academically and socially engaged. Students, as we saw last year in how they handled themselves, are also very much community engaged, she says. 

“Having that all supported by a campaign builds on that sense of community responsibility to take on these community issues.

“It’s that sense of social responsibility. Everyone can bring that individuality, all their gifts and talents, together to make a difference.” 

 

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