UNB Saint John’s clubs and societies
For many students, getting involved in a club or society is a great way to not only enhance your resume but to work with a motivated group of students to make a difference in the community. The Best Buddies group at UNB Saint John does just that by providing support and friendship to those who need it the most.
Best Buddies is an internationally recognized organization that caters to the needs of intellectually disabled adults.
It has been shown that those with intellectual deficits benefit greatly from having a friend or mentor that provides the utmost support.
It gives them an opportunity to learn to cope with everyday situations and to develop strong social skills.
Each student involved is paired up with their own “buddy.” By committing to be someone’s buddy, you are expected to spend time with them at least once a month. This can include a variety of activities such as going to the mall, watching movies, playing video games, baking, or just hanging out!
It is also recommended that Peer Buddies check in with each other at least once a week through email or the phone in order to maintain a positive relationship with each other. Peer buddies are encouraged to attend larger monthly events on campus that promote even more friendships and socialization.
Buddies and peer buddies are generally paired up based on their interests. This allows for the pair to take part in activities that they both enjoy and to experience new things together.
It is very important that both the peer buddy and their mentee connect with one another and work toward the overall goal of having fun.
The main priority of this club is to encourage friendship and equality among all. Those involved promote tolerance and compassion towards those who may be different and strive to set an example for other students.
Being a best buddy is a very rewarding role and allows students to make connections with those outside of their typical circle. The influence that this program has on the people involved is extremely motivating and humbling.
Hilari Macleod, president of the club knows better than anyone about the joys of giving back. “When you leave one of our events, you’ll feel like your heart grew three sizes that day,” says Macleod. “I don’t think you’ll find a happier, more positive group of people”
In the past, the club has hosted many events including Halloween parties, bowling and movie nights. This year students can expect to see similar events as well as a few new opportunities.
An ideal buddy is someone looking for a fun and rewarding volunteer experience as well as someone with a compassionate nature. Peer buddies understand the importance of diversity in the world, yet work hard to close the gaps often separating people in society.
Best Buddies is looking forward to having another great year on campus. They encourage anyone interested in taking part to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.