UBC Reports
October 17, 1996

Mentors drawn from students, faculty, staff

by Connie Bagshaw
Staff writer

The Women Students' Office (WSO) has launched a new program designed to build community and provide support to women students of color at UBC.

The first of its kind at a Canadian university, the Women of Color Mentoring Program matches students with mentors drawn from peers, faculty and staff to share experiences and problem solve in an effort to enhance their university life.

Participants will be matched according to career interests and personal compatibility, said WSO counsellor Begum Verjee.

"This program seeks to address the needs expressed by women of color on campus, especially the need to share concerns, develop a sense of community, form strength and solidarity and discover role models," said Verjee, who co-ordinates the program.

"It also provides women with a safe place to talk about their experiences of bias and discrimination."

In addition to regular one-on-one meetings, students and mentors will gather for group activities such as workshops and lectures by guest speakers.

The program will also sponsor a series of cultural events -- open to the public -- featuring the achievements of women of color, including film screenings, theatre and music performances.

About 30 women to date have registered for the program which runs until April 1997. For more information, call 822-2415.