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Best Buddies at King's

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Samantha Barrett

on 6 October 2016

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Transcript of Best Buddies at King's

Club Goals and Values
"To establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities."
(Best Buddies Canada)

The Application Process
Getting Ratified
Since we had not heard anything about the status of our club we talked to someone on the KUCSC and decided to start interviewing interested King's students. The purpose was to get to know more about each of the students in order to ensure good matches between King's students and people from Hutton House.

In October, we received an email saying our club had been unofficially ratified. We attended the KUCSC monthly meeting and presented our proposal. We were officially ratified that evening!

Club Events
Since we got off to a late start, most of our events were pretty small, but we still managed to have a great time! Our first event was a Meet and Greet, complete with pizza and a lot of socializing and crafts. Next, we met after Christmas and had a night full of board games-- Pictionary was a huge hit!

We also had a Circus themed game night and the annual Best Buddies Read All About It event at Indigo near Masonville. We had a bake sale and raised $75. To end off a busy year, we had a bowling and mini golf event at Fleetway last night!
The Election Process
Trials and Tribulations
While this year has been successful and we are excited for the future of our club, it was not without challenges. We found that communicating with club members as well as coordinators from Hutton House and Best Buddies was quite difficult. Organizing events and receiving responses from club members was the biggest challenge.

Starting so late in the year made planning formal events difficult, especially since buddy pairs were not created until January. The requirement of police cheques also caused a delay in the matching process. All of these challenges were very valuable and are going to shape how the club is run next year.
Member Commitments
In order to be a member of the Best Buddies Club, students must complete an interview and online application. The application is reviewed by Best Buddies Canada and interviews are held by the executive council. The purpose is to gain a better understanding of the students' experience and to ensure that they are matched with a buddy with whom shares similar interests.

In addition, Best Buddies Canada requires members to complete a vulnerable sector check in order to participate. Since we are an official King's University College club, members also pay a $5.00 club fee in order to join.

All club members are required to spend a minimum of one hour per week with their buddy. These weekly events are organized and agreed upon by the buddy pair. In addition, members must attend at least four group events during the school year.
Best Buddies @ King's
By: Alissa Petovello and Samantha Barrett

At King's we hope that Best Buddies will help to break down the barriers between people with disabilities and students. The goal is to create a more inclusive community-- not only on campus but throughout the city.
A 1-2 page proposal stating the purpose of the club, the significance of the club to the King's community and potential events.
Must have at least 3 executive members:
1. President
2. Vice-President Finance
3. Vice-President Events
Proof of interest, showing that at least 15 King's students would be interested in the club.
A proposed budget.
We submitted our application in June of 2014. In September 2014 we got confirmation that our application had been received. The application included:
The KUCSC requires all clubs hold internal elections in order to determine who will fill executive roles for the following year.

We held our elections on February 26. It was quite informal but each position was filled. Our executive council will be comprised of a President, VP Finance, VP Events and VP Communications.

The hope is that over the summer we will be able to plan all of our events for the year so we can utilize Clubs' Week to our advantage and recruit lots of new members for the 2015-2016 school year.
Why Its Worth It
The ultimate goal of this club is to create real friendships between King's students and members of the community who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. We want to change the dynamics surrounding disability.

By challenging the typical "worker-patient" discourse, students get to understand disability in a new light. They realize that people with disabilities are unique individuals with their own personalities, just like everybody else. Best Buddies doesn't focus on the label of disability and allows people to interact at a more authentic and personal level.
In the 2015-2016 school year, we intend on being present at Clubs' Week. We hope to recruit more club members and to hold our first club event in October. We plan on holding more events and hope for better member turnout at these events.

Communication within the club will improve through implementing a process that requires members to fill out monthly reports. The goal of this is to ensure members are fulfilling their commitments and meeting with their buddies regularly.
Future Goals and Plans
Full transcript