54th National SUSK Congress – Results
The 54th National Ukrainian Canadian Student’s Union (SUSK) Congress convened in Hamilton, Ontario on May 10, 2012. The four-day conference, hosted by the local McMaster University Ukrainian Students’ Association, concluded with tangible proposals that delegates will use to evolve Ukrainian student organizations nationwide. “The 54th National SUSK Congress served as an opportunity for students to network with other students from across the country as well as develop leadership skills necessary to execute their role as future leaders in the hromada”, said Immediate Past President Olena Kit. “Many new ideas, opinions, and criticisms were brought forward. The delegates immersed themselves in full debate and devoted themselves to exploring, learning, and sharing their knowledge. It became evident that there are many areas in which SUSK can improve its focus and steps taken at this year’s Congress will help forge a new path for Ukrainian students in Canada,” concluded Kit.
Over thirty representatives from twelve Canadian post-secondary institutions attended the National Congress, along with community observers. The professional seminars featured: Orysia Sushko who addressed the reality of human trafficking; Taras Zalusky who expressed the role of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and its relationship with SUSK; Zenon Potichny, Alex Ochrym, Markian Silecky, Michael Zienchuck and Dr. George Foty who proposed a Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC) Youth Initiative; Dr. Walter Zaryckyj who described the Ukrainian Diaspora as a force multiplier in Ukraine’s quest for mature Nation Statehood; and Paul Grod, Eugene and Renata Roman who described how business success is linked with community involvement in the hromada, components that are dependent upon each other.
The SUSK Congress Banquet and Zabava was held at the historic Liuna Station where guests enjoyed a gourmet meal, a performance by the Kalyna Dance Ensemble, the Keynote Address from the Honourable William J. Festeryga Q.C., and entertainment of lively polka tunes by Zirka! SUSK extends the warmest appreciation to the local Ukrainian community for their tremendous support as the Banquet and Zabava served a crowd of nearly two hundred people!
This year’s Congress also featured a “Meet & Greet” Networking Night, a blue and yellow themed pub-crawl, a private tour of Rosewood Estates Winery in Beamsville, Ont. that included a wine tasting, and sessions on personal finance.
Marta Cybulsky, a McGill University student was delighted with her experience: “Returning to my fifth SUSK Congress, it was a pleasure to see so many new faces. SUSK has definitely been doing a great job at mobilizing and connecting Ukrainian youth across Canada. This year’s Congress stood out in particular, as the speakers were extremely enthusiastic and stimulated many discussions amongst the delegates.”
The 54th National SUSK Congress culminated with a strategic planning seminar facilitated by Yvan Baker, who asked delegates to: determine the issues SUSK faces; prioritize them; solve one of these issues in groups; and identify the most realistic solutions. “This exercise served to be invaluable. I found the experience rewarding as the process could be applied to any organization,” said Pavel Waszczur, a delegate from McMaster University.
Incoming President Danylo Korbabicz from the University of Ottawa, who had previously served in this capacity for the 2010-2011 term, looks forward to the continued growth of SUSK and help shape the future direction of the large and important Ukrainian community in Canada:
“I am humbled to lead SUSK once again in this crucial time of its renaissance. Our community faces immediate challenges in Canada but is also concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine. It is important that more of our youth take an active leadership role in both arenas as conventional resolutions to various challenges are becoming less and less effective,” said Korbabicz. “That being said, I would like to commend those who have committed themselves to SUSK this past executive term as well as those incoming members. Without them, SUSK would languish and an important community voice would not be heard. I would especially like to thank outgoing President Olena Kit for her personal sacrifice, commitment, and many years of service to SUSK. I know her contribution is highly valued by the community at large,” concluded Korbabicz.
[NP - The 54th National SUSK Congress elected the 2012/2013 SUSK National Executive comprised of 13 members representing universities from across Canada. The Congress adopted 15 resolutions. For more information, list of incoming National Executive, and full text of Congress Resolutions, visit www.susk.ca]
The Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union acknowledges and extends our sincere appreciation to the following sponsors for their generous support of the 54th National SUSK Congress.
Elite: Buduchnist Credit Union, Ukrainian Credit Union Limited
Platinum: Taras Shevchenko Foundation
Gold: League of Ukrainian Canadians, League of Ukrainian Canadian Women, Northland Power, Rodan Energy Rosewood Estates Winery, United Ukrainian Credit Union Ltd. (Hamilton).
Silver: McMaster University, Ukrainian Canadian Business and Professional Association of Hamilton
Bronze: Canadian Foundation of Ukrainian Studies, Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, Ukrainian Canadian Business and Professional Association of Toronto, Ukrainian Women’s Organization of Canada
Soyuz Ukrains’kykh Studentiv Kanady - SUSK is a national student coordinating body comprised of local Ukrainian student clubs at post-secondary institutions across Canada. It was formed in 1953 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. SUSK’s mandate is to advocate concerns relevant to Ukrainian Canadian students and serves as a national forum through which these concerns are discussed and acted upon.
1 – Delegates work together during a seminar to resolve issues facing SUSK.
2 – A panel of CUCC members speaks to delegates about a CUCC Youth Initiative.
3 – Members of the 2012/2013 SUSK National Executive
4 – Various SUSK Alumni
5 – Incoming President Danylo Korbabicz with Outgoing President Olena Kit