Algonquin College students were excluded from the Khalsa Aid free winter jackets initiative for international students on Nov. 12 due to a communication lapse.
In a gesture of compassion and community support, Khalsa Aid Canada distributed free winter jackets to international students in Ottawa for the third consecutive year. Algonquin students showed up to the venue at noon ready for the event only to be told they were not on the list.
Arshdeep Singh, one of the organizers, expressed regret over the exclusion of Algonquin College students, stating, “Algonquin College did not get back to Khalsa Aid six weeks ago when we asked them to tell their students to register.”
The unfortunate oversight left a group of students from Algonquin College unable to participate in an event that could have provided them with essential winter gear and valuable community connections.
Just like Aldoline Kamanzi, an international business student at Algonquin college, a lot of these students live far from the Foster Farm Community Centre, which is where the event took place.
“I live 30 minutes away, so to come and not get what I came here for is very much disappointing,” Kamanzi said.
However, the International Education Centre at Algonquin College said it did not know the event was happening and it did not come up in the centre’s discussions.
The centre was not sure who sent the email telling students to go to the event.
Despite this setback, the initiative has garnered praise from those who are fortunate enough to participate.
The event, beyond providing winter jackets, was seen as an opportunity for students to integrate into the local community, fostering connections that extend beyond the realm of winter clothing.
Priyanka Krishnamoorthy, a finance student at Carleton University, reflected on the positive impact the event made by providing them with much-needed support in adapting to the challenges of Canadian winters.
“This is a very beautiful initiative that helps a lot of new international students,” Krishnamoorthy said.