Simulation raises awareness for refugees

Meryl Paine
Staff Writer

The Campus Ministries’ Center for Service and Social Justice, along with the Catholic Relief Services Student Ambassadors, will be hosting the Refugee Simulation this Friday. The simulation walks its participants through what it’s like to be a refugee fleeing their country, showing them the harsh realities of life in a refugee camp.

“The program that we follow was put together by the Jesuit Refugee Services,” student advisor Cathy Seymour said. “When you enter, you will be given the identity of a refugee; a name, an age, what country you’re from and a little bit of each person’s backstory.”

The Refugee Simulation began running one year ago in February 2016, and also in September 2016.

“We’ve changed it up a few times, however, and part of this year’s simulation is what’s going on locally in terms of refugees, as well as an advocacy opportunity at the end of the experience,” Seymour said.

The Refugee Simulation is part of The University’s “In Solidarity with Syria” advocacy effort, which launched in 2015, and aims to aid those most affected by the current immigration crisis through increased awareness of the issue and advocacy for refugees.

Seymour stated that while recent political controversies surrounding refugees hasn’t changed the focus of the simulation, it has made it a more important event to the student body.

“I think [current political events] might make it more pressing an event for people to attend, because the refugee question is really more in the news; what is a refugee, and what is the United States’ role in terms of resettling refugees, and how safe are we with refugees in our community, and those are things that we’ll definitely be addressing,” Seymour said.

“I think the current political situation and what’s coming out of news agencies across the world are making this issue more pressing for our students here, and they want to get more involved and know more about it,” Executive Director of Campus Ministries Helen Wolf, Ph.D., said.

The Refugee Simulation will run from 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 in the Denaples Ballroom.

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