A grant goes down and then glows up

by | Feb 2, 2024 | Campus, In The Mag! | 0 comments

In the fall semester, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the $5,000 Student Community Engagement Grant (SCEG) wasn’t available to students. Transitions, departures, and shuffles in MacEwan’s administration left the role of grant facilitator empty, resulting in the decision to pause it until winter.

“The person that would have been overseeing this was stepping out, and so we needed to make sure that we had the people in place to support the work,” says Chandelle Rimmer, MacEwan’s interim associate vice-president, Students.

Rimmer says her office considered the impact that pausing the grant would have. In the last year, only three students actually applied for SCEG, and to ensure other resources and responsibilities weren’t impacted, the grant was put on hold until the winter term. 


“There’s always some shuffles, and sometimes you just need to make those decisions. And you need to think about the impacts, and they’re not always ideal, but transitions can be tricky.”

Chandelle Rimmer, interim associate vice-president, Students at MacEwan


“There’s always some shuffles, and sometimes you just need to make those decisions. And you need to think about the impacts, and they’re not always ideal, but transitions can be tricky.”

Even though SCEG was put on hold, it’s given MacEwan the time to find a new facilitator and put a new shine on this particular model of funding. Moving forward, it will put more money into student projects and be more accessible to students. 

Traditionally, the grant was a once-per-semester $5,000 deployment, which helped fund a student-led, community-focused project. Projects could be on-campus or off-campus, but were always to benefit a community cause, like Boyle Street Community Services or Ronald McDonald House. 

“I think what I really like about these projects is their impact on the community, those long-standing relationships that we hope to see students build. I think what’s also really important is how that work also really impacts students’ personal development,” Rimmer says.


“I believe the university should be the lighthouse that guides the community, and I think in this case, we are doing that by allowing your students to get experience and show impact on the community.”

Sherif Elbarrad, interim associate dean, Student Affairs at MacEwan


Two additional tiers will be added to the grant to help make it more accessible. The first tier will fund $1,000 and require significantly less paperwork, the second will fund $1,000 to $2,500 and require a bit more in-depth planning, and the third will be $5,000. Also, instead of being available just once per semester, it will now be given out every two months throughout the regular academic session.

The new facilitator of the grant, Sherif Elbarrad, says that he hopes that the new and improved version will have more students applying than ever before and make a bigger impact on the community.

“I believe the university should be the lighthouse that guides the community, and I think in this case, we are doing that by allowing your students to get experience and show impact on the community.”

Liam Newbigging

The Griff

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