Campus chills for charity

(Edmonton) Take a nippy November day, a portable pool and a score of Alberta School of Business students and you have the makings of a very cool event: the sixth annual Jeux de Commerce West Chillin’ for Charity.

Faculty, staff and students took part in the affair, including Tom Scott, the school’s interim dean, and former dean and United Way Campaign chair Mike Percy, as well as Mike House, the faculty’s assistant dean of development. Scott noted that, when it comes to demonstrating social responsibility, business students always rise to the occasion.

“Our students are engaged in every way and this type of event is the best part,” said Scott, noting their commitment is often demonstrated in winter months, both with this event and the school’s own sponsored Five Days for the Homeless. “Our students will go out and help regardless of the weather,” he said.

This was U of A business student and event organizer Mike Newton’s first year with the event, and while certain conditions on the water leading up to the event may have shaken his spirit a little, living up to the challenge and enjoying the moment allowed “cooler heads” to prevail.

“When you see the ice forming on the water, it takes you back a little bit,” he said. “But, it was good; it was super fun.”

Newton noted that the event stems from the charitable component of the Jeux de Commerce competition, and the University of Alberta is one of the six western institutions where similar events are held. The polar plungers raised roughly $10,000 through donations and pledges to be part of the event. The cold cash from this event will be donated to the campus’ United Way campaign.

“It’s a great way to do something for a great cause,” said Newton. “United Way does a lot of work with us, and this is our way of giving back.”