New SVA president keen to lend a hand
07 December 2011
As the new president of the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (SVA), Andrew Chalmers says it's about rolling up your sleeves and helping those people who need a hand.
As the new president of the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (SVA), Andrew Chalmers says it’s about rolling up your sleeves and helping those people who need a hand.
Andrew is completing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in geography. After working in the Gore District Council as a geographic information systems (GIS) cadet, he decided to enrol at UC in order to further his career.
“I left school not having a clear idea of what I wanted to do or study, after working as a GIS cadet it kicked off an interest in geography,” he said.
His focus on geography has morphed into an interest in emergency management after becoming involved in the SVA.
“After my degree the plan is to complete a postgrad diploma in emergency management, then get involved in disaster response, travelling the world helping people respond and recover from disasters.
“After the quakes I could have gone home and ended up doing nothing for weeks, but I choose to stay here in Christchurch, get stuck in and help those people who needed a hand.”
Andrew was initially involved in the SVA as a team leader before becoming a section or battalion leader. In this position he had to manage eight bus-loads of students and another 10 team leaders. It was a job he enjoyed as most of the team leaders were classmates or friends who he had met after the September earthquakes.
As the new president of the SVA, taking over from Sam Johnson, Andrew says the future for the SVA after the earthquakes is moving on from the earthquake recovery phase.
“The SVA is all about getting the student body engaged within the community, so for next year we have plans for events to get students involved in the community, making a positive difference, and helping community groups and organisations that could do with a hand.”
Andrew said that he really loves being at UC.
“I meet so many interesting people, have made great friends, helped to bring a few smiles to people’s faces and hopefully helped them to move on from the earthquakes.”
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