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Students, FASS News, Sociology & Anthropology
Volunteer and connect: Sociology student reflects on the importance of building community
Sociology major Andrew Araneta says that the most important things he’s learned at Simon Fraser University (SFU) are interpersonal skills and how to work with people from all walks of life.
“I would recommend volunteering at any point during your undergraduate experience,” Araneta says. “It’s helped me become the person I am today.”
Before coming to SFU, Araneta attended Capilano University where many of his professors were former SFU instructors. When it was time for him to transfer in order to complete his degree, those professors recommended he apply at SFU. Araneta was impressed with the choices available at SFU’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). SFU’s highly regarded department of sociology and anthropology, coupled with SFU’s world-ranking criminology program became his major and minor, respectively.
Upon enrollment at SFU, Araneta immediately got involved with a variety of communities across the university. He joined the Sociology and Anthropology Student Union where he held several positions including president, vice-president, council representative and representative to the faculty. He was also involved with the Criminology Student Association as their treasurer and where he collaborated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) to host presentations and social events that gave criminology undergraduates a sense of what a career in law enforcement is like.
Araneta was a member of the Simon Fraser Student Society’s events committee and the accessibility funds committee that advocates for people with disabilities at SFU. He also became a peer mentor, helping incoming FASS students feel welcome, showing them the many ways to get involved and build their community, just as he had.
Araneta’s dedication to volunteerism is an inspiration for students from all departments at FASS and the staff at Arts Central. His outgoing and energized personality has a positive effect on everyone he works with.
“The biggest takeaway from my time at SFU is the network of people I’ve met,” Araneta says. “It isn’t necessarily what you know, but who you know. You never know when a person you met at SFU can help land your dream job.”