Engineers Without Borders: an organization with passion

Marjan Hussein
Staff Writer

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a Recognized Student Organization on the campus of MNSU that truly goes beyond borders to aid those in need.

Will Rivard, Vice President & Outreach Manager of the EWB states that his passion to help those in need was what drew him to the organization as he feels if one is lucky enough to live a happy, healthy life then they should also strive to make those of the one’s who are less fortunate better. 

The EWB fall semester meeting times are every Wednesday at 7:15 p.m. in Trafton East, room number 224. The EWB is a nonprofit organization created to partner with developing communities to improve their quality of life via implementation of engineering projects. These projects are to transform their environments and better the community’s habitability. 

Rivard states that the EWB at MNSU is just one of the chapters linked to the national organization, Engineers Without Borders, that harnesses skills of engineers to tackle problems facing the world’s poorest people preventing them from living productive lives. 

Rivard states that the EWB MNSU chapter was founded in 2009. “The EWB has no restrictions on membership and students from all majors are welcome to join,” Rivard says. “Basically we operate like a non-profit, thus we require skills acquired from different majors to propel the organization to succeed in its mission to better living standards in developing communities.”

Rivard states that although the goal of the organization is noble, it requires a certain amount of finance to achieve all the organizational goals set forth. “The organization holds bake sales and tables in the Centennial Student Union to raise donations and get word out about the club to students on campus,” Rivard said. Rivard also states that visiting lower level classes in the engineering program aids to spread word to freshmen & sophomores, thus creating awareness in addition to building interest in prospective recruits to the organization. “The organization also has a social media presence, specifically on Facebook, but is currently in search of someone who is highly knowledgeable with the social media world,” Rivard said. 

Rivard states that the EWB is currently working on a project in Nicaragua for a community that lacks sufficient water supply. “When working with a community, the EWB has three steps. It takes assessment, implementation and progress,” Rivard said. 

Rivard states that when working with a community several trips may be taken for each of these steps depending on the project. “The Nicaragua project is still in the early stages and with political unrest still present in the country, the EWB is weighing its options,” Rivard says. “However, we are still keen on gathering information and staying in contact with the community we are set to assist,” added Rivard. He also states that the organization has plans to expand to local projects nationwide, but its current focus is on the Nicaragua project. 

Rivard states that he has developed several leadership skills and owes a ton of it to the EWB and is positive that those who join will without a doubt follow suit. The EWB has gone through some downfalls especially during the last couple of semesters, but the organization has been re-building and Rivard feels it is now in a stable place to start putting its plans into action. 

Rivard states that the EWB seems intimidating when one joins at first, but taking things week by week for new members is an excellent way to get quickly acquainted. 

The EWB offers a unique experience to those who join and rewards them with the limitless satisfaction that comes about from lending a helping hand to those who truly need it. 

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