At the 9 May 2012 luncheon meeting, members were brought up-to-date on the status of this program. Specifically, they were informed that UVIC funding has been cut and that other sources must be found if this university course is to continue next year.
The following provides some general background on the situation, including options on how members might contribute.
The partnership between RUSI and University of Victoria’s (UVIC) History Department started some 7 years ago. Through this partnership, the university is able to meet its objective to integrate high quality research methods and the teaching of oral history, whereas RUSI is able to promote and support essential links with the community, by conveying to the younger generation, through the voices of our veterans and their families, some part of our living history.
Since its inception, RUSI has helped to provide over 70 students an opportunity to record the personal histories of well over 150 veterans. This very successful outreach program to the public has been in direct support of a key objective of the RUSI Constitution.
RUSI has supported the military history program in many ways over the years, including: the willingness of RUSI members to meet with the students and share their stories and experiences; an annual grant to UVIC of $1,000; participation at two Military Oral History Conferences; support to the BC Regiment’s Museum Society to assist them in a Military History Studies Conference, or signing letters of reference to support the program more generally.
The program is at a crossroads. UVIC leadership remains enthusiastic about offering the course and an instructor is available; but, due to severe funding cuts, the university can no longer meet the $ 6,350 needed to cover costs.
The Board of Directors believes that it is in RUSI’s collective interest to record and archive the histories of veterans while we still have the opportunity. To this end, the Board indicated to members at the 9 May meeting that it would put a resolution before the membership at a General Meeting in September. The purpose would be to solicit agreement to continue support for this program and to outline ways by which the funding might be achieved.
A number of suggestions were advanced, none of which were mutually exclusive. These suggestions included:
- Members make individual donations to the university as a charitable donation (see details below);
- Members associated with other organizations and/or corporations encourage their involvement in this program and/or provide suitable contacts;
- RUSI Board contact other military/history associations as potential participants (e.g. the Naval Association; various regimental associations; the Historica-Dominion Institute);
- RUSI members authorize a one-time expenditure to cover any shortfall from other donations to permit continuation for the 2012-13 academic year.
For anyone who wishes to make an individual donation to the university, there are three ways that this can be done. In all cases, gifts will receive a charitable donation receipt.
(1) Donations by cheque should be made payable to the “University of Victoria” with the fund name – “Veterans’ Oral History Program” – noted on the memo line. These cheques should be mailed to:Karen Whyte
Faculty of Humanities
University of Victoria
PO Box 3045 STN CSC
Victoria, BC V8W 3P4
(2) People can also donate on-line at uvic.ca/givingtouvic/ If this method is used, you need to write the program name in the top text box.
(3) The university is also able to accept gifts of shares and securities which provide a 100% tax deduction on the market value.
If further information is needed, Karen Whyte can be contacted at 250-853-3893.