A Meso-Level Analysis of the Revitalization of the WUSC Student Refugee Program at St. Francis Xavier University





WUSC SRP, refugee resettlement, private sponsorship, meso-level analysis, community of practice, stewardship theory, Canada


Although millions of community members have come together in various ways to sponsor and resettle refugees for decades, scholars are just now beginning to study why people get involved and how they organize themselves to accomplish the practical, organizational, and emotional tasks community sponsorship requires. This article contributes to this emerging literature with a meso-level analysis of actions taken by one student-led local committee (LC) to revitalize the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program (SRP) nested at its university. Over 2,200 refugee youth have been sponsored through the WUSC SRP to study and settle in Canada since 1978, yet little is known about how campus LCs navigate their responsibilities or evaluate and sustain their program. Analysis of in-depth interviews with executive members was guided by and informs research on community sponsorship and theories of group action, community of practice, and stewardship.


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Author Biographies

Norine Verberg, St. Francis Xavier University

Norine Verberg is an Associate Professor at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. She can be reached at nverberg@stfx.ca.

Jordan MacDonald

Jordan MacDonald is an Economic Development Officer at Develop West Prince, Prince Edward Island. He can be reached at jm.jordan.macdonald@gmail.com. Jordon contributed to this paper as a Research Assistant while studying Capacity Development and Extension (MSc) at the University of Guelph.


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How to Cite

Verberg, N., & MacDonald, J. (2023). A Meso-Level Analysis of the Revitalization of the WUSC Student Refugee Program at St. Francis Xavier University. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees, 39(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.25071/1920-7336.40830