This is an important year for student government. Tuition increases, budget cuts, performance-based funding models and mental health are all at the forefront of student minds. The Gauntlet has worked hard to expand our election coverage this year. That means we’re trying a few new things. So, we offered space in our opinions section for each executive candidate to give our readers their sales pitch.
The candidates were able to write about whatever they wanted in 500 words for vice-presidential candidates and 1,200 for presidential candidates. Why are they running? Who are they? Why should you vote for them? Their platforms are posted online. We strongly encourage you to read them and decide on the candidate that you believe best represents your needs as a student.
Today, our candidates for vice-president student life are presenting their case to you. Pieces have been edited to conform to Canadian Press Style, but their words are presented as-is.
So, you’ve finally decided to vote for this year’s SU exec and get acquainted with us all. Wonderful! You’ve now landed on my piece on running for VP Student Life! Amazing! Now, let’s find out why I jumped into the election instead of studying for midterms.
As for why I personally am running for VP Student Life, its because I feel like it’s the best way to bring life back into the community I hold dear. I’ve been wholeheartedly jumping into any chance to give back to the community that’s fostered my growth as a person, and I see this as a natural next step. Hopefully, you’ve also either seen me in person or read my platform, which is based on my experience as a student, a club executive and the current President of the Residence Students’ Association. What I’ve found is that all these roles have a lot of overlap in how best to serve the campus community — looking into having cycles of energy to permeate throughout the year.
The first thing I learned from my Orientation Leader, and the first thing I passed down when I eventually had the pleasure of becoming an OL myself, is that life is not a raceway but a winding path — it’s more fulfilling to learn how to enjoy things in the moment than to speed past the scenery. As such, I worked towards organically creating those moments in my life which eventually led to wanting to give more chances to our community to have those beautiful moments. It’s important to work hard and do well, but university is not a factory to churn out thousands of perfect GPA’s — it’s the next chapter in your life, and it’s up to us to make the most of it.
What that has culminated in is my outlook on how we can create those moments:
- working to lower the barrier of entry for clubs, so they don’t get caught in the less glamourous parts of creating and maintaining a club
- creating events that can act as energy re-fills between Fall Orientation and Bermuda Shorts Days
- working with our frankly amazing athletics groups to show Dino Pride and
- working with the Wellness Centre to see how we as representatives of campus community can help with spreading both awareness and actual help of mental health initiatives on campus.
All of this is in service of creating a fulfilling, inclusive and ultimately better campus community. The same community that takes in thousands of people like me in first year, brimming with both excitement and a little fear in what the future of our degree path holds in store.
Hopefully I didn’t take too much time from your textbooks — heavy as they are, midterm season waits for no one. I wish you all the best and that you go vote — not for one candidate but for how you wish to see the campus grow.