The month of February has a bunch of activities going on across campus, so I look forward to seeing many of you out and about this month! A big thing this month is that our nominations open Feb. 4 for the ASA 2019-2020 positions. When nominations open, all ASA positions will be available for students to run for, from exec positions to councillor positions.
I thought I would use this opportunity to speak about my time on the ASA and how being involved has been the absolute highlight of my time at university. In my first year of university, I was incredibly introverted and shy and the last place I thought I would end up was on the ASA. I ended up being convinced to run and handed in my nomination package just minutes before they were due. I wound up winning my election and I absolutely loved my first year on council, but I noticed there were areas within the organization and the university in general I wanted to get involved in. So, I ran for an exec position, and was also what pushed me to run for President. Overall, the ASA has provided me with the greatest university experience I could have ever dreamed of. Here are my top three takeaways from the time I have spent in the organization.
My three years on council have provided me with some of the best friends I could ever have. This organization helped me to build relationships with peers within the organization and with the whole student body in general and they’re definitely people who will be lifelong friends of mine. I have also gotten the opportunity to get to know many of the faculty, staff, and administrators, all of whom are incredibly valuable to me. Building relationships with the people around me is something I personally value a lot and being a part of the ASA has given me the ability to foster and create many meaningful and long-lasting relationships.
Building Leadership Experience
Another really valuable takeaway I’ve had from being on council is having the opportunity to foster my own leadership style and gain more leadership experience. I was involved with student council throughout high school, but I never gave much thought about my own leadership. By being on the ASA, I have had the opportunity to spend time reflecting on my own leadership style, attend conferences, and also help those around me foster their own growth. This has been a huge takeaway for me because it’s something that will be of really great value in my future as well.
Being a Part of the Decision Making Process
One of the biggest reasons I decided to stay with the organization is that there were aspects within the organization, and within the university, that I wanted to change. Being on the ASA has given me the opportunity to see those changes through and be a part of the decision making process. I’ve been able to be a part of changes to student life on campus and it is incredibly rewarding for me to know that I have been a part of making this campus a better place than I came to it as.
Overall, being an ASA member has been the best part of my university experience and I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to get more involved to give it a try. Nominations will be open from Feb. 4 to 28 and if you have any questions about the process, you can ask any of the current ASA members and we will be happy to help.
Right now things are starting to slow down for the ASA as the term is winding down. Wellness Week just came to an end, and I was incredibly pleased with how successful it was. I hope the events of this week allowed students to take a break and focus on their own wellness, even just for a moment.
I would like to give a big thank you to our VP Com, Alex Ho, and the Awareness Committee for all the work they put into the week to make it successful.
Another exciting thing on the radar is about substance use on campus. I am a member of a working group on campus that is looking a creating a new policy surrounding the three legal substances: tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol. This working group has made recommendations to the Academic Council to allow for restricted use of all three substances on campus.
Obviously, this is a huge change to our campus and it would really shake the culture we have here. Some recommendations we have put forward are designated smoking areas on campus for tobacco and cannabis.
These designated areas would be separate from each other, and one possible location of this is the gazebo in the Ravine but nothing has been decided yet.
Something we have gotten a lot of feedback on in the ASA is the location of the smoking spot in front of First Year Dorms. This location has also been recommended to be moved.
In regards to alcohol, the group has also recommended restricted use in dorms. We have looked at placing limits on the number of people in rooms at a time to ensure that a “party culture” doesn’t run rampant. Essentially, alcohol would be allowed in dorm rooms but would not be allowed in hallways or common areas/lounges.
This policy is hopefully going to be drafted and ready to roll out in the new year with the ability to make changes and modify things as we see fit. It is always easier to place more restrictions to begin with and take away as seen fit than add restrictions afterwards. We are always looking for feedback on this, especially from students, so if you ever want to chat about this please don’t hesitate to visit me in the office or send me an email at email@example.com.
Best of luck on all your final assignments and final exams and I hope you all have a wonderful and relaxing winter break!
As the Dean Selection process has now entered the open stages of the interview process, the two candidates that have been selected as finalists will be on our campus on Nov. 19 and 20. They will be doing public presentations that will be open to students, staff and faculty. The presentations will be taking place in the Chapel on Monday and Tuesday from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. both days.
It is incredibly important that students attend this event and engage with the candidates as one of these candidates could potentially be the Dean of this campus and Faculty for the next five years. Again, myself and Alex Ho are the two student representatives on the Dean Selection Committee and we would both really appreciate your feedback on the candidates so we can make the most informed decision when the time comes. If you have any questions or concerns about these presentations or what they will be doing while they are here on campus please don’t hesitate to contact myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex at email@example.com
The ASA will also be having our Fall AGM meeting on Nov. 28 at 5:30 p.m. If you are at all curious about what your representatives have been up to this term, or you have any comments or questions you would like to bring up, this is the place to do it. We will also be having a discussion around Substance Use on Campus and it would be great to get a lot of students out so we can collect feedback to provide to administration on what students would like to see. Please bring your friends and I look forward to seeing you there!
Wellness Week is also right around the corner! It will be happening from Nov. 26 – 30. The Awareness Committee has put a lot of hard work into ensuring that this will be a great week full of fun events for students to take part in. You can look forward to things like free Booster Juice, pet therapy dogs on campus, a financial workshop, international games night, and a whole lot more. A schedule of activities will be posted soon so keep your eyes peeled for that!