How Student Government Shaped My University Experience

Richard the Lionheart – the GCSU’s trusty mascot!

When I was preparing the start at Glendon, I knew I wanted to get involved, and that student council was definitely a possibility for me – and so in October of my first year, I ran for the position of First Year Representative (after fellow eAmbassador and then-First Year rep Gillian said I didn’t have a choice in the matter). And that’s how I first got involved with the Glendon College Student Union and the student movement.

Sarah Campeau and I, first year reppin’ at a GCSU event.

My first position on the GCSU was First Year Representative. This position functions to ensure that first years have some representation on council – and to assist executive members with their portfolios. I was elected First Year Rep with Sarah Campeau, who became and remains one of my best friends at Glendon. Working with more experienced students like Drew and Gillian really showed me how passionate Glendonites were for their community. I was able to learn how to plan events for Glendonites, the importance of providing services such as the cheapest printing on campus and visibility and representation was.

Some of the 2012-2013 GCSU Council at our Harlem Shake

When my term as First Year Rep was coming to an end, I knew I wanted to continue on council so in the fall of second year, I ran for the position of Councilor. A unique quality of student governments is that there is a lot of turnover year to year, and so I wanted to use my experience as first year rep to ensure that some institutional memory moved on year-to-year. I wanted to grow and develop my skills as a leader and expand on the work I did for the Glendon community.

The 2013-2014 York Federation Board Of Directors

Part way through my first semester as a councilor, I was given a unique opportunity to run for a position on the York Federation of Students which I subsequently held. As Glendonites, we are lucky to be represented by two different Canadian Federation of Students members, the GCSU (Local 93) and the YFS (Local 68) which means access to services on both campus from both unions, and more advocacy for student rights.

My time as the Glendon College Director for the York Federation of students really opened my eyes to the student movement, and the importance of student advocacy when it comes to issues of diversity, equity and accessibility. It sparked an interest in me to see what other student unions and associations do across the province and country.

And today, I start my term as one of the Glendon College Senators – the senators sit on the York University Senate, the Glendon College Faculty Council and the Glendon College Student Union Council – through this position I will be acting as a voice for Glendon students when it comes to academic decisions that are made by the university. The reason I chose to run for this position is because I wanted to continue working on student government and expand my knowledge of university administration. This position bridges the gap between my passion for the Glendon community and my future career in university administration.

My time on the GCSU has been incredible. I have had the opportunity to work with so many great fellow student leaders, been given so many amazing opportunities and have learned so much.

If you’re looking for away to get involved at Glendon, I highly recommend getting involved with the GCSU – it’s changed my university experience and has had a profound impact on my life.

Fellow eAmbassadors Drew, Gillian, Nick, KristaFrancette and Bryan have also all served on the GCSU. Check out their blogs too!

 

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