What’s up U of T? How was this week – we had a snow day that turned into a slush day. For some reason whenever I see slush, I feel the need to go to 7/11 and get a slushie. Another lesson to be learned from that day is that Front Campus is just as bad under slush as it is in mud. There seriously needs to be a “wade with caution” sign there. Nonethless, that didn’t deter the busloads of tourists who come to take pictures of UC. But slush is a good sign U of T, it means spring is near! The campus will be green and cool again. Also, the Harlem Shake also no longer appears to be “a thing” so that’s good.
So, this week – I was pondering upon what exactly I should write and I remembered that this the time of year for elections in clubs, college councils and unions — and that I have gone through this process. But you know what, I’ve talked plenty about elections and student politics this year. If you are planning to run in one of them — good luck, but I’d like to tackle something different (albeit still related) but different.
Being involved this year in both the Arts and Science Students’ Union, the Muslim Students’ Association, Student Life Community Crew and The Varsity, I have found a lot of inspiration. This inspiration does not come from a speaker I heard at an event, nor does it come from the subject of a Cinema Politica documentary. It comes from the student leaders I work with day in and day out, that continue to impress me by how much they do. These people, often do what they do with the best of their ability and don’t ask for recognition or thank-yous. They are passionate about what they do and the students they represent. In my daily interactions with students, I come across a lot of these leaders and I find that too often, they aren’t recognized for their efforts. Or there are just too many of them to recognize. So, busy student leader; this post is for you.
There are student leaders who commute from Markham, Durham Region, Mississauga and as far as Hamilton and close as the Annex. Yet, they can often be seen on campus on weekends and late in the evenings, staying for events and taking care of business at their office. They can be seen preparing for events, tabling for their club and often have a litany of emails to respond to at the end of the night. Meetings dominate their schedule, and it often astounds me that these leaders have the time to take five courses and maintain a good GPA. Despite this sounding rare, I actually find this in a lot of student leaders.
There are other leaders who represent their fellow students and speak their mind when they feel something is not right. They are open and willing to listen to the concerns of their students and attend countless meetings to ensure that student interests are being taken into account. But leadership doesn’t necessarily have to be conventionally speaking out for you students, or planning great events for them. There are countless amounts of students who spend weekend nights in front of computer screens dutifully editing and preparing the campus newspapers for the next day – making sure the student voice is heard. Others spend time in Hart House, making sure the student voice is broadcasting through CIUT.
Above all, the best leaders conduct themselves in a manner that respects the rights of all their fellow students, regardless of whether they agree with them or not. It’s not easy being a student leader, sometimes you are faced with attacks, sometimes uncooperative executives, the stresses of school, GPA, post grad life, the possibility of an event not going as planned and finally, just life. It is difficult to be a student leader and all I have to say to you guys is: keep doing what you are doing and carry on. 🙂