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Elect to make a difference February 16, 2011

Posted by Chris Garbutt in Student Life.
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Student election time is coming. Of course you should vote, but have you thought of taking it to the next level?

“Elections time is a really exciting time,” notes Russi Krantman, the Elections Coordinator of the University College Literary and Athletic Society (UC Lit). “People really get into it; some think about getting involved for a long time, collect their ideas and present it on a platform for other students to decide who they will vote for.”

Student governments on campus are a great way to interact with your community and represent their wants and needs by bringing their ideas to council meetings and debate about how best to address their needs and concerns. By getting involved with your college student government, you can have an impact on your community and make a difference.

The UC Lit is holding elections for executive and representative positions all through March. Society president Sarah Ubbi decided to get involved in student government to get her voices and opinions heard. “I noticed that the community at UC is so connected,” she says. “I express my thoughts on matters in the college. As a student, I felt that I had valid concerns that reflected other students at my college.”

Getting involved in your student government also exposes you to further opportunities around your college. “I really like being on the Lit because it gives me the chance to exercise my leadership skills and see how the college is run in a different kind of way,” Ubbie says. “[Being involved in student government] empowers students to be able to interact with the UC administration and seeing things we want to change actually change” Ubbi expresses.

Ubbi says it’s important to reach out and communicate with others as a member of council to reach out to others and better their university experience. “You help others from a different point of view. It’s fulfilling to be a part of something that’s affected someone in a positive way.”

Being involved in student government allows you to exercise your teamwork skills and organizational skills. Managerial skills also come into play along with communication and cooperation skills. The most important thing that Ubbi says she’s taking away from her experience is interpersonal skills. “Learning how to work with others and see how you can reach out to different people are major skills that I will carry out of university.”

So, how can you get involved in student government? “Pick up a nomination form, create a platform and campaign in the elections happening at your college,” says Ubbi. You can find more information on your college elections at the ULife website.

Alternatively, you can join a commission if you still want to be a part of the council but choose not to run in an election. Commissions are a good way to get started in student government involvement. You can also form a club at your college or join intramurals. Visit your college council’s website to view the opportunities available to you:

Innis College Student Society
New College Student Council
St. Michael’s College Student Union
Trinity College Meeting
University College Literary and Athletic Society
Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council
Woodsworth College Student Association

Also, check out these opportunities at Mississauga and Scarborough:

UTM Student’s Union
Scarborough Campus Student’s Union