First of all I would like to welcome all new students to the University of Regina, and I would like to say welcome back to all returning students. I hope everybody had a wonderful and safe summer, and I wish everybody a successful academic year ahead.
I am writing today about the University of Regina Students’ Union (URSU). Specifically, I am writing about the importance for students to become engaged with their students’ union, support its endeavors, and respect those who were elected to represent us.
The students’ union has a long history of producing former presidents who don’t know how to let go. If fact, one needn’t look very hard to spot ex-presidents lurking the hallways of this university, occasionally inserting themselves into the operations of URSU in a negative way. As a former URSU president I have consciously worked to avoid that phenomenon, and decided instead to do what I always have: be positive about our students’ union and work hard to make our university even better.
Of course, constructive criticism is important – indeed it is necessary – to have a healthy students’ union and an engaged student body. But trust, support, and active citizenship are also important. Even though I may ideologically disagree with some of our elected student representatives, I respect URSU as an institution too much to ever be needlessly negative towards it. I encourage all students to do the same. I ask that you volunteer during URSU events, submit ideas for campaigns, utilize URSU’s services, and every once in a while call, email, or visit the URSU executive, board, and staff and thank them for the hard work they do.
The exciting thing about being involved with your students’ union is that you don’t have to wait. There is a by-election happening later this month that will fill a number of vacant positions – including the position of URSU President. This is your chance to put forward ideas, challenge the status quo, and make a difference at your university. As a student you are entitled to vote and run; I hope you’ll do both.