My name is Munro Watters and I am the Vice President of University Affairs for the Alma Mater Society of Queen’s University. I am beyond thrilled to have this opportunity to represent Queen’s students as a member of this year’s Steering Committee.
I have just finished up my third year of Political Studies at Queen’s, a degree that has most definitely played a role in developing my interest in government relations and advocacy. That being said, I cannot say I have followed the orthodox path to student leadership. The majority of my university experience has been shaped by my heavy involvement in Orientation Week, volunteering in the community, and participating in club activities. My exposure to student leadership came from managing my friend’s campaign who was running for a leadership position on campus – at which point my eyes were opened to the world of student advocacy. When presented with the opportunity to be Vice President this past winter, I deemed it to be my time to play a role in shaping our campus.
A couple of months ago, I attended my first OUSA General Assembly. In (rather cold) Sudbury, I learned about all of the issues that plague students from schools across the province, and how we are in a lot of ways quite similar in the change we seek. From there, I continued learning more and more about OUSA and the value of students lobbying directly to major stakeholders at the provincial level, and how much influence we can truly have. Having spent two years as a Parliamentary Guide in Ottawa, being surrounded by politics is nothing new to me. I have had ample opportunity to be incredibly engaged in issues at the federal level, but provincial politics is a new realm for me. I’ve been able to soak up so much information over the past 3 months, and I can’t wait to continue being engaged and learn more as time goes on.
This upcoming year, in light of the recent update to OUSA’s Student Health and Wellness paper, I hope to delve into how we can make those recommendations happen. With the upcoming Provincial election, it’s important how OUSA as a whole can advocate for a whole of community approach on these issues, as well as what can be done on our home campuses.
I am incredibly excited to work with the rest of Steering Committee, a truly talented and intelligent group of student leaders, to hopefully accomplish big things this year. While these accomplishments may not be tangible, they will hopefully lay down the foundations for our successors to carry on our advocacy efforts.