My name is Katlyn Kotila and I am the Vice President Education of the Laurentian University Students’ General Association (SGA/AGÉ) in Sudbury, Ontario. Currently I am entering my third year of my undergraduate degree where I am double majoring in Political Science and Communication Studies.
Despite being born and raised in Sudbury, I never expected to attend Laurentian University. However, over the past 19 years of my existence I have managed to fall in love with everything Northern Ontario has to offer. Whether it be the over 330 lakes, the diverse community, the emerging arts scene, or the beautiful scenery that surrounds the area, there is something here for everyone. Laurentian University has become my home and I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.
That being said, being a student in Northern Ontario does possess its own unique set of challenges. Some of these challenges include: accessibility, municipal and inter-regional transit, access to proper mental health and support services, lower rates of community participation, and limited employment opportunities. I am a dedicated advocate for the varying student issues on our campus, and having grown up here in the north, I am looking forward to representing our association and school as a northern voice on OUSA’s Steering Committee.
My passion for advocacy and policy began in high school where I had the opportunity to sit on the Rainbow District School Board Student Senate. In this position I was able to represent student needs and help plan meaningful initiatives. To someone who is passionate about social change it was like a dream come true! However, I never expected to be able to continue this work while in university. That was until I discovered the Students’ General Association. Throughout my degree I have had the opportunity to engage with student governance both as the Faculty of Arts Representative for the SGA/AGÉ Board of Directors as well as by being a Senator for the Laurentian University Senate. This year, I have big shoes to fill as I take on the position of Vice President Education. I am so excited to see where this year leads me and am beyond grateful for all of the guidance and support that both my team and predecessors have given me. I maintain to this day that getting involved with the Students’ General Association was the best decision I made in university and I am so humbled to be here now. These positions have showed me that even as a student I can create significant change. Throughout my year, I hope to be an empowered voice for the students and to encourage others to never stop fighting for what they believe in.
When not performing my official duties, you can find me consistently challenging myself. Whether it be through motivational speaking, representing my city as a former Miss World Canada delegate, developing my own non-profit organization to help support survivors of suicide loss, or travelling the world. I love learning new things and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Although, advocating for students will always be the most rewarding challenge I have ever taken on.
Thank you to OUSA’s Steering Committee, home office, and alumni, who have all been instrumental to my growth in my role here on campus. I’m excited to be a part of steering committee and to continue to help improve the quality of post-secondary education here in Ontario.
Looking forward to a great year ahead!