Advocacy: it’s a huge part of my role as the Vice President of University Affairs for the Trent Durham Student Association (TDSA). Connecting with students about what matters to them and then bringing that information through the appropriate channels to university administration to enact positive change is really rewarding.
Working with OUSA works a lot the same way - but instead of local issues specific to our campuses, steering committee members get to champion important conversations on behalf of students across the province with the provincial government and stakeholders. Developing smart, well-researched policy that helps shape legislation that touches the lives of everyone in the post-secondary education (PSE) sector can sound challenging, but there is no team more equipped for this conversation than a team of students actively participating in that post-secondary world.
I began my adventure into the PSE world with a diploma in Medical Office Administration through Durham College. I loved every part of that experience and knew that I wanted to go back to school one day but began working for a community hospital in the interim. I held several positions requiring a diverse array of knowledge and expertise – eventually extending to the highest possible position with my educational background. I then decided to return to school – accepting an offer to Trent University Durham-GTA and major in Communications and Critical Thinking.
Coming back to school after years in the work force was initially very intimidating, but the student association at Trent Durham was so welcoming and supportive; I quickly found myself involved in giving back to the student community that welcomed me with clubs initiatives, policy development, and leading the discussion on an organizational restructure that made involvement in the student association more accessible for all students.
Which brings me to my current position at TDSA and my involvement with OUSA! I am excited to be the VP of Administration and Human Resources for this Steering Committee and to lend my years of experience to this role.
I have been incredibly successful in my academia adventure because of the initiatives and support my student association has offered me. The best way I can give back? Sharing the importance of these student-led organizations to future generations through effective advocacy.