As summer comes to a close and Western campus starts to get back into full swing, your University Students’ Council would like to welcome you back to Western for what is certain to be a phenomenal year! Let me introduce myself- my name is Matt Helfand and for this year I have the pleasure of serving as your USC president. The USC is Canada’s largest student government. We represent nearly 30 000 undergraduate students, and help oversee many aspects of student life. Between planning orientation week, homecoming, a get-out-the-vote campaign, and a large variety of other projects, we, the USC Executive team (Sam Kilgour, Emily Addison, Andrew Lalka, Jen Carter, Emerson Tithecott and myself), have been hard at work in preparation for the year.
Although the USC takes pride in our fun, and educational programs aimed at enhancing the student experience, undoubtedly our most important job is as representatives and advocates for students. A significant part in serving as USC president is to develop and maintain relationships with university stakeholders on behalf of the undergraduate population. The university is a very large, and extremely multifaceted institution. Virtually all areas of the University affect the undergraduate student experience, and as such, the USC maintains relationships with these areas. There is no question that the vast majority of decision makers within the University genuinely consider the needs of undergraduate students. However, undergraduate students are one interest among several here on Western campus, competing for finite resources. This has therefore led me to believe that the likely the absolute most important job of the USC is to ensure that decision-makers hear the student voice. As President of the USC, my overarching goal is to ensure that the interest of undergraduate students is well represented, and to work together with various members of Western administration to make a better Western.
This is not to say that the University Students’ Council is the only, or most important, body of student representation. In fact, one thing that makes Western great is the fact that the student voice is well institutionalized at all levels. All affiliate colleges, faculties, and on- campus residences, have their own form of student government, dedicated to the exact same goal as the USC; to ensure that the voice of students is heard by those who hold the power to make decisions.
It is therefore of great importance that YOU consider a role in student government! Keep your eyes open for the opportunities to meaningfully engage with your university community, and take the direction of your experience into your own hands; and remember, if you’re not at the table, you might be on the menu!
-Matt Helfand, USC President.
Latest posts by Matt Helfand (see all)
- An introduction to Student Government here on Western Campus - September 29, 2014