An introduction to Student Government here on Western Campus

Hello, Western!

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.

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35 thoughts on “An introduction to Student Government here on Western Campus

  1. רבות נכתב כאן ברשימה של socialscienceisraelונאמר ע”י הדוברים הרבים בלוויה מרובת המשתתפים אתמול על תרומתו המקצועית ועל אישיותו המיוחדת של אשר.מי שהכיר את אשר מקרוב ידע לזהות שמץ של מבטא אמריקאי בעברית הטובה שלו, וחשוב לי להביא כאן פן נוסף שלו, שלא היה כל כך מוכר את חיבוטי הזהות שלו שבאו לידי ביטוי במייל שכתב לי מספר חודשים לפני פטירתו ושהשתמע לי ממנו שהוא רוצה שאקרא על קברו. ואכן כך עשיתי אתמול. אלה הדברים:Cleveland, October 24, 2009 Two thhtgous on identity.We are in Cleveland now, place of my birth and childhood. I left when I was 20 or so and was glad I left.When we flew into Cleveland yesterday I noticed how unemotional and detached I was. Almost as if observing from afar. I attribute it to returning to nothing. This is the first time I have no one in Cleveland. I used to have mother and endless relatives. Now they are gone or moved away. Carol’s Bonnie and Seth have moved in and taken over and they are real Clevelanders, my cousin Sally is out of town, and I am not in contact with other cousins. So I am the native coming back to a different emotional landscape. No anger, no fear, no emotion.Somehow related to this in my mind is my name. As we know, that is always a focus of identity. My mother’s father was Asher Alter Gleiberman. (Maybe as a young man Asher contracted tongue cancer and to ensure his long life they added the name Alter, so when the angel of death was sent to collect the young Asher he was told that only an older Asher, Asher Alter is here so he left empty handed.) I was named after Asher Alter but was given only the Asher part. Which isn’t completely true since the name Asher Arian was never registered in any official document. I was Alan on my birth certificate (I don’t know from where my mother came up with that butter-Scotch choice).Throughout my childhood I was “Oshie” in the family and Alan elsewhere. I ran for office in junior high school with the slogan “Al’s your Pal”. I won.After being in Israel a few years I officially changed my name in the Israeli records to Asher Arian. I liked that move and still do. It rooted me firmly both in my family’s past and in my people’s present. It is always a thrill for me to hear the Hebrew name.The English name, however, somehow still leaves me cold. It’s just not me, not about me.But now, gratefully covered by Medicare, the US’s health insurance for those over 65, the bureaucrats had all the records – insurance, medical, etc. changed to read Alan. Not a dumb move – not good having a patient with a few names. So they went with the name on the birth certificate and that’s fine. I sit in doctors’ waiting rooms for many hours and when my name is finally called, I am grateful, and yet emotionally I keep looking over my shoulder trying to figure out who is this Alan Arian they are calling.So Alan is my parenthetical brackets. Not complaining, just observing. Some old men spend years and hundreds of pages discussing identity issues. You have been spared!כמו שניתן לקרוא בסבטקסט, המחלה לא הפכה להיות חלק ממנו ומהזהות שלו והוא אכן נלחם בה בכל כוחותיו. מה שעוד ברור הזהות שלו היתה מורכבת אבל הוא ידע והיה לו חשוב שגם אנחנו נדע שהשורשים שלו כאן בישראל.מיכל שמיר

  2. பாலா எனுà®®் பயந்தாà®™்கொள்ளி நாயே!நீ செத்து போய்விட்டாயா?உனக்கு தைà®°ியம் இருந்தால் வா என்னோடு à®®ோதலாà®®்.சாபங்களில் க0#•&®3009;த்தற&#3à07;வாளர்களுக்பு நம்பிக்கையில்லை. ஆனால், மத நம்பிக்கை உள்ளவர்களுக்கு அதில் அதீத நம்பிக்கை உள்ளது. ஆகவே நாà®®ெல்லோà®°ுà®®் பாலா போன்à®± இழிபிறவிகளை “செத்துப்போ!” என சபிப்போà®®்!;-D

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