Archived: What kind of student representative are you? (AKA, “Pssst – REC nominations are now open!”)

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Welcome back to campus! Now that you have a shiny new semester stretching out in front of you, maybe you’re thinking about how you can get more involved on campus. If that’s true, we have great news for you: nominations are open for anyone interested in running for SAMRU’s Representation Executive Council (REC) in the spring!

You have until Wednesday, February 1, 2017 to deliver the nomination package to SAMRU Reception (Z222) and open the door to representing students to MRU and all three levels of government in the 2017-18 academic year. Running for a position on REC is a great way to get involved with SAMRU and make a real difference for students on issues like tuition, student loan policies, and mental health initiatives. (It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a full-time paid position that nets you invaluable experience in government, media, and public relations.)

There are four positions on REC – President, Vice President Academic, Vice President External, and Vice President Student Life – and they all perform different functions. Not sure which role is the best fit for you? Luckily, we have a quiz for just this occasion! So relax, ignore your pile of new textbooks and syllabi just a little longer, and find out…

Which member of REC are you?

 

1. You and some buds are going on a road trip. You prefer to be:

a) Behind the wheel!

b) Navigating and optimizing the route; you have an excellent sense of direction and like knowing what’s ahead.

c) Calling ahead to confirm hostel bookings and settling arguments between your antsy fellow passengers.

d) In charge of snacks, tunes, road games and generally making sure everyone has a good time.

 

2. On a typical Friday night, you are:

a) Volunteering as a tutor

b) Colour-coding your notes from that week’s classes – why? Doesn’t everybody do that?

c) Catching up on all the news you missed from the past week

d) Organizing your friends for a night out

 

3. Your favourite type of school work is:

a) You don’t mind, really – you’re flexible and you like variety

b) A research paper

c) A presentation to the class

d) Group work (as long as you can help steer the project)

 

4. What are you most looking forward to about the holidays?

a) Finally having time to see your friends, hit the gym, volunteer, start a book club, finish that oil painting…

b) Creating an elaborate gift-giving spreadsheet and crossing off finished items

c) Hitting the road – any chance to get out of town for a while

d) Hosting gatherings and meeting new people

 

5. How do you prepare for an exam?

a) Try to understand big-picture concepts you learned in class, rather than getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty

b) Attend office hours with your prof to talk about future test material

c) Write sternly worded letters to government representatives about how stress impacts academic performance

d) Pull together a study group, provide healthy snacks and make sure everyone takes a stretch break every half hour

 

6. People are always praising your:

a) Organization

b) Strong sense of justice

c) Gift of gab

d) Amazing social skills

 

7. A friend comes to you with a problem. What do you do?

a) Listen and work with them to create a plan to fix it

b) Research the problem thoroughly and consider variety of potential solutions

c) Offer to talk to someone on their behalf

d) Validate their feelings and support them in whatever they decide to do next

 

8. The most important aspect of student representation is:

a) Being a friendly face students can approach with their problems and questions

b) Working through the university systems to address student concerns

c) Advocating for student-friendly public policy

d) Helping to make campus an exciting and welcoming place to be

 

Now, tally up your scores. If you got…

Mostly a’s: You’d make a great President!

You care deeply about your school and serving your fellow students. Yours is usually the first hand up in class, and your friends often turn to you for advice. You’re also a good listener, and can take direction and advice from others.

As President you’d be expected to pitch in wherever you’re needed, whether that means sitting on one of your VPs’ committees or flipping burgers at a REC barbecue. At the same time, it’s important that you keep one eye on the big picture – you’re expected to supervise the activities and affairs of REC, act as a member of the Student Governing Board (the governing body of SAMRU), represent the student voice at the MRU Board of Governors, and work with your fellow REC members to help them get things done. SAMRU’s governing board, Students’ Council, directs the affairs of the Representation Executive Council, and the president plays a key role in implementing the board’s direction by working with and helping guide other members of REC to fulfill the board’s wishes. This is a demanding but rewarding role that requires dedication and the ability to wear many different hats.

Mostly b’s: You’d make a great Vice President Academic!

You’re a sharp cookie who’s self-motivated and not afraid of a little research. You are happy to work independently to get the job done but can also collaborate effectively with teams. When one of your friends has an academic question, they’ll probably ask you before Googling it.

As the VP Academic, you’d be expected to advocate on issues pertaining to students’ academic interests. This might entail sitting on several MRU committees, connecting with other students’ associations and student-focused organizations, and staying informed on trends and policy decisions that will affect post secondary students. Successful VP Academics often work humbly and tirelessly for the good of their student peers.

Mostly c’s: You’d make a great Vice President External!

You’re an influencer who can navigate different settings with ease. You pay attention to higher education news and are hungry for information. . While you definitely have opinions about everything, you’re also politically savvy; you are often asked to speak on behalf of groups because you’re great at stating your views in a way that a) everyone will understand and b) is likely to result in a good outcome.

The VP External is a liaison between SAMRU and the wider Calgary community, other universities and governments at the municipal, provincial and federal level. They’re expected to represent MRU on the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA), which involves a fair amount of travelling to conferences and lobbying the government alongside other student representatives. The VP External is a big-picture role, and as such it requires some patience. Some people might find it frustrating to not see the outcomes of their efforts right away, but as the VP External, your job is to sow seeds that might not sprout during your own term in office. As the VP External, you not only have to follow the priorities of the SAMRU Student Governing Board, but also those of CASA and the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS).

Mostly d’s: You’d make a great Vice President Student Life!

You know that most education takes place outside the classroom. You love the warm, vibrant, intelligent campus community at MRU and you’re always working to make it even better.

In a given week, the VP Student Life may be planning ahead for future events with the Student Life Committee, engaging students in campaigns like Get Out the Vote or student mental health programs, organizing volunteers and connecting with students to help them get involved in their campus community. The role involves a lot of face-time with students, and the VP Student Life tends to get more immediate, on-the-ground feedback than the other roles. It can be fun but also challenging to serve a large population of students with diverse opinions and needs. Consequently, a successful VP Student Life needs to be organized, flexible and willing to ask a lot of questions.

Go nominate someone!

Now that you know which of these roles is right for you, it’s time to turn your passion into action and nominate yourself as a candidate to run in the 2017 election! (Or, suggest it to someone you think might be a good fit). Don’t be scared – we have total faith in our candidates’ abilities and they’ll have lots of support both in seeking the role and, if successful, performing the job itself. This is one of the most rewarding ways you can get involved with SAMRU, so take a deep breath and visit samru.ca/vote to download the nomination form!

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