Student Council often has difficulty branching out to new students that are uninvolved in SU activities. In the past, some councillors have done an outstanding job at connecting students to student politics, but they are the minority. For instance, the Students United for Progressive Action (SUPA) hosted a handful of town halls in the 2010-2011 year, and encouraged numerous students to run for a variety of seats on Council. Similarly, the Interdepartmental Science Students' Society - thanks in part to the efforts of tremendous leaders like its President, Dustin Chelen - encouraged over a dozen students to run in both the Student Council and ISSS elections. On Friday, May 6, several councillors hosted what Councillor Kusmu calls SIC: Students Interested in Council. For one of the first times in recent memory, councillors are actively seeking the input of students not involved in Council. During the first SIC meeting, the twelve or so students in attendance discussed a number of issues, such as the creation of a farmers' market through Community Service Learning, the potential need of a council to represent international students on campus and the state of the Powerplant.
In my opinion, one big lessons can be pulled from this meeting: we need to ask someone to get involved. In the car ride home from executive retreat, Vice President (Operations & Finance) Andy Cheema talked about VP (Student Life) Colten Yamagishi handing him a nomination form for the General Faculties Council. Without Colten's leadership in this situation, Andy might not be in the Students' Union today. Had Sam Fiorillo, a former President of AUFSJ (the Campus Saint-Jean faculty association) not told me about a vacant seat on Student Council in September 2009, I would not be where I am today. So for everyone reading this, whether you are a councillor, an SU volunteer, an executive or a student wanting to participate in the SU, make sure that you ask others to get involved. This sort of care for others is what will push the Students' Union forward in years to come, and more importantly, possibly change a peer's life for the better.