When you chose Laurier as your University (solid choice by the way!), you were automatically entered into a special club comprised of over 18,000 undergraduate students across Brantford and Waterloo – the Laurier Students’ Union.
What Is the Students’ Union?
What is the Laurier Students’ Union you ask? Essentially, it’s you. The Laurier Students’ Union is your gateway to starting an event, creating a club, sparking a movement, or even changing a nation – and yes, it is possible! As a member of the Laurier Students’ Union, we put you behind the wheel of your very own Laurier experience – we just give you the keys. After all, it’s you, the students, which make our Laurier culture so special. We are driven by students.
By now, you have probably heard the saying “student voice” used in some sort of context regarding how great Laurier is. (Fun fact: it’s true.) For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, “student voice” has nothing to do with verbal communication, but the idea that every student at Wilfrid Laurier University, whether in first year or fifth year (or longer) has the ability to express, promote, debate, and/or choose how the Laurier Students’ Union operates. That’s right, you not only get to drive the car (with a full tank of gas by the way!), but you also get to choose where to go! We’ll take care of the nitty gritty stuff like representing you on concerns revolving academics, funding, etc., all we ask in return is for you to let us know how!
The best way to do so, of course, is to vote. Whether that is in your hometown to choose your Counsellor or Mayor, province to choose your local Member of Provincial Parliament, or federal riding to choose your local Member of Parliament, voting is a sure-fire way of putting someone into power that represents your needs as both an individual citizen, and a student. Throughout your time at Laurier, you will likely be faced with an election on all three levels of Government. So, get involved, read about each candidate’s platform, and make an educated vote when the time comes – it’s amazing what power you can have as a student!
Every year at Laurier, we have our own internal elections within the Laurier Students’ Union. This is our #LaurierVotes campaign. Every January/February students select their major representatives (also students) for the following school year. As paying members of the Laurier Students’ Union, all 18,000 undergraduate students have the power to vote for the Laurier Students’ Union President, the 12 Board of Directors, any referendums that may be presented at the time, and even for the Wilfrid Laurier University Board of Governors and Senate. These elected members are there to represent you, the student, to advocate on your behalf and to make decisions that affect your Laurier experience. Because of this, your involvement is CRUCIAL to choosing who you want to represent YOU during your Laurier career.
I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with the Laurier Students’ Union elections each year of my Laurier career. Three times as a Candidate for the Board of Directors, including in my first year – best decision I ever made; and finally as Chair of the Board & Chief Governance Officer, where it was my duty to oversee the entire elections process. Each of those years, we have hovered around the low 20s in voting percentage with last year dropping to 22.22% with one Presidential Candidate. This is not an accurate representation of the student voice and the impact you have as a student. As a graduating student, I encourage you to begin your Laurier career as loud as you will be by the end of it. Use your voice to speak out and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
You can read about the #LaurierVotes campaign and how you can run for a position or get involved here!
Written by Nick DeSumma, Chair of the Board & Chief Governance Officer, 2016-2017 #LAURIERVOTES