By: Brittany Lausen
The Students’ Association of Red Deer Polytechnic is having a By-election for the position of Vice President External, as well as 8 spots on Council and I wanted to tell you from the perspective of a former student leader why the heck it is totally worth it to join the Students’ Association as Council or as an Executive!
I started my journey as a Councillor on the Students’ Association’s Summer Council in 2017. During my time as a Councillor, I was lucky enough to volunteer at a variety of different events that I was passionate about such as mental health, sexual violence, student experience, and Green Campus – just to name a few. I loved getting to have a voice around the Council table and share my opinion on things that were affecting me and my fellow students. This sparked my passion for student leadership and wanting to make post-secondary the best it can be for students. So, I ran for the role as Vice President Community & Wellness (a position no longer available) 2018/2019 and from there I went on to serve 2-terms as President for the Association from 2019-2021.
I will never be able to measure the positive impact student leadership has had on my life. During my time, I had the opportunity to network and build relationships with Senior Administration, Deans, department Directors, instructors, and staff in the College community. I was able to network with government, elected officials, entrepreneurs, and other community leaders. I gained experience with operations management, governance, advocacy, non-profit organizations, million-dollar budgets, public speaking, teamwork, and the most obvious skill – leadership. I was given professional development opportunities as I attended conferences related to sexual violence and governance. I received Mental Health First Aid and First Responder to Sexual Violence Training. I went to Edmonton many times with other student leaders and advocated on behalf of 110,000 Alberta Post-Secondary Students to government. I shared my perspective with the Alberta 2030 Review – a review of the entire Alberta Post-Secondary System that will have impacts for years to come. I provided student feedback on curriculum for RDP’s new degrees when they were in their development. The number of cool things I got to do while I was on Council and an Executive for the Students’ Association could go on for miles, so I’ll stop here. Being a Student Leader is one of the coolest things I have ever done, and I hope you’ll consider it too.
So, to conclude – why be an exec?
Because it can not only change your life but give you the opportunity to change others’ lives without them even knowing.