Going with a broader theme this week, I want to take some time to share my thoughts on why student groups like the ISSS are so important to the University and to our development as people.

One thing I found frustrating in high school is that adults never thought I had enough experience to have a valuable opinion. When I came to the University of Alberta, there were finally groups of students who got themselves into a position where they had to be listened to. These groups – like the Students’ Union, Faculty Associations, political groups, and social justice groups – give students an opportunity to share their opinions and ideas to open ears. This is an incredible aspect of the university community that I hope we never lose.

With our recent Semi-Annual General Meeting, the Election of three new Councillors, and a couple of personal conversations, I’ve been hearing the concern “I’m too inexperienced to make a difference” a few times. But even as the President, I don’t feel like I’ve got all the experience I need to be a leader of a group of Executives. And particularly not a representative of science undergraduate students. In fact, as I get bogged down in the technicalities of bylaws, meetings, and documents, I think I’m even more unaware of the big opportunities for a Science Faculty Association than the rest of you!

So my hope is that you’ll start seeing yourself as someone with In Experience rather than inexperience. (In Experience: the perspective of someone who interacts with things from an outside perspective rather than manages them from an inside perspective.) You are a science student; you know better than anyone else what’s made your past years memorable and what’s left you disappointed or disheartened. Outside the ISSS, my hope is that you’ll keep sharing your opinions, concerns, and never letting (what others claim is) your inexperience prevent you from making a difference.

Email me any time!

Best of luck with midterms!

Dustin