Essays, Procrastination and Student Representation

Today I actually finished writing an essay the day before it is due. This, of course, is in contrast to my usual practice of finishing the essay the day it is due, typically a couple of hours before I have to hand it in (to allow for transit) or a couple of minutes (if I’m finishing it at school).

I also walked around and reacquainted myself with some people I met while campaigning for the ASSU Referendum, and I met some new people as well. One girl thought I was running for something, she couldn’t wrap her head around why someone in a position like mine would actually go around talking to people unless it had some kind of “benefit.” I had to explain to her that I was doing this because I like it, and because I think it’s a valuable part of my job as a student representative.

It’s sad when students view their representatives with that kind of suspicion, and I’ve complained in the past about the kind of elitism that results from student government. When candidates are running for a position they’ll go around introducing themselves to everyone and taking the time out to chat with them, but as soon as they’re elected they cram into their offices and remain aloof from the typical student (other than at events or seminars that they’re organizing).

In my case I get to interact with students every day when I do my office hours, and I give them the tests and advice and whatnot that they ask for. But I rarely take the time to meet them outside of the office, sticking to myself or with the friend or acquaintance that I happen to be with.

I’m going to try and change that, and I think every student representative should.

How can you purport to represent students if you don’t have to wait in one of the long lines that forms to buy a Metropass, but rather bypass it because of your position? How can you relate to the students if you use your position for discounts on certain things?

It’s a difficult balance between student representation and getting something back for being a representative. In my case, I don’t get paid a cent. But I do get access to photocopiers and computers and printers. It’s difficult for me, then, to relate to a student who has to type up her essay at Robarts and pay 5 cents or whatever the price may be per page off a crappy printer and then run off to hand it in. I have the opportunity to type it up in the comfort of the office, get it printed and stapled and then run over to hand it in.

I also get free ASSU t-shirts. And sometimes from SAC, too. this!

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