Written by: Billie Clarke
Here it is, the final post about our Trent Durham Student Association. Last, but certainly not least, I am introducing Nicholas Ashmore, the Vice-President of Campus Life. I interviewed Nick and we discussed what he does as VPCL, why he chose to run, and any tips or advice for students interested in running for the position of Vice-President of Campus Life.
The role of VPCL is typically thought of to be comprised of the “fun stuff”. The VPCL manages the TrentU Durham clubs and events, organizes the TDSA-run events on campus (i.e. The Spring Semi-Formal, the Stress Busting weeks, etc.), organizes and manages the Trent U Durham Athletics, oversees the Campus Life budget, club funds, and event funding. The VPCL also has a role in communications: they are in charge of social media and the TDSA website. There are also aspects of general office work.
Nick ran for the position of Vice-President of Campus Life after being “wilfully disengaged” during his first year at Trent U Durham. In his second year of university, he was on the Board of Directors and found that being involved in extracurricular activities allowed him to have more fun at school and he did better in his classes. In his third year, he became even more involved, and became an executive on TESSO (Trent English Student Society of Oshawa) and knew that he wanted to run for the TDSA in the future. He wanted to continue his involvement within the TrentU Durham community and felt that becoming VPCL was the best way to do so. He knew Shawn and Chris before he ran for his position and they had discussed how they would change the current TDSA if they were all elected—they had everything planned out beforehand, to the point that Nick was even taking summer courses to lower his final year course load!
The advice Nick offers to anyone interested in running for a TDSA elected position is: “Don’t lose the fire.” It is important to remain optimistic in everything you do. He also says that, for the role of VPCL especially, it is important to have a good relationship with the students, staff, faculty, and university administration at Trent, both here, at TrentU Durham, and at the Peterborough campus. He also emphasizes the importance of a good office environment and keeping up a good (if informal) “customer service” attitude. Planning in advance, being approachable, flexible, and adaptable are skills that are useful in any TDSA position, but especially in the role as Vice-President of Campus Life. The last tip from Nick might be one of the most important ones in this entire series of posts: don’t be afraid to run in the election. While it might be scary, and you might not win, it is a rewarding experience and it is an opportunity to talk to and engage with students about their needs, the changes that they want to see, and what they want from their university experience.
Nicholas is always willing to talk. He can be found in the TDSA office, hidden in the left corner by the door. If you see him on campus, feel free to approach him with any questions, comments, or concerns, or if you just want to chat. He can be reached by email at email@example.com and is on campus almost as much as I am!
This concludes my series on the Trent Durham Student Association elected executives and administration staff. I hope you are all more familiar with the roles, responsibilities, and representatives of these positions and are interested in running in next term’s election!