By Katy Czajkowski, MISC President
I join student councils so that I can speak about what I have done, rather than what I would like to do. My name is Katy Czajkowski, and this is my third student council presidency. Humble brag or cry for help? I’ll let you decide.
Student councils carry a challenging identity, one with often full administrative respect and varying degrees of student apathy. But they have been the best opportunity to develop my creativity. I won’t let nostalgia bias me; student councils are often demanding and thankless labour. I survive by consciously shedding the need for recognition–the more you chase it, the less satisfying it feels. Student governance is most successful when empathy guides it: what type event would I attend without obligation? What help could I need in this situation if I was affected? How many ways could I feel about this new policy?
I best mobilize my idealism while in a community of realists, and I would not be as grounded about this upcoming year without my incredible team on the Master of Information Student Council (MISC). MISC is a group of elected volunteers that focus on supporting students’ needs. This chart depicts the council’s structure:
The Executive Committee manages day-to-day affairs, communicates with administration, and oversees the various student-led committees and working groups. But the meat of MISC’s purpose is our representatives, committees, and working groups. We have students representing our voices within our faculty and across campus, and other students organizing initiatives within our student community.
Working Groups and Committees focus around a specific topic. With so many groups, you are guaranteed to find an event to attend, an initiative to support, or a community to participate in based on your interests. Some of our past initiatives include: advocating for BIPOC students with our faculty (Diversity Working Group), brown bag lunch discussions (Accessibility Interests Working Group), pub nights and trivia nights (Social Committee), and interview & resume clinics (Professional Development Committee). All students can attend these events, and all students can be a member of the committees or working group. Reaching out to their respective chairs is a great way to get involved and help organize their initiatives.
To stay updated on all of MISC’s initiatives, connect with us on: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and our new Microsoft Teams group! Reading our newsletter, MISC-y business is also a great way to hear about everything MISC has going on!
In my heavily-biased opinion, student councils are a great way to get a year of experience serving a community, engaging with policies, and meeting new people. If you want to come join us on MISC, nominate yourself by sending 120 words to firstname.lastname@example.org before September 12th, 2020. This description will accompany your name on the voting ballot. Voting takes place at www.voting.utoronto.ca from September 14th-18th.
Cover photo source: pxhere, used with CC0 Public Domain licensing.