Being a Faculty Representative

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Being a Faculty Representative

By Grace Halpin, Faculty of Health and Social Development Representative

Being a Faculty representative for the SUO has been an incredibly rewarding and educational experience. I have been the Faculty of Health and Social Development (FHSD) student representative since June 2021. Through this experience, I have run in two general elections and one By-Election! 

FHSD covers the schools of Health and Exercise Sciences, Nursing, and Social Work. The experiences and opportunities I have gained from the SUO have allowed me to improve my interpersonal and professional skills. I wanted to share and highlight some of the things I participate in as a Faculty Representative.

Within the Students’ Union Okanagan, we have Regulations and Bylaws that we abide by and run our organization around. If you told me two years ago that I would know the SUO Regulations and Bylaws like the back of my hand, I would have looked at you sideways. Now I am proud to have this knowledge in board meetings, conversations with members (aka students), and in other university relations. 

We have two Board Meetings per month, consisting of 5 executives, 4 board of directors, and 8 faculty representatives. In these meetings, we discuss previous meeting minutes, upcoming events, campaigns, university relations, and much, much more! 

Did you know, all members are invited to come to these bimonthly board meetings? In these meetings, I have learned the value of strong communication, patience, and creating a safe space to discuss issues that are important to the students. We have a chance to be a voice for the students at UBCO, and I take these meetings and these discussions very seriously. 

Outside of SUO relations, I sit on various committees within my faculty as well as any area of the University that pertains to Health and Social Development. Some of the committees I have sat on include:

  •  A health and wellness hiring committee
  • campaigns committee
  • Health and Exercise Sciences liaison committee 
  • And various others. 

I think my role within the SUO is important as there needs to be an element of health and wellness at the forefront of the University experience for students to be successful. Working alongside other faculty representatives, clubs, and course unions, I have been able to share knowledge about the SUO and what the SUO can do for you! I love bridging the gap between students and student services that the SUO offers. 

Being a student advocate has been a very fun experience for me! I would highly recommend running in an election if you have ever considered it. Put yourself out there and take a chance, you never know what might happen!

The doors that have been opened for me and the networking connections I have made within the University and the community are invaluable. My goal as the FHSD Students’ Union representative going forward is to maintain a high level of transparency, accountability, and trust between students and their Students’ Unions because ultimately everything that we do, we do for the students. 

If you have any questions about the Faculty of Health and Social Development, SUO, or elections, feel free to reach out via email: