By Tomas Rapaport
I have two things to do tonight. 1. Write up a Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) Exit Report for incoming executives and 2. Write a blog post which my fellow Executive Editor has been asking for the last few weeks. As I sat down to do task #2, I realized that as a science student I have developed a built-in inability for inefficiency and instead of continuing to research the factors which contribute to young customers’ enjoyment of coffee shops and revisit expectations (you can find research on nearly anything online!), I decided to write up the exit report, and post an excerpt of it on here instead. Some may call me lazy, but in all honesty, as I wrote the report I realized that its contents have just as much to do with being a science student as any analytically designed and cited paper I could ever produce. Thus, here is the introduction to Tomas Rapaport’s SUS exit report:
Following the fall 2014 referendum, the Science Undergraduate Society (SUS) was established with the mandate of, among other things, enhancing the educational, cultural, environmental and social well-being of students within the Faculty of Science at SFU. Shortly after, elections were held and the first batch of SUS executives came about.
It would be a lie to say that we did not struggle and undergo a massively steep learning curve with substantial growing pains. However, in spite of a largely incomplete and inexperienced team, we managed to: launch the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal, host a Winter Formal and a start of winter semester bash while staying actively involved in our respective Departmental Student Unions (DSU) and connected to the membership. However, it wasn’t always easy, and I would find myself wondering why I had signed up for this. As always, hindsight is 20/20 and I think that question can be simply answered by the following statement: It’s fun!
Science students pay money to the SFSS every semester and this money is then redistributed to constituency groups to spend as they see fit. This leads to SUS having at the very least $8500 of student’s money at its disposal. SUS also has the added privilege of collaborating with the departmental student unions it represents to further complement this sum if it wishes and I see this as both a large responsibility and a very exhilarating experience. There are a lot of very cool things that can be done with this money, so many in fact, that we were unable to spend it all and are ending the year in a ‘surplus’ because we couldn’t spend it all the way we wanted given the allotted timelines. Being a part of SUS is fun because you are guaranteed to meet people, because you get to manage resources you’d never otherwise get to, and because at the end of the day – whether you meant to or not – you are enhancing the experience for someone in this lovely concrete block we call SFU.
Throughout this exit report, I will outline finances, meeting procedures, outreach facilitation, and future directions. It is my hope that this report will save the incoming SUS executive team countless hours of navigating the SFSS maze so they can get to work right away, and pick up where we left off. Lastly, remember that if you aren’t having fun, you’re not doing it right.
This all relates to being a science student quite simply because during my time as third year representative for SUS, I learned a lot about SFU and the SFSS, but I also learned so much about my own personal management style, facilitation abilities and communication skills. All of which often lay dormant while working in a lab or at the library. Lastly, if you are looking to meet people and have a time, taking a step to meeting your community and attending a Departmental Student Union meeting should be your first step.
The nomination period for the Science Undergraduate Society runs until March 4th at 12 pm and the elections are March 14th – 16th. Find more information here or visit the Science Undergraduate Society Facebook page.
Tomas Rapaport is an Executive Editor at the SFU Science Undergraduate Research Journal and currently holds the position of 3rd year representative on the Science Undergraduate Society Council.