Bittersweet goodbyes: SAMRU says farewell to outgoing REC members

In Employment, Representation, Student Life by admin

While the winter semester winds down, it’s still a busy and exciting time for SAMRU and the MRU community. This is the time of year when we welcome newly elected Representative Elected Council (REC) members and when we bid farewell to outgoing REC members who have served as advocates and representatives for the students of MRU. Goodbyes are never easy, and this year our goodbyes are undoubtedly bittersweet.

Carly Bullough, Vice-President Academic, and Camille Rhose Tabacla, Vice-President of Student Affairs, are both taking their leave from SAMRU. Carly and Camille made up half of the self-proclaimed “Covid REC” team, along with re-elected representatives, REC President Spirit River Striped Wolf and REC Vice-President External, Rachel Timmermans.

Since their election into office, Carly and Camille admitted that it’s been nothing but a “roller coaster ride,” with the pandemic playing out in the early stages of their terms. Although essentially working from home for their entire terms, Carly and Camille accomplished some huge wins for the students of Mount Royal University!

Camille Rhose Tabacla, REC Vice-President, Student Affairs

Camille faced some substantial challenges when the Covid-19 pandemic was declared at the beginning of her term. She quickly had to navigate what support students needed as everything shifted online. In her student affairs portfolio, Camille tackled some daunting issues such as responding to major tuition increases, student mental health, dating, domestic and sexual violence (DDSV), and the racism and discrimination some students regularly face. She also worked tirelessly to break down the communication barriers present between SAMRU, students and the larger MRU community. 

In addition, Camille continued work on the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) student refugee program that will soon commence and contributed to a Suicide Prevention Strategic Framework draft in partnership with MRU Wellness.

When looking back, Camille said that she is grateful for her time at SAMRU during which she experienced professional opportunities that contributed to her personal growth. She told us that this role showed her that she is capable of many aspects of communication like public speaking, hosting live streams, and advocating for students and herself. My weaknesses aren’t my weaknesses,” she said. “They can be strengths too.”

“This term, all of the REC members genuinely wanted to make the lives of MRU students better, and I think it was our collective passion and drive that made us all successful, together and individually.”

Camille Rhose Tabacla, REC Vice-President, Student Affairs

Carly Bullough, REC Vice-President, Academic 

Like Camille, Carly also faced many new challenges early in her term due to COVID restrictions.  She spent much of the spring and summer advocating for students facing anxieties and ambiguities with the sudden switch to online delivery, opposing webcam proctoring, advocating for better mental health resources, and seeking student feedback on the impact of the changes. 

Carly also helped negotiate increasing the number of students who sit on the General Faculties Council (GFC) — the highest decision-making board at MRU — from two student representatives to eight.

In reflection, Carly said the year flew by just as the REC members before said it would. Her advice to those who want to get involved? Carly is adamant that relationships and relationship building are key to anyone looking to be a representative and advocate. “The entire role truly is about fostering those connections and relationships,” she said, “It’s the way that things can get done and changes can be made.” 

“We are so fortunate that people [in the SAMRU and MRU communities] are student-focused and open to change, they are always looking to hear from students to make things better for everyone.”

Carly Bullough, REC Vice-President, Academic 

These are just a few highlights of the work that your student representatives did in the last year. They also hosted and participated in online sessions and forums, participated in key MRU committees, solicited and responded to student feedback, and always ensured a student perspective was included in decisions that affect all students. 

We hope you’ll join us in thanking Camille and Carly for all of their hard work throughout their terms in a year that has been like no other. We know both Carly and Camille will succeed at whatever future challenges and opportunities come their way, and that they’ll do so with integrity and passion. 

Curious about other 2020-2021 REC wins? Check out this detailed blog post (link blog). Want to get into contact with REC? Visit REC contact information.