Are you overwhelmed by the mere thought of politics? Worry no longer! For the first time in five years, SAMRU invites you to Student Connect! Join your Representation Executive Council (REC) and campus media in Wyckham House for the opportunity to talk to MLAs, MPs, and even Mayor Jyoti Gondek!
This event will take place on January 25 from 4 to 7 pm in the Wyckham House Council Chambers (Z236), where you and your fellow MRU-body will have the opportunity to meet and discuss what matters most to you with a dozen Calgary-area politicians. To find Council Chambers, head up the stairs in the middle of the food court to the second floor!
Student Connect is far more than just a space for aspiring politicians to make connections. From students in their final year of policy studies or journalism to first year in open studies, there are a myriad of benefits to acclimating yourself to how and why politics work! So whether you plan to throw your name in the hat for mayor in the future or simply want to know what your officials doing for you, here are a few reasons you should attend Student Connect.
Have your voice heard directly by those in power
The largest hurdle to getting into politics is often being unaware of what is actually happening, but Student Connect is looking to end this notion.
It’s mighty tempting to ignore the outside noise and stick your nose in your studies, but the truth is that MRU students are heavily impacted by decisions our elected officials make at all levels. So stay in the know!
Student Connect is the perfect time to educate yourself on what your local politicians are doing for you, directly from the source. Want to know what’s being done to address student housing shortages? What about the rising costs of living? This is the time to bring those questions up.
Don’t forget to discuss what issues matter the most to you! This event isn’t just for students. This question period serves as a perfect learning experience for those in power, as politicians want to learn as much as what issues matter the most to the young-voter population.
A zero-pressure environment
Seeing a guest list full of established political figures can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if this is your first foray into politics. But fret no longer, as Student Connect will be a casual environment. This means no dress code will be expected or enforced – although if you want to dress up, we will certainly respect the drip and dedication.
Additionally, the only news teams and reporters who will be at the event are from MRU-based publications, The Calgary Journal and The Reflector, so it’ll only be other students with you amongst the decision-making officials.
To help break the ice after introductions, your VP External will host a little trivia session, complete with prizes for the winners! But don’t worry, you can also score yourself some free swag and free food just for showing up.
Keep in mind, though, that this environment also means there won’t be any charged shouting matches or rehearsed insults towards the political guests. If you were looking to pull a “gotcha,” this is not the space for that.
Share camaraderie with fellow students and your Representative Executive Council
If you believe government concepts and processes at any level can seem simultaneously overwhelming, out of your reach, and even meaningless, you’re not alone. So put yourself out there!
This is a casual and informative environment, so check in with your fellow students and see if you have any common ground you’d like to cover. Who knows, amidst your discussions with politicians, you might even make a few new friends with similar advocacy interests. 😉
Any issues you may want to ask about, but unsure of how to best articulate your thoughts? Your REC team has got your back. Don’t hesitate to approach them throughout the event and workshop the best way to present your ideas.
Getting your foot in the political door
So now you’re up to date with the latest political tea. Congrats on getting out of your comfort zone! However, this doesn’t mean you should cease your interest in politics after the event.
Government is always fluctuating, and decision-making officials are always searching for new research and feedback, so remember to stay updated on the latest happenings. Be sure to keep up to date with a few trips to your favourite news sites over the week and consider dropping a follow to some trusted news updates and advocacy pages on social media (such as your REC team at @SAMRURec on X or @samrubuzz on Instagram).
The connections you make can keep you in the know as the projects and proposals evolve. If you hope to follow up with a politician at some point, there’s no better way to lead off than reminding them of the conversation you just had.
You did say free food, right?
Yup! As if the deal couldn’t get any better, Student Connect will be fully catered at no cost to you, so you won’t have to get political on an empty stomach.
We hope you join us in welcoming our elected leaders to Wyckham House this January! To RSVP for Student Connect or any inquiries you may have about the event, be sure to reach out to Prabhjit at VPExternal@samru.ca
For any general inquiries, you can always send us a message at email@example.com.