It can be said that governments are an representation of our current society. From elementary schools all the way to post-secondary institutions, students run for different positions like Presidency and Treasury Secretary. It is a way to be a voice for the student body as a whole and to get leadership experience for the future.
At all different levels, the elected leader or figurehead has a big role to fill and every member of each University or College executive team feels the pressure. It is the burden of putting the student’s money used to fund the student government to good use. Fanshawe Student Union’s Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, Jahmoyia Smith, says that they are there to benefit the students in any way they can.
“It’s worth it cause it gives the students an opportunity to let their voices be heard. It’s representative of the student population, if you see our board, it’s definitely representative of our diverse culture and nature that we have here at Fanshawe,” Smith says.
Most students are admittedly skeptical about their student government. They worry that it is a waste of their tuition money. Western University’s Student Council President Tobi Solebo understands students worries, because he used to have the same worries and questions himself, “I would say naturally, especially when tuition fees are always a conversation. How expensive school is and how much money we have to pay for things and then you find out that you pay this amount of money to the USC every year is also a fair worry.”
In Western’s 2017/ 2018 Student Council Budget, it is reported that 92.8% of the USC’s revenue comes from student fees. Each year students pay $828.77 to the USC as part of their tuition. While this information is widely available to students, it is commonly unknown amongst students, which leads to the spreading of misinformation.
“I was that student and I get it and know exactly where they’re coming from. It’s not coming from a place of hating student governments or thinking that there’s no place for us, it honestly comes from a place of just not knowing and having it never be explained to them,” Solebo says.
With all the common misconceptions surrounding student governments, they actually offer a lot to students, “you get a bus pass with your tuition, if your parents don’t have enough health coverage, you get a health plan through the student government, on top of that you get late night busing so the Mustang Express that goes downtown to campus or exam shuttles, the Spoke, the Wave, the Western Film, the Purple Store.”
For more information on where your money is going, head to Western’s Student Council 2017/2018 Budget.