At the core of all decisions made at Selkirk College is the student. As the call for nominations to student leadership positions to the Board of Governors and Education Council go out, echoing that call are words to the benefit of getting involved.
Sharel Wallace chairs the Selkirk College Board of Governors. Also a staff accountant at Yule Andersen, she is one of the external members who reflect the various sectors of the community served by the college. The Board is also made up of several internal members representing faculty, support staff, the president – and students.
“Students are the largest and one of the most important stakeholder groups the Board is responsible to. It is important that this group has active participants at the Board table,” Wallace says.
After getting her Selkirk College start in Upgrading (formerly ABE), Santanna Hernandez enrolled in the Rural Pre-Medicine program eager to make a difference on the rural health care scene. As soon as she became a full-time student she jumped at the chance to be a member of the Education Council.
“Because I had taken online courses, adult education courses and then being a full time student, I felt that I had a wide range of viewpoints I could offer,” she says. “I am not afraid to ask hard questions and be a voice for the students.”
Santanna Hernandez participated in student leadership at Selkirk College serving on the Education Council in her first year of the Rural Pre-Medicine program.
A year later, Hernandez, who grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and attended high school in Trail, considers it one of the most valuable experiences she’s had at Selkirk College and is thankful for the opportunity.
“I learned so much about the time and energy that goes into our education,” she says. “It has made me excited for the future.”
While on council, Hernandez was involved in launching a task force on Governance Process for the Indigenization of Education.
“As an Aboriginal student it was great to see the college go in such a positive direction. I hope this will ensure current and future Aboriginal students can be even more comfortable in formal educational environment,” she says.
As Hernandez prepares for medical school, she practices her interviewing skills and finds herself more confident with the knowledge and experience gained through sitting on the Education Council.
Aarshveek Mehta agrees that participating in leadership roles on campus helps prepare students for their future. As a new Canadian, the Post-Graduate Business Administration student signed up wanting to learn as much as possible. He learned what factors are considered while passing agendas or making modifications to courses or programs, for example.
“I now have a clear idea about the way things work in such councils. That will boost my confidence and help me perform better,” he says.
Aarshveek Mehta participated in student leadership at Selkirk College serving on the Education Council in his first year of the Post-Graduate Business Administration program.
Mehta, from Ahmedabad in India, felt more connected to Selkirk College and says the experience “broadened his view” and “mindset of looking at things.”
Wallace encourages students to take advantage of this additional learning experience.
“This is an opportunity to develop strong leadership and communication skills. You will be involved in making decisions that will not only impact your student life but the lives of future students. And it looks really good on a resume,” she says.
Tiffany Snauwaert chairs the Education Council whose job is to oversee and ensure the quality of the institution’s education. She encourages students interested in becoming leaders to join EdCo.
“This is an excellent opportunity for students to develop governance, leadership, decision-making, and critical thinking skills, which can pave the way to further leadership opportunities in life. It also gives our student members the chance to learn more about the decision-making and consultative processes at the college,” she says.
To run for student election, completed nomination forms must be returned to the Registrar’s Office before closing at 3 p.m. on Monday, September 12. After a brief campaign elections will be held on September 20 and 21.