An introduction to the Victoria University Student Administrative Council
September marks the return of student life at Vic and, with it, the culmination of an entire summer of preparation for the upcoming school year from hard-working student groups inside the Goldring Student Centre. The Victoria College Student Administrative Council, better known as VUSAC, is the Vic student government at the heart of many student-run initiatives on campus.
Zahavah Kay, VUSAC President, outlines their role in the Victoria College community: “we offer many services to students at Vic, including cheap printing in our office and overseeing Clubs and Levies, which are basically permanent standing clubs.”
All Victoria College clubs, levies, and commissions receive their funding directly from VUSAC, which in turn is responsible for the collection and redistribution of student fees. As such, VUSAC acts as a link between the student body and administration at Vic. Kay adds, “if a student has to get in touch with administration but doesn’t know how to do it, VUSAC is a good way to do it. They can come to us first.”
The most visible of VUSAC’s additions to student life are the various social events held throughout the year. Stephanie Spagnuolo, VUSAC’s Scarlet and Gold commissioner, says “some events students can expect to see this year are Pub Nights, a Semi formal (1836), and formal event (Highball).” Spagnuolo continues, saying that she believes that “an active social life is not only a valued aspect of the University experience, it also helps facilitate a well-rounded student lifestyle.”
VUSAC often provides students with access to cultural activities both on and off campus. VUSAC Arts and Culture commissioner Blanaid McNally says that she “will ensure that Vic students are actively engaged in this area by promoting arts based events on social media and in Vic spaces, …and [find out] which artistic activities Vic students would most like discounts and access to”. In the past, VUSAC has provided discounts to the AGO, ROM, and Gardiner Museum.
When asked about services for commuting students, Kay replied, “we have a lot of programs specific to commuters that already exist, like free pancake breakfasts which everyone adores! It’s a good way to come to Vic and make friends.” She encouraged all commuter students to follow the Victoria Off-Campus Association (VOCA) Facebook page for daily updates on everything a commuter may need, such as places to study late around campus, and where to find free food.
The VUSAC executives also have some advice for new Vic students coming into frosh week. “University is about exploration of knowledge and self, so take time to breath and try not to worry too much if you haven’t found your best friend on Day three,” advised Spagnuolo. “Sign up for extracurriculars that you are familiar with and a new one that piques your interest” added McNally.
Various positions are still open on the council, including many for first years in an upcoming fall election—see www.vusac.ca for details. “We want first years to get involved,” stresses Kay. Extending her advice to apply to life in general at University, she concluded, “the worst that can happen is you fail, and that’s really it’s not going to be as big of a deal as you think it is. Don’t be afraid of failing.”
The VUSAC office can be found in the Goldring Centre in room 127, and is always open to casual visitors.