Editor’ Note: This interview has been edited and formatted for style and clarity
Name: Cory Larsen
Major, Year: Fourth year, Theatre Studies
What position are you running for, and what responsibilites correspond with it?
I’m running for Vice President Student Life! This is often anecdotally referred to as the VP of “Parties and Fun.” The VPSL is responsible for all of the events and programming that the Union takes on which includes Orientation Week, Dalfest, Sn-O-week, TEDx, and so much more! Moreover, the VPSL deals with recreation, athletics, and student wellness including the DSU Wellness Room.
As VPSL you chair the Student Life Committee and the Impact Award selection committee. The Student Life Committee plans and facilitates all of the programming the union does and discusses topics relevant to the life of a student. The Impact Award Selection Committee chooses several award winners for the annual Impact Award celebration.
Moreover, you co-chair the Orientation committee which plans and facilitates Dal’s Fall Orientation week and manage the TEDx conference alongside the coordinator. Some other responsibilities that fall under the portfolio of the VP Student include:
- Sitting on the Dalhousie Alcohol Advisory Committee
- Sitting on the Dal Lead planning committee
- Sitting on DSU council
- Working with organizations outside of Dalhousie to engage students with the Halifax community
- Working with our two campus bars to provide relevant programming
Why are you running for re-election?
I’m seeking re-election for this position because I feel like there’s still so much I have to offer! A lot of executives feel burnt out after working the position for a year but if anything, I think I’ve been more inspired to continue the work I’ve started.
Much more importantly, in doing the job this year I’ve gained a lot of knowledge and experience that has led to numerous fresh ideas for moving forward and new insight into how to properly do different aspects of the job. There’s a steep learning curve when you enter these positions, even for someone who has been involved for most of their university career, such as myself. I’d be able to get so much more done this time around owing to the fact that I’ve already gained the knowledge and feel comfortable in the position.
In a more general sense, I’m running because I’m passionate about Student Life and event planning and genuinely do enjoy the work I do as VP Student Life.
What are your goals if you are elected?
This year my campaign is focusing on 3 major topics; connections, engagement and improvement.
- Restructuring the office of the Vice President Student Life, creating more paid student commissioner positions and larger committees that focus on more than just events and programming.
- Creation of Event, Wellness, Athletics, and Community Engagement commissioner positions with relating Sub-committees of the Student Life Committee
- Continuing to better relationships with Residence Students by creating a working group of Senior Residence Assistants reps from each of the residences, meeting on a monthly basis to ensure open lines of communication, opportunities for collaboration, and sharing of resources.
- Creating and investing in local communities and groups to create more opportunities for students to engage with the Halifax community at large
- Continuing sponsorship relationships past O-week and Dalfest.
- Going beyond mental health in terms of wellness programming and investing in athletics and recreation to create new opportunities!
- Creation of formal processes for data collection in terms of attendance numbers and demographics when it comes to our events, programming, and services and utilizing that data to showcase areas of success and areas of improvement.
- Further formalizing this data into mid-year and year-end reports published through various media forms.
- Creation of a formal committee tasked with reviewing the accessibility of key events hosted by the Union such as O-week, Dalfest, Sn-O-Week, TEDx, Dal’s Got Talent, Impact Awards, etc.
What is something interesting about you?
I have a love for all things space related, including astrology! I took a first year physics/astronomy course in my second year and loved every second of it! My love of astrology came from learning about it through two of my friends a couple years ago. It such an interesting way of looking at yourself and other people and has had a really positive impact on my life (I’m a Leo, for those who are wondering).