No teeny job for Sweeney
This concludes The Reflector’s profiles of incoming SA executives.
To say the VP student life position at the Students’ Association of Mount Royal College fits Eily Sweeney’s personality might be an understatement.
Sweeney, who has officially transitioned into the executive position alongside new VP external Robert Jones, new VP academic Erin Delamont and returning president Travis McIntosh, hopes her new role will allow her to continue building a community at Mount Royal.
“I truly feel honoured to apart of this team,” said Sweeney, who worked as president of Sustainable MRC last year. “This position most connected with my experience. As VP student life I am in touch with events, and students’ experience at the college, which are things that are really important to me.
Her efforts last year, from larger initiatives such as organizing sustainability forums to smaller measures like biking to school each day, earned Sweeney student of the year honours at the SAMRC E-Awards.
“It was so comforting to have the importance of my work recognized and valued,” Sweeney, heading into her third year in the Bachelor of Science — University Transfer program, said of the recognition.
Beyond building a culture of sustainability, Sweeney plans to work with students on finding solutions to the ongoing transportation crisis at the college and also hopes to improve accomodations in general for disabled students.
I want to get out and meet people. Utilizing (the First-Year Insight program) and classroom visits are extremely useful and through this I am confident the new team can find new ways to get our message out and come up with a lot of innovative solutions,” she said.
Mount Royal’s transition to a university excites the 23-year-old a great deal and, in her mind, adds to the importance of her position.
“We are going to see even more energy come to this campus because becoming a new university gives us more reason to celebrate and a lot more students will be here for a four-year period,” Sweeney, who plans to organize a number of events including drum circles in Wyckham House and a busker day on main street, explained.
“During this entire transition to a university, it is our job to to make sure that a student voice is heard through all of the changes and growth.”
Sweeney officially took the VP student life reigns from Liz McKeown on May 19. She says McKeown’s experience and extensive social networks helped make the transition a smooth process.
“(McKeown) really inspired me to take on this role,” Sweeney said. “Her passion for governance and contributing to her campus is what got me interested in doing my part.”
Before the fall semester begins Sweeney will travel to a number of conferences, including one hosted by the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities, to further advance her development as a student executive.
“I see these as a great way to share ideas and create a network with people on other campuses in similar roles. It’s definitely not time to be wasted,” Sweeney said of the conferences. “The leadership skills I am gaining are just phonomenal. We are given the best governance training in all of Canada.”
As for her future, Sweeney tends to “go with the flow” but could definitely see herself in the VP student life position for more than one term. Unlike the last few years at the SA, she doesn’t see personality conflicts and political red-tape getting in the way of real progress.
“We all get along so well and are working towards similar goals. I think that will translate well to students,”