VP Student External Affairs Candidate: Will Conner
1. What is your platform?
• Raise the media profile of SA/MRU through proactive engagement with the press. The more column inches we generate, the greater perceived value an MRU degree holds in the community.
• Keep constant pressure on the federal and provincial governments around issues of funding and tuition, 96% of Albertans say post-secondary is critical to our future but we’re treating it like an afterthought. Why when the return on
investment on Advanced Education is 1400-2100% (it’s true)? We have strong arguments, I can make them.
• I’ve started working on bringing industry associations into SAMRU to focus on MRU students and allow them to offer leadership and job search training that targets their needs. They already want access and MRU students deserve every advantage we can provide them.
• SAMRU specific Alumni database and outreach. We have committed members who’ve gone through the doors at Wyckham house and it’s a shame to lose their skill, passion, and dedication simply because they graduate. Our graduates
are our second greatest asset, let’s not lose them, but turn them into mentors and advocates.
2. What do you think SAMRU’s role is and why do you think it’s important for students?
It’s important to understand the expectations and limitations placed on the roles of President and the Vice Presidents at SAMRU, a group we call the Executive Council (EC). EC roles are advocacy roles, the power to make things happen
lies with those whom we advocate for, and those we advocate to. EC roles are not positions of power and authority per se, as there are many roles inside SAMRU and inside and outside MRU that are responsible for the doing part of
getting things done. Such are the people who make things happen and they have been there long before we as EC step foot in the door, and will be there long after we leave: our job is to advocate for you, as effectively as we can.
The challenge for the EC is to form a cohesive team, explore options, gather feedback, and champion causes. There is little doing, and tonnes of asking. The only promises we can make is to be relentless. We can talk about ideas, which is
(will be) our job, but it’s up to all stakeholders to make it happen. Platforms can seem vague, and promises enticing, but the responsible candidates have vision, goals, and expectations they can clearly articulate. They must work as a
team, as champions for a cause, not deliverers of goods.
3. What qualifies you to be elected for the position you are running for?
I have 17 years of experience in IT, 10 as an employer and entrepreneur, 2 in non-profit governance, many inches of print columns to my name, both with this paper and other publications. I’ve done a lot, in business, community, media,
and organizational development, it’s all on www.willconner.ca.
You won’t find me running around with an iPad to get votes: I question the ethics of that. This job is about conversations, not ambushing people, and as a candidate our actions need to reflect that from day one, mine have. The key to
being VPE is advocacy, team work, and communication. I have a proven ability to do all these things, and do them well. I also have an understanding of how Executive Council works that my competitors lack – that’s obvious from their
platforms – but more than that I’m running on a message of integrity and empowerment. I think we don’t realize how much of a voice we really have. The government we lobby against has successfully demoralized our students and I’ve
been working hard to change that, with great success. Join me, vote Will Conner and tell 5 friends.