ANSSA Extravaganza!

01Nov10

Yes, it’s that wonderful bi-annual time of year where student leaders from all across the province gather to debate policy and propose lobbying initiatives for the next six months. I have been proud to be able to represent Saint Mary’s at this forum for the last few years, and it is always a weekend full of great ideas and great fun! This time, Dalhousie played host to our roving band of political nerds.

The weekend started with a panel discussion on the causes and possible solutions to the troubles faced by African Nova Scotian students in our educational system. A spirited discussion was had, and I certainly learned quite a bit about what is being done to help alleviate this problem. One panelist noted, “We are spending so much time and effort trying to recruit immigrants to Nova Scotia to fill our labour shortage, that we are forgetting about the unutilized resources at our doorstep.” True words.

Over dinner, I was able to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen since the last conference months ago. They told me about their summer, and I was able to fill them in on the details of my time in Ottawa. I also had a stimulating conversation with the President of the Atlantic School of Theology Student Union – I know far too little about this important partner with Saint Mary’s. Did you know that AST students are technically members of SMUSA? I didn’t.

After dinner, we retired to the Grawood, Dalhousie’s campus bar, for… refreshments. Everyone was in good spirits after a productive first day, and looking forward to the next day’s events.

As a result of showing our guests some Halifax hospitality, I was only in bed for about 5 hours before being up and ready for Day 2! Things started at The HUB Halifax (a lovely communal workspace on Barrington Street, right in the heart of downtown) with a leadership seminar from Drew Dudley. It was fantastic. We engaged in a simulation (“which really means competition” was his explanation) involving three rounds of trading coins and attempting to garner the highest score possible.

As a Finance major, how do you think I did at this game? Indeed, I did fairly well. But there were also lessons learned along the way about communication, negotiation, and making sure you know what you want before you go and get it. A short break for some air followed this game, and then we learned about “Leadership through Social Styles”. He said that the traditional method of determing what other people will do is to figure out how you would act, and then placing that over them.

This is common in Finance – people assume everyone is as good at Finance as they are. But they really aren’t. The same is true in life – shockingly, not everyone thinks the same way as you do. So if you can shift your paradigm from “What would I do in this situation?” to “What would THEY do in this situation?” you’ll be surprised at the improvements you can get from your team. Also, he offered a tip for how to make people think you’re a great instructor – “Simply add ‘…like life’ to the end of every example.”

Lunch was at Mongolie Grill, and was delicious. When you mix together different colours and flavours, the result is beautiful …like life 😛

In the afternoon, we had an open session with Mat Whynott (yes, only one T in the first word. Yes, two Ts in the second) the youngest elected MLA in Nova Scotia history. He gave us tips on engaging our student body, and how to promote our newest initiative.

And what is our newest initiative? http://tappedout.ca is our newest initiative. You may not know this, but for the past few years, tuition has been frozen due to an agreement between the universities and the provincial government. That agreement expires this year, and has to be renegotiated. As you might imagine, it’s kind of a big deal, and we’re putting considerable weight behind it.

So please, tell everyone you know, and send them to http://tappedout.ca. We need your support.

Go Huskies!
Steve

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One Response to “ANSSA Extravaganza!”


  1. 1 How To Make Breakfast Out Of Nowhere « The Adventures of Santamarian Steve

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