Dear USC councillors,
Whether you realize it or not, you are among the most powerful students at our University. You have the power to steer the political direction of the USC, to hold the executive accountable to student interests and to set into motion projects that affect every student for years to come.
This, however, is not possible with a council that is complacent, inactive and uncritical of the executive. A council that does not have full access to its own power. A council that does not fully understand its role in the organization.
This problem is actualized if the executive ever attempts to undermine your authority: by posting motions without consulting with you beforehand; presenting you the budget only after it’s complete and you have no meaningful way to make changes; or chipping away at your jurisdiction by shifting your powers to other bodies in the USC.
I had made it my personal goal to empower you and your predecessors to fulfill your roles as best as I could. But empowerment is not something that is simply given to you. You must develop yourself, believe in yourself, and empower yourself. Seek out resources, take initiative, and be an active student representative.
It is you — council — that has the power to restore students’ faith in, and engagement with the USC. You must show your respective constituents and the collective student body that you are their unwavering voice. Do not be afraid to speak confidently, even when your voice fails you; to vote consciously, even when you are outnumbered; and to challenge the actions and claims of those in power.
As a student, I can confidently say that I believe in each and every one of you, and I know that I will be well-represented by you in the year to come. I ask, only, that you believe just the same.
Speaker of Council 2016-17