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USC executive publish year-end review of projects and campaigns

Making it easier to be a student. These words opened the Team Sophie platform and each point following attempted to accomplish just that. This report is a review of the platform, categorizing each point as Complete, Ongoing and Incomplete at the school year’s close. Complete refers to projects or initiatives that have been successfully accomplished or are scheduled to be completed in early 2016. Ongoing refers to projects that are still active and more work can be done next year, with completion still a priority. Incomplete refers to projects where no or little future work is scheduled and the completion is no longer a priority. Many of the advocacy points are categorized as ongoing, as it often takes more than one year to both decide and implement university policy or budget changes. Read the FULL REPORT HERE. For further questions please contact: Kevin Hurren Communications Officer University Students’ Council communications@westernusc.ca 519-661-2111 ext....

New Student Writer in Residence chosen, hopes to bring together creative community

The University Students’ Council and Department of English and Writing Studies are excited to welcome the new Student Writer in Residence (SWIR), Victoria Wiebe. A third-year psychology and creative writing student, Wiebe is a published author with experience in writing, editing and community organization. In her role, Wiebe hopes to create more spaces on and off-campus for varying types of writing and creativity. “It is my hope that this year I’ll be able to engage with students who have a passion for the arts, but aren’t as likely to get involved,” said Wiebe. “Whether because they’re in a different faculty, are embarrassed to share their writing, or don’t know how to get involved.” The Student Writer in Residence program, a partnership between the USC and English department, will be going into its fifth year – continuing a history of connecting an accomplished undergraduate writer with peers in the area. “The student chosen for this role has a variety of resources coming from their personal experiences as a writer,” said Helen Ngo, the current SWIR. “They are able to act as a mentor to other creative writers and with Victoria as a published author, this sets up opportunities and connections in the publishing community.” Ngo, a mathematics student, emphasized the value of the program. Students can arrange one-on-one meetings with the SWIR to share ideas, edit previous work or further develop their writing skills. The SWIR is a rare opportunity for students to have their work reviewed by a fellow student with publication experience. Ngo plans to introduce Wiebe to the community on Tuesday, March 22 in the International Graduate...

8-year-old visits Western to teach students about taxes, part of USC Income Tax Clinics

Undergraduate students at Western have the chance to meet Carlie Weinreb, an 8-year-old Torontonian who specializes in teaching students and business professionals how to file their taxes. Weinreb’s presentation is part of the University Students’ Council’s annual Income Tax Clinic, where student volunteers help their peers file taxes in partner with the Canada Revenue Agency. Weinreb has been working with taxes since the age of five after learning steps and formulas from her father, a chartered professional accountant. Given that her mother is a teacher, Weinreb had a gift for public speaking and began her a career as a lecturer when her father was asked to give a presentation at a conference and decided she would be best able to speak to the information. Since then, Weinreb’s presentations have been featured in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and CTV News. Lindsay Banks, the USC’s Associate Vice-President Finance & Internal Audit, explains that typically the Income Tax Clinics are designed to “give students fish rather than teaching them how to fish.” Thus, Weinreb’s visit is aimed at providing undergraduates an easy to understand but in-depth explanation of how to file their taxes. “Though our student volunteers are more than able to complete your taxes with you, we also wanted this year’s programming to have a learning component. Carlie’s presentation and other financial workshops will address just that,” said Banks. Carlie Weinreb’s lecture, called “Learn How to Do Tour Tax Return in 15 Minutes,” takes place on Wednesday, March 16th from 3:30-4:30 in Council Chambers in the University Community Centre. Students can expect to learn the basics about T4s, income...

USC General Manager steps away from role following eight years of service

Cathy Clarke, General Manager for the University Students’ Council, has decided to leave the USC effective September 30th, 2016, up until which time she will remain with the organization to ensure corporate stability and the transition of her successor. This provides the USC the opportunity to review the scope, autonomy, and accountability of the GM role, as well as the overall organizational structure of the USC. Clarke has served the USC for eight years as a mentor and advisor to many student executives and leaders. Her dedication and teamwork has supported the organization through a number of trials and she can claim many achievements in her tenure. “Through her time at the USC, Cathy has been a fierce advocate for students and worked hard to ensure the organization has always been supported,” said USC president Sophie Helpard. “Many student leaders who are now USC alumni know her to be a mentor and a friend. I would personally like to thank Cathy for everything she has done for me, my executive, and for students. I am proud to have worked so closely with her over my year with the USC and look forward to a new chapter for the organization.” Highlights from Clarke’s years with the USC include the development of a corporate governance structure, financial and program sustainability, comprehensive capital renovations on all USC operated space and a fully funded five-year capital plan. “I’ve seen a lot of positive changes at the USC in my time here and predict a stable future for the organization,” explained Clarke. “It’s time for a change in my life and a change of...

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