USC News

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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...

2015 Student Survey results published, part of larger USC feedback efforts

The University Students’ Council is committed to improving the educational experience and quality of life for undergraduate students at Western. In order to effectively fulfill this mandate, the USC needs to identify the barriers students face in their time at this institution – done here through a student survey. This survey is part of larger feedback initiatives that aim to match advocacy priorities with student interests. Prior to the creation of this survey, student unions across Canada were consulted to gauge the most astute questioning and to reflect on best practices. This survey is a key component of the USC’s feedback strategy and will hopefully be continued on an annual basis with the goal of tracking trends. To view the survey results, read the 2015 Student Survey report HERE. The results for this survey were collected using an online survey platform. The survey link was disseminated through social media, on the University Students’ Council website and over UWO email to every undergraduate student at Western University. The questions appeared in various forms: rating scales ranking experiences, ordering options by importance or preference, multiple choice and long answer. The survey received 3,220 responses. The opportunity to win an iPad Air 2, iPad Mini and one of four USC Platinum Cards was also presented as an incentive for participation. USC Platinum Cards are reward cards that gift holders with discounts and line-bypass as certain USC events or operations. For further questions please contact: Kevin Hurren Communications Officer University Students’ Council communications@westernusc.ca 519-661-2111 ext....

USC executive releases platform review, looking back at first term

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 2015’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 will be done second term and completion is 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....

Platinum Cards: a new reward program by the USC

As part of an ongoing initiative to encourage student participation in USC campaigns, the University Students’ Council introduces “Platinum Cards.” The Platinum Card program is an improved iteration of the Gold Card program, a project that began last year. After being well-received this year’s version includes even more benefits offered to cardholders. Having a USC Platinum Card entitles the holder and one guest to the following perks: 1. Free admission to any regular show at Western Film 2. 10% off any regular price purchase at The Purple Store 3. Line bypass to the Spoke on Wednesday nights 4. Line bypass to any USC concert A student can become a recipient of this card through a number of ways. Most often, by participating in one of the USC’s surveys attempting to garner student input. Platinum Cards may also be given sporadically as door prizes at USC sanctioned events. “We wanted a way to reward students for taking the time to engage with USC,” said Kevin Hurren, the USC’s communications officer. “Feedback is a major priority of the council’s communications portfolio this year, so these cards are meant to not only incentivize but strengthen our feedback mechanisms.” Platinum Cards rewards can be applied until May 30, 2016. For further inquiries please contact: Kevin Hurren Communications Officer University Students’ Council communications@westernusc.ca 519-661-2111 ext....

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