What can I say about the SA? We know how to have fun while at work. Over the summer I have enjoyed the moments between work when we chat about life and such. It hasn’t felt quite like work to me. I have been stressed out at times. I never forget to enjoy the process though. The experience overall has been exciting, enlightening, and the best opportunity for growth I have ever taken.

 Over the summer I have tended to a garden nearby Vic East campus. It has been a rewarding experience in that I can learn about the things I enjoy while serving the public. I am grateful that this garden fell under the interest of the SA.

 I can’t write about the SA without mentioning all the work Bryden Moar is doing. Bryden is the Vice President of Events and Marketing. He has been hard at work planning B-Queer, Drag-U, and with the responsibility he takes on I cannot give thanks enough. I hope more folks like Bryden join the SA this year.

 One of the projects I have worked on includes the Paw Pass. It’s a new thing for me to walk into a business with an envelope and not be asking for a job. Instead, I got to chat about their business and see if they would like to provide discounts to students of ACC and Brandon University. I travelled to Dauphin and all over Brandon to see who wanted to join. The Paw Pass student discount program is a project that we partner on with Brandon University Students Union annually. Together with BUSU we expect to confirm approximately 50 contracts with businesses in Brandon and area.

 The rec room is coming along nicely. I’m glad that R.C. Amusements came by and re-felted our pool tables. By the end of the year I would like to add more to the room. I am just not certain what the students want. I’m open to student input about what you would like to see in your student spaces at Assiniboine campuses. Please feel welcome to email me with your input at sapresident@assiniboine.net. You may also mention it when you see me in the hallway.

 The professional development provided to me and Bryden by Leader’s Hall at Niagara College was excellent. We had loads of fun singing karaoke and mingling with other student leaders. This was between the seminars and interactive discussions with influential leaders and entrepreneurs. If you join the SA Council or Executive Council you will have plenty of opportunity to sharpen your resume and make connections that could help you in your future.

 Looking ahead, I am curious to see how student orientations, Welcome Week, and Back in the Saddle will go. The orientations will mostly happen during the college’s event called Xplore ACC. The SA will have a big presence there this year. We’ll have a booth, some give-aways, we’re helping to host the BBQ, and we’re hosting a bus tour after the BBQ. I’ve put lots of work into planning this bus tour. I’m excited to guide students around Brandon to help them learn what important resources are available to them, and where they can go to hang-out and have a good time. Welcome Week is something the SA is planning. It’s the first week of classes this September, and it includes the annual Back in the Saddle Social which will feature a mechanical bull at Houston’s.

 I’m very pleased to have joined the SA, as I feel like a better version of myself. I have a means of not only improving my skills, but influencing others in that they might seek to improve their own. If I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate to become more active in life. Even if it means just smiling at people, because when you’re smiling the world smiles along with you.

Shawn Larway, President, ACC Students’ Association