Meet Ashlee Redmond, a Student Representative on the Innis College Council.
I’m Ashlee — I’m a fourth year student majoring in English and double-minoring in Women and Gender Studies and Political Science!
I am the Student Speaker on ICC which means I am an ex officio (automatic) member of all 4 ICC boards (Academic Affairs, Community Affairs, College Affairs and of course Student Affairs) and I will occasionally chair general meeting of council. I also represent the student voice on the Executive Committee which meets to set the time and agenda of general council meetings.
For those who may not know, “parity governance” essentially means that there is equal representation of students and staff that sit on Innis College Council. ICC was the first, and remains to be the only, governing body at U of T like this! The parity governance structure creates a space for students’ opinions, ideas, and innovation to be heard on matters that will ultimately affect them and generations of Innis College students to come. ICC provides students with a seat at the table to take part in the discussions of how their college is run.
I think if you strip the word “politics” down to one of it’s most simplistic forms you can define it, in part, as “decisions that hold power and can influence a group of people”. I would encourage students to be involved in politics at any level because their engagement can change outcomes political decision-making for their own benefit. If we consider ICC as an example, the students are the ones paying into the college’s study levy, which annually generates approximately $32,000, and by running and getting elected onto council, then are given the opportunity to negotiate how those student fees are used! You, as a student, are directly affected by the outcomes of these council decisions so of course it makes sense to get involved in the process that goes into the final verdict.
Don’t expect to be top of your class when there’s 400 other students writing the same on the same essay prompt! Adjusting to U of T is a process. Take your time.