By Eryn Pinksen
Students have the opportunity to run for Senate, which is comprised of representatives from all nine sectors of NAIT. Nominations run from Aug 27 to Sep 30 and the online election is October 10 to 16.
Past senate member Joning Yu would be running again if not for graduating in the fall.
“Meeting other senators and other teams from different programs is a great experience because they are proactive people who take initiative and you will all learn from each other,” said Yu.
The Senate governs NAITSA, the student’s association, passes bylaws, approves the budget, and keeps the Executive Council accountable. Students are elected to represent the nine program groups at NAIT.
Last year there were 16 students including Yu, but she said that at first it can definitely feel intimidating to get involved.
“Initially it sounds a little scary,” said Yu. “You are technically competing with other candidates and you don’t know how many candidates there will be.”
“What makes me feel like doing it is that we are students’ voice and we bring that voice to the NAITSA executives and, to me, that’s really important.”
Yu is in the diploma business program studying finance. While she served on the Senate and finance subcommittee, she also worked as a peer mentor in the NAIT International Centre and took five courses per semester.
She said to keep a balanced schedule it’s important to know the things that motivate you and prioritize with a schedule.
“Know what to expect and what your expectations are for yourself,” said Yu. “I know what my bad habits are so I can try to prevent them.”
The general Senate meetings are bi-weekly where the senators question the Executive Council on their objectives and projects to ensure the student voice is represented.
“It’s a really formal type of meeting, which I wasn’t used to sitting in,” said Yu. “The organizations I have worked for weren’t as formal. But you will learn a lot about how it works in a more political meeting.”
Despite having an adjustment to the meeting style, Yu explains that the chair is very patient and questions are always encouraged.
“It’s a great way to learn and grow, to get involved on campus, to gain a different experience and to learn how executive works and how everything operates between NAITSA and NAIT,” said Yu. “I would say it will broaden your horizons.”