Headline: Imprint Feature: Catherine Dong Deck: Meet your new Vice President, Student Life

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Catherine Dong was voted Vice President, Student Life, with 736 (81.96%) yes votes in the recent WUSA elections. 

  1. How does it feel to be elected as a WUSA Executive?

Honestly, it’s a bit surreal! I never expected to be taking on such a large role during my student career. When the idea was brought up for me to join the team though, I was nothing but excited—and that excitement is still very much with me now. There’s so much to do and so little time!

  1. What is the first thing you will do when you start your term?

Probably make myself a cup of coffee. And answer a lot of emails.

  1. What are you most excited about?

There are a lot of moving pieces to the VPSL portfolio, but I’ll admit that it’s still our sustainability project that puts the most sparkle in my eye. I’m particularly looking forward to connecting with our fantastic Sustainability Commissioner (hi Michelle!) about how we can best collaborate in making the WUSA Sustainability Project everything it has the potential to be.

  1. What is something you will do differently this year compared to last year?

Great work is built on existing foundations, so I’m incredibly grateful for all the time and energy that this year’s Executives have poured into the WUSA that my team will be inheriting. In terms of one goal that my team has talked about, we’re looking to be very proactive about communicating what’s going on to the at-large membership. Feeling left in the dark can be extremely frustrating, especially when it’s your dollars being spent each term—I plan to be part of making sure that we’re always letting students know what we’re working on. Hopefully, that active engagement in one direction will encourage responses in the other!

  1. Will you be working remotely? If yes, how do you feel about it?

At least for the foreseeable future, I imagine that I’ll be working almost entirely remotely. It’s not ideal of course, but it’s an important arrangement to stick with to keep ourselves and each other safe. With regards to how I feel about it: bring it on! The virus can suck it; I’m staying home. At least I can have snacks all the time.

  1. What is something you would like to say to the student body?

Come May, I’ll suddenly have a lot more responsibility than I ever thought I’d be entrusted with. That comes with a lot of opportunity to fight for the change I believe is right, and so I’d like to thank each and every person who took the time to vote. (Even if it was against me—if you’re comfortable sharing, I’d love to know why!)

At the core of it all though, I am still a student. I take classes, pay my fees, and stay up late refreshing my interviews page. After this coming year is over, I’ll diving straight back into my degree. I hope that that gives you faith that, at heart, my interests truly do lie with students, and that I’ll never make a decision that I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of.

I also hope that all this keeps me approachable. I always, always want to hear from you, and my inbox is always open: catherine.dong@uwaterloo.ca.

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