After over a year with the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association (WUSA) operating online, current WUSA president Benjamin Easton said the organization has accomplished many successful operations.
Easton joined WUSA through a position on the Student Council in 2016, and has since been a first-term councillor, on the Municipal Affairs Commission and on the Board of Directors. He was chair of the board from 2020 to 2021.
“I think all this experience put me in a good position to be president this year,” said Easton, describing his time in advocacy, politics at council, as well as in internal corporate management, legal and HR affairs with WUSA.
WUSA has been providing students with support and events during the last few online terms.
“I’m happy to say that over the past year we had more than 100 active clubs per term,” Easton said, proud of the more than 2,000 online events in the past year WUSA has run, with a sum of engagement from over 5,000 undergraduate students.
“I’m really proud of the work that was done to adapt and try to meet students where they are in trying to provide a sense of community at a time where we’re all isolated,” Easton said.
The virtual event, Xchanges: The Borders of Being, an annual conference run by Racial Advocacy for Inclusion, Solidarity and Equity (RAISE), comes to mind for the president when asked about past successful virtual events. The event consisted of speakers from a variety of disciplines and walks of life who spoke about borders that govern lives, including Angela Davis, an American political activist.
For upcoming terms with potential in-person campus activity, Easton emphasized that WUSA will be continuing their online presence in acknowledgment of domestic and international students who can’t physically be on campus due to various circumstances.
Easton mentioned WUSA is expecting the Student Life Centre-Physical Activities Complex expansion will have an opening ceremony in the fall. “Fingers crossed, but things are looking good,” Easton said.