I was first elected to the SA Board of Directors on March 12, 2020. A day later, our campuses in Ottawa, Pembroke and Perth were faced with what felt like insurmountable challenges as students and staff began working and learning remotely. Since then, you have elected me to serve a second term as president, with many of us still working and learning remotely.
My entire time on the SA Board of Directors has been remote, and it has given me a unique perspective on our college community. I have often commented on the resiliency of Algonquin College students – I’ve worked with students over the last two years who have overcome challenges I could not imagine having to face while studying.
We are a strong community. While I’ve seen difficulties, I’ve also seen students come together to help their peers, like students sharing mental health tips and resources with each other, and our Food Cupboard receiving record levels of donations.
We’ve all experienced – and continue to experience – this pandemic differently, but we’ve done it together. Our classmates have gone the extra mile for us, and we’ve done the same for them. The challenges we’ve collectively overcome this year will undoubtedly add to our resiliency and adaptability to change as we enter the workforce in the coming years.
As I look to the future, the coming months are full of exciting opportunities. I am writing this for the first print version of the Algonquin Times since 2020, and the college is continually updating plans for a return to campus activity. Whatever comes next for Algonquin College students may have its difficulties, and there will be more challenges, but I am confident in us – I have seen the best of our community in the last two years, and I can’t wait for what is next.