New GHSA President encourages student engagement inside and outside the classroom
Tristan Gerrie has always taken a broad view of what it means to be part of the University of Guelph-Humber community. As a fourth-year student in the Family and Community Social Services program -- and as incoming President of the University of Guelph-Humber Student Association -- he invites all students to do the same.
“I cannot encourage students enough to get involved,” Gerrie believes, reflecting on his own academic and extracurricular journey at the University of Guelph-Humber.
Gerrie himself hit the ground running, joining the Social Justice Committee in his first year and eventually joining the executive. He kept up the momentum in his second year, joining the University of Guelph-Humber Student Association as FCSS representative; he subsequently, and successfully, ran for Vice President Operations.
Running for President felt like a natural progression: “I ran for the position as a way to make a difference around campus, by organizing events to increase student life and participation and to have a voice in regards to academic changes.” The GHSA is an invaluable part of the University of Guelph-Humber community, he continues: “[we are] the voice of the student body. The GHSA works to represent students by collaborating with administration, faculty and students to help all parties make informed decisions, while liaising between all groups when necessary.”
Gerrie is also an enthusiastic ambassador for the Family and Community Social Services program; he values both its academic and applied components, particularly the breadth of opportunities available through the FCSS practicum placements. Over the course of his degree, Gerrie chose organizations and positions that aligned with his social justice values: facilitating independent living for adults with developmental disabilities, designing enrichment programs for long-term care residents and, this fall, joining Family Service Toronto in the Service Access Unit.
Gerrie has advice for prospective, incoming, and current University of Guelph-Humber students: don’t leave your in-class learning behind when you walk out the door. Students should take the opportunity to bring to the table both the hard and soft skills they learn in class, particularly interpersonal communication and working with groups.
However, Gerrie stresses that the arrangement is reciprocal: “the learning that you receive from extracurricular activities can [in turn] truly enrich your academic journey.”
With FCSS placements and the wealth of opportunities available for student involvement on campus, Gerrie knows first-hand the advantages of engaging with the university community and encourages all students to make the most of their time at the University of Guelph-Humber, as well.
For more information about the University of Guelph-Humber Student Association, visit ghsaweb.com
For more information about the Family and Community Social Services (FCSS) program at the University of Guelph-Humber, visit guelphhumber.ca/family.