Though newbies to Laurier Brantford probably won’t notice, observant students might recognize that the First Year Council, one of the many committees to fall under the Wilfrid Laurier University Students Union unbrella, is no longer in existence.
“FYC’s role last year was to provide first year students in residence and off campus with an introduction to university life, as well as provide them with fun activities to take their mind off the stress of first year in university,” explains Richie Tempest, former coordinator of First Year Council.
Because first year students have trouble making their voices heard at the annual elections that take place each February – several months before new students begin their studies at Laurier – First Year Council was established to act as a representational group for first-year students among the elected student council.
“The original intent of the committee was to advise council when needed about the first year voice,” explains Executive Vice President of Brantford Operations, Melissa Burke. “However, somewhere this function got lost along the way and FYC became a programming committee for first year students.”
With various groups around campus already planning events for students, First Year Council was seen as redundant and no longer necessary.
The main reason for this redundancy lies within the Brantford Activities Team, which is also a part of WLUSU and is responsible for programming events for students of all levels. To make things more streamlined, FYC has been merged with the activities team.
Tempest feels this is a positive change for the committee, noting that FYC often experienced difficulties attracting volunteers to join the committee, and event attendance was often low.
The Brantford Activities Team, which is now being rebranded as the “Hawk Team”, will “offer opportunities for students to enjoy their university life outside of the classroom,” says Amanda Flanagan, Hawk Team Coordinator.
Flanagan stated that the goal of the Hawk Team this coming year is to brand it as the event planning committee for all students at Laurier Brantford. Burke explains that with the dissolution of FYC and the enhancement of the Hawk Team, students “will see events that are better planned and facilitated and even more exciting than in years past.”
After spending several years as the “Brantford Activities Team” (more often referred to as BAT), Flanagan clarifies the reason for the name change:
“We felt that Brantford Activities Team was a more difficult name to brand for students, especially with all the new structure changes to the committee. The name Hawk Team kind of grew from that.”