Hello everyone, my name is Tomson Tran and I want to be your Vice President of Student Life. From the very beginning of my undergraduate, I fell in love with Applied Health Sciences (AHS) and the University of Waterloo. From my first ‘I LOVE IT’ cheer in AHS and my first moving of motion in a general meeting. I have never had a dull moment being part of the UW family.

My experience here at UW has been hectic (I did it to myself), from wanting to just get involved within the University! I joined AHSUM in my first year, and immediately knew I wanted to continue on with such a family unit. On AHSUM I create an internal system last year, that connected all the AHSUM members, and would keep them updated on the semester. This also helped with the tracking of our services. A few services that AHSUM expanded on was resources for students. Study supplies and support like textbooks, events about getting involved, learning how to do an Honours Thesis and many more.  The more unique service AHSUM has is half price shoe tags and a private study room for students. These services all help with student feeling apart of AHS and become the best they can be. This year as President I was able to expand our 11 team members to now a 40+ team. This helps better represent the AHS student body and empowers them.

Then my hunger lead me to join both Feds Council and Board the following year. By being involved in the UW community I got to witness all the fantastic initiatives that students were making on campus.  On Council and Board, I got to help improve the system for Funding Clubs and how IFC (Internal Funding Committee, 2016) then I also worked along with SLEF to help standardize the funding (2015). With Feds, I was part of CLAC (Campus Life Advisory Committee) where I was able to look into the Feds services and how to improve them. This also lead me to vet and approve RAISE. Finally, with Feds, I was able to lobby for the Legal Service Aid that is now a referendum!

My involvement did not stop there. I joined the Housing team in my third year as an FDA because I loved the amazing dynamic in housing. While part of Housing I was able to restructure the organisation of the internal system at the workplace. Having them all standardized and follow the same practice to ensure efficient service to better help students. While working as a Team Leader in Housing I was able to promote a 30 plus team to participate in spirit challenges in their spare time. This helped build a stronger rapport and friendship amongst co-workers.

Finally, within the Senate, I was able to advocate for the student on multiple issues. Throughout my 2 terms on Senate, I was able to do the following for students. Capping international tuition at 5%; changes to the co-op to include more research, not-for-profit and other opportunities for non-STEM students, passing policies to improve the experience of sexual assault and harassment survivors on campus; pushed the university to have more/better mental health services. Within the Committees of Senate, I was able to work on a few more projects. Advocated for a new Dean that was student-focused for AHS, making our university road safer by adding more stop signs and also improving campus safety by improving Way-Finding (changes are still to come).

Through all of my involvement in the University of Waterloo community, I grew to love and appreciate all the university has to offer. Every day I get to interact with so many people on this campus! If it’s for AHSUM, I’m either running around the building setting out little fires or hanging out in the office with my fellow AHS members. At the desk, every question is important! I love to take my time to ensure that I’m serving them with a big smile! The University has taught me so much and made me who I am today.