Why you should get involved with your program’s course union

As a person who is heavily involved on campus, please believe me when I tell you I will only plug things I truly feel will benefit your experience as a Ryerson student. Now that being said, here’s a big fat plug: join your local course union!

For those of you who may not be familiar with the concept, each program at Ryerson has a student-run and student-focused course union that represents the program. In essence, these course unions are responsible for planning events for the entire student body and also connecting students to one another (amongst many other things). 

Like I mentioned in my intro post, I’m currently President of the Journalism Course Union (JCU), and I’ve been part of the JCU since my first semester at Ryerson when I was just a little ol’ First Year Representative!

Here are my top three reasons that explain why you should get involved with your program’s course union:

1. You get to make instant upper-year mentors/friends!

a group of individuals dressed in formal clothes posing together

My first-year course union team at our end of year Journalism Formal

As a first-year student, I was so glad I joined the JCU. The upper-years were incredibly nice to me, gave me so much advice and I truly felt like I had mentors that I didn’t even ask for. They were always willing to help, befriended me straight away and all in all –– just made it an experience I was glad to be a part of. Now, three years down the line and I’ll never forget what my very first year was like, and that’s in large part due to the team I was a part of. The JCU President at the time went on to write me recommendation letters and the VP events at the time ended up being the President who passed the reins on to me this year!

2. It helps you get to know people all across the program

If you’re looking for a way to get connected with all the different year groups in your program, what better way to do so than be the person responsible for catering to them? Being part of your program’s course union means you are quite literally everyone’s point of contact! It’s a great (and easy) way to put yourself out there and meet people outside of your classroom.

3. You make great connections with industry professionals

As I mentioned, being part of your program’s course unions means you’re required to plan events, and there’s a pretty good chance a few of them will involve speaking to industry professionals. For example, as part of the JCU, we put on an event known as Pub Talks where we invite industry professionals to speak with students in small groups using a rotation system. As a JCU member, you’re required to reach out to said industry professionals and invite them to attend, thus building that one-on-one personal relationship with them. Similarly, as part of your program’s course union, you could be presented with the opportunity to connect with industry professionals, and the connections you form with them can go a long way, even post-grad!

Truthfully, the list could be never-ending but I figured these would be enough to possibly convince you to join your program’s course union! As always, if you have any questions or just want to talk – follow me on Instagram and shoot me a DM or book a one-on-one meeting with me. Ciao!

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