University of Calgary Makes Its Mark
Congress at McGill University Attracts 200-plus
Engineering Student Reps
BY MARY GRACE
University of Calgary
If there's a common misconception about engineering, it's that a student's
life simply consists of academics. Though at times this is true, the endless
nights in the computer lab must be balanced by events that are fun. Sure,
some students may prioritize one over the other, but both academics and
fun are essential to education.
At the University of Calgary, this balance can largely be accredited to
the efforts and leadership of the Engineering Students' Society. From
Jan. 3 to 7, a group representing the ESS joined the ranks of other engineering
students' societies from all across Canada.
The 33rd Canadian Federation of Engineering Students Congress was a working
adventure, designed to help the ESS make life on campus more relevant
-- and more fun. ESS president Keith Knudsen, vice-president external
Rajeev Joshi, vice-president first-year Dave Damberger, second-year delegate
Patrick Walls and first-year delegate Jennifer Setiawan travelled to McGill
University, the host institution of the congress.
The CFES Congress attracted more than 200 students from 40 Canadian universities
with American and European delegations also in attendance, creating a
legitimate international forum of student leaders.
In hopes to improve student life, the congress created an environment
at facilitating communication through the sharing of ideas and the exchange
of information between the schools. Delegates were informed of changes
occurring in society affecting engineering students and the engineering
profession. Also, further enriching the students' experience were the
various speakers and workshops offered.
Among the new plenary mandates that were passed was an amendment put forth
by the University of Calgary. Unanimously passed was a motion that changed
workshops from a more federation-based discussion to an engineering society
Improving communication between the society and industry is among the
new ideas that the Engineering Students' Society has adopted from the
congress and will implement next year. The society aims to do this by
inviting representatives from several companies to an information session.
Here, the ESS can tell industry what it is and what it does for students.
The congress was an opportunity to see and compare what other engineering
societies were doing for their student body, to learn and to improve.
"Our mission for any student-based society is to do our best to enrich
student life," says Keith Knudsen, the Calgary ESS president. "This
congress provided us with the means to improve ourselves by enlightening
us on what other engineering student societies are doing. And I will never
forget the experience."