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Colin Champagne said he sees the Board of Governors Representative position as one where you can put 10 hours per week in and do the job, or put 100 hours per week in and still not achieve everything you wanted.
I have to agree with him. First and foremost, it is a volunteer position. Whereas the rest of the Students’ Union’s executives are compensated with approximately $35,448 per year, BoG Rep doesn’t see a cent. When you take into consideration that the board votes on most of the issues of significance that the university deals with throughout the year, the importance of Champagne’s position cannot be understated.
In addition, it should be noted that the BoG Rep position has, in the past, been occupied by members who were accused of pushing individual agendas, or those of their faculties. Champagne did no such thing, and said he believes it is the responsibility of the BoG Rep to vote in the best interest of all students. In addition, he took to heart his role as part of the highest level of university administration, saying that the best interests of students and the best interests of the university were, more often than not, in alignment. For example, Champagne not only voted against rising costs to students (such as international tuition), but he also voiced concerns at the Board of Governors about meal plans and costs of living when other board members expressed frustration when students resisted said costs.
Champagne extended this even-handed approach to Students’ Council. He was a leader in chambers, pushing members when they needed to be pushed, and always ready with succinct responses when inquiries were made of him. Most importantly, Champagne grounded debate in how it would be perceived by the university and public at large, arguably making the policies and bylaws brought forward by council much more effective at being heard in other areas of university governance. His ability to check the somewhat long-winded and occasionally risky talking points in council also cannot be understated; he was the one who pushed council in camera when VP Sandare began discussing SU political strategy in an open council session.
Champagne is a seasoned veteran of student governance, and it showed throughout his term as BoG Rep. He pushed discussions when they needed to be pushed, and backed off when they didn’t. He was an active participant in council, and played his role perfectly on the Board and its committees. It’s evident that he took his position extremely seriously, and put in an unbelievable number of unpaid hours for the student body at large.