Editor’s note: this article is a part of a series of candidate interviews. The External VP is responsible for tasks such as resource centres, liaising with South House and running services and campaigns.
Second-year student Aideen Reynolds (She/They) is hoping to motivate student activism as the KSU’s next External Vice President.
Reynolds is aiming for combined honours in Gender & Women’s Studies and Contemporary Studies. Their KSU experience began in first year when they acted as Residence Representative, and this year they sat on the Board of Governors.
“Every time I go to council, I feel really proud of myself and really proud of our community,” they said, recalling their time spent protecting fellow students from unfair fees and advocating for reduced tuition.
Reynolds hopes to continue this work as they reassemble the KSU’s External Action Committee to stage next year’s Fight the Fees campaign. They are hoping to alter the structure of the committee by offering temporary roles to members, as opposed to the traditional year-long commitments that they would usually occupy. “I am personally interested in making dedicated roles for students to get involved with campaigns,” they said, “but I don’t think that those roles can be as long lasting as what was previously done.”
They say that these temporary roles will help keep engagement high and maximize the potential of External Action campaigns. Reynolds wants to “give everyone a little bit of a task, and then what that allows us to do is get the world out a little bit quicker, and make big actions with a lot of people doing things.”
Reynolds was encouraged by the activist work undergone by first-years over the winter break, and is hoping to keep up that engaged momentum when the next semester rolls around. For them, the abnormal nature of the past year has drawn valuable new perspectives from the student body.
“This year has brought me a lot of hope,” they said, “I think that having a year whose foundation is kind of rocky, is kind of destabilized, is in many ways an advantage, because when we’re destabilized, we can see other options and work together.”
Making sure the more vulnerable members of the community are well supported is a top priority for Reynolds as well. As External Vice President, they would act as the KSU’s liaison with the South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre, which offers support, counselling, events and academic resources to queer students. Reynolds says they want to make students more aware of how the organization can help.
“Students as we know it have heard of South House and know they’re good … but don’t actually know specifically what South House can do for them,” they said, “I would be particularly interested in introducing their services to more of the King’s population.”