✦Interview with Mo Baydoun
Executives at the BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) work hard to advocate for the students they represent. Over their leadership term, they are tasked with running initiatives, projects (including events) that contribute to the student community. Past initiatives included hackathons and the 2022 Winter Fest.
To find out more about how executives enact change and drive success, I interview one—Mo Baydoun, Chair of the School of Computing and Academic Studies on the Burnaby campus. Since stepping into his position last summer, Mo has accomplished a lot, with his initiatives being to “bolster Set Representative recruiting efforts”—Set Representatives are students who represent and advocate for their classmates—and to “promote health and wellness.”
According to Mo, executives get to pick their initiatives: “It can be anything you’re passionate about, but all initiatives need to go through the Council first. The key is to find an overlap between topics you’re passionate about and student interests.”
Considering how wide the scope of options is, I was interested in knowing what motivated him to decide on his two initiatives.
Mo recalls, “I noticed the School of Computing and Academic Studies didn’t have as many set reps, and the set reps we recruit tend to all be in the same program. This motivated me to choose recruiting as one of my initiatives because it’s important to myself and the BCITSA that we promote diversity and inclusion [in] any way we can.
“Promoting health and wellness is [also] something I’m passionate about. A lot of programs within my school tend to be sedentary. This can cause damage over the years that might not be visible right away. By promoting wellness early on, we have the potential to create a lifelong positive change in students. That’s why I included it as one of my initiatives.”
With these insights, I wanted to know what it took to implement those initiatives, which “can take two or three months before anything is implemented,” as Mo reveals. “There can be quite a bit of planning involved depending on your initiative. You have to manage your budget, source funds, reach out to people, and more.”
Mo is now beginning to implement his initiatives. At the time of writing, he’s recruited nearly 20 set representatives, with more expected to join. As for his health and wellness initiative, Mo is looking into working with the BCITSA marketing department for help with raising awareness.
Reflecting on his overall experience in developing initiatives, Mo says, “It’s truly a rewarding process. It opens up a lot of opportunities and the [BCITSA] prepares you for success. While carrying out your initiative, you’ll have an excellent network of support right alongside you to help you out.”
Now that you’ve heard Mo’s story, consider these questions: Are you interested in enacting change? Do you have an initiative you’re passionate about? If your answers are yes, get in touch with the BCITSA for more information on taking on an Executive role!