Why you need to vote for the GBC

It’s that time of year again – when the next batch of executives of the Schulich Graduate Business Council are rallying for the votes of the study body. Although many hardly know the names and faces that are on the executive board each year, it is imperative that we, students, vote for the leaders who we think would best represents our needs.

Sure, on the surface, this may appear as any vote for a student-run government. But the reality is that the GBC actually does quite a bit to affect your experience as a student and customer at the Schulich school.

As a director for three years on the GBC council, I have seen my fair share of politics, and it has been my privilege and pleasure to serve along an intelligent, caring, and ultimately, good group of people. Being an executive on the GBC is a thankless job – we have weekly council meetings, executive meetings, portfolio duties, and regular interaction and collaboration with administration, alumni, corporate partners, the community, and students of course.

Best of all, is the amount of time and effort that is put into building a truly fantastic student experience. Throughout the year, the Schulich GBC, along with the school itself, puts together anywhere between 80-100 events, workshops, and academic sessions. From your networking dinners (where we invite a small group of students to a restaurant every other week), to our weekly socials (that range from bar nights to supper clubs), to our community events (that include the likes of the Easter Seals 24 Hour Relay, Habit for Humanity, and Movember), to our signature events (MBA Insights, The Fall Getaway (aka Schulympics), Culture Crawl, the Winter Getaway, The MBA Games, the Graduate Ball, and the Schmooze Cruise) that bring in anywhere between 200-500 students.

Each one of these events takes a significant amount of effort and planning to get going. The old adage, “if you build it, they will come” surely does not apply to events – as anyone who has planned an MBA event can tell you. Between work, (or looking for work), school, family, friends, eating and sleeping, the average MBA simply does not have the time to attend all of these events and workshops. And thus, as event planners, we must give our students value for attending these events (whether it’s learning something new, meeting new people, or simply a good night out). And since GBC events have seen such high participation rates over the past few years, this is a testament to the quality of these events, and perhaps less evidently, the amount of work that has gone into them.

Although the election process can appear as a popularity contest, I can assure you, that that’s not often the case. In the three years that I’ve been involved – I’ve seen my fair share of the ‘underdog’ beating out the cool kid because he/she simply demonstrated the desire to effect change for the better.

Who you vote as your next GBC executive council will ultimately affect your quality of life as an MBA student.

The following are some questions you need to ask yourself when voting:

  • Is this person running for the right reasons? Do they want to improve the Schulich experience or are they looking for a line item on the resume?
  • Does this person have the experience, and if not, willing to put the effort in to get the job done?
  • Does this person know anything about the GBC or are they making empty promises? Often, we see candidates promising everything and a cherry on top. I once heard a candidate promise that he would put laptops in every room. Another promised to put treadmills on the second floor. Many often promise to fix the school’s WIFI. A little research would have shown these candidates that these things are beyond our means.
  • And most importantly – what was this person’s involvement with the GBC prior to running? This, to me, is often a sign of whether or not someone is running for the right reasons. If participating in and improving the student experience is important to this candidate, then they would have done so previously.

Keeping these things in mind in voting will help you choose the right candidate. But, of course, there is no single formula to determining the best leaders.

So why is this important to me? As an alumni-to-be, the Schulich experience is of utmost importance to me. In the past four years, I have put everything I can into the school because I believe in the program and absolutely loved my experience – perhaps to the detriment to my relationships and affairs outside of the program, at times. I have grown tremendously in my time here, and I owe a lot of it to the GBC. Continuing this tradition is very dear to my heart.

We, Schuligans, have the fortunate dilemma of having a large group of people who want to represent and serve the student body. The least you could do, for them, the students, and yourself – is spend the 15 minutes to learn who these candidates are and vote for the right ones. I assure you, it will be worth your time.

Find out more about the Schulich Graduate Business Council at http://gbc.schulich.yorku.ca

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