Copyright © 2019 Federation of Students, University of Waterloo operating as Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
Meet Your Feds Exec: Michael Beauchemin, President
Capturing the spirit of many students at the University of Waterloo, Michael Beauchemin loves to play video games, cook, and is a big fan of fantasy and science fiction. He is currently involved in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign as a scourge aasimar, who he describes as “reserved and held-back.” However, as your new Federation of Students president, Beauchemin plans to be the exact opposite of his DnD character.
Beauchemin began his journey in the UWaterloo community in 1A with the Engineering Society, where he continued to commit his remaining eight terms, dedicating all his free time to helping the students in his faculty. He also spent his fourth year on the Feds Board of Directors, where he realized that running for Feds President was the right role for him.
Beauchemin aims to have an executive team that operates with transparency and accountability both for the students and within the Feds organization.
“It all comes back to making sure that everything is happening out in the open and transparently,” Beauchemin said. “I think we have already gotten off to a good start.”
One of Beauchemin’s biggest goals for this year is to improve mental health on campus. He plans on approaching change in an innovative way by tackling the problem from its root.
“For the majority of students a big problem that they’re facing is that they feel socially excluded, and part of that is we do not necessarily communicate that well to people,” Beauchemin said. “I’m looking to increase the presence of the Federation, and also to embed healthy attitudes and introduce better approaches to mental health within the student body.”
Beauchemin hopes to increase the availability of mental health training programs such as QPR (Question, Persuade, and Refer) and More Feet On The Ground so that students are able to both help and find help in their peers. He is also working to introduce a new mental health course that will teach students about healthy mindsets, resiliency, and recognizing mental health needs, and is trying to make this available to STEM students as a complementary studies elective so that all students are able to integrate this training in their schedules.
A typical day for Beauchemin involves attending meetings, preparing for meetings, reviewing documents and policies, and attending to the never ending flow of emails in his inbox.
“I’ve had meetings with CO-SMH, Campus Wellness, and all kinds of people. They are all interested in helping students,” Beauchemin said. “It’s kind of humbling coming into this role and being the voice for all 30,000 students.”
When asked what he looks forward to most in this term as Feds President, Beauchemin joked that it’s “definitely not the 15 pounds they say I’ll gain.” However, he is excited to be able to meet and listen to a wide range of students and be their voice in providing feedback to the University administration and stakeholders.
Beauchemin currently holds office hours in his office in SLC 2118F on Mondays from 1 - 2 p.m. and is also looking to expand these hours outside of the Feds offices to different areas of campus so he can be accessible to more people.
You can contact president Michael Beauchemin through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling him at 519-888-4567 x32478.