November, 2000

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University of Calgary Makes Its Mark

Congress at McGill University Attracts 200-plus
Engineering Student Reps

University of Calgary

If there's a common misconception about engineering, it's that a student's life simply consists of academics. Though at times this is true, the endless nights in the computer lab must be balanced by events that are fun. Sure, some students may prioritize one over the other, but both academics and fun are essential to education.

At the University of Calgary, this balance can largely be accredited to the efforts and leadership of the Engineering Students' Society. From Jan. 3 to 7, a group representing the ESS joined the ranks of other engineering students' societies from all across Canada.

The 33rd Canadian Federation of Engineering Students Congress was a working adventure, designed to help the ESS make life on campus more relevant -- and more fun. ESS president Keith Knudsen, vice-president external Rajeev Joshi, vice-president first-year Dave Damberger, second-year delegate Patrick Walls and first-year delegate Jennifer Setiawan travelled to McGill University, the host institution of the congress.

The CFES Congress attracted more than 200 students from 40 Canadian universities with American and European delegations also in attendance, creating a legitimate international forum of student leaders.

In hopes to improve student life, the congress created an environment aimed
at facilitating communication through the sharing of ideas and the exchange of information between the schools. Delegates were informed of changes occurring in society affecting engineering students and the engineering profession. Also, further enriching the students' experience were the various speakers and workshops offered.

Among the new plenary mandates that were passed was an amendment put forth by the University of Calgary. Unanimously passed was a motion that changed workshops from a more federation-based discussion to an engineering society sharing session.

Improving communication between the society and industry is among the new ideas that the Engineering Students' Society has adopted from the congress and will implement next year. The society aims to do this by inviting representatives from several companies to an information session. Here, the ESS can tell industry what it is and what it does for students.
The congress was an opportunity to see and compare what other engineering societies were doing for their student body, to learn and to improve.

"Our mission for any student-based society is to do our best to enrich student life," says Keith Knudsen, the Calgary ESS president. "This congress provided us with the means to improve ourselves by enlightening us on what other engineering student societies are doing. And I will never forget the experience."

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