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Time Management: Tips From An Olympian To Be A More Efficient Student Executive

As a student executive serving the student body of your university, you will be in a position where many students will rely on you to represent and act in their interests. Some days, you might feel overwhelmed with both academic and executive duties. You will be trusted to manage your personal responsibilities while being able to carry your student government weight seamlessly. What are the keys to succeeding at both? Time management and discipline. Well, this is what Concordia University student-olympian Philippe Beaudry suggests. Philippe is a world-class Canadian fencer who was part of the Canadian Olympic team in Beijing in 2008. He will have the opportunity to fence for his country once again in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Here is what he was able to share with OOHLALA:


As a kid, why did you choose fencing over all the other sports?


In fact, as a kid I tried a vast number of sports. I did judo, swimming, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, taekwondo, track and field and diving. When I arrived at Brebeuf High School at 13 years old, I wanted to try a new sport out of curiosity. And the moment I started fencing I had a passion for it. The rest is history.


When did you know you wanted to take fencing to the next level?


I knew I wanted to take fencing to the next level one year after I started fencing. After my first year of fencing I concluded my provincial season by winning the silver medal in the benjamin (under 15 year old) category and winning the bronze in the cadet (under 17). My coach thus decided to register me at the National championship. I did not achieve any results at the Nationals, but I watched the highest level of fencing in Canada and this is what inspired me during the next couple of years. I wanted to reach that level.


In high school, how tough was it to balance practice time and studying?

Balancing training and studying always has been hard. I quickly learned to organize my time better and discipline myself. I has always dreamt of going to the Olympics in fencing but I was not willing to sacrifice my grades for it. So I simply had to prioritize my activities and cut the distractions like computer games and TV.

The hardest part though was to manage my energy level. Many times I did not feel able to concentrate in my studying after a fencing training because I was exhausted. To manage this I had to make sure I slept enough and especially that I ate sufficiently and most of all that I ate as healthiest as possible to keep a high level of energy all day long.


As a student-athlete in university, how did you manage to excel both on and off the strip?

The work load in university is greater than in high school. Soon enough I had to realize what was the right number of classes I should register to so I could still do high level fencing without sacrificing my grades. I decided to take an average of 3 classes per semester. The most important part for me was that I was holding to my studies while training hard and traveling all around the world for my tournaments to achieve my dreams.


Is there any particular routine you have to stay focused in school as well as in fencing?

I try to use every bit of time that I have to make it as efficient as possible to achieve my objectives in fencing and in university. Some people call it sacrifices, but I simply call it priorities.


What kind of support do you regularly get from everyone from the government, to your friends and your parents?

My family and friends provide me a lot of moral support. As for the financial support to pay my fencing expenses, this year they originated from the provincial and federal government, one sponsor (Maskinon) and three scholarships from the National Bank, RDS and FIDA. Furthermore I gave around 25 conferences in Quebec schools which are remunerated, I organized a fundraiser by selling fencing posters in local tournaments and my therapist organized another fundraiser in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu to help me out.


We wish you the best of luck in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics, what are your predictions?


To get on the podium I need 3 victories in a row. On a good day I can do this. So wish me the best of luck so this good day will be the 29th of July!

Serving the student body of your college is very much similar to serving your country at the Olympics. You represent a group of individuals you may not necessarily know personally but who look up to you to represent them with pride. To do so, discipline is key. Juggling your academic responsibilities and your executive duties can look challenging at first but if your time is well managed, you will breeze through the year and succeed in flying colors. Rise up to the challenge!

If you are interested in following the progress of Philippe Beaudry at this year's Olympics, you can like his page on Facebook.


Quebec Students And Student Governments Fight For Their Rights

The goal of national and provincial student governments is to represent its student members and to unify the voices of their students to defend their rights. These national and provincial student governments have the mandate to work in partnership with individual campus student councils in order to listen to their needs and make democratic decisions based on their demands. The need for their existence is to create student regroupments large enough to have an effective weight on the decisions taken by provincial and federal governments. It is important that students be aware of the existence of these student councils to let their voices be heard by political governments. In Quebec, Canada, provincial student governments currently have their hands full as they attempt to make the voice of students loud enough to make a change. Here is the full story.

In February of 2012, the provincial government of Quebec in Canada tabled its education budget. The document included an increase in tuition fees expected to be in effect that same year. The provincial government prime minister Jean Charest announced that the students will have to deal with an increase of their tuition fees from 2,168$ CAN to 3,793$ CAN with annual increases until 2017. This represents a tuition hike of 75% in five years. This sudden increase was not well accepted by students across the province and initial demands were made by the students and their associations to re-evaluate the government's position. In front of the government's unwillingness to start a conversation with the students on the issue, a climate of revolution was installed and protests were being organized by the three major student associations in the province: the Quebec Federation of University Students (FEUQ), the Quebec Federation of CEGEP Students (FECQ) and the most militant of student groups, the CLASSE. The student "strike" was officially declared on February 13th, 2012.

After approximately three months of back and forth between the students and the provincial government, the conflit has still not been resolved. The government has since implemented Bill 78 that prevents students from protesting without noticing the authorities at least 8 hours prior to a protest and without providing them with a clear trajectory of their march. Students and their associations have responded with anger and have taken it to the streets of Quebec's metropolis, Montreal.

Provincial student governments like the FEUQ, the FECQ and the CLASSE are the backbone to this youth movement in Quebec, Canada. These associations are the ones that have made this "Quebec Spring" revolt possible with strong leadership and incredible student involvement. Without these engaged students, government officials would have had it their way with next to no consequence. The voice of students is a very powerful one because it is the plea of the upcoming decision makers of our society. Make sure your voice is heard!

Here are some statistics about the Quebec student "strike".

8 Reasons You Will Miss Your Student Life

Yes! The day is finally here! After all of these years of hardcore studying and partying, after all of these nights cramming your exam material at the end of the term and  organizing the biggest events of the year, after all of these hours preparing for your board presentations and finishing up your curriculum for the most important job interviews, you will finally make your parents proud and graduate from college. It will be a bittersweet moment when you will finally hit the employment market. A completely different world is waiting for you on the other side of the university gates. Students of all programs have diverging views of the world ahead. Here are some of the differences most of us will go through as we enter a new chapter of our adult lives:

Thanks to: The Degree 360