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UNIVERSITY OF LETHBRIDGE
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
50 YEARS, 50 VOICES
Jon was a student the University from 1984 to 1990. He was the editor of The Meliorist from 1986 to 1988, and Students Union President from 1988 to 1990. Later, he worked at the U of L Art Gallery from 1999 to 2004, managed the U of L Students’ Union from 2004 to 2008 and he is currently the administrative manager of the U of L Art Gallery.
Jon describes a couple of his favourite experiences while Student Union President at the University including setting up the first student food bank and launching the first undergraduate Health and Dental plan in Alberta in 1990.
The full audio interview will be made available online in late 2017. For more information please contact the University of Lethbridge Archives. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
And, I took a course, a GLER (General Liberal Education Requirement) from Dayna Daniels on Women and Poverty, and it was such an eye opening class and in part, that’s just the way Dayna was because then the classes would meet at the Food Bank or Lethbridge Family Services. It was just so eye opening and then you realize, a person who wants to be … as a student union leader you can’t really adequately know what those people are going through because we were setting up the Student Union Food Bank at the time. But it’s like middle class kids setting up a food bank and not consulting anyone who actually uses the food bank. So, from that I learned from what I learned from Dayna’s class ... I took it to deal with, a year later, the cutbacks with First Nations education and thought I’m not going to represent them, I’m going to find the people who can represent themselves. That was a favourite moment, realizing that’s the body-politic I think should work.
When I ran for Student Union President the second time I ran against somebody who ran … his platform was, ‘I’m going to end this Health and Dental Plan that these people are starting next year because it’s going to be too expensive and I’m going to reverse the decision on the Student Union Building funding referendum because it’s too expensive.’ The building was half-built so that would have been awkward but my concern … because I really cared the most about the Health and Dental Plan, I didn’t really care about the building. I cared about the Health and Dental Plan because I knew that a whole pile of people who had never had health and dental care in their life were going to have it and their small children would have it. And he lost the election but you know that’s not neither here nor there. A year later he enrolled himself and his new wife into the Health and Dental Plan and he later told me, he said, 'I just didn’t know what I was doing.' He said, 'It’s such a good thing.' So, that was, that was a favourite moment.
(Interviewed by Diane McKenzie)