TCSA: How it started, where it’s going
An interview with Justin Hand-Gregory, TAV’s Student Experience Advisor
Why did you start the TCSA?
We wanted to give students experience in things like leadership, project management and budgeting. The jobs are mainly geared towards pre-university students who are looking to add something to their university and/or job applications.
We didn’t have any clubs beforehand aside from The TAV Times. We wanted to have an umbrella club which would be in charge of managing and helping out the other clubs. We started it in 2019. We add structure to it every year.
What are some important things that are important in a team?
My optimistic goal is to have 4 executive positions. My idea was to have people from very specific programs fill each of these positions.
For example, I envisioned that the VP of finance would be from the Commerce program or the VP of communications from the ALC program. This would give them very specific experience in a realistic setting.
The president would optimistically be from the Social Science program because they are studying political science, law and also cultural context. The president, for me, is the most important position to be selective about. It should ideally be someone who wants to be a leader, has past experiences in leadership positions and who wants that experience. They should also be someone who can be understanding, patient, manage a team and is open to criticism.
What’s the ideal relationship between the TCSA and the clubs?
The TCSA would meet weekly and discuss what’s going on in the other clubs, how can they help them, where are they holding and things like that.
The VP of operations would be in charge of getting resources, materials and equipment for both the TCSA’s events and for the other clubs. Optimistically, they’d be in charge of communicating and checking in with the leaders of every club.
What is your vision for the TCSA?
There are two things which I hope happen over the next five years.
We have the new building which will bring a lot more space and resources. In the new building, we have a lot more private study rooms. I’m envisioning those as club rooms. We’ll maybe put a schedule outside the door so clubs can reserve them to meet. One thing that we are currently lacking is a place for clubs to call home.
The next thing, which will be a huge project, would be to add a student association fee to every student who registers at TAV. That fee would work towards giving the TCSA an actual budget which they can use. Working with a budget will create a lot more work for the club but it’s definitely doable. It’s just a matter of thinking how we will get to that point.
Ten years down the road, we’d have the TCSA think about how we can help every single type of student at TAV. We currently have a lot of international students and AEC students but we are mainly catering to the pre-university students.
What are the steps you are taking to get to that point?
Every year, I listen to the executive cabinet and I take notes on what is and isn’t working. Each year, I’m noticing that the implemented changes are working better.
Eventually, we’ll have the current team help find the next year's team. They’d be able to train them in. The new team would be able to hit the ground running right away.