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Presidential Profile: Tyler Van Herzele

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

Meet Tyler Van Herzele, one of Wilfrid Laurier’s potential Students’ Union Presidents! It’s hard to vote for someone to represent you as a student when you hardly know them, so we thought we would help you get to know Tyler with a small interview.

Name: Tyler Van Herzele

Age: 23

Hometown: Delhi, Ontario

Year: 5th year

Program: Concurrent Education, Junior/Intermediate Division

Quote to live by?

One quote which has always stuck with me is, “The day you stop learning is the day you stop growing.” I firmly believe that we can learn something instrumental to our development every single day of our lives. I promise to never stop learning about you all, and how to best represent you. You don’t walk into a role like President and CEO knowing everything you need to know, but as long as your mind and ears are open, you can learn everything you need to succeed.

Describe yourself in one word.

If I had to pick one word it would be “dedicated.” Dedicated to Laurier, to the Students’ Union, to you, to me, and to the future. I am dedicated to be the best I can be, for you, and impact others around me in a positive way.

What is one thing most people do not know about you?

I’m not a very private person, and anyone who has creeped my Facebook profile will have noticed this, but, I was heavy into the dramatic arts in high school. I cannot sing, but was placed in many musicals… with singing roles. I cannot dance, but I was placed in many musical numbers… but, to be honest, I loved it and I miss it. It was not the “popular” thing to do at my high school, but you have to do what you are passionate towards, otherwise you are not living life to your own expectations.

What does being a Golden Hawk mean to you?

Being a Golden Hawk means taking your passion and pursuing it to achieve greatness. This institution allows all of us to do this. Whether or not you are striving to become a lawyer, entrepreneur, marketing manager, teacher, environmentalist, journalist, game designer, politician, musician, social worker, artist, or businessperson, you can achieve new heights here at Laurier. All Golden Hawks embody what it means to make change while bettering themselves during their journey to graduation day. Each of us has our own story, our own journey, filled with ups and downs, but at our core, we are all golden.

So you’re running for Students’ Union president. How did you get to here from where you started at Laurier 4/5 years ago?

I know every presidential candidate says this, but if I told 1st year me that I would be where I am now in my last year of my undergrad… I wouldn’t have believed myself. In my first year, I volunteered with residence life. It was that year that I realized that university is not as huge as I thought. There may be more people than in high school, but there are also more opportunities to experience. From that day on, I promised myself I would try to get out there and have a well-rounded university experience, all the while develop myself into the leader I always wanted to be. In my years, I’ve been a Student Ambassador, Residence Life Don, Director of Orientation, Headstart Leader, Students’ Union Coordinator, LEAP Skillbuilder, and above all else, a student looking to achieve something great. I’ve been fortunate to experience a lot of what this university has to offer and I could not be more proud to be a part of the Laurier community. In my last year, I wanted to reflect upon my experiences and focus on something to end off this amazing journey. I realized that the best times I’ve had have been when I was making real change through student connection, advocating for students, supporting students, all the while working towards my goals. At that point I realized there was one role that would allow me to take my efforts and turn them into an opportunity to represent ALL Laurier students, and that would be the role of Students’ Union President and CEO. Well, here we are!

How do you balance academics, a social life, and being involved on campus?

Organizing my life into calendars. I like to schedule things as much as I can so I don’t forget anything. That way, I make myself accountable for completing things. When an alarm goes off on my phone, I know there is something I need to do and it allows me to plan well in advance. These 3 aspects of student life can help balance themselves if you organize it right though. My passion for volunteering makes whatever work (planning, meetings, events) become fun and relaxing. My social life is much to do with the relationships I have fostered over the years volunteering here at Laurier and my academics allow me to focus ahead and plan for my future. If you can balance those 3 aspects of student life, you will never worry about wasting a day away.

If you could be compared to one leader who has ever lived, who would it be? Why?

If I could be compared to one leader, I would choose Jim Carrey. I know this isn’t a traditional answer to this question, but I’ve always admired his character. Jim has said quite openly that he has dedicated his life to making people laugh. When looking at my experiences, I realized I have also dedicated my efforts to one cause, which is ensuring students are having the best experience they can. I identify with Jim in other ways as well. His own personal struggles and attitudes towards mental health and taking care of yourself are things I resonate well with. He did a graduation speech last year that really changed how I looked at him and his performances. I admire his strength, wisdom, and all around genuine good nature. I like to think I am also one who can help others while making sure to represent my morals and stay true to myself.

What has been your biggest inspiration here at Laurier?

This is honestly such a hard question to answer. Every year I am inspired by so many different people who make up a lot of the student culture at this university. If I had to choose one group specifically, I would say each incoming class inspires me the most. Throughout my experiences, I have spent a lot of time working to enhance the first year experience. One thing that never ceases to inspire me is the continuous enthusiasm and willingness to participate that first year students have. I’ve been an icebreaker, O-Week executive, and Director of Orientation, and throughout all of these experiences I have seen students who literally don’t know anybody step up and say “I want to do something big.” I find it inspiring to see those students do exactly that over the coming years. I met a number of members of my campaign team in their first year here and I have had the pleasure of seeing them reach for their dreams and achieve great things. I believe we all inspire each other, and that’s part of what makes Laurier what it is.

If you are elected, what will be the first thing you do?

The first thing I will do is talk to the students at Wilf’s that night, all of them. A lot of work goes into running a campaign, and the dedication the folks in that room have for elections goes above and beyond. My success would be the direct outcome of the voting population and my team’s hard work. We are a united front, and without them I am only a man with a dream. The student body is what I am here to represent and I will want to spend that time, in that moment, with them. After all, they are the reason this position exists, and they are the reason I am running for President in the first place.

We are so glad we got to know this amazing candidate and person!

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Lauren Burnside

Wilfrid Laurier

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Emily Webster

Wilfrid Laurier

You will typically see me with a large cup of tea and browsing social media under the fairy lights and reading up on my favourite lady bosses (Mindy Kaling let me be you please). Also my trivia regarding superheroes is endless. I have more music than time to listen to and someone definitely should consider taking away my blogging privileges. My love for pop culture is limitless and Netflix is the true MVP in my opinion. Contributor writer for HerCampus Laurier Stalk me and let's be friends here: Insta & Twitter: webofem