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Who is URSU? Katlyn Richardson (they/she) Students with Disabilities Director

Katlyn Richardson (they/she) URSU Students with Disabilities Director

Katlyn Richardson (they/she) URSU Students with Disabilities Director

What is your position at the University of Regina Students’ Union?

Director of Students with Disabilities

What does your work week usually involve?

Prior to Covid it involved me responding to emails, and keeping an ear out for issues that students were talking about in regards to accessibility or watching out for issues I had noticed myself. Now it involves emails and using social media to see about what students are struggling with and sharing my own experiences with the board to see what URSU can do to fix these.

What year of study are you in currently and in which faculty are you enrolled?

5th year in Media, Arts, and Performance

What would you like to do as an occupation in the future?

I would love to work in an advocacy role and try to make changes for people with disabilities in the community

How will this position help you in that field in the future and right now?

This position teaches me how to work with a multitude of backgrounds that I might never have gotten a chance to work with until years into the future. Here I also learned how to collaborate effectively and understand how the professional world works in an environment that is meant to be a learning experience.

How does your work benefit the students of the University of Regina and its Federated Colleges? How does it benefit the community?

I am someone listening for the voices that might otherwise not be heard if this seat was empty. I am also always looking for solutions that may not be thought of immediately to solve or reduce the impact of certain issues.

What do you like the most about your position?

Getting to see a different side of campus instead of just through the eyes of a student, I get to see it through the eyes of someone looking to make changes for the better.

What do you like most about working at URSU?

The people. The board supports each other and helps out with ideas that others might not have had. Plus the URSU staff have been extremely welcoming since I joined in 2019 and I love seeing more people get to be welcomed into this type of work and get the amazing supports that staff can offer because we would not be as effective as we are without them.

What are the biggest challenges or obstacles?

There have been several since I started. Covid is a big one as we are no longer working face to face so a majority of communication is through written word. Also with the fact that the board changes quite often does mean that there is always a rough period where the new people coming in have to get comfortable with everyone which means we don’t work as effectively for a little bit while everyone is getting into the swing of things.

What have you learned during your time so far with URSU?

That despite my area being more focused on accessibility and representation, I am not the only one on the board who sees the issues. This experience taught me more about working as a team than any other experience I have had. We all have to put in a lot of work that often goes unseen because not all of our efforts have results and that failure is okay because it makes you more effective at doing your job in the future. 

Why did you run for a position in the Students’ Union?

I felt that students with disabilities were ignored and something needed to be done. I felt like I could try to get things done as I was kind of tired of feeling like all I did was complain. Plus running in the election was free so I figured it was worth trying.

How do you want to help students?

By being a voice for them. I hold a bit more power than the average student. I want to use that to get things done. 

What are your plans to achieve this?

Listening to students and relaying issues to those who can help

How can students help?

Bring me your issues. I can only notice so much. If we work together, we can make change because I cannot do my job without students.

For information on the upcoming URSU By-Election, please visit ursu.ca/elections

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