School is back in full swing, and so are many of the student run associations at UFV. One group that deserves mention is the Association of History Students (AHS). According to Kelsey Siemens, one of the Co-Presidents of the AHS, it is “a group of students who share a common interest in history, whether that be a casual interest or a field of study.” Siemens and Bryanne Jensen share the position of President, with assistance from Jordan Williams, the group’s Vice President.
Last semester, AHS held a lunch that was planned with the help of the history faculty. The lunch served over 200 students, and AHS provided desserts for everyone. This is just one example of the kind of functions the group aims to create. This year, the group hopes to take part in planning the History Tea – a gathering the faculty puts together every year for students who are interested in pursuing history as their major.
Siemens pointed out that the group is not just about planning events; “we want students who repeatedly end up in the same classrooms to get to know one another better.” The AHS is bringing the social aspect to their area of study, providing a cohesive atmosphere for the students involved. Siemens added, “We want to create and strengthen a large social support network for students; this will help make the university experience more comfortable and personal.”
Although the AHS is student -run, they work very closely with the professors of the history department: “they are incredibly supportive and always willing to lend a hand – or a baked good!” One of the projects the AHS work on is helping to write the “Debunker,” a history paper that faculty and students write and distribute.
The AHS provides an atmosphere that takes off the academic pressure. Siemens also points out that the group often helps organize study groups for the times of stress.
Getting involved in student life is sometimes intimidating or overwhelming, but like Siemens said, the AHS is there to take that stress away and create an opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests. The group is currently working on, “a start-of-semester ‘welcome back’ party, and [is] looking to implement a few film nights, or sessional series showings.”
“UFV History department head Robin Anderson outlined the benefits of volunteering with AHS, “Taking the time to volunteer is always a good idea when you’re working on your university degree; that’s a fact demonstrated statistically by the higher success rates of students, both academically and vocationally, who make the effort to become involved. And volunteering for a student organization that is central to your area of study can
lead to rich opportunities you might not even imagine before you start.”
“History students in the past who have given over a little bit of their time to the Association of History Students (AHS) have become key contributors to the life of the department, helping to put on department events, working with faculty on departmental projects, and simply raising their profile in the History program. The nice thing about AHS is that you can help out a little bit or a lot – either way, the benefits are enormous.”
The group doesn’t have a regular meeting time yet, but they try to get together once a month. If you are interested in getting involved in the group casually, send the two presidents an email to find out the next meeting date, to either Kelsey.Siemens2@student.ufv.ca or Bryanne.Jensen@student.ufv.ca. Additionally, the group currently has two positions open: Secretary and Treasurer.
Getting involved on campus is a great way to open more doors for both your academic life as well as your social life. Don’t be afraid to shoot these ladies an e-mail, they might even know a few History flavoured jokes, such as this classic:
Q. How was the Roman Empire cut in half?
A. With a pair of Caesars