StFX alumni in politics gives students a voice
One thing that StFX is best known for is its involved and passionate alumni community. For students just starting out on their undergrad journey, the idea of being a Xaverian beyond four years may seem too far away to worry about. However, our alumni community has the potential to represent more than just returning to campus for homecoming. Among StFX's alumni stories are those who have found success in Canadian politics. Politicians have a unique power that many government positions do not – they have the opportunities to not only launch positive change, but also act as a mediator for the people who want to.
A great example of this is Sean Fraser. He is a Liberal member of parliament representing the riding of Central Nova, and also an X grad. Very active on social media, Fraser's twitter gives off an approachable atmosphere and showcases his involvement in Central Nova Scotian communities. What does this mean for you? It means that you have someone in the know. Like most StFX alumni, Fraser is proud to be a part of the circle. Of course, writing to any member of parliament if you have concerns or ideas is fine, but the chances of having your thoughts listened to are far greater if you have something in common with the MP. An MP with a StFX background might also be aware of any university or township issues before someone even asks them about it, which is another advantage.
Beyond using alumni power as a voice, there is also the way in which StFX alumni can inspire others to go forward with their own career decisions. StFX publishes an Alumni News magazine twice annually. For Summer 2018, included was an article about women who graduated from StFX and how the university encouraged and empowered them to achieve success in whatever they wanted to do. Liberal Nova Scotia MP Bernadette Jordan became the first woman to represent the South Shore-St. Margaret's riding, and she says that StFX, “ignited [her] passion for federal politics.” By sharing her story to other members of the Xaverian community, she has shown that she is not simply here to represent her undergrad. Her accomplishments inspire women in the community, whether they be politically-inclined or otherwise, to reach their goals.
Furthermore, political alumni have another big way to contribute to StFX; donations and buildings! Most recently, The Mulroney Institute of Government has been built due to Brian Mulroney's generous donations to the school. This is another major power that X alumni involved in politics, or another wealthy profession harbour. Because not only does it allow them to give back to their school community, but it also brings a sense of pride to StFX for having so many alumni success stories. Having alumni that are able to donate their money and influence to the school also gives current students a sense of belonging; maybe in the future, current students will be able to donate just like so many of those before them.
The phrase 'small but powerful' is something that resonates with this school. Despite our size (population-wise and geographically), Xaverians have made waves. Of course, everyone knows about our most well-known politician (probably ever), former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, but there are other politicians active in all tiers of Canada's government right now who are doing good work...and they are wearing X rings! Aforementioned MP Sean Fraser is once again a great example, given his recent tweets promoting the Help the Helpers conference, right here in Antigonish. So if you're ever feeling like you want to make a change in your community, utilizing alumni connections is a powerful way to do so.