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Impacts of the Unmeasurable

Feb 14, 2019 | Mike Haines, Coordinator of Access and Inclusion

When you’re passionate about the human experience, and when you’re fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work in an employee role with young adults who are attending an academic institute to further their learning in a field of study chosen through years of deliberation and passion, there is added importance to every interaction you have.  To be in a capacity to contribute to student success is not something that can be taken lightly.  It is a true responsibility.  

This isn’t a job -- it is a privilege.  It is a moment in time where you are given the professional capacity, ability, voice, and platform to engage and support our awesome and dynamic leaders of tomorrow. 

It is also a difficult thing to be measured at times.  Sure, we can report attendance of social events, registration numbers, or ticket sales.  But how do you measure the impact of a particular interaction?  Or of a specific experience provided? Or of a spoken series of words that may act as a much required feeling of support, acceptance, or feeling of safety or belongingness?  How do you measure the face-to-face sit downs with a young adult where an unprecedented issue has arisen and an ensuing multi-pronged, trailblazing effort is conceived in order to realize a solution? How do you measure the importance of social justice initiatives to those who have lived their life under a sheet of oppression?  How do you measure the value of providing, or endeavouring tirelessly to provide, a safe space for those who have not been able to find it outside of their own living quarters?  How do you measure the value in spreading the word and awareness strategies of a number of community groups and campus clubs who aspire to celebrate and protect their fellow person? 

These unmeasurable questions are why we do it.  This is why we feel like there are never enough hours in a day.  This is why we feel hungry to do more.  This is why we can never do enough.  This is why we work long hours and happily accept that as a part of the responsibility.

The workplace is a better place when we have students in our offices, classrooms, lounge areas, and gymnasiums, and in attendance at events.  We’re given a privilege to help the next wave however we can, and it’s not taken lightly.

How do WE measure the impact?  Through relationships built and conversations had.  Through seeing our clients thrive in whatever field of study they choose.  By hearing “I didn’t know specifically what I wanted to do after graduation, until I saw what you do in your position.  This is the type of work I want to do.”

Nothing illustrates the importance of the work you do more than those spoken words.

This is a privilege. 

It’s not always smiles and high-fives.  Sometimes it is foot-gazing and sorrowed speech, difficult conversations and wishing you had been able to do more.


…But one thing that always remains, it is a privilege. 

 

Mike Haines
Access & Inclusion, Coordinator
Canadore College of Applied Arts & Technology

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