Oct. 28, 2020Print | PDF
The students’ society has been an institution at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics for more than 50 years. From its original name of the Tamiae Society to SBESS and now as the Lazaridis Students’ Society, or more commonly known as ‘LazSoc’, this student-run organization provides opportunities for students to discover and pursue their passions in all fields related to business and economics. From running case competitions and organizing networking events, to hosting industry nights throughout the school year, LazSoc serves all undergraduate Lazaridis students with 21 affiliate organizations or clubs.
The 2020/21 school year ushered in two new co-presidents, Gabriela Morales and Haleigh Running. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to (virtually) sit down with them to talk about their involvement with LazSoc, why they decided to run as co-presidents, and their vision for the upcoming school year.
What are you studying/what year are you in?
Haleigh: I’m going into my 3rd year of the BBA program (Bachelor of Business Administration).
Gabriela: I’m going into my 4th year of the Double Degree BBA and Bachelor of Arts in Financial Math program.
How long have you been involved with LazSoc?
G: This is my fourth year being involved with LazSoc, I started when I entered first year!
H: Me too.
Wow, that’s commitment! Why did you first get involved?
G: I was a really involved student when I was in high school and I knew that when I arrived at Laurier I wanted to find new ways to get involved. I was also looking for a way to meet more people within my Faculties. When I first heard about LazSoc and what they do, it sounded like a cool way to get involved and provide value to the business community.
H: Like Gaby, I was always involved in high school so I didn’t know how to do school without being involved on campus. I first heard about LazSoc at O-Day and I immediately loved it and wanted to learn more. My ice breaker (frosh week leader) was a LazSoc executive at the time and really encouraged me to apply and reach out. With her encouragement, I applied and here we are!
Why did you decide to run for co-presidents?
H: We’ve both have been on the (LazSoc) team since first year, so we felt pretty comfortable about understanding the way the group works. Gaby and I also shared a similar view on how we wanted to see the team and ideas we had; we had a clear direction we wanted to take. We were both thinking about it individually and then at one point had a meeting and decided to join forces and run as co-presidents.
G: Like Haleigh mentioned, we both had a similar vision for the team. Also, having been on the team for a few years it seemed like a natural progression and exciting opportunity to bring some new ideas to life.
What has been your favourite LazSoc initiative since you’ve been involved?
H: The annual Movember campaign, which is an initiative focused on men’s health issues, is my favourite. The team is always excited and it has a lot of traction over the years. I love it because a lot of people get involved outside of the immediate LazSoc team and bring together a large community; clubs host tournaments, put on fun contests and games and all proceeds go to a good cause.
G: My favourite LazSoc initiative would be Coffee Bar. Once a week our team would set up a booth outside the clubs’ office (in Lazaridis Hall) with food for students passing by in the morning. It was a great way to give back to our student body while making meaningful connections with those who would attend regularly. Although we are not on campus this term, we are looking forward to connecting with everyone online through our virtual initiatives.
What are you excited to do with the team in the 2020/21 school year?
H: One of the biggest things we’re excited for is being able to offer programming or events that they wouldn’t normally get to do in a regular semester. Things will be more accessible to more people because there won’t be any issues about getting to a certain place by a certain time; you can just register, log in, and enjoy.
G: We’re also really excited see what all the clubs come up with and new ways to provide value to students that is less traditional than in the past. This year provides a unique area of opportunity and the LazSoc community has a lot of exciting things in the works that we can’t wait for you to see.
With the Fall semester being remote, how have you changed your plans for clubs? What about O-Day?
G: Right now, we are trying to offer students as close to the similar experience as possible. We’re working on the best way to provide breakout sessions, networking opportunities, presentations and videos. We’ve been collaborating with other school presidents, too, and it’s been a really helpful way to bounce around ideas and determine what we think will work best.
Anything else you’d like to share?
H: I encourage students to reach out to anyone on LazSoc. Everyone is available and open to connecting if you reach out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions because we love to talk and get people involved!
G: Our social media channels are also a great way to stay connected to all the cool things we are planning and a great way to interact with clubs. Even though we are remote we are still working to provide the best experience for students.
A LazSoc highlight is the annual O-Day event. Open to all first-year students, this year’s O-Day featured a full day of activities including breakout sessions in which students learned more about co-op, exchanges and what it’s like to be a student at the Lazaridis School. Students heard from representatives from companies including BDO, Embr Events, and CIBC through panel discussions and Ryan Smolkin (BBA ’95), Smoke’s Poutinerie Founder & CEO, delivered an inspiring and powerful keynote address.
To learn more about LazSoc, visit lazsoc.ca, or follow them on social media @LazSoc.
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