Skip to main content

Very active on campus, I am sure many of you will recognize the name Will Fraser. Will has been studying History at St.FX, and is set to graduate in 2021. Will, being involved in many societies and groups in his time here at X, has a unique understanding of the way X runs. He has been involved in X-debate, the 4-H Society, the Extension Society and has even served on the Students Union as a Returning Officer, Student Advocate, and Chair of Council.  

During his time here at X, Will has said that the most impactful opportunity he has been a part of was X-Debate. The society he recalls is close knit, and notes that joining the society in his first year, helped set the trajectory for my time at X, and helped me grow as an individual. Now, Will serves as president of X-Debate. The growth the society has undergone through his leadership, Will says, “is not just about numbers”. Though the society has grown, they also compete at more events and have an established reputation within the debate circuit.  

Will says that his success was influenced by a few Professors here at X as well. Just as the upper year debate members helped set the trajectory of his time at X, his Professors have also encouraged his growth along the way. Perhaps we all have a prof like that – the one that encourages us to do better. For Will, Dr. Laurie Stanley-Blackwell, a History Professor who retired last year, probably was the reason I ended up pursuing History. Another Professor whom Will recalls had a big influence in his life, was Dr. Norine Verberg of the 4-H Society. [Dr. Verberg] has always gone above and beyond to ensure that not only myself, but every student involved has felt valued and was given the space and resources to succeed 

In the future, Will hopes that we will continue to see him in advocacy work or non-profit governance – though he is not firm in those plans as of yet, we can expect him to continue along this line of work that he is clearly very passionate about. Set to graduate this school year, Will has used his time during the pandemic to pursue projects he might not have had the time to work on before. Will has joined a number of boards, and feels his time during the pandemic has not been wasted.  

Upon hearing of the return to in-person classes, Will expressed some concerns. When asked how he thought X would play out this year, Will noted:

Its going to be different than any other year of course. I think that the community that weve built will suffer this year due to the restrictions that come with living in a pandemic. I dont think we will make it the full year in person. 

Will, being so involved in advocacy work in the past and hopefully in the future, feels that the worry among students has increased especially after the University sent out a waiver to students. Will feels that communication between the school and its students could have been better. More than that, Will feels more students need to be consulted to gain a better outlook on the relationship between the University and its students.  

To build some level of trust, there needs to be open communication and consultation. This doesnt just mean asking the Students Union Executives how they feel; it means going to students directly and seeking feedback on every decision the university makes. 

Will hopes that through this unprecedented time we realize that normal never worked, and that the way to move forward is through broad, systemic change so that everyone may thrive. 

Will feels graduating during the global pandemic will be hard, and given the circumstances, Will worries about what the job market will look like moving forward. Given the waiver, and the lack of confidence in the University especially this year, one may wonder what that means for the point of pride so many St.FX students buy at the end of their time here at X – the X-Ring. In this regard, will says:  

I will be getting my X-Ring..I think that wearing my X-Ring can be a point of pride even if I do not believe in the institution of StFX. Theres a community of students, faculty, and staff who really do care about creating positive change, and they are who I think are symbolized by the X-Ring. 

Photo by: Michelle Campbell

On Campus