The University of Waterloo Optometry Student Society (UWOSS) is an organization that works to improve the lives of optometry students. Cassidy Roberts, a third-year student and president of UWOSS, is confident that she, along with her team of executives, can plan events to enhance the quality of students’ social lives, and consequently, improve the mental wellbeing and academic lives of her fellow optometry students. Cassidy is an outgoing student from Winnipeg who takes pride in her role of being a voice for other students. She works tirelessly to provide a student experience that she would want for herself.
What made you interested in student societies like UWOSS?
I’ve always found that the experience that you have in school will be the experience that you put into it. I also think that it is because of my personality. I like to be outgoing, represent people, and to be the voice of the people. It’s also an easy way to make friends, make connections and learn valuable life skills, such as time management, planning and leadership.
How would you describe the community at the School of Optometry and Vision Science? How does UWOSS contribute to it?
It’s so cliché, but it is like a second family. This is the only English-language optometry school in Canada, so many people have moved from across the country to be here and feel the need to create a new family. Classmates are all supportive and you really get to know them, including students not in your year, since they know what you’re going through and want to help. When you have such a small group of people, it’s really easy to get on first-name basis with everyone. It’s a very close-knit community.
The best way to enhance that community closeness is to throw events that cover a wide range of interests. Basically just trying to get people to go out. So UWOSS puts on a variety of sporting and social events. We have Skit Night coming up, which is a great chance for the artistic side to come out. UWOSS has a big hand in making students feel more comfortable being here.
Why did you want to become UWOSS president?
I wanted to take on a leadership role and I thought that this would be a great way to get involved. The role was very intriguing because it came with a lot of responsibility: leading, organizing, and delegating. We also have an executive committee, so I was excited to collaborate with people on that level. I just wanted to improve student life and you need someone to get involved to do that because if no one is taking on that role, then nothing will ever move forward. When everyone else is happy, I’m happy.
What’s next for UWOSS?
We have two really big events coming up in March and of course we put it all in one weekend! First is Skit Night on Friday, March 22, and then Eye Ball, our formal dinner and dance, on Saturday, March 23. So we’ll be busy, but those are the big ones we’re really looking forward to!