Student Leader Advising and Support

Hi There! My name is Shannon Thibodeau and I serve as the advisor and resource person to student leaders in elected or appointed positions on campus. I grew up in Northern New Brunswick and Southwestern Ontario before coming to the University of Guelph to study Political Science and Biology. With a background in teaching and education, coupled with several years of world travelling, I was thrilled to return to Guelph and join the Student Life team in 2008.

As a student at Guelph I served as a student senator, an executive on my college student government, and on different boards and committees. I was a varsity athlete (rugby) and a First Responder. I know how rewarding and challenging serving in leadership positions can be when you are trying to balance all of your commitments. My role is support student leaders in navigating their roles so they can be successful. This is done in a number of ways:

  • One-to-One Advising: I am available to meet student leaders assist with issues as they arise, to provide resources and guidance around how to manage difficult situations, and to make referrals as required

  • Training and Conferences: the Leadership Education Team provides various training opportunities including specialized workshops, one-on-one and group sessions, training days, and the annual Student Leaders Interacting and Collaborating (SLIC) conference. Each is designed to help student leaders gain the specialised skills and knowledge needed to train new executive members, undertake succession planning, engage in conflict resolution, and navigate the governance process and structure on campus. 

  • Resource SharingThe LEAD office has a range of resources available including training manuals, textbooks on leadership and management, icebreakers and teambuilding activities. Let us know what you're looking for and we'll see if we can help.

Additionally, I have the privilege of serving as the staff resource to the Student Executive Council (SEC). The SEC is a non-decision making body comprised of representatives from each Primary Student Organization (PSO) and the Student Senate Caucus (SSC). SEC meets regularly throughout the Fall and Winter semesters and occasionally during the Spring/Summer semesters. The goal of SEC is to promote inter-organizational cooperation, identify initiatives and opportunities for collaboration, and discuss issues that affect the membership, their organizations and/or their constituents.

I'm also responsible for the process and policy that recognizes student organizations, called the Student Organization Policy. This means I am pretty familiar with governance, executive roles and responsibilities, and the challenges you might encounter along the way.I am also aware of the array of involvement opportunities available to you. If you are looking to get involved, or start a new club on campus, please get in touch. If you're looking for support or guidance for you individually, your executive or your organization, contact me directly via e-mail at shannon.thibodeau@uoguelph.ca