Patterson says farewell

By Heather Moulton

After 10 years in her position, Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs Dr. Peggy Patterson is leaving the University of Calgary. She is sad to let it all go, but she feels like she has made her mark.

“With the current structure of the position, I feel that I’ve done all I can do,” stated Patterson. “I loved my position, and making the decision to leave was a difficult one.”

When evaluating her own contributions to the university, Patterson was proud of the work she had done.

“When I look back over the last 10 years, I see real transformations in the scope of student affairs and in the way we deliver those services,” said Patterson. “We’re more oriented in what students need as opposed to what we want to offer them.”

Student leaders who worked with Patterson regularily are also saddened at the news.

“Peggy has been both personally and professionally very supportive and she truly cares about students and takes a genuine interest you,” said Students’ Union Vice-President Academic Laura Schultz. “She is a prime example of a champion for students and she will be missed by staff and students alike.”

Patterson was also quick to give credit to others for the growth in student services, especially the student leaders she has worked with over the years.

“We’ve been able to offer so many services through great staff and leadership,” she said. “I’ve been privileged to work with 10 student governments, and I’ve really enjoyed watching the real growth of fine student leaders.”

Patterson was also proud of the fact the there are many new student programs available, such as U of C 101 and Student Leadership.

“I’ve seen programs start off as ideas, and through hard work and committment, intelligent people I’ve seen them blossom into the great programs they are today.”

One of Patterson’s less positive memories was the 22 per cent budget cuts over the past four years, because it hindered her ability to introduce new ideas.

Replacing Patterson will be Calgary business leader Sheila O’Brien as Special Advisor to the President on Student Life. Patterson is certain that O’Brian’s skills will compliment what she has built over the years, and hopes that O’Brian will bring it to a new level.

“I see it as a relay,” said Patterson. “I’ve taken the baton as far as I can take it, and now I pass it off to someone who is strong and who can hopefully take it for another lap.”

Schultz is unsure about how the SU will interact with O’Brian, but is optimistic.

“The appointment just sort of happened without student consultation, so we’ll just have to wait and see,” concluded Schultz.