The TRUSU board of directors is looking for a new LGBTQ representative. Nic Zdunich officially resigned from the job on Sept. 23.
“It would’ve just taken up too much of my time,” Zdunich said. “It was something that I was very passionate about, but I was sort of moving in a different direction than TRUSU was.”
Zdunich explained he recently accepted a position with TRU career mentoring and alumni events and will be traveling abroad next semester.
“I sort of decided that it was between TRUSU and alumni, and I thought at this part of my life it was better for me to work with alumni,” he said.
Zdunich was the first person elected to the LGBTQ representative position after the TRUSU Pride collective was created in January 2013. Without a prior body of knowledge to draw from, the new collective relied largely on the work of Katie Hutfluss, who was one of the major organizers of TRU’s first Pride Parade, as well as ideas from around the world. TRU’s rainbow crosswalk was inspired by similar projects in Sydney, Australia according to Zdunich.
“It was sort of interesting because it was such a blank canvas,” Zdunich said. “Usually you come in and there are certain events that go on, certain activities, certain things that you do, but it was kind of neat that we were a completely new collective and we got to come up with our own ideas.”
“We were just happy to have him serve for the time that he had over the year-and-a-half,” said Melissa Gordon, TRUSU vice-president internal and equity committee executive member. “He served the students very well and we are sad to see him go. We really thank him for his service.”
According to TRUSU bylaws, the LGBTQ representative informs the board on sexual orientation issues, represents the LGBTQ community across campus, and is an active member of the TRUSU equity committee. The equity committee includes the women’s, aboriginal, international and graduate students’ representatives.
TRUSU president Dylan Robinson has been on the TRUSU board for the last three years, both before and after the addition of an LGBTQ representative.
“I think the changes that the position has started making happen on campus have been really positive,” he said, adding that it was a “logical step in the growth of the organization.”
For Zdunich, he says he has noticed tangible differences in how the idea of LGBTQ is treated at TRU.
“Visibly, on campus I find a lot more people are a lot more friendly and more open. I’ve noticed differences in the Pride Club. They’re hosting a lot more socials and getting a lot more visibility throughout campus and I think it’s growing into a stronger community now because there is that visibility, or representative, on campus,” he said.
Applications for the position opened Sept. 24 and will remain open until Oct. 8. They can be submitted on the TRUSU website. The union will announce the new representative Oct. 21. All TRUSU advocacy representatives must be a member of the group for which they are advocating.