This is episode 3 of the SoundOut Student Voice Podcast featuring Nico Waltenbury, a longtime student voice advocate in Ontario.
Nicholas Waltenbury is a first-year university student at Western University in London, Ontario, studying Political Science in a Scholar’s Electives Module with plans to attend the Ivey School of Business in his third year. Nico grew up in North Bay, Ontario and attended St. Joseph-Scollard Hall Catholic Secondary School where he served on Student Council for four years, including as Student Trustee and SAC President. He was also a member of MSAC cohort 4 and was highly involved at his high school, participating in many student voice projects including Students as Researchers and many student forums, which we are going to talk about today. At University, Nico is a member of the Leadership and Mentorship Program First-Year Committee, University Students’ Council External Advocacy Taskforce, and the First Year Students’ Caucus. He is also an incoming Social Science Faculty Councillor.
In Episode 3, Nico shares his student voice experience and the steps he took to organize a Student Voice Forum for elementary school students in his district. Open Space Technology (OST) principles ensured that the experience was completely participant-led. Students created the agenda, identified topics for discussion and met in small groups to share ideas. Secondary school students facilitated the forum, organized ice-breakers, and were the discussion group note-takers. Afterward, the forum ideas were shared with administrators superintendents, and school trustees.
The forum, Many Voices: Students Speaking Up, will take place during Education Week in 2015-16. It is a testament to Nico’s leadership as well as the leadership of his school board that the Student Voice Forums continue to inform policy and programs.
Nico advises listeners that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when planning a forum. Listeners are encouraged to adapt what he has done or adapt other effective practises.
Listen to Episode 3 with Nico Waltenbury here:
This episode is also available on iTunes.
Special thanks to the original team for this episode:
- Host: Jean Courtney
- Post-sound production: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graphic and digital media support: email@example.com