Rams’ Yannick Walcott moves from sports to politics for his final year at Ryerson. PHOTO: Farnia Fekri

A game-changing decision

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By Michael Grace- Dacosta

Fifth-year guard Yannick Walcott may be a veteran on the court, but he’s about to embark on the rookie season of his political career.

Walcott will be entering the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) as the new director of the faculty of business in May.

“I’ve never actually been just a student… without varsity sports,” he said.

As the final buzzer rang in the Feb. 22 game against the University of Ottawa, it not only marked the end of the 2013-14 season but the end of Walcott’s athletic eligibility. So he decided to get involved in Ryerson through politics after a friend asked him to run in the RSU elections.

In February, the human resources management student joined the United Ryerson slate and was elected to his position in the RSU. Then in March, Walcott ran as a member of the Students First slate for the Ryerson Board of Governors election. Current RSU president, Melissa Palermo was one of his running mates, but they did not win the election.

“[Running for the] board of governors was a lot different,” Walcott said. “First, there’s more competition and second, you’re on a budget, so it’s a little hard to put posters up everywhere when you have to pay [for them] out of pocket.” But Walcott said he had no problem juggling academics, athletics and campaigning.

“I felt he handled it well,” Rams teammate Bjorn Michaelsen said. “Yannick is a great role model in our team, [a] very social and caring guy.” Some of his fellow United Ryerson party members see him excelling in politics after graduation.

“He’s a really dedicated individual who always puts his all in everything he does,” said Tari Ngangura, a senate candidate for United Ryerson. “He’s very good with people and if he should ever go into politics, that will work really well in his favour.”

But although Walcott is looking forward to being a part of the RSU, he said this will be his first and last year in politics.

He said he plans to become a firefighter after graduation.

“It pretty much is everything I enjoy in life,” Walcott said “[I’m] helping others [and] part of a team.”

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