It has been a busy year for U2 student and Music Undergraduate Students’ Association (MUSA) President Katie Larson. Ongoing activities, which include student services and administrative tasks like assigning practice rooms and lockers, have kept her, and the MUSA executive, occupied. “This seems trivial, but it’s a lot of work,” Larson explained. “But that’s what we’re here for.”
However, her duties as president have not kept her from spending hours practicing for her general Music degree programme, concentrating in Voice.
According to Larson, one of the most important services offered by the executive is in the area of musician health. Music students can be required to practice up to eight hours a day. MUSA offers yoga classes twice a week, seminars on physical well-being, and a Musician’s Health Week this March. “We are trying to get the faculty to latch onto this this year, because we see this as something very important,” she said.
A close relationship with MUSA and the faculty administration, says Larson, is something that is very important to Music students. Larson cited the two associate deans of Music, Julie Cumming and Sara Laimon, in particular.
“They are so willing to help, so willing to hear what we have to say,” she said.
“The amount of mutual work and mutual respect that I see in Music is unparalleled elsewhere on campus,” she added.
When it comes to relations with the central administration, Larson explained that interactions are much more formal and distant. “It’s a bummer that, when I have presidents’ meetings, and end up talking with others about central administrators, it’s more, ‘Well you guys are more your own thing, and we’re McGill… We [Music] are separate.’”
Larson prefers the small size of the faculty, the informality and the close-knit relations among the musicians. “Everybody knows everybody. There is a lot more fluidity,” she said.
Aspirations for the rest of her tenure include some tidying up and making provisions for the future. “This semester’s big project is to finalize our constitution, because it’s really old, and really bad,” Larson said.
Larson has some things she would like to see more of from students as well as the administration. “I’d like to see people get more involved,” she said, “I’d like to see people get out of [isolation].”