2015 BUSU Elections: Executive candidates

Debate 1 - Web Banner

 

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES:

The President is responsible for directing, leading and advancing the students’ union, while consulting with the General Manager on legal, financial and management related matters. The President acts as a liaison between BUSU and Senate, Board of Trustees, Administration and the Faculty Association.

Calvin Eady

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.19.24 PM1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running to be the President of BUSU because I believe that students want positive and innovative change. During my past three years at Brock I witnessed firsthand many different Executives who once elected neglected students’ needs and desires. Students need a strong voice on the Executive to advocate for their interests and I am up for the challenge.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

My experience with the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council, clubs and various student groups makes me an ideal candidate to be the President. I have been representing students for 2 years and continue to push for student-centred improvements. In my first year, I won the BUSU Club Member of the Year award as a member of the Brock Improv Club. I have been a member of different clubs including Brock Debate Society, Brock Eco, Brock French Club, and more. Working with various student groups taught me that there are issues that affect all students. These issues can be addressed through strong leadership and student input to better the student experience.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

The major issue at Brock that I will address during my term as President will be Student Advocacy, Governance and Student Life. The role of BUSU is to advocate on students’ behalf, which requires transparency, accountability and integrity. Governance within BUSU needs to undergo a transformation to become more studentcentred. My platform accounts for the necessary changes to better the student experience.

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

Student Advocacy is the single most important point of my platform. During my university career, I’ve seen student groups not reach their full potential due to the lack of support from BUSU. The role of the BUSU President is to represent students and fight for their best interests. As President I will fully support student groups such as Fed Up and Greek Life. I will have Weekly Open Office Hours posted on the BUSU website to give students an opportunity to ensure that their ideas and concerns are heard. Students will always be my number one priority.

5. Include any imparting words or campaign slogan.

Campaigning is a great experience and a wonderful way to open up dialogue.

Kyle Rose

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.20.39 PM1. Why are you running for this position?

I’m running for president because I truly believe it is the next step for myself, for BUSU and for Brock University. I truly believe I am best prepared, best positioned and most motivated to accept the challenges and opportunities that come with being president. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve spent the last two years redefining who I am as a person and studying the principles of success intensely. What you see is a result of the early mornings spent working and reflecting on experiences as a student, as a varsity athlete, as an entrepreneur, as a first generation university student, as the son of a single mother, as a dreamer, as BUSU’s VP of Finance and Administration and most importantly as a badger. I’ve spoken and more importantly LISTENED to students, parents, faculty, staff, administration of the university and political representatives from majors to MPP’s. Most importantly they said they need a strong leader to answer the call, which I believe I can do!

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

I consider myself in the best position to lead because I have challenged myself during my year as VPFA to understand the political, academic and financial climate of the Niagara Region, St. Catharines, Brock University (from the 13th floor to MC J-block), and of course BUSU. Now I am well versed, well connected and truly in a position to innovate the way students experience Brock U. My priorities are clearly outlined for me, so much so that I put off competitive wrestling after 9 years of success, slowed things down on the entrepreneurial front and made sure that my work for BUSU came first. If you’d truly like to find out in detail what my accolades are visit me in the halls, contact me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or email me at goldenrod.kd@gmail.com

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

There are an infinite number of opportunities to better the student experience, however my attention is particularly on improving transit accommodations (in terms of bus shelter on campus & seeing the 5+ transit providers become one), financial literacy of students, third party organizations (how they spend their money and how much support they get), space on campus and getting students preparing for the future.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS CANDIDATES:

The Vice President, External Affairs (VPEA) is responsible for furthering the interests of the Brock student community within municipal and provincial organizations. The VPEA essentially acts as a liaison between the BUSU and external groups affiliated with post-secondary education.

Erin Kelly

1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I believe my whole experience as a Brock student provides me with the best set of skills to successfully represent Brock as the Vice President of External Affairs. My goal as the Vice President of External Affairs is to advocate for the issues internally here at Brock to improve the overall student experience, as well as highlight the outstanding work done within our campus to external stakeholders to make being a Brock student an even more valuable experience.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

I am a Concurrent Education student, which means I am a member of two faculties: humanities and education. After five years of being at Brock, I have spent my time engaging with educational policy and legislation and analyzing both the academic and non-academic elements of being a student. Advocating and lobbying for issues at Brock on an external climate is something I feel passionate about and I would love every element of the job.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

Accessibility to campus is one of the biggest concerns here at Brock, and if elected I hope to bring GO Transit to Niagara to make the transition from on-campus to the external world an easier one for all Brock students. I hope to also begin the usage of online textbooks, transition of Health Services to a community-health-centre model, and opportunities for external research grants or job possibilities that will lessen student debt.

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

Faculty Focus Month, where each faculty on campus is assigned a month to showcase their achievements and voice their concerns is the important point of my platform. I want to highlight each faculty for one month, where stakeholders, alumni and guest speakers will come to campus to share information about the field, encourage networking for students, and learn about the achievements current Brock students have so that being a Brock grad is even more desirable whenever you leave campus. 5. Include any imparting words or campaign slogan. Don’t forget… EK for EA!

Antonio Sergi

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.17.13 PM1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running in this position because I know that students needs are based around being financially sustainable, academically successful, and their desire to feel safe within their community. As a first generation student I was very naïve on what to expect at university and transitioning from high school to University was very difficult. In the 5 years I’ve been at Brock I’ve had so many peers act as tremendous mentors, leading me in the right direction to achieve success and that is what I hope to offer students I hope to fulfill this role not only through the open door policy and outreach efforts I will pursue, but also through the comprehensive platform I have worked with on for years with feedback and input from Brock University students, administration, faculty, parents as well as elected representatives at the federal, provincial, regional and municipal levels. There are a million things I wish I had known in my first year, and a million things I have learned since. My goal is to implement programs and lobby for interests that will make students’ live easier, and restore their faith in the lobbying efforts of their union.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate? My experience comes from having been an involved student at Brock from my first day on campus. My first on-campus experience was SMART START. The following year I was hired to the program which allowed me to interact with thousands of parents and students to learn their wants, needs and concerns as well as the opportunity to learn about every resource Brock had to offer to students of all years and experiences. My second year I volunteered with the Advocacy department and participated in the BUSU executive elections for the position of VPSS. In my third year I was hired as BUSU’s Advocacy Campaigns Coordinator which allowed me to closely study OUSA and CASA and attend various conferences and summits, including the Aboriginal Education summit. I also was involved in hosting the OUSA Winter General Assembly at Brock which was met with some great feedback. In my fourth year I was elected to the Board of Directors and internally elected as vice chairs as well representative on the New buildings, Referendum petitions and polls, finance committees, as well as elected to the BROCK UNIVERSITY SENATE.

Karam Tawfiq

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.21.41 PM1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running for this position because I believe in the full potential of our student population. I want the voices of our students to be heard, and I want to be the one elected to advocate for us. Too often the student voice goes unheard, and the students concerns are cast aside, let’s work together to bring the concerns of Brock Students to the forefront!

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

The ideal candidate is someone with an unwavering dedication to the position that will seek out the student voice, and advocate for all students. I know I am that person. It is from my background as a residence Don that stemmed my biggest passion in helping the student population, listening to their problems, and ensuring our demands are met. It is these experiences that I carry with me each day that in turn, have become the driving force behind my campaign.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

If elected, there are several concerns at Brock to attend to. As a psychology major, deconstructing the stigma surrounding mental health, while establishing a nurturing environment for those suffering to find support is key! Another concern is diversity and generating awareness for those that do not have a voice. I want to celebrate Brock’s diversity in a way that unifies the school, and tackles problems unique to specific groups of our student body. Pushing for seamless transit within the Niagara region is paramount, as so many students rely upon the transit to get back and forth from campus. Furthermore, I want to implement some changes that will simplify the OSAP application process, while also maximizing the benefits students receive.

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

Encapsulating my platform to the single most important point is difficult, but if I had to accentuate just one, it would be how crucial advocacy is. While the entirety of my platform is valuable, the student voice should be well-regarded and will be something I will continue to push for.

5. Include any imparting words or campaign slogan.

I will work my absolute hardest to ensure that all student concerns are met and addressed. Follow the campaign and use the #karamkares.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION CANDIDATES:

The Vice President, Finance and Administration (VPFA) is responsible for managing BUSU’s budget and funding. The VPFA also looks for revenue generating activities that BUSU can take part in. The VPFA essentially acts as BUSU’s Chief Financial Officer.

Spencer Dawson

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.24.20 PM

1. Why are you running for this position?

University is a time of discovery, growth, and transition. By immersing my self into Brock’s culture I have recognized the tremendous opportunity that is presented to students through getting involved. This position would give me the opportunity to use my educational background and professional experiences to represent all undergraduates and have a positive impact on both current and future Brock students.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

During my time at Brock thus far, I have had the opportunity to showcase the University to alumni, current, and future students through the Smart Start summer orientation program, Open House & Fall Preview Day, as well as at the Ontario University Fair. I have worked with Student Life and Community Experience as a Community Experience Assistant and Assessment Generator, which has allowed me to monitor student’s responses of what they thought of various programming and events held throughout the year. More recently I was voted to represent undergraduate students at Senate, which bares responsibility for education policy of the university. My experiences have made me directly aware of both students’ wants and needs as well as their concerns and issues surrounding their university education.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

I believe there are two current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during my term. First, one of the overarching issues I recognize as a university-wide shortcoming is lack of communication of various programs, resources, and opportunities available to students. Second, being apart of a community with a high population of post-secondary students attending either Niagara College or Brock it is necessary to work towards seamless transit.

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

Each individual is shaped by their experiences, giving them a unique outlook, perspective, and opinion on the world around them. Creating a space where students can communicate thoughts and ideas, allows their voice to be heard, acknowledged, and acted upon. I hope to create, promote and encourage a collaborative outlet and interactive network between faculty, staff, fellow students, and administration to strengthen the connection between all acting stakeholders.

5. Include any imparting words or campaign slogan.

Inspiring change. Taking action. Getting results. Vote for progress!

Stephen Tulloch

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.27.26 PM

1. Why are you running for this position?

I’m running because everything I plan on doing, will be done to improve Brock. I plan on improving Brock, by reforming transit, reforming BUSU’s website for a more user-friendly interface, and promoting more school spirit. It just so happens that I will utilize my political science knowledge, my BUSAC and Board experiences to bring about a better result. I believe that Brock deserves better, and it starts with better leadership.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

I am currently a member of BUSU’s Board of Directors, BUSAC, I am a political science student, and I am a member of multiple committees in and around BUSU. Furthermore, growing up in a low-income earning background, I understand the struggles students go through more intimately, and as such I think is the most important experience I bring to the table.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

Transit, more specifically, an optional summer opt-in. Because lots of students still live in St Catharines off campus have to work here as well, transit passes in the summer are outrageously expensive. Not many people with a yearly income of 10k/year simply have $300 for a pass. Think about that, that’s one text book someone has to give up. That’s someones grocery money, and now they can’t eat. Students have also approached me about BUSU’s website, and how unfriendly it is to finding information. I think that making information easier to access is essential for all functions of BUSU if we as representatives want more student involvement. Finally, school spirit. After talking to numerous varsity athletes, it seems as though some teams feel no love in comparison to others. I hope I can work with the VPSS to fix that.

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

I feel as though transit and our website are the major issues. The varsity team love is something to adventure into for sure, but it is more of a luxury. Students need to get to school, work, and other places utilizing the bus pass, while our website functionality can offer more information about the services BUSU preforms. Without it, BUSU cannot enhance the student experience to its complete potential, which would cause a lot of disappointment for students.

 

VICE-PRESIDENT OF STUDENT SERVICES CANDIDATES:

The Vice President, Student Services (VPSS) is responsible for planning, organizing and coordinating student events. Giving back to students is the priority, and it is their responsibility to understand what the students at Brock want, and to do their best to deliver it to them.

Jad Nasser

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.34.45 PM

1. Why are you running for this position?

My passion and dedication towards Brock University is one of the main reasons I am running for this position. I had in mind a few services I would like to see added and some aspects I wanted to see changed. “Be the change you want to see!” I want the best for my school, my fellow students and I will go to many lengths to achieve my goals. I have had the pleasure of attending Brock University during all four years of my undergraduate career. I am proud to call it my second home but I am well aware that those who are just beginning their journey at Brock may not feel that way just yet. I would like to offer my fellow students the opportunity to experience all that I was able to through Brock and more. Although my experience here has been unforgettable, I want to make yours even better. I plan on making drastic improvements to our Student Services, with some of my main focuses being Frosh Week and increasing school spirit.

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

I’m currently your ‘Student Body Representative at Large’ on the Finance Committee and the Vice President of the Playmakers Club. As a playmaker we host sport related tournaments where through happiness, we provide happiness. I am also an executive member on board of the John Nsame Foundation. I am also proud to say we hosted the first ever annual Pep-Rally bringing out most sport teams, Brock Dance and the Brock Cheerleaders! This past January 2015, I visited University of Miami in order to learn about their student services and bring some ideas back to Brock! I plan on bringing these programs to Brock University in order to enhance our school spirit and bring new traditions to create a better future for Brock Badgers. #KEEPMOVINGFORWARD!

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

Over my past four years here at Brock I have been involved in many programs and events that helped build our school spirit. However you can never have enough school spirit. I plan on giving our fellow Badgers an Isaac’s Army that will be unforgettable. All games will be attended and watched.

Istafa Sufi

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 12.37.28 PM

1. Why are you running for this position?

I am running for Vice President of Student Services because I believe I can properly represent the needs and wants of the student body. I am running because I want to increase student engagement, student morale and enhance the student experience! I believe that I have already made a difference in the lives of students and can do so much more! I want to create a sense of belonging for all badgers!

2. What experience do you have that makes you an ideal candidate?

My experiences with various aspects of the VPSS role make me an ideal candidate. I have been a club President for three years, a BUSAC Councillor for two years, an Icebreaker and an Ice Cap. Within BUSAC, I currently sit on the Clubs Policy Committee and the New Building Committee among many others. I can bring a unique perspective to the VPSS position as I have experienced several of the responsibilities that the Student Services role is responsible for, such as planning and managing events, clubs and clubs policy etc., from both a student’s perspective, as well as from the BUSU/administration perspective.

3. What are the current major issues at Brock that will need to be addressed during your term, if elected?

A major issue is that many students don’t realize the amount of opportunities that are available to them at Brock and in the community. Just the sheer amount of clubs that exist on campus is amazing! There is a club for almost anything, and if there isn’t, BUSU can help students make one quite easily. There are many opportunities for involvement outside of BUSU, including SLCE, The Brock Press, OPIRG, The Sexual Violence Support Center and many more. I want to showcase all that Brock has to offer and help students connect with their passions!

4. What is the single most important point of your platform?

Due to my various experiences as an involved student, my platform focuses heavily on increasing student involvement and engagement. There are many points related to this including a Clubs Week, a Club of the month, and more! For a complete list of platform points, visit votesufi.com

 

* Also running for VPSS: Jordan Gayle, Brian Horvath and Talia Yousef
** Candidates’ responses appear as submitted and are limited to 400 words.

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