Antonio Sergi – Candidate Profile

RUNNING FOR VPEA

Antonio

Ballot blurb:

“Elections are the ultimate INTERVIEW experience. I am re-applying for a job, to stay the VPEA (CHIEF LOBBYIST) for the #StudentVoice at Brock University and in Niagara. My experiences working for the past year as your VPEA collaborating with other student leaders nationwide, as well as over the years for SMART START, BUSU ADVOCACY and volunteering with awesome CLUBS enhances lobbying for changes that improve student lives.
I am so thankful for the opportunity students have given me to see this country from coast to coast and learn about student needs, wants and concerns.

The FACT platform is an OUTCOME of meeting with leaders at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels and working within BROCK UNIVERSITY (SENATE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS and BUSAC + NIAGARA REGION (Town and Gown Committee + Social Sustainability Committee)
Full platform at www.TeamSergi.com
After years of hard work, mixed with feedback from THOUSANDS of community members and political leaders we can build a LEGACY to last for years to come. #SERGI4VPEA #StayTrue #BACK2BACK”


 

Candidate Interview:

January 27, 2016

To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the position of Vice President of External Affairs?

“In this role, you are responsible for connecting students’ wants, needs and concerns to any stakeholder in the community that can make it happen. If that’s academic or something that affects your life as a student, it’s the VPEA’s job to bring it to light and create change.”

Why have you decided to run for re-election for the VPEA position?

“I ran in the executive elections twice before and failed. Two years ago, however, I ran for the Board of Directors and was elected. That was my first taste of what [BUSU]  is, what it does and how it operates. After that, I knew I was ready for the executive role. After one year of experience as the VPEA, I’ve already been through the process. Anyone in this role has a massive learning curve ahead of them: how to write policy, how to get it adopted from your peers, whether it’s in Ontario or nation-wide. This year I was blessed with the opportunity to serve on a committee with the seven universities that make up OUSA and the 22 that make up CASA. The concerns are very similar among students in all these universities. In my opinion, students want the same thing. [Students] want to be financially sustainable and academically successful. They want to be a part of their community, improve their community and have better transit within their community. This year we’ve seen stakeholders take  a lot of responsibility for students, responding to surveys, the Ride with Me program and through the lobbying with OUSA and CASA. I’m running because I want to bring these concerns to stakeholders.

This is an exciting time for students provincially; the conversation about education in the province heating up. Following my election, a lot of my time was spent preparing for the Federal elections with the Get out the Vote campaign and hosting the candidate debate. It will be easier to lobby federally now that the new party is in office. Also, on the micro-level, our regional partners realize the need for inter-municipal transit to grow our infrastructure. My platform will touch on the ways to better integrate students into the community.”

Why do you believe you should be re-elected as VPEA?

“Last year, through the election process, the students entrusted me to bring change where necessary and to hear them out. Quite simply, I think I’ve delivered. I point to the Advocacy Hub as an example as the way we let [students] know what services are available. I promised the Merrtiville road and Decew highway, and by presenting to Thorold council and working with the Region, we’re seeing it go from street lights to full roads with bike-lanes, walking paths and a willingness to discuss further. I was delivered a mandate, and I delivered. I believe that I’lll be working in the education service for the rest of my life, and I want to do it one more time for the Brock students because they’ve given me so much opportunity.”

In November, a petition was circulated to recall your position as a BUSU executive, in addition to two other executives. While the petition was dropped, various concerns in regards to executive performance were raised. How have you addressed these concerns?

“The petition against me did not receive any signatures, and was never circulated, as the individual circulating it believed it would be unfair. Overall, it was refreshing to hear the feedback of some concerned members of the community. The leaders of the petitions were changed over many times, but some people were involved throughout. Anyone who comes into these roles, will never be perfect. Following, we were more inclusionary, more involved with advocacy and we maintained a good relationship with [BUSAC]. Immediately after we spoke, the petitions were withdrawn and I think that speaks to the validity of how we addressed them. Sometimes we need to hear tough love in order to become the most optimal and productive versions of ourselves. I wish I had received more consultation rather than having those petitioners jumping to the extreme. The petition process is supposed to be an extreme circumstance. In terms of our behaviour, and the climate of council, we took it as an opportunity to put ourselves in check. I think that after the petitions were pulled directly after, proves that we are doing our best. This year’s executive team has accomplished a lot of good things this year.”

What are the main points of your platform that you will seek to address in your coming term? How will you practically address these issues?

“As part of the organizations that we’re apart of. I’ve had the opportunity to meet with seven schools across Ontario and 22 member schools across Canada. I’ve hear thousands of student perspectives. My platform was built around what I believe every student in this country wants: money in their pocket, to be able to feed themselves, and to have the tools to be successful academically. At an academic level, students want work-integrated learning activities, employable skills, and improved transit to get to campus and see the cities in which they are living. They want the full student experience, which is going on a bus to see Niagara Falls, staying engaged downtown, and everything else that comes along with that. Financial sustainability, transit and academic success. The platform is a compilation of concerns at every level, It’s the best I can come up with. I want to connect the students to their communities.

Additional comments:

“These elections are incredibly taxing, you’re dedicating over 12 hours to being on campus, you’re meeting with experts in places you’re looking to innovate in. Come out to the debates, check out our platforms, because we’re talking about something bigger than Brock. The VPEA position speaks to how we can improve Niagara, Ontario and beyond, for students decades to come. This is my last election: I see where further development can come, and I want to do it on behalf of Brock students one more time.”


BROCK TV INTERVIEW:


 

Platform:

“Leadership Based On F.A.C.T.

Financial Sustainability -Academic Success-  Community Building – Transit Innovation 

Financial Sustainability – Affording an Education

  • Financial Support to those who need it
    • 500$ donation to foodbank +
    • 500$ to Syrian refugee Crisis (United Way)
    • CASA – Remove federal funding cap at 2% for Aboriginal student funding programs (including Post Secondary Student Support Program)
  • Mental Health Mondays + financial lit Fridays @ the hub
    • Distress Centre, Pathstone + Others for Monday
    • Banks, Credit unions, financial advisors, insurance for Friday
  • Bring WUSC to referendum to increase fee to 1$ and implement recommendations found through RILRC
  • Restorative justice program
    • for students to pay decrease off municipal and Brock fines/ tickets
  • OSAP
    • Consultations at Advocacy HUB with OSAP staff visiting campus.
  • Affordable food
    • ensuring BUSU is a negotiating stakeholder when Sodexo contract is due to have more moderate distribution practices around campus
  • Protect Student Rental Increases
    • Cities are discussing licensing of rental properties, I will ensure that the rate of increase does not exceed the legal limit.
  • 4 Job fairs at Isaacs
  • Hamilton Campus Efficiency Evaluation
    • Assess current state of Hamilton Campus
    • Student feedback + Structural Analysis
    • Exploring Other Opportunities
  • OUSA
    • Tax Credit reallocation
  • OUSA
    • Funding formula
    • keeping Brock Competitive, support a third of funding to be tied to SMA
  • OUSA
    • Begin lobbying for a fully funded freeze  in OUSA platform for vpfa
  • CASA
    • Federal lobbying for increase freeze to International student tuition

Academic Excellence:

 Lobbying Priorities and Policy

  • Staff expansion – Academic Affairs + campaigns + Policy + 3 RA’s p/t (2 are work integrated learning opportunities (Municipal/regional, Provincial, Federal)
    • 4 jobs with football and catholic school board
  • Ta training day -GSA, OUSA CASA OMBUDS
  • Concussion course for  coaches in minor league teams, high school teams,
    • Concussion Creation of a return to learn policy, Return to work, modeled after Athletics return to play policy
  • Accessibility Awareness week
  • Teaching Awards
    • Faculty representative and Executives host an awards banquet and recognize instructors who have performed beyond expectations in the Brock Community
  • Protecting students access to campus during labour disputes
  • Improve Open Access Resources in Ontario,
    • promote Ontario Online University
      • + credit transfer between them
    • Brock Model Parliament
      • Events Engaging Political Clubs on campus. QP, speaker events, dinner (focus groups, share outside of facebook)
    • Academic Policy Evaluation Process (OUSA + CASA) – Process, Efforts, Performance, Efficiency, Effectiveness
    • CASA – Veterans affairs policy development and BUSU political policy with Vance Badawey and Chris Brittle
    • OUSA – Lobby Professors to utilize READING WEEK FOR READING, not Marking.
    • OUSA – lobbying presentations to ONCAT on credit Transfer
    • OUSA – HECQO – Yvan Baker’s “Pathways to education Bill”
    • CASA – Research Lobby Priority
    • OUSA – Increase Work Integrated Learning Opportunities for programs outside of STEM Business, Arts and humanities students

 

Community Building- Sport, Philanthropy, and Outreach

  • Sexual Violence Education:
    • Consent is necessary campaign. +++++
    • More $ from govt for sexual violence management teams (OUSA)
      • = Case Mgmt + education
    • endorsement of Bill C 132which allows Opt Outs for Lease Agreements
  • GLAD – Greek Life Advisory Directorate:
    • to include members of the town and gown + social sustainability committees STC + regional equivalent + VPSS + Chamber of commerce representatives
    • Calendar sharing, Philanthropy initiatives connecting to community, municipal housing issues, feedback on student experiences, links to business community (chamber of commerce, political stakeholders, job opportunities, fundraising/ NFP organizations
  • Advocacy Campaign on conditions of student homes
    • polling students through survey
  • Canada Summer Games 2021
    • Create Proposal
    • Work with University and others in Niagara already pursing this
    • London, Ontario hosted 2001
    • win the bid away from Toronto,
    • attract future infrastructure,
    • fast track GOTransit,
    • Utilize #WeAreReady Campaign + Best fans in the CIS video/ NorthPole Hoops Story
  • Fishing license student rate.
    • Lobbying to Ministry of Natural Resourcs
    • Connect Recreation and Leisure programs with Biology and Geography programs
    • protect endangered fish breads and environmental impact
    • Discover Niagara lakes
    • Fines are high if you are caught without a license
  • Football feasibility study.
    • High school playoff series on campus  
      • CFL game or CIS (Kiwanis Field, Seymour Hannah Arena)
      • Concussion evaluation of minor leagues and high schools
      • Would Football be successful at Brock ?
        • Safe, affordable, infrastructure necessities, COSTS
        • #WeAreReady #BestFansInCIS
      • Playmakers student flag football tournament
      • Student survey
    • Sports youth camp sponsorship with Niagara Catholic school board + Athletics
      • Focus on Fort Erie, Welland, NF
      • half of professional development content (GOODMAN + Career Services)– How to write a resume, how to dress for interviews, office ettique, Diversity training etc.) + Half sports
      • 4-8 student jobs via athletics
      • LGBTQ+ Support in Sport – Andrew Ference reach out on pride tap campaign for NHL
    • TVs at Advocacy Hub + Swippers add volunteer opportunities to ExperienceBU
    • Regional Chair Caslin announcement 30 new parking spaces Downtown STC, request similar push to city of Thorold, connect both lots to busses

 

Transit Infrastructure

  • Completion of Decew Rd. And Merritville Highway illumination project
    • ~4Million dollars, will be done prior to November 2016
    • Focus on Richmond and St.Davids with Thorold and Niagara region
      • Access to and from highway, full roads needed, bike lanes etc
    • Work with Inter Municipal Transit Committee Niagara Region to promote Seamless Transit
      • #ONENIAGARATRANSIT
    • Advocacy Campaign: Active Transportation:
      • Bike racks on Merritville by zone 2
      • Rentable bikes initiative
      • Bike repair kitts
      • Promotion of longboarding
      • Health benefits
      • + city of thorold
    • GoTrain to Niagara
      • Canada Summer Games 2021-
      • , fast track GOTransit and Seamless Transit
    • Niagara Go bus:
      • add a stop to campus (Gateway Suites) or Niagara Region Building (Campbell East)
      • Either of the above locations will service students on Residence + Students at the Lofts
      • Currently students take 2 busses to Fairview mall.
    • Niagara Region Community Connector Bus
      • 1 route to connect Brock, , Niagara College (NOTL), Niagara College (Welland)
      • 2 busses, loop hourly
    • Support s,19 of Programming Levy 2016 MOU
      • Which ensures a safe ride home for OFF CAMPUS EVENTS
        • Via Private Shuttle Services OR LOBBY for special dates ONLY late night Transit services from STC Transit commission.
      • Lobby for seat on STC. Transit commission

External Lobby Group Main Priorities

*OUSA

 3 main Lobby priorities 

  1. Increased Work Integrated Learning Opportunities funding.
    1. Increase for Business, Arts and humanities students
    2. Maintain levels of STEM programming
  2. Tax Cred reallocation
    1. $340Million,
    2. Expansion of OTG
    3. Up Front money better for students! – Rent, Textbooks, OWeek, Clickers,
  3. Funding formula –
    1. keeping Brock Competitive,
    2. support a third of funding to be tied to SMA

Others.

  1. Begin lobbying for a fully funded freeze in OUSA
  2. Platform creation to run for VPFA of OUSA
  3. Host GA OUSA/ March 18-20 2016

 

*CASA

4 CASA Lobby/ Policy Development Areas  

  1. Equity seeking groups
    1. Creation of Policy Paper with distinct groups as each chapter
      1. (Including Native, First Gen, International, LGBTQ+ and others
    2. Entrepreneurship/ employment
    3. Financial aid
    4. Research Freedom

Other Priorities

  1. Bid for Casa Policy and strategy conference
  2. Chair of CASA
  3. Federal lobbying for increase freeze to International student tuition
  4. Veterans affairs policy development and BUSU political policy
    1. Consulted with Vance Badawey and Chris Brittle

Why I Am Running.

Elections are the ultimate INTERVIEW experience. I am re-applying for a job, to stay the CHIEF LOBBYIST for the #StudentVoice at Brock University and in Niagara .

This platform is an OUTCOME of meeting with political leaders at the municipal, regional, provincial and federal levels and working in an ADMINISTRATIVE ROLE at BROCK UNIVERSITY at the SENATE, BOARD OF DIRECTORS and BUSAC (Council committee) levels handling serious academic, financial, and student community and transit concerns.

My experiences working for the past year as your VPEA as well as over the years for SMART START, BUSU ADVOCACY (ABORIGINAL EDUCATION, OUSA &CASA) and volunteering with some truly amazing CLUBS/ORGANIZATIONS enhances lobbying effectiveness for changes that students recognize as improving their lives. After years of hard work, mixed with feedback from THOUSANDS of community members and political leaders we can build a LEGACY to last for years to come. #SERGI4VPEA #StayTrue #BACK2BACK”

 


 

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