RUNNING FOR BUSU PRESIDENT
“Hey Brock Badgers! My name is Patrick Foster and I am running to represent YOU as the next BUSU President. You might recognize me as an employee from the General Brock Store where I founded Diversity Week and brought Shawarma to campus, or as Co-President of UNICEF Brock and organizer of the Walk to Toronto from Brock University to raise money for the children of effected by the Syrian refugee crisis. I’m the guy leading the cheers at basketball games and organizing Black History month events with the Roots Club.
If you don’t know me yet, I look forward to meeting you. As President, I’ll be working hard to represent the students by; 1. Working with BUSU for more affordable food options for ALL Brock students 2. Supporting and implementing better Mental Health initiatives on campus 3. Working with BUSU to ensure Executive transparency to better serve ALL students.”
January 27, 2016
To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the position of the President of BUSU?
“The responsibility of the president is that you’re the leader of BUSU and the executive team. You set the vision for the future of the corporation. As President, you make sure that the Vice-Presidents are taking care of what the students want. It’s important to set the organization on a path to ensure its success that year, and in the years beyond.”
While you’ve been involved in BUSU in the past, you’ve never held a position on BUSAC, like many other candidates. Do you believe this lack of experience puts you at a disadvantage?
“I believe it’s a strength. I am the most experienced for this position. I have tremendous experience dealing with the media, organizing events and marketing. I’ve done a lot of things without any resources and they’ve all been met with success. I have what it takes to be BUSU’s President. If you look at anybody running this year, my successes have rivaled theirs, and I’ve done it without being on BUSAC or having the power of an executive. I can only imagine the doors that will open if I have the full resources of BUSU. Another thing to recognize is that I’ve been a BUSU employee for two years, and I attend BUSAC meetings. My main focus is, and always will be, what the students want. I’ve been totally in the mix with the students since ever since I’ve been at Brock. If elected, I will be new blood to the organization. I believe that I’m change that a lot of people want to see.”
You mentioned that one of your main platform points will be “affordable food”. How do you plan to accomplish this?
“One core element of my platform is affordable food on campus. I’m not promising to get rid of Sodexo, even thought that is the least representative deal that could’ve been signed, for students. But I am going to lobby with and against Sodexo to make improvement to the current distribution points on campus. Hopefully we can create some improvements. As the President, you can’t be stuck on a one year plan. I want to plant seeds that I will may never see the fruits of; I’m looking to the future. I want to prepare a list of food that students want and bring that to the table. There’s no excuse to sign another contract with [Sodexo]. I will strongly advocate for the students. I want to change the grocery shuttle so that it’s going to the most affordable grocery store in the city, rather than the most expensive. I want to make affordable food available on and off campus. I’d love to set up a not-for-profit student essentials centre, like the Student Justice Centre used to run. Additionally, it’d be great to expand the General Brock store to carry student essential grocery items.”
If you needed to summarize your platform into three main issues at Brock that you believe need to be addressed, what would they be? How do you plan to address these issues?
1. Affordable food: I’m disappointed that BUSU hasn’t spoken out more on behalf of students. I want to put more pressure on Brock to provide affordable options, so that students have more money to spend on leisure and other essentials.
2. Mental Health: Even as a heavily involved Brock student, it’s tough to know where you can go to get help for mental health at Brock. I’ve met with reps from the Canadian Mental Health Association in Downtown St. Catharines and they offer anonymous councelling sessions. I think we should be making use of these pre-established, totally free programs and promoting them on campus. Students should know where to go for mental health problems. Carleton had an initiative called the “friendship bench”, which was a yellow bench with directions on how a student can get help for mental health issues. It was great for the community as well as the student population. The best thing to do would be to do what has worked at other students’ unions.”
3. Transparency and Leadership: The vibe I get as a student that has never served on BUSAC, is that a lot of students don’t know what BUSU even is. BUSU, in the past, has not done a great job letting [students] know what they’re doing. One of the things I want to do that is very simple, is to make a bi-weekly blog where I keep it honest with the students. I would write about future things to look forward to, and it would be a way for students to hear directly from their president – so that they know what the organization they pay for, is doing for them.
I want to make leadership classes mandatory for the executive leadership team, so that they’ll be more efficient. Furthermore, if BUSU reaches out more to students, it will enable students to help make change on their own.”
“I’m really excited to represent the students. All I want to do is make the community and school better. Five years from now, I’d like to know that I contributed to creating the best student union in Canada.”
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