Spencer Dawson – Candidate Profile

RUNNING FOR BUSU PRESIDENT

Spencer

Ballot blurb:

“For all of you who I have not had the pleasure of meeting, I’m Spencer and I am running to represent you as the next BUSU President! If elected, I will be focused on providing the necessary leadership and representation to ensure our goals and priorities are being met. I will support the Vice Presidents, Full-time, and part-time staff on all their initiatives so that we can create the best experiences for you! In the past year representing you as VP, Finance & Administration I have built the necessary skills and relationships that I believe have prepared me for the role of President. This past year as VP has been one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences, and I have to thank all of YOU for giving me that opportunity. I hope to carry the momentum I have into next year and be apart of what could be the best year yet! Thank you all for taking time to vote, your voice does matter, Surgite!”


 Candidate Interview:

January 27, 2016

To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the position of the President of BUSU?

“The role of the President is to have the big picture view of the inner workings of the student union, the overall student population at Brock and the Niagara community. In order to do the job, you need to understand how these components work both individually and in tandem. It’s also crucial for BUSU’s President to understand the needs and priorities of the union, the executives the full-time staff, the university proper and the community. Beyond recognizing these needs, the President must know and follow the appropriate outlets to ensure the goals are accomplished, through collaboration with community networks.”

Why have you decided to run for President this year?

“Since my first year, I’ve been involved in many different capacities, but never BUSU until last year when I held a position on the university senate, and was elected VPFA. I realized the influence that an executive can have on the community overall. The executive and presidential positions allow for a lot of opportunity to create positive change around campus. Each and every day we live through the experiences and the system of the university. I decided to run to be BUSU’s next president because I have the necessary connections, I understand how BUSU operates, and I think I will be able to support the VPS to achieve their goals. I’ve been involved enough in many capacities across campus to get the full understanding of what the Brock University experience is, and my goal will be to make our experience as students better.”

Why do you believe you should be elected to the position of BUSU President?

“I should be elected, first and foremost, because of my passion. My passion speaks volumes. I love being involved in the university, I love being able to inspire university-wide change across campus. I should also be elected because of my experience: the presidential role is crucial and exists to build and foster relationships in the community, create connections, ensure priorities and make sure things are coming to fruition. I think I have all the necessary skills to do the job to the best of my ability. A lot of students believe in me. This year has been very successful for me and the other executives, and I really want to continue my efforts. A lot of priorities are long term, we weren’t able to accomplish them in the short term, but I want to continue pushing those efforts. I want to see them come to life.”

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 petitions raised questions in our heads: “are we doing our job to the best of our ability? Are we representing students in the best way possible? Are we listening to the concerns that our constituents have?”. At the BUSAC meeting, when the petitions were addressed, my message was that I didn’t understand why the petitions were brought forward. I would understand and agree with the process if the students who were the motioners thought that we were truly not doing our jobs or if they thought we weren’t deserving of our positions, however, the motioners of the petitions did not come forward to address concerns. As an executive, you have to be self-reflective. There was disconnect between the executive team and BUSAC this year. I don’t think that this was only this year, it’s been somewhat historical. Something that would solve this is the rebuilding of this relationship. We are here to work in collaboration and to work towards the same goal. We need to be using each other to aid each other in our pursuits. We were very clear that any claims they had, they should approach us. We want to meet with the students, we are here to work for them. We want to make sure that we are exceeding and meeting those expectations.”

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. Governance and leadership within BUSU:

“Not necessarily what needs to be changed in regards to structure or policy, but we do need to be making a stronger relationship with BUSAC and making their positions more meaningful, so they feel like they’re a part of the process. The leadership aspect [of the position] should ensure that the goals and priorities, of the executives and myself, are being up-kept. I will work to, provide leadership to the student staff, full-time staff and the students, while also ensuring that the executives are also providing that leadership.”

2. Advocacy and Awareness

“It’s important to get the word out. There is a disconnect between what is happening at BUSU and what the students know about. We want to make sure students are aware of what BUSU and Brock are doing to make the student experience better. We need to bring more awareness about key issues that fact students. I plan to launch a student outreach campaign within the second month of the next academic year, where we will be going to different departments and faculties. We’re going to be using a third party platform to collect student feedback in regards to health and different students services, clubs, etc. We want to focus on what we want to accomplish during the year and back up our focus with practical data from the students. I headed the transit survey this year, and helped collect over 3,000 responses. I plan on using that same campaign with this same effort as well.”

3. Student Experience

“The student experience focuses on the overall student experience. What students are facing face to face. The grocery shuttle, airport pickup for internationship students, student volunteership – things we can put in place to directly enhance the student experience. A lot of things that BUSU does to benefit students is behind closed doors. The pillar of student experience in my platform is aimed at something that will make a difference to students in their every-day lives.”

Additional comments:

“This is my first year with the Brock University Students’ Union. My experience gained has been next to none. I would not have had the opportunity to do this at any other institution. To network with students, faculty, mayors, councillors, etc. , the opportunity was next to none. I would do it all over again. I’ve gained so much from this experience over the past eight months and would do anything to do it again.”

 


BROCK TV INTERVIEW:


 Platform:

“Yesterday marked the beginning of an exciting time at Brock University, the 2016 BUSU – Brock University Students’ Union Executive Elections!!

Over the past year working as the VP, Finance & Administration (VPFA) for BUSU, I have had the wonderful opportunity representing all undergraduate students at our institution, within the Niagara Community, Province, and Country wide.

Some of my accomplishments as VPFA are:
– Adding the Winterberry 31 Bus route
– Grocery Shuttle to Sobey’s every Tuesday
– Airport-pick up for students traveling internationally
– Providing transportation to the new Marilyn. I walker School of Fine and Preforming Arts
– Successfully lobbied City of Thorold, St.Catharines, and the Niagara Region to put street lights, bike lanes, and sidewalks on Decew Rd. & Merrittville Hwy.
– Ran Ride With Me Campaign to increase student awareness around safety concerns with pedestrian, cyclist and driver safety, and collected over 3000 student surveys on Transit within Niagara.
– Bus Shelters in-front of tower (Be built in Spring 2016)……and much much more!!

What I hope to do this year is continue to push our long-terms goals, support students,full-time and part-time staff on all their initiatives, increase accountability and transparency of the organization, help to connect students to more opportunities that Brock & BUSU have to offer, and bring more awareness to Mental Health, Financial Literacy, Food Affordability and Transit. To see my full platform I will be releasing my website later on today!

This year has been one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences yet, and I have to thank all of YOU for giving me this opportunity. I hope to carry the momentum I have into next year and be apart of what could be the best year yet representing you as President!

Please do NOT forget to Vote on February 9,10,11 through your Brock email!

Thank you to all my friends and family for the continued help and support, I could not do it with our all of you!!”


 

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