RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT
Hello fellow Badgers! My name is Faisal Hejazi and I want to represent you, my fellow peers, as the next President of BUSU. I have had an incredible experience at Brock thus far and I want to continue to give back to our Brock Community. In my time as Vice President of Finance and Administration I was able to complete all the platform points I had promised while running, as well as other initiatives. I am happy to say that Library hours have been extended until 2:30am, 5 days a week. Additionally, we now have the BUSU loyalty points program where students can redeem 10% back on all purchases. Moreover, we almost lost bus routes in Thorold but we were able to over turn that through various negotiations. Flat rate cabs are also available now from Brock or the Lofts to anywhere in the region. There are also initiatives I took on when I felt change was necessary, such as sustainability initiatives to make Brock more sustainable and help our environment. Of course, none of that could have been accomplished without the help of students, BUSU, and the university. Although we are making progress, we can always do better. Through my experience at Brock and with BUSU, I feel I am capable of facilitating even bigger change. There are various issues on campus that need to be addressed and I encourage you to reach out to me so we can address and combat these issues together. Based on the issues I have been made aware of thus far, I have provided a platform below. Please give me the honour of helping lead Brock to greater success. Vote for me and let’s continue to make positive change!
Current platform: Accessible local foods, student space (clubs, social events/activities), mental health initiatives, health and dental plan revamp
To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the position of the President of BUSU?
“There are several responsibilities that the President of the Brock University Students’ Union is responsible for. The President of BUSU should be providing constant guidance and give direction for the progression of the student union. “The President shall act as a liaison between BUSU and the Brock University Senate, Board of Trustees, Administration, and Faculty Association” (Bylaw 400). If elected, another responsibility includes serving as one of the two voting ex-officio, executive representatives on the BUSU Board of Directors. The President shall also report all initiatives assumed on behalf of the student union at BUSAC meetings. “ Furthermore, the President shall enforce the rules of the Letters of Patent, Supplementary Letters Patent and the Constitution, Bylaws, and Policy and Procedures of BUSU” (Bylaw, 400). Another important obligation includes organizing bi-annual general meetings for the stakeholders (the students) to provide a summary on the work the executive and BUSU as a whole have been working on. Finally, serving as the spokesperson of the organization is one of the main roles of the President at times of conflict, controversy or positive circumstances that are related to BUSU.”
Why have you decided to run for President this year?
“I am excited to be running for the position of President of the Brock University Students’ Union in the upcoming 2017/2018 elections. I have been honoured to serve as the Vice President of Finance & Administration for just over 9 months now, and I am happy to say it has been an incredibly successful year. Some of the successes that were achieved in my term as VPFA (with the assistance of faculty, administration, and the student body) include:
- Extension of library hours until 2:30am (Sunday-Thursday)
- Redemption program that allows students, faculty and staff to redeem up to 10% on their purchases at BUSU businesses (BUSU Loyalty Points Card)
- Flat rate taxi service from Brock/Lofts to anywhere in the region (St. Catharines Taxi)
- Sustainability initiatives across campus through the NSI (Niagara Sustainability Initiative)
- Resolution of the Thorold bus crisis (Thorold City Council tried to remove busses from Thorold)
The underlying reason that I want to run for President is because I would like to continue to facilitate positive change on campus, and I believe that my experiences throughout my university career and more directly with BUSU makes me the strongest candidate for the position.”
Why do you believe you should be elected to the position of BUSU President?
“Throughout my amazing journey at Brock I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of students through an array of diverse opportunities including: MedPlus, Working for IT (red shirt at fish bowl), conducting research for IEQUIP (Interprofessional Education For Quality Improvement Program), volunteering with the NHS (Niagara Health System), volunteering for YouthNet through Public Health Niagara, PlayMakers Foundation (Exec for 3 years), OUSA (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance), CASA (Canadian Alliance of Student Associations), serving as a Senator, serving as a BUSAC councilor for the faculty of applied health science, and finally working as the VPFA of BUSU. These collective experiences have shaped me to become the person I am today. Brock is where my heart lies and I want nothing but the best for our University and for the students that attend it. I believe that all of the opportunities that I have been involved in conglomeration make me the most well suited to serve as President of our student union.”
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?
“I have several ideas that I would love to see come to life if elected as President. I understand the importance of physical activity and how it is one of the best coping mechanisms for stress. Our fitness facility is long overdue for an expansion and this is something that I will be working with the department of athletics to accomplish. My goal is to double the size of the current gym by extending into the courtyard through a referendum that students would have the opportunity to vote on. I would also really love to bring an affordable grocery store to our campus. The grocery store would cater the needs of those living on residence, the Lofts as well as those living off campus. I will work with administration of the university to advocate for the need of a grocery store and to ultimately find a space. I would also like to advocate for a new student centre on campus in order to provide more resources for students (ie: study space, club space, therapeutic space, recreational space etc.). This can be achieved after extensive consultation with our students to see what space is most necessary on campus.”
Having been the VPFA for a year, what advantages do you believe you have from your experience?
“I believe that having the opportunity to work as the VPFA for the past nine months puts me in a better position to lead the organization as President in comparison to my competitors. In my opinion, having experience with the organization is a necessity prior to running for a role such as President. I have worked with the organization, understand the constitution and our various policies, developed the 2016/2017 budget, performed quarterly reviews, dealt with various HR issues, assisted in organizing orientation week, understand how to fulfill student needs effectively and efficiently, and most importantly, I know how to get things done! The learning curve for the role will be much less drastic in comparison to my opponents as I have been involved as a volunteer, a councillor and an employee for BUSU/BUSAC. I have also been able to shadow Patrick Foster (current BUSU President) and learn directly from him and what the role entails. His advice and mentorship has been extremely valuable to me and I feel that I am by far the most prepared for the position. The position of President is so much more than what the job description entails. Above all else, it is about serving the students, in whatever capacity they require. Without knowing the organization, it is extremely difficult to do well in this role and to actually make a positive impact with the students.”