Istafa Sufi – Candidate Profile

RUNNING FOR VPEA

IstafaSufiXFrame

Ballot blurb: 

I have over 5 years of experience advocating and working for students through my involvements in student clubs, BUSU/BUSAC (Brock University Students’ Administrative Council), the Office of the Ombudsperson, various Brock University committees, external organizations and more! I believe my extensive list of experiences make me the best representative for your voice at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels of government.

Campaign Plans:
• Save YOU money on textbooks through lobbying for use of Open Access resources.
• Implement Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention Training on campus.
• Increase mental health resources by providing access to counsellors, and psychologists through live video chat.

For more information and my full platform, visit votesufi.com! Thanks for voting.


Candidate Interview:

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

“The Vice President of External Affairs is responsible for representing the voices of Brock students to all external organizations and the municipal, provincial and federal governments. The VPEA mainly accomplishes this by working with our federal and provincial lobbying partners, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.”

Why have you decided to run for the VPEA position?

“I decided to run for the position of Vice President of External Affairs because I have been involved in various positions on campus which has allowed me to have a direct impact on student lives at Brock and I really enjoy that. I want to take this a step further and advocate for student issues externally.”

Why do you believe you should be elected as VPEA?

“I believe I should be elected as the next VPEA because I bring a unique set of experiences and knowledge to this position. Having been involved with Brock student politics for the last 4 years, I have had to opportunity to work with our provincial and federal lobbying partners each year, along with the VPEA/VPUA (as the position used to be called). I also have experience writing legislation for BUSU, an experience that my competitors do not have. I have written bylaws, political policies and a Board policy for the Brock University Students’ Union. Since all our lobbying efforts to the provincial and federal governments are through policy, having experience in writing policy is by far the most valuable experience a VPEA candidate can have.”

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?

“The three main issues that my platform addresses are affordability, mental health and sexual violence prevention. I plan to tackle affordability by lobbying for the creation and use of open access resources so students don’t have to spend as much money for textbooks. I also plan to tackle this issue by lobbying to ensure that grants keep up with the rising costs of post-secondary education. I plan to tackle mental health by providing a video chat resource that connects students directly to counsellors and therapists that will be covered under the BUSU Health and Dental plan. I also plan to implement Mental Health First Aid training sessions for BUSU employees and for the general student population to train more students in providing peer to peer support services. I plan to tackle sexual violence prevention by implementing bystander intervention training across campus and by lobbying the Ontario government to include it into the Smart Serve certification.”

If elected, what would you do differently from past VPEAs?

“Having worked with the past four VPEAs, I have seen what works well and what does not work well in this position. I would use this experience to guide how I would take on this portfolio. In particular, I would like to focus more on municipal issues through working with Niagara College and by organizing a Municipal Lobby Week much like we do on the federal and provincial level. As municipal politics have a direct impact on Brock students, I think it is a very important that we give adequate time to student issues at the municipal level. “

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