RUNNING FOR VPFA
To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the VPFA?
The VPFA is the individual in charge of ensuring that BUSU is running a financially sustainable operation. They require a high degree of understanding in the areas of business and finance, as much of the role relates to creating budgets, financial policy, and revenue generation.
Next year, the VPFA will also require a strong understanding of health and fitness facilities as they will play a large role in conducting the Zone Expansion – a $6,000,000 – $6,800,000 project funded by Brock students.
The roles and responsibilities of the VPFA are primarily laid out in the job description which can be found on the BUSU website. The duties include:
- To act as the Chief Financial Officer of BUSU.
- To work alongside the General Manager in enforcing the Financial Policies of BUSU.
- To pursue revenue generating endeavours that may be used to support additional student services.
- To oversee the BUSU Health and Dental Plan portfolio.
- Oversee the Transit Portfolio.
- Represents BUSU on Brock Senate.
- Represents BUSU on University Administrative Committees when reasonably falls under the VPFA portfolio.
- To assume other duties which properly fall within the scope of the portfolio, as well as other duties that may occasionally be assigned by the Board of Directors or BUSAC.
It is essential that the student body elects someone with a strong understanding of the roles and responsibilities, and has the education, skills and experience required to efficiently transition into the role so they may perform and serve the students effectively.
Why have you decided to run for the position of VPFA?
I am running for VPFA because I have found opportunities and weaknesses in the Brock student experience.
Currently, I serve in the capacity of:
- Elected Councillor on the Brock University Administrative Council (BUSAC).
- Elected member of Finance, Planning and Sustainability Committee (FPSC).
- Volunteer on the Sustainable Information Systems Advisory Committee (SISAC).
In these roles, I have had the opportunity to serve alongside the current VPFA, Bilal Khan, and the previous VPFA and current President, Aidan Hibma as well as other staff and student representatives.
Through these roles, I have learned much about what the VPFA position entails – the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats – and explored the potential of BUSU in relation to the position.
My experiences as a fourth Year Business Administration (Honours) student at the Goodman School of Business, and my time at the Burgundy School of Business (France) have also added to my understanding of various aspects of business and finance.
Ultimately, I am running because I love our school. My four years here have been incredible. The friendships I have made, the memories I have shared, the knowledge I have gained. It is my belief that every student deserves to have an incredible experience, and I will make sure they do.
Why do you believe you should be elected VPFA?
My fellow VPFA candidates are great. They each bring unique skills and experiences, passions and ideas.
I believe I should be elected because:
- My skills and experience directly align with the responsibilities of the VPFA.
- My education will allow me to perform effectively.
- My platform is realistic and achievable.
- My platform serves the needs of current and future students.
- My background in health and fitness will have a major positive impact on the Zone Expansion.
- I have a strong understanding of student government as I serve as your Councillor on BUSAC.
Badgers, I have worked hard over the past 4 years to set myself up to serve you best. This was no overnight decision. I know the role, and I have worked to prepare myself – serving on council, volunteering at O-week and move-in day for years, working at Isaac’s, taking part in business case competitions, managing $30,000 as a treasurer. Why have I worked so hard to prepare myself to be a brilliant VPFA?
Because you deserve a prepared, qualified and experienced VPFA.
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?
An important item to note as you read below: I have taken the time to sit with key BUSU leadership and done my due diligence to ensure that everything I have presented in my platform is realistic and feasible. I have worked hard in making sure that my approach to this campaign is honest, realistic, and all items that I am ready to achieve.
Optimize Business Operations
- This platform point addresses student fees, and how all the various platform points of candidates are funded. Everyone wants to bring great services to campus, that’s a given. I have not seen a VPFA address how those services are funded. Right now, the typical method to fund new services is to create a new levy to pay for the services.
- Typically, more services = more fees. I want to change that.
- Instead of more fees, I want to focus on developing our current businesses such as Isaac’s, General Brock, and Union Station. So next time we need $20,000 for services like free breakfasts and mental health support, we look towards mobilizing our business units to generate that money.
Student Entrepreneurship Program
- A big part of this is also driving student entrepreneurship. Given BUSU’s platform and resources, I want to support and promote student entrepreneurs to formally introduce their product or service to students. For example,
- Phone Repair Shop
- A student that can repair phones would be able to work with BUSU to provide that service to students on campus.
- Badger Clothing
- A student with a t-shirt printing business may help create our BUSU swag.
- Phone Repair Shop
- This way, we help student entrepreneurs build their business, get a flow of innovative ideas, all while serving students at a very low cost.
Ensure Proper Zone Expansion
- This is the largest project being funded by BUSU next year, and I know it is a major priority for students that it is carried out properly.
- $6,000,000 – $6,800,000 will be spent on the expansion, a Brock student funded project.
- It is essential that we get the most effective equipment that reflects the needs of our students. That means more:
- Squat racks
- Stretching and Flexibility Equipment
- Bench Press Racks
- The layout has opportunities to explore as well such as:
- Stretching Zone
- Women’s Only Space
- Cardio Zone
- Turf Area
- The layout has opportunities to explore as well such as:
With the Zone Expansion being a major project at BUSU, it is paramount that it is addressed and carried out in a manner that shows care, compassion and enthusiasm.
Enhance Transit and Add Parking
The VPFA’s largest continuous portfolio is the Transit program. We send over $4,000,000 on this alone. There are several current challenges in the transit space right now.
- The UPass does not cover transit in the Summer/Spring.
- This will be addressed by increasing the availability and value of the us pass subsidy. As BUSU, we can help students pay for the spring/summer pass.
- The two schedules, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer do not consider the environmental conditions of winter. This causes delays in the winter which lead to students stuck outside in harsh temperatures and increase the potential for being late to class.
- I will work with the transit commission to improve the scheduling and account for winters conditions. We may require an additional schedule that allows students to get to class on time and informs them of delays due to weather.
- The students that live on or near the Winterberry route have accessibility issues.
- I will lobby for the students to return this route. With the current political climate, this is feasible.
- Parking passes are oversold, and parking spaces are limited.
- I will advocate for more parking spaces. This has been confirmed to be a realistic ambition.
- Work with parking services to inform students of overselling and lobby for a more transparent parking operation.
Transit is very important to us students. Many of us use it every day to get to class, work, get groceries and more. Keeping that in mind, it is important to work towards better accessibility and operations to ensure that students have a positive experience with our major transportation method. It is also important to address the second largest transportation method, via car, and work to improve our parking facilities on campus.
If elected what would you do differently from past VPFA’s?
After discussing with BUSU leadership and multiple past VPFA’s, what I want to do different is to get involved with our various businesses such as Isaac’s Bar & Grill, General Brock, and Union Station. I want to work alongside their brilliant management including Robert Hilson (General Manager), Heather McLean (Director of Business Operations), Elisha Seo (General Brock Manager), and other key BUSU staff. It would be my goal to put further focus on what resources and support the executive team may offer for them to further succeed, and what I, as the VPFA can do to help them generate more revenues.
Ultimately, putting more efforts their will help me create a more sustainable model for growth and development of BUSU’s business model. One that is not dependent on student fees, but rather on further business development to fund new services for our students.
Thank you everyone for reading up to this point. I am truly honored to be a candidate for VPFA in these elections. If elected, you should know that you are in strong, capable, experienced, and motivated hands. Let’s work together #ForABetterBrock.