RUNNING FOR VPSS
To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the VPSS?
The primary role of VPSS is to serve the students/ be the voice for the students (for example bringing forth student concerns, needs, and what the students have liked and/or not liked, etc.) as well as make sure the badgers are granted the best experience possible! In addition, the VPSS will oversee clubs, volunteer initiatives, and events, such as; o-week, wellness days, frost week and more! VPSS will also be responsible for reporting to BUSAC, being a liaison between various departments, taking a part in CPC and working very closely with other members of the BUSU team!
Why have you decided to run for the position of VPSS?
My leadership and engagement has circulated and continues to circulate the Brock community. All of the initiatives which i’ve had the privilege of being a part of, has stemmed my love of activities/events, community, and student life. Through all of my experiences, one of my favorite things was hearing different student voices: either engaged in clubs, or while doing rounds as a don; I saw students in their prime and amidst crises and I learned how I could best help in both situations. In short I’d say that I am a “go-getter” who loves to plan and execute events and bring the community together. It is because of all these things and the fact that I could better emphasize the students voice on a larger scale, to make sure they are being heard and in general represent all of our students to the best of my ability that I decided to run for VPSS!
Why do you believe you should be elected VPSS?
I’ve been involved in BUSU and have been able to: volunteer as a team lead at move in day and then eventually a team lead for o-week, work on the advocacy street team doing campaigns in the halls talking to all different students, currently work as the clubs coordinator working with club leaders on the daily, being a part of clubs/starting a club at brock, being a part of a sorority, and representing Brock university at Parliament in February of 2018. I love the BUSU and Brock Community and I don’t feel my work here is done. My many years in positions of student engagement both with BUSU but also around Brock; in residence and clubs, has shown me there are many gaps within BUSU and the VPSS role that I could specifically work to resolve. I feel by acting on the many issues students have told me, that with this position I could take actions to improve the sense of Brock student community and be that voice for our students. Overall, I should be elected as I have the experience and well-rounded knowledge of the student voice, as well as the drive to act on my plan!
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?
My primary goal is to help make students more engaged in the events & services that BUSU offers by using new approaches to increase engagement, create a more diverse collection of student events to cater to all types of students, enhancing the accessibility and inclusivity of BUSU programming and finding innovative solutions to concerns students have about programming and clubs. I would say the 3 pressing issues and my plan to address them are as follows: Making the brock experience more inclusive through implementing programming directed for mature students, making Isaac’s an accessible space, and hosting culture fest; Addressing club issues: As the founder of a club at Brock, the acting club’s coordinator, and the member of many others, I am well aware that BUSU plays a central role in club life. But sadly, many students in clubs feel that role is not a positive one or could be improved. As VPSS I would work alongside clubs to address their issues, making a simplified ratification process, providing better assistance and a fairer and more stable funding process. These actions will make certain that BUSU clubs know how much our student union values them and the time they dedicate to help students find their community at Brock and ways to get involved, and; Improving engagement- Helping First Years through implementing a BUSU mentorship programs that pairs upper year students with first year students to befriend, mentor, and help in the university adjustment process; can also help teach them about all BUSU offers and engagement. Creating engagement initiatives for Marilyn I.Walker Campus and Hamilton Campus.
If elected what would you do differently from past VPSS?
The previous people who have held the VPSS position have done great jobs, however, there are gaps I have noticed through my time around students that I feel I can help work on and improve to enhance the Brock student community and engage students in that community. Many students look at BUSU and Brock University as one item; they don’t understand what services BUSU offers other than a bus pass. We need to improve this by working on better marketing and online systems to improve student knowledge about how to get engaged and find their community and home at Brock! In relation to Clubs, I recognize there is an overly complex ratification process, a complicated club funding process, and more. I want to work on improving these club processes, making them more accessible, simple, and more fair with the input of club members and club leadership. While Brock is a very accessible school there are still many areas where we can improve; one of the largest is the lack of accessibility in Isaacs; I want to work to ensure Isaacs and all areas of student life and engagement are not only engaging but accessible to be engaged with by all students.
Many students still don’t feel they can identify with BUSU or Brock programing; LGBTQ students, mature students, racialized group, people from other backgrounds. They look at programing for o-week and the year and they feel it wasn’t meant for them. I want to work on catering BUSU student services to all sorts of interests, backgrounds, and individuals to create dynamic inclusive student programing by actively working alongside and getting the input of diverse voices. I desire to make the undergrad experience the best possible to my ability by catering all students of many diverse backgrounds and circumstances (first years, fourth years, lgbtq, minority, aboriginal, mature students, Hamilton campus, Marilyn Walker campus, etc.) and working to ensure these events and services are accessible and inclusive so that I can help students at Brock find their community on campus and their place in BUSU just as I did!
I plan to put my words to action through new programing, new efforts of engagement, discussions with departments, faculty, and HR and finally new initiatives! Student engagement is the central goal of BUSU and of the VPSS. The problem we face is that there is much growth to be done on student engagement so that students understand what BUSU can offer, and the community it can help provide. With a vast and diverse student body it is essential the student union represent all kinds of voices in their services and programing. As VPSS I would work to make sure programing includes more cultures, interests, mature students, international students, all campuses, and all communities. Doing so will make sure that every student who looks at the BUSU office or poster on a wall knows that their student union represents and helps them too.
Reminder on February 12th, 13th, and 14th to raise the bar and vote for char! For more information please stop by my table in academic south or visit my Facebook page @Charforvpss