Niveditha Sethumadhavan – Candidate Profile

RUNNING FOR VPEA

Photo Credit: Remy Zanotto

Photo Credit: Remy Zanotto

Candidate Interview:

To the best of your understanding, what is the role and responsibilities of the VPEA?

The Vice President, External Affairs (VPEA) is responsible for first and foremost being a representative of students and student voices. They advance the interests of Brock students with external organizations and work on lobbying and negotiating on behalf of student interests. It is also the role of the VPEA to build and maintain relationships with the community while advocating on behalf of the students. The VPEA is integral in representing the Brock University Students’ Union through provincial and federal groups such as the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) as well.

Why have you decided to run for the position of VPEA?

The reason I decided to run for this position, is the sole purpose of why Student Unions were created in the first place, to magnify the voices of students and advocate for what their rights and desires are. I firmly believe that the role of the VPEA is integral when it comes to advocacy and lobbying efforts, and I further believe that I can be the microphone that amplifies the voices and concerns of students. Through my involvement with BUSU, Brock and the Greater Niagara Region over the past three years, I have been privileged enough to learn, grow and experience an undergraduate life unlike any other, and thus, it is now my turn to give back. I am passionate about the issues I fight for, and am running to be the next Vice-President, External Affairs to truly break barriers and build a BIGGER and BRIGHTER future for us all.

Why do you believe you should be elected VPEA?

There are a variety of variables that make me stand out from my competition. First off, my extensively consistent engagement and involvement with Brock over the past three years sets me apart from the other candidates. I have held several jobs and positions across both BUSU as well as Brock and have learnt the intricate policies and functioning abilities of both organizations. Within BUSU, I have made my way from being a first-year volunteer, to a Student-At-Large Representative, to the Speaker for the Students’ Union. I’ve served on the Governance Committee, External Affairs and several others. Second, my personality, work ethic and ability to connect genuinely with people is something I find highly integral to the role of the VPEA. I’ve been a part of Model United Nations for seven years, been the Treasurer for the Communication, Pop-Culture & Film Student Society for two years, and been a part of teams my whole life and definitely know The Office Trivia better than the rest.

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 am running on a six-platform point campaign, addressing some of the pressing issues and needs of the student body. Through the potential opportunity of being VPEA, I hope to create a safer and more aware environment by preventing and responding to sexual assault. Along with being safe, students should feel content and happy with their experience at Brock, which is why I want to create greater mental health initiatives and connect students to various resources. With the current Government cuts in mind, I want students to feel as financially secure as possible, which is why I look forward to creating a used books catalogue and lobbying the university for free printing. Through focus on community engagement, I hope to build stronger municipal connections. Finally, I want to create transitioning programming for international students, so they too can truly experience, Brock. If elected, I hope to achieve all of these goals, in addition to representing and voicing what the students of Brock University want.

If elected what would you do differently from past VPEA’s?

Generally, the previous VPEA’s have done a phenomenal job of representing Brock and BUSU. What I hope to do differently, if elected to be VPEA, is have a more student-centric approach with regards to all of my advocacy and lobbying efforts. I hope to create opportunities for greater engagement with students and my advocacy initiatives and efforts. Finally, I hope to build off of the great work and legacy that previous executives have left behind.

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