Peter Henen – Candidate Profile

RUNNING FOR VPSS

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Candidate Interview:

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

The role and responsibilities of the VPSS are to integrate the community and it’s constituents.The VPSS should not only focus on developing a growing culture with all the different clubs on campus, but also to create diversity and a solid platform on which these clubs ought to showcase their talents.

Why do you believe you should be elected VPSS?

I should be elected as the VPSS because I’ve demonstrated my love and commitment for the community time and time again. For example, in 2015 some girl found a caterpillar in her vegetable cup in market. The administration did nothing, the student union did nothing but me? Me and my friends went around and collected 10, 000 signatures to try to better the food system on campus – all whilst BUSU wouldn’t touch it with a 10′ poll.

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?

Three main pillars on which my platform stands:

  1. Campus Culture: will be addressed by beginning the processes for an ice rink, which is merely a matter of logistics, such as time, location, safety etc. Additionally, I would like to continue to work with relevant stakeholders in the community such as high school coaches, to see how we can establish a football program at Brock – whether it be varsity, or if we need to begin it as an intramural team first.
  2. Mental Health: Create a diversity of programs that not only help students when they are going through mental or emotional struggles, but also to help students develop mental resilience throughout the year – especially during stressful exam seasons. One example of this is the campfire program that I’ve already established which is a collaboration between BUSU, the International student centre and the Aboriginal Student Association. Last  semester over 100 people came to each of these campfires where we students brought their guitars, we roasted marshmallows, listen to music, made s’mores etc. I would like to establish this program further by having campfires every 2 weeks throughout the year to help student destress, promote culture, friendship and community.
  3. Strong student advocacy: You need someone who has guts ti continue to push for some very difficult platform points such as food affordability. In my previous work with administration  there has been significant progress in this matter. For example, upon the expiry of the current companies contract (Sodexo runs a monopoly on food services), the food system will go to RPF (Request for Proposal), where the university will be accepting offers from new bidders. This is the first of it’s kind in the last 40 years.

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

If elected as VPSS, I will not only focus on developing the programs through which many students are already involved, but I will also go out of my way to seek and integrate the talent and culture within Brock that is yet un-tapped. Including those such as the Aboriginal student community, students in the Merylin I walker complex and Hamilton campus and other communities within Brock which are often overlooked.

Previously you were elected as VPEA, but you were eventually voted out after a recall referendum. What can students expect differently from you this time? How will you handle your relationships with BUSU Staff inside the office?

I don’t flow with the status quo in BUSU. For example, I was the only person to stand up against the president of BUSU and every single person on council – in front of Brock TV, against the $100 fee that BUSU is charging students. I am not pro taking more money from the students, I am pro using the money we have more efficiently to give students a BETTER & more AFFORDABLE experience.

That being said, if I am going to continue to not flow with the status quo and if I am going to continue to ALWAYS seek what is RIGHT, then I will make enemies. I WILL NOT ever give them a reason to reprimand me again. I WILL, hold my self to a HIGHER STANDARD, on ALL the rules they break them selves.

I am coming back. For affordability, for culture, for THE STUDENTS TO TAKE BACK their student union in ALL respects.

 

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