BUSU Elections: VPEA

Photo Credit: BUSU

Photo Credit: BUSU

VPEA profile

Harroop Ahuja

 

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

The role of the Vice President, External Affairs is to effectively represent Brock students with a plethora of external partners. This means that the VPEA works with provincial and federal lobbying groups, Brock University, the region and other organizations to advance the interests of Brock University students.

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

I decided to run for the Vice President External Affairs because of the same reason I came to Brock University. I choose Brock University because I wanted to become a well rounded student. I wanted to make sure that my undergraduate experience not only focused only education but other opportunities like extracurricular activities. Reflecting on this, I realized that a big reason why I was able to grow was because of the Brock University Students’ Union. It was through BUSU that I was able to find my passions and create life long friends.

I decided to run for the Vice President, External Affairs because I wanted to provide the same opportunities I got from BUSU to every student. I want to make sure that as your next VPEA, I will continue to represent the Brock community and effectively represent them so we can decrease any barriers that may prevent students from accessing the opportunities I also had.

  1. Why do you believe you should be elected VPEA?

I believe I should be elected as the next Vice President, External Affairs because I hope to put students first. As the next Vice President, External Affairs, I hope to ensure that student voices and student experience truly dictates what BUSU does and what BUSU advocates for. I also want to make sure as the next VPEA, I want to create a culture where BUSU creates a safe environment where students with lived experiences can share their stories and feel confident that their voices will be reflected in the events and policies BUSU creates.

I also believe I should be the next Vice President, External Affairs because of my experience. For the last three years, I have spent time in various roles within the community, Brock University and BUSU. Below are just a few examples:

  • Serving as a Undergraduate Student Senator and help to change how the university awards degree minors to students
  • Serving as the BUSU Board of Directors Chair to make BUSU more accountable and transparent
  • Volunteering as a peer health educator to address mental health on campus
  • Serving as a student representative on various advisory committees in the Faculty of Applied Health Science, and Brock Career Zone.
  • Working at Niagara Region Public Health as a Community Outreach Coordinator to deliver three health campaigns all around the Niagara Region.

The experience I have outlined sheds light on the fact that I have experience in not only representing students with external partners but also delivering comprehensive public health campaigns all across the Niagara Region.

  1. 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 campaign is all about putting YOU, the students first. How I plan to achieve that is by three major themes of my platform:

  • Elevating Student Voice
  • Strengthening partnerships and advocacy
  • Improving Campus Services

With that being said I believe the three main issues at Brock that need to be addressed are the following:

  1. Affordable and Accessible education resources
  • Textbooks and other educational materials are expensive. Sometimes, the prices of education resources can be a barrier to education and learning all the material. I would like to make sure that student voice is represented on the Open Education Resources advisory committee and make sure that we are working with key stakeholders within Brock to create a model that provides more accessible and affordable resources.
  1. Addressing Sexual Violence Prevention and Support
  • Brock is ranked number 8 out of 15 universities for Sexual Violence Prevention and Support on campus. I want to make sure that by continuing the student presence on the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support committee and working with Human Rights Equity to increase attendance for the various trainings they provide.
  1. Adopting Environmentally Sustainable practices
  •  I want to make sure that working with Brock university and facilities management, BUSU conducts a sustainability audit to highlight some of the weakness BUSU has and what BUSU can be doing to be more environmentally sustainable.
  1. If elected what would you do differently from past VPEA’s?

If I was elected as the next Vice President, External Affairs I would like to make sure that student voice is our top priority. It is important to note that in the office of the Vice President, External Affairs we need to make sure that we create an environment where

students with lived experiences can share their voices and trust that their voices are represented in the things BUSU does. My platform looks to put students first and hopes to create channels in which students can share their voices.

For example, I hope to create an International Student Advisory Committee that hopes to identify some of the problems students face. I also hope to make sure a comprehensive student consultation process is put in place for the new student center that will be coming up.

 

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