Monday, January 1, 2007
When I first arrived on campus, it was overwhelming and confusing. When difficulties arose, I didn’t know what to do or who to turn too. From working with others on campus, I now realize I’m not alone in that experience. I believe students can make a profound difference in the quality of their education by helping one-another create a more open and accessible campus. Through the CSA, I hope to do exactly that.
What are your priorities for next year?
My priority, were I to become Academic Commissioner, is to advocate on behalf of students by creating greater accessibility to both information and resources on campus. This includes continuing to campaign to reduce tuition fees, promoting greater accessibility to information and awareness about campus organizations and events, enhancing student bursaries, re-opening and expanding the CBS exam bank, as well as providing greater supports for student-led programs and initiatives. Having worked within several student-based organizations on campus, I really do feel that the CSA can play a greater role in connecting students with campus life.
What was your most favourite of classes ever?
I took a history course on world religions (HIST*2070) that I really enjoyed. The course was designed such that I was able to approach learning about different peoples and their histories in a variety of ways. I got the chance to actually learn about ideas I hadn’t really been exposed too before that opened a new way of learning about the world. It’s these kind of classes that makes me believe in how empowering our University can be.
If you had a choice out of anyone to be the new Chancellor, who would you chose and why?
Stephen Harper. That way, we could protest without having to travel out of town.
How do you see your role in connection with the administration? Did you see it more of a collaborative or confrontational relationship?
Without compromising the CSA’s fundamental role to advocate on behalf of students (including those off campus as well as prospective students), I do believe that a CSA executive can play an incredibly important role in bringing different campus community groups and organizations together to accomplish common goals. I think there is plenty of room to work alongside the administration on several key areas such as accessibility and human rights.
Who is your favourite fictional teacher or professor?
David Gale from the movie “The Life of David Gale”.
What will your response be if and when tuition rises next fall?
I don’t think we will be “responding”, as many of us are already taking a pro-active stand against the ongoing trend of rising tuition fees. I continue to take an active role in the many student-led campaigns to reduce tuition fees, and I will continue to work with broader, nation-wide organizations to tackle this systemic problem. I strongly believe that our student government must continue to champion the rights of all people to receive an affordable and accessible education.
Do you see the CSA's role as one of advocacy, activism or both?
I think advocating on behalf of students can often be in the form of activism. Concerns of safety and accessibility on our campus, defending issues of fair trade goods, promoting human rights, and tackling rising tuition fees often entail a degree of activism to ensure students’ interests are being heard.
What’s your favourite non-academic activity at the U of G?
Ever since coming to this campus, I have always enjoyed participating in student-based initiatives such as those organized by the various student clubs. There are numerous movie nights, debates, discussions, culture shows, and dinners to be a part of – much of which has helped create a fun and engaging campus community that I have come to enjoy. It is for this reason that I want to continue to help work with these student-based groups to ensure that they are well supported, through the CSA, in the work that they do.
Anything else that you wanted to add?
I believe in working with all members of our campus community to build a more transparent, cooperative, and accessible environment in which all students can take an active role. As Academic Commissioner, I would strongly advocate on behalf of students, providing direction, support and resources to protect their rights as students. I would make sure that difficulties in class, issues of academic consideration or evaluation, problems with finances, and any form of discrimination are dealt with in a fair manner that provides students with access to a full range of options and resources. I also believe this position, as a CSA Executive, includes promoting greater awareness and broader support for student-led initiatives that empower students. I plan to continue working on student-led campaigns to guarantee our campus becomes increasingly more diverse and accessible for everyone. I am very dedicated and determined to continue to bring about positive changes within our university community, and if given the opportunity by students, will do so as your Academic Commissioner. Visit my website or e-mail me at