President

Alright Badgers, here’s the last post highlighting executive positions. After looking at the candidates for VPFA, VPEA, and VPSS, it’s time to look at the people running for the position of President.

The President oversees the other executives, and because of this is involved in every aspect of BUSU, including financial decisions, policies that affect student life, and the coordination of events and services. Let’s take a look at the candidates.

Presidential Candidate: Mel Gencer

Which position are you running for, and why did you decide to run?

My name is Mel Gencer and I am running for the position of BUSU president. After four years here at Brock, a proud former Goodman School of Business student and currently in the Economics program, I have lead 3 clubs, founded 3 startups and helped 5 other student companies, I wanted to give back and use my innovation and leadership skills to better student life and experiences across campus. I have always had a passion for student policy making, but this year I wanted to show my dedication and put my skills to work for students unlike any other candidate.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

I have had a lot of experience connecting students of all ages either through my clubs, my businesses or at the university incubator known as Biolinc. Creating innovative solutions that are little cost and great benefit to everyone is my passion. With 14 official points in my platform, each reasonable and realistic, I know I can have a lot done to help improve students’ lives throughout Brock.

What are your main platform points that you plan to address if you are elected?

With 14 points in the official platform, there are plenty of things that may interest everyone. My platform covers mental health resources, women’s and minority equality, giving back nearly 1/3 of my salary to fund some other points but also a brand new console café at Brock, sexual assault prevention resources, and more support for food affordability on campus, and many other things. Check out my whole platform for a detailed plan and all points at MELGENCER.COM .

Why do you think it is important for students to vote in the elections?

Student should vote in order to make a tangible difference across campus and to see their fellow students stand up for the things they believe in. Give your fellow badgers the chance to make a difference in the lives of every student.

Presidential Candidate: Faisal Hejazi

1) Which position are you running for, and why did you decide to run?

I am excited to be running for the position of President of the Brock University Students’ Union in the upcoming 2017/2018 elections. I have been honoured to serve as the Vice President of Finance & Administration for just over 9 months now, and I am happy to say it has been an incredibly successful year. Some of the successes that were achieved in my term as VPFA (with the assistance of faulty, administration, and the student body) include:

  • Extension of library hours until 2:30am (Sunday-Thursday)
  • Redemption program that allows students, faculty and staff to redeem up to 10% on their purchases at BUSU businesses (BUSU Loyalty Points Card)
  • Flat rate taxi service from Brock/Lofts to anywhere in the region (St. Catharines Taxi)
  • Rejuvenated online integrated event calendar
  • Sustainability initiatives across campus through the NSI (Niagara Sustainability Initiative)
  • Resolution of the Thorold bus crisis (Thorold City Council tried to remove busses from Thorold)

The underlying reason that I want to run for President is because I would like to continue to facilitate positive change on campus, and I believe that my experiences throughout my university career and more directly with BUSU makes me the strongest candidate for the position!

2) What unique experience can you bring to the position?

Throughout my amazing journey at Brock I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of students through an array of diverse opportunities including: MedPlus, Working for IT (red shirt at fish bowl), conducting research for IEQUIP (Interprofessional Education For Quality Improvement Program), volunteering with the NHS (Niagara Health System), volunteering for YouthNet through Public Health Niagara, PlayMakers Foundation (Exec for 3 years), OUSA (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance), CASA (Canadian Alliance of Student Associations), serving as a Senator, serving as a BUSAC councilor for the faculty of applied health science, and finally working as the VPFA of BUSU. These collective experiences have shaped me to become the person I am today. Brock is where my heart lies and I want nothing but the best for our University and for the students that attend it. I believe that all of the opportunities that I have been involved in conglomeration make me the most well suited to serve as President of our student union.

3) What are your main platform points that you plan to address if you are elected?

I have several ideas that I would love to see come to life if elected as President. I understand the importance of physical activity and how it is one of the best coping mechanisms for stress. Our fitness facility is long overdue for an expansion and this is something that I will be working with the department of athletics to accomplish. My goal is to double the size of the current gym by extending into the courtyard through a referendum that students would have the opportunity to vote on. I would also really love to bring an affordable grocery store to our campus. The grocery store would cater the needs of those living on residence, the Lofts as well as those living off campus. I will work with administration of the university to advocate for the need of a grocery store and to ultimately find a space. I would also like to advocate for a new student centre on campus in order to provide more resources for students (ie: study space, club space, therapeutic space, recreational space etc.). This can be achieved after extensive consultation with our students to see what space is most necessary on campus.

4) Why do you think its important for students to vote in the election?

I strongly encourage students to vote in the upcoming election as well as any other elections that carry significant impact on their lives.  Everyone on this campus has a unique voice that deserves to be heard. Whoever is elected for these positions has a great amount of responsibility and obligation to the students of Brock. Every single vote counts and each one makes a difference. There is so much power in a ballot. Too often we allow change to happen to us without taking action. I encourage everyone to get involved and help facilitate positive change around our campus!

 

Presidential Candidate: Peter Henen

1) Which position are you running for, and why did you decide to run?

My name is Peter Henen, I wouldn’t consider myself as a politician as much as I do a humanitarian. After being at Brock for 6 years, it has come to my attention that the core needs of Brock students, are not being addressed assertively. I for one, feel a strong obligation to attend to some of the prominent issues, in the form of 6 platform points:

  1. Promote Food Affordability
  2. Enhance Campus Culture
  3. Emphasize Club Unity
  4. Initiate Accessible Transportation
  5. Lower Parking Cost
  6. Cut Textbook Costs

Simply put, I have had it with people who run to boost their resume and make money. Certain information I will only reveal in my debates or future videos. My frustration with the system is beyond belief. Enough politics, it’s time to serve the people.

2) What unique experience can you bring to the position?

My experience includes: One year term intern-senator, Co-President of French Club for 2 consecutive years.  In the first year I introduced the first annual Montreal Trip (which is open to all Brock students interested in the French culture). The second year I was co-president of French club, we created the first annual Paris night. This was used to also show-case the French culture to Brock and at the same time raise funds to subsidize the cost of the Montreal trip for students. Additionally, I was co-president of Coptic club, which is a Christian based club on campus. Last but not least, I initiated and managed a 4 year campaign called Food Affordability for Students Today, also known as F.A.S.T.  In this movement I gathered individuals, designated tasks to be done with deadlines, delegated people to those task, allocated the limited funds we received in various ways, collaborated with many members within and around the Brock community, and implemented the numerous student driven events.

Events included Flash-mobs, which required collaboration of multiple clubs at Brock in addition to F.A.S.T. members and protests. The campaign reached such momentum to the extent that we collected just under 10, 000 signatures of Brock students on a petition advocating lower food prices.  The petition addressed the root of the food affordability issue by removing suggesting the removal of the current monopoly with Sodexo (such as was done in various other Universities in Canada and America). There is much difficulty with the obstacles to be overcome to attain such changes but the changes are necessary, the students are a priority and their voices will be heard to the fullest extent. Nothing worth getting is easy to get, but after baring such intense conversations with students about the injustice and unfairness they face, I feel the uncontrollable desire and obligation to confront these issues. Unlike other candidates I have spoken to for the last 6 years I have been at Brock, I will confront core problems directly, and not in an evasive manner. I am not interested in the money, nor am I interested in a better resume. This is easier said than done, but you will further understand to what degree this is true in future videos, lectures, and debates. Hence, it is vital students vote because they have the power to decide whether this coming year will be like every other year at Brock University where we have some nice changes but no one makes the effort to confront serious priorities for students…OR, we can have a year with real changes for real issues that really need to be addressed.

 

 

Alright everyone! Hopefully through these posts on the BUSU Executive Elections you’ve been able to get to know each of the candidates and what they hope to bring to the positions. You can watch the first debate and the second debate to see more of what the candidates have to say.

I can’t stress enough the importance of voting next week on February 14th, 15th, and 16th through your Brock email account. The outcome of the elections can have an enormous effect on student life at Brock in the future, so be sure to make an informed decision!

Thanks to all of the candidates who took the time to respond.