Vice President of External Affairs

Now that we’re on day 3 of campaigning, I’m sure you’ve all seen the candidates out in the halls and in the first debate yesterday. With a week left until voting opens, let’s take a closer look what some of the candidates are hoping to bring to the position of Vice President of External Affairs!

VPEA is a position that involves working with university policies to ensure that students have access to important resources and services. This position involves being familiar with policies not only at Brock, but also at other universities, and understanding how these can impact the student experience.

VPEA Candidate: Nadia Bathish

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

In this upcoming election, I’ve decided to run for the position of Vice President of External Affairs. Throughout my 4 years here at Brock, I’ve been lucky enough to of received the total experience of what Brock and the community has had to offer. From being involved with athletics, to being an active member on BUSAC and BUSU Board of Directors, I feel my unique and diverse background has prepared me to be a worthy candidate in this upcoming election. In short, my track record proves me to be a well-versed and balanced student, characteristics of which you would expect of a student leader. With running for VPEA, I decided to act on these qualities as I know I’m the ideal candidate in engaging and advocating the true voice of BU.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

As briefly mentioned, I’ve been a part of athletics throughout university as a member of the women’s soccer team. Being a student athlete is truly an experience like no other, especially here at Brock University. With trying to balance school, practice, games, personal wellness, friends, family, and possibly sleep, you quickly learn a lot about who you are and you either adapt or look to follow a different path. As you know, I’ve been doing this for 4 years now, and I am eternally grateful for values and work-ethic I have gained through this. My involvement with Brock is much deeper than athletics, however this experience has familiarized me with yet another group of students and their concerns.

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

My campaign covers a wide variety of concerns ranging from textbook alternatives, better advocating on a municipal level, to indigenous solidarity and awareness. Primarily, if elected, #EngagingBU is a top priority of mine. This meaning, to the best of our abilities, I want to properly emulate the voice of the undergraduate students on an external front by engaging the student voices through different methods. This includes creating an online platform for students to voice their opinions/concerns and have others discuss on such. Another method of engagement is to better introduce BUSU and its branches to the first years by creating a first year council. In summary, if elected, I’m extremely excited and motivated to work for the 18,000 undergraduate students by simply engaging and attending to these voices.

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

To put it simply, I’ve always been motivated to vote because I know that as an undergraduate student attending Brock, I am compelled to pay into the student union as it is included within tuition. Though we do not have a choice in paying this fee, we do have the opportunity to voice how we would like to see it spent by being an active voter during election periods. Especially given that my platform is centered on student engagement, stressing the importance of looking through all of the candidates’ platform points and hopefully finding one that best aligns with your ideals is all I wish for. This will definitely be a great campaigning season with the number of different candidates running, and each being unique in what they bring to the table. Get informed BU and remember to vote February 14th, 15th, and 16th!

 

VPEA Candidate: Olivier Kayitaba

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

I am running for the position of Vice President of External Affairs. I decided to run for the position of Vice President of External affairs for a few reasons, but the most important one is I personally felt that my goal for Brock has yet to be accomplished. Which is to bring a strong mental health program to the University. Last year when I ran, I placed second and thought I was done with BUSU politics, but as my mom says your plans, are not God plans. I came back in January to write a make up exam, the thought came to mind, and here we are.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

Besides my long resume of different clubs I’ve volunteered for at the University through out my five years, the most unique experience I can honestly say that I can bring to my position is that haven’t been the perfect student. I dint have straight As since first year, or made all the right decisions throughout my time here at Brock. I made mistakes, struggled a lot, faced challenges that I thought I would never recover from, and I did. I am glad that it happened the way it did, because it opened my eyes to what students really need, whats missing at the University, and how can I make it better. The way I see it, if I struggled with an issue as a student, there has to be other students who are facing the same challenges. I transformed my pain into passion and focused it on BUSU politics.

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

The main platform points that I would address once elected is Mental Health Awareness and Education, Sexual assault prevention and Response, Saving student’s money. I am aware that the position of a Vice President of External Affairs is mainly focused on advocating for different policies that will benefit students. I want to take it a step further in proposing different programs  that will directly enhance student life on campus. Which can be found on my facebook page Olivier Kayitaba 4 VPEA.

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

It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT for student to vote, every year. Reason being is that those elected will dictate the culture and direction the school takes in the next year. Which could either be step forward, or two steps backwards. I have seen execs come and go, I can’t emphasize how much it benefits us student at large to have executives who truly care and are passionate about their position.

 

VPEA Candidate: Istafa Sufi

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

I am running for the position of Vice President External Affairs (VPEA). I decided to run because I saw that having been involved in various positions on campus, I could have a direct impact on student lives at Brock. I wanted to take this a step further and advocate for the needs of students at levels of government (municipal, provincial, and federal).

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

I can bring a variety of unique experiences to the position. Having been involved with our campus’s student politics for 4 years, I have had the opportunity to work with our provincial and federal partners each year along with the VPEA or VPUA (as the position used to be called). I have also gotten to know a lot about our provincial and federal partners as I have reviewed both organizations through the Referendum Implementation Levy Review Committee on the Brock University Students’ Administrative Council (Speaker).

I have also written bylaws, political policies and a Board policy for BUSU and as the Speaker, it has been my job to be familiar with and interpret all legislation of the Brock University Students’ Experience. Since this position lobbies the government with our provincial and federal partners through policy, having a strong background in policy and policy writing is by far the most valuable experience a VPEA candidate can have.

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

If elected, I plan to:

  • save students money on textbooks through lobbying for greater creation and usage of open access resources.
  • implement bystander intervention training on campus and lobby the government to include it in programs like Smart Serve to reduce sexual violence across the province.
  • increase mental health resources available to students like a video chat option to connect students with more counselors, therapists and psychologists as well as greater peer to peer support services.

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

I think it is very important for students to vote in the elections as it affects every part of their life, from food and events on campus, to their UPass, OSAP, ancillary fees, mental health resources, and many of the other services offered by the Brock University Students’ Union. Voting also lets students decide what new services will be made available to them in coming years, whether through an executive’s platform (e.g. Halal food in GB) to referendum (Alumni Turf Field).

 

Okay Badgers, now that you’ve gotten to know the VPEA candidates a little, feel free to check out the upcoming debates and stop by the candidates’ tables in Academic South to learn more about their platforms.

To learn more about the other candidates, check out the post on VPFA candidates, and stay tuned for updates on VPSS and President!

Voting takes place February 14th, 15th, and 16th through your Brock email account.