Well, Badgers, it’s that time of year again!

Mac Chown and Thistle are covered in posters, Academic South has been taken over by campaign tables, and if you’re lucky people might even give you free candy. This means it’s time for BUSU Executive Elections—the time of year that candidates campaign for executive positions within BUSU.

It’s the time of year when some of Brock’s most active and dedicated students outline their plans to make Brock a better school for all of us, so let’s take a look at what each candidate can bring to the positions!

Vice President of Finance and Administration

The VPFA is responsible for finances at BUSU. This is an incredibly important position—they  decide how funding should be allocated, which can impact services, events, and resources for students.

 

VPFA Candidate: Brandon Schofield

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

I am running for the executive position of Vice President of Finance and Administration. I chose to run for election since I believe that I would be the best candidate to lead the finance division at of BUSU.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

The unique experiences that I have that I would bring to the table as VPFA, would be that I have had many opportunities that required me to be a leader. I have a proven track-record of leading a team, being able to delegate tasks and step up whenever needed. Through my short life, I have had to overcome many obstacles that only made me stronger and more determined. With this, I have gained a strong ambition to make sure that anything I do, I give 100% to, and don’t stop working until there’s nothing left for me to do.

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

The main platform points that I plan to address once I’m VPFA is, the increase of student activities/services to better every student’s time at Brock. I plan to use the budget to revamp Isaac’s bar as well as open it for business on Friday nights and find more opportunities to attract students. I will also look to make the budget much more efficient, by cutting out any unnecessary spending and increase revenue without increasing fees on students.

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

I believe that it is important for students to vote because we live in a democracy, and everyone’s voice matters. When you vote, you are casting your voice in the form of a ballot to decide which direction you want BUSU to take. This is your time here at Brock, and I want to make it the greatest it possibly can. By using your vote, you hold the power to shape the future of the Brock University Student Union.

 

VPFA Candidate: Jordan Albanese

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

I’m running for Vice President of Finance and Administration. I chose to run because, first and foremost, I’m a proud Badger, and secondly, because I would love to be able to give back and help improve the student experience. I believe my background in neuroscience and pharmacy offer a unique health and wellness based perspective that can truly benefit the students.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

As mentioned above, I’m a neuroscience major, which I believe brings an unique view on mental health. I have also shadowed physicians and worked as a pharmacy assistant for the past 3 years. So not only have I been able to connect the dots between theory and the real-life practice of pharmacy and medicine, but I’ve also dealt one-on-one with hundreds struggling patients. I have understood their troubles and concerns, but above all, I have witnessed first hand that the majority of patients are everyday people like you and I. We often allude to those affected by mental illness as being sad and secluded. While that is the unfortunate reality for some, there is also an overwhelming portion of patients who are forced to put on their bravest face and continue on with their daily endeavours. For instance, those who are suffering while pursuing their post-secondary education.

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

My platform can be broken down into 3 main points. The first, allowing students to opt-out of the bus pass. The second, reforming the health plan, with a particular focus on strengthening mental health services (psychiatric consults, etc.) and vision care. And lastly, but most importantly, setting in motion proactive mental health initiatives which centre around keeping students active and engaged. I firmly believe that the best way to fight mental illness, is to prevent it. Just like how vaccines aim to prevent infections, physical active and frequent laughter are also proven immunizations. Trust me, friends are more effective than pharmaceuticals.

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

In order to craft a culture of community and inclusion, all student voices must be heard. Conveniently enough, voting is one of the quickest and easiest way to do so. Everyone is passionate about something, whether it be caring for the environment, spreading mental health awareness, etc. Social change is like a marathon: endurance and persistence are key, but above all you must keep moving forward. With this in mind, consider one vote as the equivalent to one step, with every vote bringing us one step closer to the finish line.

 

VPFA Candidate: Aidan Hibma

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

In this year’s BUSU elections I decided to run for the position of Vice President of Finance and Administration. Currently I sit as the Vice Chair to the Board of Directors and I soon realized that even though sitting on the Board is extremely important to the functionings of the University, I lacked the ability to implement my vision for Brock. If elected to represent my fellow badgers I will have the ability to positively enhance every students’ time at Brock, and that for me is a huge driving factor behind my decision to run.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

I believe I have a few unique qualities that will allow me to stand out during this years BUSU election. Firstly I am a 4th student, which has allowed me to build a diverse group of friends on campus ranging from classmates, members of various varsity teams, students who belong to the wide range of clubs, fellow BUSU employees, Greek life and socialites. The immediate benefit of having such a diverse group of friends is that it has allowed me to gather feedback from relatively every type of student on campus. In turn, the positive result of this feedback can be seen in my diverse platform. Secondly, for the past year I have sat not only as the Vice Chair to the Board of Directors but on BUSU’s Internal Affairs Committee. Yet, it was working on the Internal Affairs Committee that I think is the most important edge I have, because it has given me experience working directly with transit. We tackled some very important issues this year such as creating the number that is being presented on this year’s Transit Referendum. The VPFA oversees all transit at Brock and I believe it is important to have that experience.

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

If I am elected into the position of Vice President of Finance & Administration there are five pillars that I will be tackling within the University.

Platform:

  1. Parking: Introduce a debit machine at D-lot & Honk-App (parking paid via Smartphone with reminders to extend time)
  2. Lobbying: Integrate computer-charging outlets in Academic South & Thistle classrooms. Campaign for administration to allocate more capital to Bus Transit & Mental Health Initiatives/ Mental Health Councilors
  3. Tech: Work with administration to return laptop charger rental service & introduce cell phone repair service
  4. Health & Dental: Monthly budget for free physiotherapy & massages
  5. Transit: New Shuttle Bus that runs during all extended library hours

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

There is not doubt in my mind that it is crucial for all students to participate in BUSU elections. Firstly and most importantly who ever is elected into the executive positions at BUSU is going to play a massive role in the services offered at Brock University. Thereby, in order to enhance every students’ time at Brock it is crucial that the candidate with the most experience and best feasible platform is elected. Secondly, I think it is important for students to vote as BUSU is attempting to pass a Transit Referendum, which is vital to maintain all of Brock’s current bus routes. No student union wants to take away a service that is quintessential to getting students to and from their University. Thirdly, voting in BUSU elections gets students into the habit of voting which means they will be more likely to vote in provincial and federal elections, as policy implementation impacts everyone whether you follow politics or not.

 

VPFA Candidate: Amalia Banava

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

I am thrilled to be running for the position of Vice President of Finance & Administration! Since my second year, I knew that I wanted to run for one BUSU’s executive elections because I wanted to leave my mark at Brock and contribute to BUSU’s growth and development. The portfolio of the VPFA always interested me because it includes transit, Senate, and direct involvement with internal affairs.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

Experience matters and I strongly believe that I am more qualified than any other candidate in my race. I am currently serving as an undergraduate senator (2 year-term), BUSAC councilor (2 terms), Director in BUSU’s Board of Directors, former executive assistant to BUSU’s 2015-2016 President, Kyle Rose, and member of various committees. During the summer months, I work at the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services where I have gained valuable skills.

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

Mental Wellness

  • A relaxation room where students will be able to distress
  • Additional specialized counselling for sexual violence, eating disorders, and international students

Additional Study Space

  • Isaac’s
  • Seminar rooms

Textbooks

Transit

Governance & Leadership

  • Senate
  • Omnibus agreement
  • Sexual violence week

Extended Tim Horton’s hours

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

Badgers, it is crucial for you to vote and make sure that your friends vote too! No matter in what year of your studies you are, you have the ability to make a difference. There are many hard-working individuals who care a lot about the future of BUSU and want to better students’ experience at Brock. Please remember to vote and give them the opportunity to implement their platforms.

 

VPFA Candidate: David Stark

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

I am running for the position of Vice President of Finance and Administration. My goal is to work for the students, while extending my knowledge in corporate and political governance, organisational leadership and finance. I want to be an executive who students are comfortable coming up to and having a conversation with, and feel confident in as their voice for what is needed. Students are here to expand on their knowledge in an attempt to grow and build their career, and I am here to support students in attaining their goals. I wish to be able to facilitate that growth, while minimizing the financial strain that is put on us as students. We as badgers are challenging ourselves in new and exciting ways while implementing those new concepts we’ve learned.

What unique experience can you bring to the position?

I am a student just like you! I’m currently in second year sport management, I have a very mature perspective on finances. I ran my own company for 7 years before I left home to attend university. I just completed an internship down at Oregon State University last summer with the Corvallis Knights. Working as their marketing, sales and apparel coordinator. We set a budget and consistently stayed below and made significant profits. I’d like to look into some revenue generating endeavours that would end up going towards funding additional student services. I bring a young and enthusiastic approach to the position with all students in mind.

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

If I am elected there are three main goals for the immediate future. First order of business would be turning the health and dental plan into a tiered system to enable students to get more coverage if necessary. Secondly I would like to extend the zone. Both the facility hours, and the thought of running a referendum to expand on the actual facility. Finally improving transit. This is something that is dear to me as well because I’m a transit use as well. I am well aware of the difficulties that are associated with using transit. I aim to minimize the struggle students have to go through. Students should not be at a disadvantage because they don’t have access to a vehicle. I’m working to improve the complete student experience, on and off campus.

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

Students are paying tuition, paying additional fees to attend University. Badgers should have a say with who is in these executive positions. These executives will be in these positions for the entire year, therefore making a decision uninformed is not recommended. Look at all of the platforms, make an informed and educated decision. Look at past years and how executives have conducted themselves, make a decision that will benefit you and other badgers.

Thanks you for taking the time to read!

 

Okay Badgers, now that you’ve gotten to know the 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.

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