Presidential Candidate: Kimberly Rutledge
February 23rd, 2017
With the upcoming elections just around the corner, the Phoenix reached out to candidates to hear what they had to say about their campaigns! Check it out!
Tell us about yourself and your involvement in the UBCO community
When I came to university I couldn’t wait to get involved in the UBCO community. I ended up running in my first year to be the Director of Science on the Board of Directors. I learned a lot about the workings of the SUO. I volunteered at every event and lent a hand to the executives wherever I could. Later that year, I became the AVP External and worked with the VP External on her initiatives. She taught me a ton about external advocacy organizations, about running campaigns and initiatives, and about the VP External portfolio as a whole. I knew this was a position that fit well with my personality and the skills I had developed, so last spring I ran and was elected as VP External. This year has been nothing short of amazing and a huge learning experience for me. I’ve organized and run countless events, created and ran province-wide campaigns, advocated for our students, fostered relationships with external sponsors and partners, and supported and represented students in all capacities. I’ve had a phenomenal year and accomplished a lot, but I know there is so much more that I could offer the SUO and the student body.
Why are you running for your position?
I’m running for President because I know I have the skills and the experience behind me to create a cohesive union that our student body can be proud of. Over my last two years in student politics I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to be a leader, about how to empower students both inside and outside of the SUO, and how to foster good communication and consultation. I believe that all these aspects are crucial in creating a team that works effectively. When the SUO is thriving, the student body will be as well.
What will you do if elected?
There are a lot of things I would like to accomplish as President and I’ve broken these down into a platform that has a realistic strategic plan and that I know our student body can get behind.
The first aspect of my platform is political engagement and advocacy. One takeaway that I have from this year is that our student body is in no way apathetic. We have a ton of passionate students on this campus and I think we, as a union, need to be doing a better job of engaging and consulting with these students. I want to do more lobbying efforts, whether it is at the municipal, provincial, or federal level, to make sure that our students are at the forefront of every political conversation and decision. This pillar also involves beginning the defederation process from the CFS. I have witnessed firsthand over the last two years that the CFS does not have our students’ best interest in mind. Of course, this is a huge undertaking and would include extensive consultation with the student body.
The second aspect of my platform is inter-SUO relations. My goal is to create a cohesive union that supports and empowers one another. I want to bring back weekly executive meetings to ensure that all executives feel supported and to identify areas of collaboration within their initiatives. I want to facilitate board training at the beginning of the new board’s term, to make sure they understand their role as stakeholders within the union and to close the gap that has formed between the executive and the board.
Third, I believe it’s the president’s role to bridge the student body, UBC, and the community. I want the SUO to have a greater presence within the community, as UBCO really is the heart of Kelowna. I would like to create an open line of communication between us and the City of Kelowna to identify areas of collaboration, but also to ensure students have a voice in important conversations, especially those about bussing and housing. For additional information about my platform, please take a look at my website or send me a message, I would love to answer any questions students may have.
Voting opens Wednesday, March 1 at 9 am in the UNC Theatre and Arts Foyer.
For more information check https://www.facebook.com/events/354608551591985/