Introducing the 2017 UBCSUO
September 5th, 2017
A look into the working of the UBCSUO and their new Members
New VP EXTERNAL: Amal Alhuwayshil – 4th Year Management Student
“I am always eager to find opportunities to passionately advocate for the empowerment of all people,” Amal explains, and she shows it through her actions. Last April she shaved her hair in an effort to raise money for cancer, successfully reaching $1000 to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
As VP External, Amal oversees and coordinates external advocacy activities and liaisons with external organizations and the University, as well as deals with external policies. As Amal explains, “I act as the conduit between the students, the University and the Okanagan community, as well as representing UBCSUO on a local, provincial and federal level.”
Her experience as an RA and her involvement in the community has allowed her to forge meaningful relationships with a diverse group of students and afford her a wide range of essential skills to be exercised in her position. Additionally, she will be speaking at the upcoming TED Talk “TEDxUBCO 2017” and has spoken at multiple Student Leadership Conferences. Her ongoing education also assists her with the role as VP External, in establishing business-to-business relationships and designing a suitable sponsorship package.
When asked why she decided to run for VP External, she said she originally felt prejudice towards the Student Union and continued by saying, “It all started on my birthday, when I received a dare to get involved in students politics and the Student Union. I started looking at the positions and what each entails. Right then and there, I found the role of VP External, a role that resonates with me, with what motivates me, my mission, my ambition, and what I wake up for every day.”
Amal stated it was a “tough muddy start” for the new SUO, continuing with, “I walked into my position with no transition report, and the email inbox and outbox were wiped out and empty. Which I believe have affected my start in this role, starting from scratch was not easy, but I believe that one is never ready and that there is always a need to get more equipped, experienced and to gain more knowledge about any topic, and the same will go for a position in the SUO.”
Returning VP FINANCE: Daman Bual – 3rd Year Management Student
As VP Finance and Operations, Daman is in charge of day-to-day finances and operations of businesses that he oversees with the GM, as well as the production of reports with the financial manager. During the beginning of the year, most of his focus surrounds funding the over 100 clubs on campus.
When asked why he originally decided to run for VP Finance and Operations, Daman said, “I was AVP Services the year I ran for VP Finance and Operations and I have a passion for event management and communication with clubs but felt that I would be a better asset to the organization and students if I brought my classroom knowledge into the role as a business student.” His business education, and work experience in customer service, he says, allows him to work and communicate effectively with students from all walks of life. He has also gained experience from participating in the JDC West competition, but said, “Being the Vice President of Finance and Operations at 20 [years old] definitely has a learning curve.”
This upcoming year Daman is focusing on “creating more access for clubs related to their funds, booking spaces, processing cheque requisitions.” He continued, “I have been working very hard with my project manager and finance manager on this. Another thing which has been my focus since coming into the role, is relationship management with all our internal stakeholder, as in staff of businesses and office staff. Investing in people is very important to me and I want people to be growing while working for us. So I am focusing on training resources for all levels of staff and seeing the cost of implementation in that.”
Daman is the only returning UBCSUO executive but says the new Student Union has been working hard to establish a unified vision and goal for the upcoming year, and although there are growing pains, he says, “We are your students’ union and we are on our way to be the best one yet. Just like everything else it takes time.”
New VP INTERNAL: Patience Spinoza Okuku – 3rd Year Management Student
As VP Internal, Patience is in charge of internal affairs within the Student Union, including membership and governance, as well as receiving complaints or comments regarding the Student Union or University. Further, he provides support to clubs and groups on campus and ensures the SUO bylaws are correctly followed.
Patience decided to run for VP Internal after his positive and uplifting experience with “AgeLink” and the Entrepreneurship Club, and his friends pushed him to follow his goals of running for VP Internal. He aims to create a more unified community on our campus by creating avenues to connect undergraduate students to graduate students and students to professors.
Patience also wants to work on developing the clubs and bringing them to their full potential. He believes this is all possible because of his experiences with students in school clubs, and as a camp leader and Residence Advisor which offer a better understanding of students in and out of the classroom.
When asked if he believed the new Student Union was prepared for the school year, Patience enthusiastically responded, “I believe that one is ready whenever they decide to be so. Yes, the new executive is ready and so is the student population ready for the new executive. This campus needed something new and just like food, fresh food is always better.”
New VP SERVICES: Mohamed Azzam a.k.a Moe Azzam
As VP Services, Mohamed is in charge of overseeing and coordinating the development and execution of services, the most popular being Frosh and Recess, as well as smaller campus activities organized throughout the year. Additionally, he works with Student Associations including SUP, or Student Union Productions.
He was inspired to apply for the Student Union after witnessing the negative impact of political unrest and a lack of union between people that took place in Egypt during his formative teenage years. He believed by joining the UBC Student Union he could begin to make a change in his own local area by building a wholesome community and peaceful atmosphere, as Mohamed says, “to me this would be a great honour in trying to accomplish something my fellow countrymen are trying to achieve themselves.”