UBCSUO Elections 2018 Candidate Biographies: Executive
February 28th, 2018
Kristen Morgan- President
Hi everyone! I’m proud and excited to be running as a candidate for your UBCSUO President. I won’t overwhelm this space with my platform or experience, as it’s all available at kristenforpresident.ca. I do want to take this time to talk about why I love this campus, and its students, as deeply as I do. I came to UBCO after living my whole life in the Okanagan, and was blown away by the variety of voices, backgrounds, and opinions coexisting at UBCO. As tacky as it may sound, seeing all the people chasing their dreams, pursuing excellence, and making connections inspired me to live my best life, too. I love coming to campus, I love talking to students, and I love learning from you.
My goal as President is, at its essence, very simple. I want to shape a Students’ Union you can be proud of, and enact policy that makes your life better and easier. I want to seek perspectives I haven’t yet heard, I want to bring you into the fold, and I want to be an ethical President.
I’ll level with you- it’s scary to put your name forward for a position like this. It’s frightening to bare a little piece of ‘you’ to the campus community, and the fear of rejection is always rampant. I did it, and I do it, because I believe in you. I hope you give me the chance to serve you as your President.
Amal Alhuwayshil- President
Hi UBCO! My name is Amal Alhuwayshil and I am running for UBCSUO President. I’m currently your Vice President External Affairs, the incoming British Columbia Campaigns -and Advocacy- Coordinator, a TEDx speaker, a woman from Saudi Arabia, and a fourth year Management student, with only three courses left for next year!
Serving as VP External, I coordinated advocacy activities and lobbied the Provincial and the Federal Government about students’ issues, I increased campus services such as 24/7 counselling through EMPOWER ME, more funding for the Food Exchange Program, more than doubled the sponsorships money, spearheaded the CFS petition, and ran the #TextbookBroke Campaign for the first time on UBCO campus.
Through my roles with many diverse groups of students on campus like Residence Life, clubs, IPS, Campus Recreation, and my involvement in the community, I have created connections and developed understanding of the gaps and opportunities that exist in UBCSUO, UBC, and the BC post-secondary education. As a woman from Saudi Arabia, I am always eager to find opportunities to passionately advocate for the empowerment of all people. I would love to bring my dedication to the students’ movement, passion for enriching students’ lives, and experienced leadership to be your next UBCSUO President.
If elected as President, I pledge to commit to UBCO students’ wellbeing through addressing what hinders the students experience and mental health, to advocating on elimination of additional hefty fees and costs of textbooks, and to regulating International Students tuition fees.Together we can #ImagineYourUBCSUO
Visit www.amalalhuwayshil.com for my complete profile and platform.
Spinoza Patience Okuku- President
My stay at UBC has been a wonderful experience that I would do all-over again if I could. My on-campus involvement ranges from being a Peer Note taker with Disability Resource Centre to my role as an Academic or Teaching Assistant with the International Programs and Services and later the English Foundation Program. I have been a Peer Leader with Destination UBC and Experience UBC. I have also worked with Aboriginal Programs and Services as a Camp leader during the summer. In addition, I have been co-President Entrepreneurship Club and I am the co-founder of Age-Link, a club that brings younger and older persons together to enjoy each others’ friendship and wisdom. I have been a Residence Advisor too.
As VP Internal, I have introduced the Student Leadership Recognition Awards that are meant to recognize, encourage and inspire outstanding student leaders on our campus. By the end of this year, 50 students will have been recognized. I have also spearheaded and introduced the Wednesday Free-juice project.
As President, I shall guarantee continuity of the Incumbent’s projects especially the Student Initiative Fund. In addition, I shall propose and start the process of the Students’ Union constructing our own building to solve the issue of clubs lacking space. This structure would also generate more revenue and improve student experience. I shall also embark on fundraising 100,000 dollars in scholarships for students from corporate organizations, UBC staff and faculty; and providing this to students through UBC’s Awards department. I shall also introduce two Research Grants for students both Undergraduate and Graduate that are passionate about a specific topic to explore this with a Professor.
My defining value is integrity and I have an unwavering love for the truth.
Puru Pradhan- Vice President External
I strongly believe in “Collective efforts, Inclusive growth.” If we wish to see our students’ union grow, we will all have to put collective efforts to induce an inclusive growth. As your Vice President External, I promise to do the best of my ability but in order to realize maximum potential, I will require support and efforts from all of you. My campaign relies on:
Connection: I wish to lobby the construction of a foot-over bridge from Academy way to the Discovery Avenue. I also want to improve communications with the UBCO Board of Governors, by lobbying inclusion of a member of the Board in the UBCSUO meetings.
Voice: To represent the students’ voice in an efficient way, I will ensure proper communication with the students and forward their doubts and opinions during SUO BoD or Executive meetings.
Inclusion: To foster a more inclusive community, I aim to start the following initiatives:
-CommUni Volunteer Board: The CommUni Volunteer Board will compile a list of interested students and act as a mediator between external organizations and the volunteers. The hours of each volunteer will be tracked and they will be rewarded with merchandizes and certificates.
-Skillz Fest: The Skillz Fest is an on-campus job fair, which will be organized in collaboration with the local companies and organizations, to promote better job opportunities in Kelowna.
-AidUs Grant: AidUs Grant will aim to fund the external conferences and competitions for students, clubs or, course unions.
Please have a look at my detailed campaign on https://www.facebook.com/puruforvpexternal
Paula Tran- Vice President External
When I first arrived in Canada, I felt lost. I didn’t feel represented in student affairs and decided to take matters in my own hands. I started to attend events, discussions, and campaigns. I volunteered my time to help out, then I branched out to take various leadership roles on campus. UBCO quickly became my home. It was the hard work and passion of those around me that inspired me to become more engaged, but also fostered my own passion for student advocacy. I believe that with my passion and involvement, I can create something great and inspire a better community for all. I want everyone to feel included, safe, and heard, no matter where you are from.
VP External is a role that will allow me to channel my passion to inspire. I believe I have what it takes to be your next VP External. Through engagement, passion, and professionalism, I want to fight for the issues that students care about. My experience working with diverse student groups, building professional relationships, and speaking publicly makes me ready to take on this role. I want to continue the fight for free textbooks, but also start new initiatives to combat food insecurity and lobby for better mental health accommodations on campus. I am ready to represent you in Kelowna and beyond. I encourage you to read my platform and vote for me as your next VP External. Let me TRANsform your SUO.
Ali Poostizadeh- Vice President External
Born in the U.S and raised in Vancouver, BC, I moved to Kelowna in the Summer of 2013. Upon arriving in Kelowna I knew nobody, and within two years, I was elected Vice President of my High School Graduating Council and served as Valedictorian for my graduating year.
The role of Vice President External relies heavily on one’s ability to interact with others, build new relationships and communicate easily/comfortably with those around them. My experience with this stems primarily from my volunteering with the homeless community and educational community of Kelowna; in addition to this, Internationally, I have volunteered with several NGO’s in war-torn regions of the Middle East, being one of the youngest volunteers in those regions. All of these, though they have their own challenges, required the skills that are also necessary to be an effective Vice President External.
I believe I have what it takes to build on the existing goals of the VP External and implement my own new, unique ideas to better student life. These ideas include new mental health initiatives, lower interest rates on student loans, increased access to bursaries for at-risk students, increased public transport to and from UBCO, more scholarships/sponsorships for applicants below or on the poverty line, significantly reducing the cost of textbooks for students, and strengthening UBCO’s presence both provincially and nationally.
Romil Jain- Vice President Finance and Operations
Once re-elected as your VP finance and Operations, my priority is creating a comprehensive and efficient budgeting process. I believe the budget should characterize our values as a student union, and I think the best way to do this is to make a comprehensive and efficient budget that accounts for the needs of students, staff, executives, resource centres and directors. I am a very strong believer in community and I feel we need to build a strong sense of community within the elected board and all our club executives. The most effective way to do so is to hold resourceful orientations with team building exercises for the newly-elected board and clubs/ course unions. These would be held in May and September respectively.
Through the All Club Course Union Conference (ACC) and other measures, I have established a medium for the clubs to achieve more financial autonomy to operate more independently and efficiently. I will continue promoting inter-club communication and empowerment. I will further empower clubs by giving them access to the media resources they currently use, at almost half the cost. This is made possible due to the steps that we took to ensure accountable financial framework of the SUO Entities this year. Lastly, I think its very important for us to start using student money to further give back to the members of our union with more bursaries and legal aid fund for students who work hard to empower and strengthen our community.
Slogan: ” Cutting your deficits since November”
An-Noura Compaoré- Vice President Finance and Operations
2015: I was An-Noura Compaoré, the 1st year Burkinabé girl entering UBCO
2017: I was An-Noura Compaoré, the UBC student who, fully integrated into her new UBC family was already thinking new goals.
2018: Now I am An-Noura Compaoré, the third-year UBC student who is ready, prepared and dedicated to becoming the Vice-President of Finance and Operations. As an Economics major, my campaign will have the ambition of creating the stream of strong student plus clubs/course unions relationship and support with their student union; while building a robust financial base for the SUO.
If I get elected my agenda will be the following:
-Create a webpage where all clubs and course unions can individually register and visit their current budget status. Creating this webpage would be of great assistance when planning these events is that it will it will remove the discomfort of always having to come to the SUO office to get updates about their current fiscal status
- Legacy Fund- Bridging the breach between students and funding for students’ projects and ideas. This fund will be a wider accessible source of funding for students who have authentic projects or ideas wishing to create.
-Establish easy platform that will guide students to access funding for their research conference travels. I want to create a user-friendly platform that will guide and help connect students with their research conference travels and help them create their own conferences on campus.
TRANSPARENCY, DEDICATION, AND EQUITY
FB : An-Noura Compaoré- VP Finance and Operations
Joseph Egyir- Vice President Internal
Attending university for as long as I have has motivated me to leave a progressive mark on UBCO. I want to contribute to the growth that this university has demonstrated since I first enrolled here. I believe that joining UBCSUO as the Vice President Internal would be the perfect avenue to pursue that. Being a 3rd year mechanical engineering student and attending four different post-secondary institutions has taught me a variety of challenges that many students go through while in university. I view the position of Vice President Internal as the direct facilitator between the student body and student government. The VP internal should be responsible for relaying the needs and requests of students to the SUO. My aim is to improve and ease the student experience on campus. I mainly want to make the UBCSUO more accessible, informative and collaborative. I want students to have an effective medium to voice concerns and questions directly to the UBCSUO in a convenient manner. In this way SUO will become more accessible to students. Many students are unaware of the many resources specifically allocated to help them. I plan to make this information more noticeable throughout campus. The VP Internal works closely with clubs and course unions on campus to ensure that they are operating smoothly, so we should be able help them financially to promote events. I have a list of initiatives to address each of these improvements that I think will be effective and manageable.
Shahd Shaker- Vice President Internal
My name is Shahd Shaker and I’m running to be your VP Internal. The reason I am running for VP Internal is that after working closely with the current VP Internal for the past couple of months and seeing what the job entails, it motivated me to run. I love being involved on campus and collaborating with different clubs. The role of VP Internal is one that does those things but on a much larger scale. The reason I want to run is that if elected I will be surrounded by a group of like-minded students who are passionate about their education at UBCO. My goal is to enhance that experience by making it easier for students to know about the resources that are available to them so they can use them to their fullest potential. The reason for this is that being a part of the Jumpstart program has allowed me to interact with students. While talking to them, I realized that they’re often surprised by the amount of support and resources that are offered to them by the university. UBCO is more than just a degree or piece of paper, it’s an experience.
Nick Villarreal- Vice President Internal
From the moment I stepped foot on this campus I was welcomed into the campus community, and have been waiting to give back. My first year I took every opportunity that came my way. I went to conferences and competitions, got involved as a Social Director for The Engineering Society helping to plan events, and later ran and was voted in as the Vice-President Student Life. I have been the VP Student Life this past year and have loved every minute of it. This role involves planning non-academic and non-professional events for The Engineering Society, and in some cases, coordinating with other course unions and clubs to plan events. Some of the more successful events I have managed this year have been The Halloween Party, The Winter Formal, and E-Week 2018 which runs from March 5th – 9th. This role has been amazing in teaching me to coordinate with clubs and facilitate communication with people. The best part of the position is the people I meet, the different experiences I take in, and the impact I make on the engineering student body. Furthermore, I have also been Chairman for The Greek Council this past year. This position has given me first hand experience registering and managing a club, and keeping up to date with UBCSUO bylaws and regulations as well as our own club bylaws. Let’s make a positive change to this campus and the wonderful people within it. Vote Nick Villarreal for Vice-President Internal.
Nestor Mendoza- Vice President Internal
No bio included.
Solomon Kashaya- Vice President Services
What’s up guys! Its Solo here aka Solomon Kashaya and I am a third-year Bachelor of Arts student running for the VP Services position this year.
Throughout my time spent at UBCO as a student I have experienced many new and different cultures, customs and practices due to our campus’s diverse population demographics. Did you know UBC as a whole is North Canada’s most international university? This exposure inspired me to get involved with a variety of clubs on campus. Participating in club events gave me the chance to work with a broad range of people around campus and this motivated me to want to do more for my community. There is always room for improvement in the way the Student Union engages with campus clubs and course unions while working with these clubs. I feel that the chance to get directly involved with the Student Union as VP Services would be a great honor and privilege for me to help the campus community to continually grow and increase the campus spirit.
My platform revolves around some solid principles: communication, efficiency, teamwork and outreach.
Mohamed Azzam- Vice President Services
My name is Mohamed Azzam, better known as Moe. I am re-running for your Vice President Services at the UBCSUO. The reason I first ran for this position was because during my first year there was no campus vibe and a lack of events on campus. Instead of having to go downtown, I wanted to make this campus more lively and a lot more fun. After planning several events during my term, my passion has only grown to improve the university experience for all students. I’ve successfully encouraged students to become involved in Well Wednesdays, Frosh, and Recess by having them participate in the atmosphere of these events. Furthermore student artists have taken part in events on campus more than ever, allowing for more exposure through the opportunities that I’ve created for them. Moving forward, I want to assist Clubs and Course Unions in facilitating their events on campus while continuing the first time involvement of SUP increasing the opportunities and growing the events hosted by students. I’d like to be able to support matters like logistics, dealing with UBC Administration, Security, advertising, and budgeting. Eventually, I would like to see the VP Services role becoming a hub for all services, both on and off campus. I’m excited to be running, and am even more excited to work to earn your vote. Thank you!
Taylor Dotto- Vice President Services
For the last two years, I have been a bartender at The Well. This job allowed me to have first-hand experiences with not only the students of UBCO but The Students Union and SUP. I have worked events that were incredible, and events that were disappointing. Through these experiences, I discovered a passion for the events at UBCO, a love for the students attending them, and the immense potential within them. After numerous encounters with the UBCSUO and observing the positions and duties of the executives, I felt inspired and empowered to run for Vice President Services. I am running because I want to make an impact at UBCO and enhance the student’s experience at our school. I want students to enjoy their time on campus and I believe it is important to ensure that everyone has a unique, insightful and enjoyable experience that will impact their lives beyond UBCO. Through the position of VP Services, I plan to create new programs such as a Well Wednesday Committee to assist in the creation and promotion of WEEKLY Well Wednesdays. I also plan to remove the negative connotations around Frosh and Recess and in turn, make them appealing to more students. Lastly, I hope to enforce honesty and integrity in the UBCSUO while voicing the student’s opinion. Not only would I be the first woman in the position of Vice President Services in over 11 years, but I would dedicate my time, effort, and heart to the UBCSUO and the students of our incredible university to guarantee positive and impactful experiences.
Ahmed (Doudy) Fayed- Vice President Services
My name is Ahmed Fayed and I am super excited to be running for the position of Vice President of Services. I am a Computer Science major in my 2nd year, and I have been passionate and involved with student life since I came to UBCO. I fluently speak three different languages, English, French and Arabic and have lived in BC for over 15 years. I initially started by joining clubs such as ASA and ACC before I came across Student Union Productions and found my passion for facilitating student events. I began to volunteer alongside the team, which involved helping hosting events for students on campus, putting up posters, and spreading the word around. The experience I have gained throughout this year has given me the experience I need to succeed in this position. As your VP Services, I will primarily focus on a few initiatives that will enhance the student life and bring people together- strengthen the relationship between VP Services and SUP, revitalize Well Wednesdays, fight for better use of student recreation fees with the implementations of a free gym pass, and enhance Frosh Week for new and returning students. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m excited to start. Together we can make these changes happen, I hope to work alongside you next year!
Liam Coyne – Vice President Services
I wish to run for the position of VP Services at UBCO because I believe I would do an effective job in working with the Student Union to connect with students and provide them with the best opportunities our campus has to offer. Despite recent upsets regarding the integrity of the SUO, I intend to act as a link between the student body and student government and operate under total transparency in order to eliminate any suspicions and unify our students. I believe I am suitable for this position as I am a member of the common student body who has the drive to get involved and bring change for the students of UBCO. My platform is about everyone having fun, and doing so on terms which they fully agree with and are excited about. I believe equal opportunity and representation from all student groups and clubs is a very important value to uphold as a candidate of the SUO elections. As a fellow student and as a candidate of these elections, I feel that operating on a completely open platform that takes equal consideration from all students should be a primary concern of the VP Services. By proceeding on an entirely inclusive basis, I would then do my best to make sure our students enjoy their experiences at UBCO as much as possible. I believe through hard work, while remaining entirely transparent and accountable, this can easily be achieved with myself as the VP Services.