Images sourced from Collage by Derian Guadarrama.

Your elected SUO executives are halfway through their term. As candidates, they made promises to improve the student experience on a variety of issues from affordability, to community building, and to creating a better on-campus university experience. 

Not all executives’ progress can be easily quantified, but we want to give you an analysis of where they stand on promises they made when you elected them last year during the election period. The Phoenix News spoke to all five executives about the progress they have made on their goals, and what they intend to accomplish through the rest of the academic year.

President: Jakson Pashelka. 

In an uncontested campaign, Jakson is serving his second term as the SUO President. The Phoenix team reached out to him multiple times for an interview; however, there was no availability. 

Vice-President External: Cade Desjarlais. 

Desjarlais spent most of his time this year working with BC Transit and the City of Kelowna to hold bi-annual meetings with the SUO and UBC Board members. He secured $75,000 in funding from UBC, which is being used toward food insecurity — an issue that many students face on campus. In his effort to tackle food insecurity within the campus community, he raised $15,000 for the Pantry Food Bank at UNC as well. He also established a student activist fund, which aims to cater to student-led campaigns. 

As a part of the Student Affordability Task Force, he communicated students' concerns to the Board of Governors through an open letter. He ran multiple campaigns regarding lower parking fees and an increase in mental health coverage and has advocated for students on both a federal and provincial level. Finally, he committed to making the Sexual Health Awareness Gala permanent and hopes to increase SUO’s media presence. 

His work revolves around lobbying and working with the provincial government, which is sometimes difficult to communicate to the student body, but Desjarlais believes that it has been a rewarding experience for him to represent student voices on all levels. 

Vice-President Finance and Administration: Vrushank Kekre.

Vrushank mainly focused on preparing a budget focused on mental health resources, and addressing food insecurity with Cade Desjarlais (VP External). He also worked closely with the VP Campus Life (Danial Asif) for event planning. 

Another priority of his was holding many reviews on the various businesses owned by the SUO, to get more student feedback on the food options available on campus. A part of this work included reaching out to potential restaurants to take up the space that was previously owned by Green Bean at UNC. Finally, he advocated for cheaper food prices, and states that there are still more projects on their way. 

Vice-President Campus Life: Danial Asif.

VP Campus Life, Danial Asif, spent his first term collaborating with different clubs on campus to promote intercultural diversity. Asif’s main priority was to increase student engagement by hosting and organizing Trivia Nights, Mental Health initiatives, Frosh — which featured Lil Pump, and increasing student volunteer experiences. Some of his main accomplishments have been Bollywood Night and ASA Lunar New Year, and other cultural events. 

Some of Asif’s promises of Recess and “Friday Night” for Halloween have been unfulfilled — due to harsh weather conditions. Despite that, his long list of promises have mostly been carried through, and his work is exemplified by the use of social media. 

Vice-President Internal: Dhruv Bihani.

Bihani expressed that his role as a VP Internal has been a magical experience, due to the ups and downs he experienced. His achievement this year has been changing pre-existing by-laws, with the help of the SUO Board. Bihani drafted new policies in support of the Student Associations and the Course Unions. 

He was also a part of the campus life committee under the VP Campus Life (Danial Asif), where he executed various cultural nights and events to promote diversity around campus. Asif and Bihani were generous with the club funding this year, to allow for better execution of events around campus. 

Bihani expressed that he felt overwhelmed by the workload at times, and was confused when navigating his way around certain policies set by the SUO. However, he believes that he still has a few more things to accomplish before the term ends. 

The voting period for the next round of elections is scheduled to begin on March 6th and end by March 8th. Do not forget to exercise your right to vote this year! Hold your executives accountable and make sure to read our article covering the Director-At-Large candidates running this year. A video interview has also been posted on The Phoenix’s Instagram page covering the Executives.