Compiled by: Kelly Chia, Features Editor
It’s election season for the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS)! The Peak has reached out to candidates to ask three questions based on their positions and compiled the results to help you navigate this election period. Voting this year will take place March 17–19 through SFU Mail.
The SFSS is SFU’s student-led society, representing the entire undergraduate population of the university. Headed by 16 Board of Directors, SFSS members are elected every spring by the student body to hold a one-year term. During this term they manage day-to-day society work, manage large-scale finances, execute university-wide campaigns and projects, and advocate for student interests regarding issues such as the U-Pass, student-centric spaces, and food and beverage services.
Please note that these answers have not been edited for spelling, grammar, or clarity, nor do they reflect the positions of The Peak Publications Society. Candidates were given a limit of 50 words per answer; responses that went over 50 words have been cut short.
This article has been divided by candidate positions. This is for the VP University Relations candidates. Click here to read the questionnaires for the President, VP External Relations, VP Finance, VP Student Life, VP Student Services, At-Large Representatives, Faculty Representatives.
VP University Relations
The vice-president university relations works between the Society and university representatives to maintain the connection between the two groups and keeps the Board informed on relevant University plans or actions.
- How will you handle circumstances wherein students and the administration have opposing views or interests?
- What will you do that your predecessor specifically did not do?
- How do you plan to build a strong working relationship with the university administration?
1. I strongly believe that an institution, in which students are the largest financial stakeholders, should allow students’ interests to prevail. As VP University Relations, I will always put the students’ interests first and work to ensure the University does not continue to rip students off.
2. My predecessor centered student voices in the VPUR portfolio. I will ensure this good work is showcased more so that students know we fight for them. I will work with SFU to implement a Student Affordability plan, push for the Gondola, fight for a transparent budget, and Freeze Tuition.
3. Work with SFU and GSS on the Joint Operations Group to effectively lobby the university. I will use the GSS/SFSS Student Safety group to discuss safety and strengthen students’ concerns. I will work with SFU on the good things, and fight to fix the bad.
- As VP University Relations, my interests lie with the undergraduate students – I will always advocate in the best interest of our members. As a Board of directors, we are responsible for making sure our students’ views and interests are protected by ensuring a fair and transparent process. I also intend [over word count.]
- The current VP University Relations, has done a great job of working for students. If elected, I will work with the university to develop more strict sustainability policies. Focusing more on sustainability is very important given that we are in a climate emergency, now is the time to make a [over word count.]
- With the recent selection of our university’s new President, we have a great opportunity to create a strong transition experience for both SFSS and SFU. This transition has created space for both organizations to evaluate our working relationship, and foster positive change that can be built upon in the future.
1. My goal would be to ensure that the decisions taken up by the university are student-centered. For mutual resolutions to occur we must maintain a respectful relationship with the authorities. We must explore options that address everyone’s interests and most importantly evaluate these outcomes with student feedback.
2. Advancing the equity, diversity and inclusion initiative taken up by SFU. Ensuring that the SFSS’s board and staff reflect these values through training. Addressing inputs from student groups/clubs and individuals. Partnering with the university in setting up an actual physical/online space dedicated to this initiative making it accessible [over word count.]
3. It requires patience to work with varied interests and concerns. To sustain shared responsibilities, setting up regular meetings with administrative groups on different issues would help track the progress of the initiatives. My experiences have instilled in me cultural sensitivity and international awareness while maintaining my open attitude and humility.