Annual CSA Elections Are Here
Thursday, March 1, 20120 Comments
Kara Bonis and Joshua Ofori-Darko for Human Resources and Operations Commissioner
Jason Gallina and Matthew Pecore for Local Affairs Commissioner
Deaglan McManus for Academic and University Affairs
Chris Archibald and Charles Hamilton for Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissioner
Drew Garvie for Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissioner
Dominica McPherson and Peter Miller for External Affairs Commissioner
Currently underway are the annual CSA elections. On Tuesday, each candidate running for the five available commissioner positions spoke at an open forum in the UC courtyard to outline their platforms and make students aware of their goals for the upcoming year. Below are some of the highlights from their discussion.
Human Resources & Operations Commissioner - Kara Bonis & Joshua Ofori-Darko
Q: What are your goals for student space priorities in 2012/2013?
Joshua – The main goal is to lay groundwork for future years to make progress. One initiative includes contacting other student unions in order to collaborate on how they address their student space crisis and what methods are in place to improve their services. As well, it is necessary to improve current spaces and work with administration to open up space on campus.
Kara – It is necessary to implement both short term & long term goals. In terms of the future, construction of a new building exclusively for students. For the short term: renovations for better use of the space we already have, and more plugs for laptops around campus.
Q: What are your goals for HR management and improvement?
Kara – It is important to create more of a connection between student staff and permanent staff and to allow them to get to know each other and collaborate. This is necessary for building a strong and positive community.
Joshua – I'd like to improve working relationships between all staff including those at the Bullring, as well as to encourage more collaboration between everyone. I will also ensure that all CSA policies and procedures are fair to everyone, and establish an atmosphere where everyone can contribute.
Local Affairs Commissioner - Jason Gallina & Matthew Pecore
Q: How do you plan to open doors for student involvement on committees within the Guelph community?
Matt – I aim to help students get involved in the neighbourhood, as well as to understand how many opportunities are available to them in the city of Guelph. Everyone has different interests and passions, and introducing them to the appropriate committee is essential.
Jason – My mission is making sure all committees in the city have a student voice and to find students who are engaged with these issues and want to sit on them. This can make difference not only on campus but in the community as well.
Q: How will you handle situations when you know you have to give news to someone that they don't want to hear or when you are unable to help? I.e. replacement fee bus pass
Jason – I believe in promoting awareness of the replacement fee, and ensuring that there is a unified student voice for issues such as these.
Matt – My goal is to have students understand news and the reasoning behind decisions. It is also important to work toward positive change as a whole, regardless of the outcome of one single situation.
Academic and University Affairs - Deaglan McManus
Q: How do you plan to maintain a balance between students and the administration?
Deaglan – I will fight to increase the number of students at the table, as students are the majority on campus but not the majority when it comes to decision making.
Communications and Corporate Affairs Commissioner - Chris Archibald, Charles Hamilton & Drew Garvie
Q: What is the most important qualification to have for this position?
Charles – The most important qualification to have is passion. Without it, one cannot represent students effectively. Also, I aim to promote cross talk between the CSA and clubs/other areas on campus.
Drew – I believe the most important qualification is a good understanding of/experience in promotions and communications work. If students see the CSA advocating for them, they will become interested in the CSA.
Chris – The communications and corporate affairs commissioner is the face and voice of CSA and the head of internal affairs of organization. It is necessary to have great people skills, including: communication, transparency, approachability, and conflict management.
Q: How will you navigate taking stances on issues that you ideologically do not agree with?
Drew – I believe in being approachable and agreeing to move forward, as well as being familiar with CSA policies and proud of them.
Chris – It is extremely important to separate personal and professional opinions and to view the team as a united front for any issue or decision. The CSA is not here to represent personal opinions, but rather those of the students.
Charles – It is important for members of the CSA to come together as a united front despite ideological differences. Putting aside personal preferences is essential to representing the needs of all students.
External Affairs Commissioner - Dominica McPherson & Peter Miller
Q: If elected, what social justice campaigns can we expect from your office?
Dominica – I'm not coming into this position with an agenda, rather approaching it with a flexible and responsive platform. I have my own particular interests but it is essential that social justice campaigns groups can work collectively.
Peter – My main interest is the campaign for a bottled water free campus, as well as support for marginalized groups. I'd like to hold events every month about education and accessibility and the barriers that certain marginalized groups face.
Q: What part of the current discourse should students focus efforts on most when campaigning for accessible and quality post secondary education?
Peter – It is necessary to look at the big picture and how education perpetuates inequality. Certain people have greater barriers to education, so it is important to demand a freeze in tuition. Education should be a right and not a privilege.
Dominica – It is essential to have very strong, accessible campaigns, and to get important information out to students. One of my plans is a monthly video blog breakdown of all the policies and decisions being made on provincial and federal level, especially regarding tuition.
Voting for the CSA Commissioners ends on Friday, so make sure to check your email and cast your vote!