Candidate info for Student Senate, BoG elections (grad + undergrad)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Written by Scott Gilbert



Bachelor of Arts Undergraduate Students will elect FIVE (5) nominees

Derek Alton, B.A. (Hons) Political Science, 2nd Year

I am passionate and excited to become a part of the student senate team and am looking forward to working with students and faculty to make it better. My main platform is to build a good strong bridge between students and the Senate so that students feel like their issues are important, because they are. After all, we are here for the students! I also understand the enormous issue of the budget which lies on the senate table right now and I am working hard to understand the issue from all perspectives.

Daniel Bagheri Sarvestani, B.A. International Development, 2nd Year

The tremendous pressure faced by our university, as a result of the global financial crisis, is expected to bring about difficult times for the Guelph students and staff. Likewise, I know that the losses for the University of Guelph will probably end up greatly affecting those who have the most to lose – the Students. I also recognize that much of the student body remains unaware and ill-informed of changes that may potentially be very worrying for them. I intend to try and reverse this trend by representing the average student and working hard to ensure their rights and concerns are realized.

Malou Del, B.A. Political Science, Minor: ID & Geology, 4th Year

For all my time in this institution, I’ve witnessed claims by student body to bring about awareness campaigns. This is not the case for international students, whom to my knowledge have limited representation in the student body/leadership. I, therefore, want to be part of student body in order or to be the “ambassador” for international students.

Warren Dodd, B.A. (Hons) International Development, 2nd Year

My name is Warren Dodd and I am currently completing my second year of studies in International Development. I am excited about the opportunity to represent the student body as a BA student senator. I would bring experience, insight and enthusiasm to this position along with a commitment to ensure that the student voice is heard within the highest government body on campus. In addition, I will strive to liaise with and inform students of the important decisions before the senate. For these reasons, I hope you will vote for me as one of your BA student senators!

Andrew Donnachie, B.A. CJPP/Poli Sci, 3rd Year

I want to run for the Senate because I want to give back to this community. Theses past few years have been some of the best of my life and I feel a strong need to contribute more thoroughly to a community which I have enjoyed being a part of so much. I feel that as a student Senate member, I would be able to help the rest of the student body, both to defend and promote student interests and concerns. I feel that my unique skills and style of thinking will be an asset to me and help me to effectively represent the student body in the University Senate.

Alexandra Liebich, B.A. History and Political Science, 2nd Year

Hi! I’m running for Senate because I want to become involved in governance at U of G. I want to act as a resource to students, and increase awareness of Senate issues among the student population. In light of the budget situation, I also want to ensure that student voices are heard. I’ve been sitting in on a few Senate meetings and I’m really passionate about contributing to such a diverse forum comprising faculty, staff, alumni, and students. I believe that with my experiences on College Government and Hall Council, I would be a valuable member of this forum. Thanks!

Monique Miller, B.A. (Hons) International Development, 2nd Year

Hello! My name is Monique Miller, I am a second year student currently studying International Development. I believe Senate is a crucial body that connects students to administration and I am devoted to improving the communication flow between theses two groups. I am committed to advocating on behalf of the undergraduate students to ensure that your concerns are heard. Moreover, I can bring perspective to the Senate position from experience with extra-curriculars, intramurals and activities that have enabled me to meet and converse with many undergraduate students. For these reasons I hope to gain your support as a BA senator!

John Rennie, B.A. Political Science, 3rd Year

I am a highly involved Political Science major and ID minor with a strong belief in the value of extra-curricular activities. As a member of both the Varsity Nordic Ski team and the Debate Society, I have proudly represented our school competitively. I was a participant in the India semester and currently serve as a Peer Helper at the Center for International Programs. I want to be a Senator because I am deeply committed to the school and believe I have a lot to offer. My various experiences have given me the perspective needed to be an effective, responsive and committed member of the Senate.

Matthew Saayman, B.A. Political Science, 3rd Year

I am a third year Political Science major with a passion to serve. I have been part of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee in my home town. Here at Guelph I have been a Polisci Peer Helper. And during the federal and provincial elections I campaigned to break apathy. I am a proponent of consensus building, and am going to keep your issues at the forefront. Please support me in this upcoming election for the position of B.A Senator.

John Sakaluk, B.A. (Hons) Psychology, 3rd Year

I am a big believer in experiential learning opportunities. I think they do wonders to enrich the learning experiences of undergraduate students and create a true love of learning by allowing students to apply what they have learned in meaningful ways. Because of this, I want to work to help create more of these opportunities for students. I also have concerns about the extent to which some academic programs rely on Distance Education courses as a substitute for in-class learning, and would like to help change this emphasis. Thanks for your consideration, John Sakaluk

Bachelor of Science Undergraduate Students will elect FIVE (5) nominees

Dhanya Baheerathan, B.Sc. 2nd Year

I’m Dhanya Baheerathan, 2nd year B.Sc. student. Currently I am an Academic Cluster Leader, an English Languages Program Peer Helper and a member of the Relay for Life Committee. These roles have allowed me to develop my leadership skills and have increased my awareness of the University of Guelph campus and the needs of its students. As the B.Sc. senator, I plan to bring to light the academic issues affecting students in the Bachelor of Science program. I look forward to serving you as a member of the Student Senate.

Dalia Bibr, B.Sc. Biomedical Science, 2nd Year

My name is Dalia Bibr and I am currently in the biomedical science program here at the University of Guelph and looking forward to my third year in the program. I have aspirations of medical school, more specifically surgery. Volunteering and leadership at the University are very important to me, currently I am involved in the Guelph Best Buddies program, the Centre Animal Facility volunteer program, and in the University of Guelph Pre-Med Club as an event coordinator. If elected, I hope to help make the voice of biological science students heard, and to address any issues or concerns felt by B.Sc. majors.

Guillaume Blais, B.Sc. Biomedical Science, 2011

Hi my name is Guillaume Blais and I am running for B.Sc. Undergraduate Student Senator for the 2009-2010 academic year. With the great fiscal challenges we face in the upcoming year, there will be many changes in the academic structure of the university. As a member of Senate, I intend to present a fair representation of B.Sc. students by reflecting your best interests in all matters. I ask that you consider me, Guillaume Blais, for B.Sc. Undergraduate Student Senator 2009-2010, thank you.

Kimberly Cai, B.Sc. 3rd Year

I’m going to be completely honest - I am running because I want more power. Tremendous changes are shaking our beloved University - we can all sense this. Wonderful ideas have emerged to improve the university’s fiscal efficiency while simultaneously enhancing the student curriculum - I want the power to help implement these changes. At the same time, our University is facing unprecedented challenges - I want to help overcome these challenges. So why empower me? I’m experienced - over the past year, I’ve represented the interests of students as an executive on the CBS student-council. And I’m extremely dedicated to improving your academic experience.

Trevor Orrange, B.Sc. Chemistry, 3rd Year

As a third year Chemistry major I have gained a wide-ranging knowledge of the university administration and policies. In second year, I was Vice-President of Maritime Hall Council and a member of the Meal Exchange club. I have also been involved in numerous other volunteer organizations. I possess a large amount of experience with Interhall Council and other board meetings. I have a strong passion for leadership and maintaining student rights. I will ensure that all B.Sc. students are properly represented and will advocate strongly on behalf all students of the university.

Thomas W. Piggott, B.Sc. Human Kinetics, 2nd Year

Through my involvement in many different domains of student leadership on campus, including as AVP (Social Affairs) with the CBS Student Council; member of the First Response Team; as President of the Pre-Med Club, I have gained experience and a strong global understanding of this university. I have additionally developed a passion for academic and curricular reform, being involved in a course exhibiting the unique, problem-based learning style, on campus. The inquisitive and approachable nature of my personality would enable me to be an excellent advocate for the academic rights and desires of students on campus.

Erin Preiss, B.Sc. Biomedical Science, 2nd Year

I am a second year Biomedical Science student with two years of experience as B.Sc. student senator. I believe it’s important for students to be part of decision making and discussions concerning academic governance. This year as part of Senate, I became involved with budget and curriculum committees. I believe that, especially given our current economic situation, it is crucial that students be participants in discussions and be informed. I want to work towards creating better ties and methods of communication to ensure that students are informed about important events and discussions in a timely fashion. I would also like to see more awareness and involvement in Senate. I have a passion for Senate and working as a representative for the student population. I would like to be re-elected to Senate so I can continue my work on these committees and keep students involved!

Kyle Runeckles, B.Sc. Biomedical Science, 1st Year

My name is Kyle Runeckles and I am a first-year Bio-Med student. As a newcomer to this University, I am shocked by the rigid policies that science students must abide by in order to achieve academic success, and am unwilling to conform to them. I believe that rules created in order to minimize work for the institution does not encourage students to pursue their own interests and is a barrier to effective education. We must remember that the university is in place as a service to students, and should be governed with our own interests in mind. As a Senator, I will perpetually remind the University of Guelph that we must work for the students in making their education both personal and enriching.

Zafir Syed, B.Sc. Biological Science, 2012

I hope to represent the B.Sc. students well in the especially crucial year of 2009-2010. As our University drifts through difficult times, it is crucial that students have someone to defend their needs and foster a deeper level of communication between Senate and the student body. As changes occur over the next year, I will make sure B.Sc. students know what is happening, how their academics will be effected and push for agendas which are beneficial to them. This is a very significant year, and it is vital in having the best possible representation of the B.Sc. students on the Senate. Thanks.

Allison Webb, B.Sc., 2nd Year

Advocating academic policy has become a passion of mine while sitting on Senate this pas year I have had the opportunity to become informed about the issues surrounding curriculum, budget and policy. Beyond my involvement on Senate, I also sit on the Biomedical Science Curriculum Review Committee, which is currently revitalizing the curriculum to enhance the student experience. I am in my second year of Biomedical Science and my interests are in human health. In the community I volunteer as an Advanced Medical First Responder with St. John Ambulance and I am also the Event Coordinator for the Pre-Med club. As an informed and involved student leader, I would be an effective Senate representative.

Bachelor of Engineering Undergraduate Students will elect ONE (1) nominee

Thana Boonlert, Environmental Engineering, 2nd Year

I am a second year Environmental Engineering student. I feel as though I am the perfect candidate for this position because I am neither at the top of my class nor the bottom, allowing me to be virtually un-biased when it comes to academic issues. I am highly motivated, personable, and strong when it comes to representing the views of my peers. I would like to be involved in the academic decision making process and ensure a strong sense of communication between the students and the Senate.

Darius Mali, Environmental Engineering, 3rd Year

I am currently concerned with the Senate’s availability to the students. There have been issues that I have read about in the Ontarion that I have no idea are ongoing and wondering why I was not made aware of. I served on the Student Government at my high school for two years, once as the Athletics President and once as Student Body President. I learned that the more knowledge people had on the issues the more interactive they would be in improving the quality of the school. Thank you for your consideration.

Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) – 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Zachary Daly, B.Sc. (Agr) Honours Agriculture – 4th Year – returning for 5th

Given the many challenges that the University if currently facing, especially in light of the ongoing financial crisis, I feel it is essential that the OAC has representation on the Senate. This is especially important given the possibility of budget cuts as the University reacts. I will strive to make the needs and wants of the OAC heard and I will always act in the best interests of the entire OAC as well as those of the University as a whole. To this end I will welcome and actively seek the advice and feedback of my fellow students.

Bachelor of Applied Science – 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Ali Zaki, B.A.Sc. Applied Human Nutrition, 3rd Year

The students of this University want a representative who is both sensitive to our needs and who is willing to take action to address those needs. When I felt that students were unable to access the Student Food Bank due to restricted hours of operation, I volunteered my time so that the Food Bank could be kept open longer. Similarly, I am the founder and president of the ESL club of the University of Guelph, a student run organization that facilitates enhanced spoken and written English. This election vote for someone who “walks the walk”. This election, vote for Ali Zaki.

Bachelor of Commerce Undergraduate Students will elect FIVE (5) nominees

Gavin Armstrong, B.Comm., 3rd Year

Over the next year, the University will work through Senate to make changes that will affect the course of undergraduate education on campus. While these changes may be driven by economic challenges, it is vital to focus decision-making on improving the quality of education on campus. I am passionate about the quality of education and by consulting with Commerce students would represent you in discussions on academic issues. It is vital to have a strong voice that will promote positive development of the Commerce program.

Alex Castellani, B.Comm. Marketing Management, 4th Year

In my nearly four years of experience in the B. Comm Program here at the University of Guelph, I have acquired both the desire and the will to take part in the system that helps shape education and the institution in which it is rooted. My being in B. Comm while concurrently shadowing a general B.A. elucidates some of the finer subtleties resulting from differing operational changes and the concomitant reactions from both students and faculty. With regard to the Senate position, I intend on bringing forth my acquired knowledge of organizational operations from my University of Guelph education as well as my acquired knowledge of group dynamics and University culture from extracurricular activities and obligations. Further, I intend to fulfill all duties with uncompromising values, critical thought, and an acute sense of responsibility in representing my peers with the end goal of excellence in the quality of research, education and the student experience.

Jordan Evans, B.Comm. HAFA, 3rd Year

My name is Jordan Evans and I am currently a Bachelor of Commerce student senator who is seeking re-election into the Student Senate Caucus (SSC). My first year as student senator has proved to be both a complex and interesting experience that has allowed me to learn a great deal about academic governance at the University of Guelph. Student Senators strive to ensure student interests are protected in the Senate process, on items large and small. I am currently on the Student Petition Committee and would be very interested in joining a new committee next year in order to preserve student interests.

Lisa Harvey, B.Comm. Marketing Management, 3rd Year

My name is Lisa Harvey and this is my second time running for Student Senate Caucus to represent Bachelor of Commerce. It has been an honour to be involved in such a dynamic way with the governance of the university. I have gained so much experience and want to apply all that I have learned to continue to help improve the student experience as well as bring to light their issues, big or small. I have been able to represent Senate on the Students on Probation Task Force where I work with a team to find solutions to this issue. I am eager to continue as a Bachelor of Commerce Student Senator.

Josh Leyte-Jammu, B.Comm. HAFA, 1st Year

"Start strong. Finish stronger." That motto is what motivates people to do their best each minute of everyday, because to live a day where you don't improve something is a day wasted. This idea must be brought to the students of this campus. As a Hotel and Food Administration major, restaurant server, and the incoming CMESA secretary for '09 - '10, it's a prerequisite that I work well with people and listen to their concerns. If you believe that my values will make this great campus even better, vote Josh for Commerce Senator. Thank you for engaging in this election.

Cassandra O’Brien, B.Comm. Management Economics, 2nd Year

My name is Cassandra O’Brien and I am running for the position of Senate because I think it would be a tremendous experience. I am currently holding the position of Secretary on the CMESA executive council and next year I have been chosen to hold the position of Academic Director. This would be a great way to have a voice on behalf of all commerce students and I strongly believe that with my contributions the senate will be that much stronger. I am a very dedicated individual who is going into third year in the fall semester and I really look forward to gaining more experience form my fellow peers as well as faculty if given this opportunity. Please consider me for this position. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Bachelor of Science (Environmental Sciences) Undergraduate Students will elect ONE (1) nominee

Marena Brinkhurst, B.Sc. [Env] Economics and Policy, 3rd Year

It is an important time for student representation in Senate. Our university is going through significant changes and it is imperative to have strong student participation. Environmental Science is one of the programs facing restructuring, so our one student senator must be active in seeking input from all of us and alumni to represent the unique Environmental Science identity in these discussions. I have been following Senate and curriculum discussions all this year, have attended a training session on curriculum review, and am ready to meet the responsibilities involved in this role. I pledge to be a representative who will connect you to the upcoming year in Senate and use my experience with diverse aspects of our program to defend its strengths in this ongoing process of re-envisioning.

Trevor Heywood, B.Sc. Environmental Sciences, 1st Year

My name is Trevor Heywood and I am hoping to be the next B.Sc.(Env.) senator. I am a first year enviro-sci and the current Treasurer of the Environmental Science Student Executive. I feel the B.Sc. (Env.) degree is something very special in the choice and promise it offers. I also believe it is a program that has the potential to grow with an expanding industry related to the environment, and therefore it is an asset to the University of Guelph. I hope to ensure that changes can be made to help the university face a tough financial future without compromising this asset.

Bachelor of Computing – 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Josh Gaber, B.Comp., 4th Year

My name is Josh Gaber and I am running for the Bachelor of Computing position of the University Senate. In these troubling times, changes in our academic structure are inevitable. As students, it is important that we have a voice in these changes. As an executive for the CPES Student Council, I have been a voice for CPES students, and now I am prepared to represent B.Comp. students at the highest level in the university.

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine – 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Sarah Thompson, DVM Phase II

I am the current DVM Student Senator and will be entering Phase II of the DVM program in September. I attended Guelph during my undergraduate degree and have held student leadership roles within the Residence Life Staff framework. I would like to continue to represent the DVM program in the coming year by helping shape and form policies that affect students attending the OVC. I feel that it is students’ responsibility to determine the direction in which their education evolves and that this can only happen if they have sufficient knowledge of issues and excellent representation in University affairs.


Ontario Veterinary College Graduate Students will elect ONE (1) nominee

Tyler Demers, OVC, Biomedical Sciences

I would like to be re-elected as the OVC Graduate Student Senator because I have a passion for enhancing academics here at the University of Guelph! I believe students should be more engaged academically and play a larger role in their learning process. Please re-elect me, so I can continue to fight for student involvement and a re-focusing of the University curriculum!

Jordan Willcox, OVC, PhD Program

With extensive experience of CBS college government, Student Senate Caucus and a number of Standing Committees of Senate as an undergraduate student and as a graduate student Senator this year, I have considerable experience of governance processes at the University and in particular Senate. I enjoy representing students and believe that I can be a powerful and effective voice for students in the OVC. Strong representation and participation will be especially important this year as the University tries to deal with the impacts of the financial constraints and it will be vital to have input from graduate students.

College of Arts – 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Christopher Los, MA History

Faced with immense economic challenges in the near future, the University of Guelph Senate will be required to make tough decisions regarding academics for the 2009-2010 school year. As graduate student representative for the College of Arts, my mandate will be to safeguard funding and preserve the integrity of our graduate programs. As part of the wider Senate body, I will strive to defend the interests of all students in face of an administration that appears to be striving to replicate a private-sector business model. I perceive of universities as sources of knowledge, and not as profit-centered institutions.

College of Physical and Engineering Sciences Graduate Students will elect ONE (1) nominee

Malo Bourgon, B.Eng. MA.Sc.

Given my experience as a student executive at both the college (CPES-SC 2008-current) and departmental (Guelph Engineering Society 2006-current) and other committee experience including Judicial Committee and various college and departmental committees as well as my previous Senate experience as a B.Eng student senator (2007-2008), I think I would make a great graduate student senator for CPES.

Petko Kitanov, PhD Mathematics

I was honoured to serve the students of this University as Senator last year, and I would like to continue to do so this year. During my previous term, I worked in support of student rights and interests as a member of the Petitions Committee and the Research Board. I am also the co-founder of the ESL Club of the University of Guelph, which assists U of G students whose first language is not English. I am committed to the students of this university and I would be honoured to serve you as Senator again this year.

College of Biological Science - 1 Seat (Acclaimed)

Amanda Naaum, Integrative Biology

The next few years will see significant changes in how the University of Guelph is run, including major changes to courses of study, in response to the fiscal challenges faced. As not only a current graduate student, but also as a past undergraduate of U of G, I have a vested interest in how these changes will affect the students here. Through participation in the Senate I hope to have an active role in making positive changes to our program and to represent the interests of U of G students in the decision making process.

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Undergraduate students will elect TWO (2) nominees

Gavin Armstrong, Commerce, Marketing Management

The University faces unprecedented financial challenges and it is vital that the governance processes of the University understand and listen to the voice of students. It is particularly important at this time to have strong student representation on the Board of Governors. I am interested in promoting closer connection between the roles and activities of the Governors with Senate and with the issues that are important to students and would intend to consult widely in bringing information to the Board.

Nathan Lachowsky, B.Sc.

Undergraduate students deserve a strong, experienced and ardent representative to bring their voices to the Board of Governors. I have over two years of experience sitting on Senate, working within governance structures. I would ensure that the Board understands and appreciates the impact that the intersection of budget cuts and academic change has on students. I would work diligently to provide a clear understanding of the decisions being discussed by providing a direct channel between undergraduates and the Board of Governors. Support an experienced and engaged student leader as your voice in the financial decision-making and management of your University.

Ali Zaki, Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) Applied Human Nutrition (AHN)

You are paying $850.00 in “extra tuition” every year (an average of $425.00 each semester). This “tuition” includes many fees that are completely unrelated to your actual tuition. (You can confirm this on Web Advisor. In Account Summary, click “Display Account Details”) And although you did not get to vote on these fees, you still have to pay these fees. I am running for a seat on the Board of Governors because I believe you deserve the right to vote on these extra fees. It’s your money. It’s your choice. Vote for your right to decide. Vote for Ali Zaki.


Graduate students will elect ONE (1) nominee

Malo Bourgon, B.Eng. MA.Sc.

Given my experience as a student executive at both the college (CPES-SC 2008-current) and departmental (Guelph Engineering Society 2006-current) levels, a student senator on the U of G Senate (B.Eng Senator 2007-2008), and other committee experience including Judicial Committee and various college and departmental committees, I have a diverse background in the operations of the university. Because of this I believe I would make an excellent representative for the student body on the Board of Governors.

Aaron Massecar, PhD Philosophy

During my tenure of President of the Graduate Students’ Association, I have had the unique opportunity to experience the University from the inside, be involved in some fantastic student-driven initiatives, and to see some of the effects of the University on the wider Guelph community. But as the end of term quickly approaches, I find myself wanting to do more. Being a member of the Board of Governors would allow me to bring some of the experience that I have garnered to a new forum that is responsible for effectuating major changes to each and every student here at Guelph. This entails a lot of responsibility, responsibility that I would only be too happy to take on.

Jordan Willcox, OVC PhD Program

Next year will be critical for the University as we face the fiscal challenges ahead. It will be vital to have a student member of the Board who has previous experience and knowledge of governance processes to speak effectively for students on the Board of Governors. I have been involved in CBS college government, been a member of Student Senate Caucus and a member of several standing committees of Senate. I would enjoy the challenge of serving students on the Board of Governors and helping the external members of Board appreciate the issues faced by graduate students at the University.

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