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Meet your CSA Election candidates: Benjamin Bond

Monday, March 7, 2011

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Name: Benjamin Bond

Running for: Academic and University Affairs Commissioner

 

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is Benjamin Bond and I am a 3rd year Marketing Management student here at the University of Guelph. I am currently running as your candidate for Academic & University Affairs Commissioner for your student union, the CSA.

2. Why do you want to represent students on the CSA Board Executive?

The reason why I want to represent students on the CSA Executive is because I have been aware of a lot of the things the CSA has done for Guelph in the past, and more specifically what the current Academic Commissioner, Kevin Bowman, has done. I would like to be a part of that.

3. What experiences or skills do you have that make you an ideal candidate for your position?

First and foremost, I am a student of the university. As such, I am a firm believer that being a student is critical to being able to represent students. In addition, over my last three years I have encountered many of the problems that students deal with on a day-to-day basis. From being a student athlete and taking a semester abroad, to living in residence and having to budget on a meal plan, I have had the experiences of every other student. Furthermore, I pride myself on being an individual who can bring cohesiveness and direction to a group. This is exactly what being a CSA executive is all about; bringing people together to make something better for students.

4. Can you outline some experiences that have given you knowledge of CSA policies and the way things are run?

I have observed by how the CSA is run by sitting in on board meetings and by speaking numerous times with both commissioners and members of the board. After that I can say that the same thing is true for the CSA as it is for all representative organizations. That is that there are so many differing views that sometimes the true purpose is put on hold. This is why, no question, I think my greatest challenge would be to work collectively with my other commissioners to form one student focused agenda that works together.

5. What goals do you have for your term?

One of the key things I would work on during my term would be to operate hand in hand with the Senate to improve Guelph’s Secondary Studies. My goal would be to increase the flexibility of diplomas, minors, and certificate programs. This would then help give students a greater advantage for employment.

Also, I would like to increase the size of the Guelph Student Assistance Program. The GSAP is basically a student bursary which is there to assist those in financial need. With extensive fundraising I would like to increase the bursary by at least $250,000.

Lastly, I would like to begin to look outward to see what other universities have done, and how that can help us

6. The undergraduate student body is large and diverse; how will you ensure you represent the interests of students?

In order to be in touch with students the CSA’s “open door” policy is not enough. The CSA must learn to be proactive and not reactive. We need to walk campus and to be attentive to people’s problems around us. This is where my role as a current student would be of great benefit.

In addition, the CSA has a great resource right outside their doors with all of the club offices. All of the clubs offer a great diversity of student opinion here at the university.

6. (a) The Academic and University Affairs Commissioner is expected to interact with administrative, judicial and academic bodies at the University of Guelph. From a student perspective, what are some of the strengths and weaknesses you have encountered within these entities?

Like I said earlier, most representative groups have very similar problems. There are so many conflicting views that all need a voice and as a result sometimes the purpose left waiting. The only thing that really works in these situations is to have the parties step back and try to evaluate the facts from the other’s perspective. From there, one must simply use open and honest communication.

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