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Meet your CSA Election candidates: Peter Miller

Monday, March 7, 2011

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Name: Peter Miller

Running for: CSA Board of Directors (College of Social and Applied Human Sciences)

 

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m Peter Miller and am in my first year in sociology. In my first year I have been getting involved on campus as a member of the coalition group Fight Fees. This group is organized by the CSA. I also attended the CSA Rethink Campaign, specifically a topic about problems with the Corporatization of Campus. I am running in the CSA elections as a candidate to represent students in the College of Social and Applied Human Science and be on the Board of Directors.  I firmly believe in quality, affordable education at Guelph and I hope to continue to advocate on behalf of students at the CSA board, given the chance

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

I want to represent students on the CSA Board and get more involved on campus in student politics. I wish to help out with committees in the CSA that provide valuable student resources like the Student Food Bank and meal exchange.

I think that although the CSA offers valuable services and resources to students that there is more to be done to connect CSAHS to decisions being made at the CSA and the University as a whole.  The CSA can be a powerful tool to create positive change in the interest of students, but only if it is active and visible to the students.

 I also wish to represent the views of students in my college of CSAHS. I believe students in my College are discouraged by larger class sizes, as well as the increasing amount of courses offered exclusively online. All of this comes down to problems of a lack of public funding for university. As students are experiencing larger class sizes and an increase of online courses, tuition fees are rising. As a potential member of the CSA Board I wish to represent students who would like a reduction in tuition fees and smaller class sizes. Ultimately university should be more accessible for students in Canada.  I will always be open to suggestions and views of students as a member on the board.

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

I’m a hardworking and organized student. Therefore, I will always make sure to review upcoming agendas for meetings that will happen every second Wednesday if I am elected.  I am very informed of current issues at the University and will continue to be engaged in all aspects of campus life. As a member of Fight Fees, I have been active in organizing the upcoming Panel Discussion about tuition fees and have outreached to many students.

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

Though I am now completing my first year at UofG, my interest in the CSA was sparked before I was a student here.  I first attended a CSA board meeting in High School.  At the end of my final year I attended a Board of Directors meeting with other high school students. During the meeting I discussed a new mandatory 50 dollar student fee that was going to come to my high school. The Fee was on top of course fees that were a part of many courses at my high school as secondary education makes the initial steps towards “tuition fees”. There are also fees to participate on sports teams at my former high school. My fellow student and I believed the new policy at our high school was not inclusive for students. The CSA voted they would support high schools in work towards accessible and inclusive education. This opportunity allowed me to see how Board meetings are run, and how CSA policies are implemented. Our presentation ultimately resulted in ongoing policy development as to how the CSA interacts with student organizations at local high schools.

I am also a member of the Fight Fees Coalition as stated above.  The meetings I have attended in the fight fees campaign have given me knowledge about CSA policies that I strongly agree with and I will continue to uphold these policies.

5. What goals do you have for your term?

Goals I have for my term are to help bring the policies of the CSA further into action. I want to help with another Fight Fees Campaign and other campaigns that promote progressive policies of the CSA, such as campaigns for more student/club space and study space on campus. I believe students should know about these campaigns because they are a way for their voices to be heard. I think that discussions regarding the increasing amount of courses offered online would be good to have next year. It’s important to have students heard when it comes to changes at the University. My most important goal is to get the views of CSAH students to the CSA. I will do this by being open to students who wish to share opinions and suggestions.

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

I will ensure that I represent the interests of students by being available to students in general. I will also outreach to special status groups and college governments (especially CSASH) and CSA clubs, making sure to solicit feedback from marginalized groups, upholding the CSA’s anti-oppression mandate.  I will also do classroom talks in classes where there are majority CSASH majors in order to keep students up to speed.

7. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I just want to strongly encourage students to vote online during the upcoming election from March 14 to the 18. I also wish to remind students about the Fight Fees Protest coming up on March the 25th. Vote Peter Miller for CSASH rep to the CSA’s Board of Directors!

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