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Dian Chaaban

Monday, January 1, 2007

Why are you running?

I have been avidly engaged in student college government and senate at the University of Guelph for the past four years and am very concerned with issues related to student academics and enhancing the undergraduate experience. I believe that my presence on the 07-08 CSA executive team will bring great value and support to students at the University Of Guelph. I am an effective communicator and am a passionate participant in all my endeavours.

What are your priorities for next year?
Next year in particular, if elected as Academic Commissioner, my priorities will be geared towards student scholarships, bursaries, increased student financial aid and towards those students who feel as if their academic rights and responsibilities have been violated. I will satisfy the expectations of the Academic Commissioner role and beyond in order to provide University Of Guelph students with a learning environment that inspires success, encourages critical thinking, and is readily available to all. Furthermore, I feel quality and value should come hand in hand with your education.

What was your most favourite of classes ever?

Hands down, Critical Thinking - PHIL*2100. I took this class as an elective, not knowing what to expect. This course provided me with the tools and methods to quite literally, 'think critically'.
Philosophy is a realm of study that I discovered during my first year at university and I have continued to select philosophy as my electives for the past four years because the content provided by these courses has encouraged me to think in a much broader context. Critical Thinking taught me how to articulate myself effectively, how to construct a valid argument and how to win just about any debate by simply proving my opponent to be invalid and therefore wrong.

If you had a choice out of anyone to be the new Chancellor, who would you chose and why?

It’s hard to imagine anyone else as Chancellor. Lincoln Alexander is one of the most remarkable individuals I have ever met. Encounters with him never cease to amaze me and leave me both astounded and motivated to accomplish even a quarter of what he’s done. I'll have to restrain from thinking creatively here about whom I would choose and commend the Chancellor Selection Committee on nominating Pamela Wallin as our new Chancellor. As co-chair of Student Senate Caucus, I was delighted to vote and be present for the announcement of the confirmed Senate support. Pamela is an outstanding role model who has demonstrated high levels of integrity and enthusiasm in everything she does. I am confident that she is capable of following in the Honourable Lincoln Alexander's (large) footsteps.

How do you see your role in connection with the administration? Did you see it more of a collaborative or confrontational relationship?

Definitely collaborative. I have great relationships with the 'fourth floor people' and intend to only make those relationships stronger and more supportive. We are fortunate to have such a dynamic, approachable and inspiring administration. Working effectively with administration, faculty, staff and students on this campus comes naturally to me. I should also mention that although I strive to work collaboratively, I am still very capable and willing to stand up for student rights, even if confrontation is necessary.

Who is your favourite fictional teacher or professor?

First one that comes to mind is Charlie Brown's teacher, Mrs. Donovan...wa-waaa-wa-waaa-wa

What will your response be if and when tuition rises next fall?

Tuition is going up? That sucks. Looks like I’m going to have to extend my line of credit again. Ok, but seriously; at the expense of sounding like the typical corporate business student, good things don't come cheap. While I am an avid believer of education being a right, I am fully aware that this rise in tuition is somewhat inevitable when considering the current economic conditions of all universities in the surrounding area - and the current financial standing of our very own facility. I am by no means implying that we're doomed to accept the predictable. Rather, what I am trying to get across is that we need to be working towards finding alternate ways to deal with the increased debt (finding sponsorship for more scholarships, bursaries and increased student financial aid) and working towards making sure that tuition does not continue to rise.

Do you see the CSA's role as one of advocacy, activism or both?

It is definitely a combination of both. Certain events and issues will require an advocates' attitude, while others will require activism to get a point across. Every student related issue is unique
and sensitive - requiring a tactful and effective plan of action to work towards finding medium grounds. A collaborative and lasting solution is never simple. As a potential CSA executive, I plan to put theory into action for the very purpose of helping to construct lasting solutions that work for everyone.

What's your favourite non-academic activity at the U of G?

Sleeping. It has become a luxury.

Anything else that you wanted to add?

Add me to Facebook - I love Facebook.

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