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I am your current Vice President External Affairs, the incoming British Columbia Campaigns -and Advocacy- Coordinator, a TEDx speaker, a woman from Saudi Arabia, and a fourth year Management student, with only three courses left for next year!
I believe that courage can change the status quo, and with thinking differently, I aspire for something better, that we can do next, together. #ImagineYourUBCSUO
WELLBEING | CAMPUS CULTURE | ADVOCACY
If elected as President, I pledge to establish a UBCSUO organization's strategy and sustainability plan to better run your students' Union. I intend to prioritize the wellbeing of UBCO students though more mental health resources and UBC accommodations, continue to address food insecurities, students-centred advocacy to eliminate the additional hefty fees and costs of textbooks, to regulate the annual increases on international students tuition, to continue to lobby for grants for middle and low income students, look into the possibility of opening a UBCSUO Vape Lounge, and to invest and empower the key contributors of our campus culture; our clubs and course union leaders.
Together we can #ImagineYourUBCSUO
I have had the privilege of serving as the UBCSUO Vice President External this year. I coordinated advocacy activities and lobbied the Provincial and the Federal Government about students’ issues, I increased campus services such as 24/7 counselling through EMPOWER ME, the Food Grant Program and more funding for the Food Exchange Program, I more than doubled the amount of sponsorships money and established new partnerships, spearheaded the petition to leave the CFS, and ran the #TextbookBroke Campaign for the first time on UBCO campus.
Through my roles with many diverse groups of students on campus, and my involvement in the community, I have created valuable connections and developed understanding of the gaps and opportunities that exist in UBCSUO, UBC, and the BC post-secondary education. As a woman of colour, I am always eager to find opportunities to passionately advocate for the empowerment of all people. I would love to bring my dedication to the students’ movement, passion for enriching students’ lives, and experienced leadership to be your next UBCSUO President.
EXPERIENCE: The highlights of 4 years of working with students, campus partners, businesses, community organizations, clubs, and student's initiatives.
Current UBCSUO Vice President External Affairs
Current UBCSUO Campaigns Committee Chair
Incoming BC Federation Of Students Campaigns Coordinator
TEDx Speaker 2017
Student Of The Year Award 2017-18
Resident Advisor, UBCO Students Housing and Hospitality, 2016-17
Club Executive and Treasurer, UBCO Yoga Club
Yoga teacher, Campus Recreation/Hangar Fitness Centre
Speaker, Students Leadership Conference 2016 and 2017
Member, Leadership and Civic Engagement ILC
Intercultural Development Program, Member
Volunteer/member, Junior Chamber International (Kelowna Jaycees)
Co-chair, Breaking Boundaries Conference
Volunteer, HOPE Outreach Programme
Fun Fact about me!
Shaved my hair completely in April 2017
Fundraised over $1100 in support of Canadian Cancer Society, and donate my hair to be made into wigs for girls under the age of 18
The Purpose Your Students' Union,
1. Advocate and represent students and their voice.
2. Promote artistic, literary, educational, social, and recreational activities for the advancement of UBCO students.
3. Provide students with resources and services like legal, healthcare plan, bus pass, emergency fund... and many other.
Now and The Future #ImagineYourUBCSUO
The Art Hive:
This hub could be a space where students can drop-in, relax, create and connect with one another. It is a safe space where everyone is welcome to create, learn and share skills. It fosters social inclusion, a sense of community and provides free access to resources/materials, which can be reused, shared, or transformed. Research has shown that a lack of belonging is linked to decreased motivation and performance in students, and higher risk of mental health difficulties. This initiative would be in cooperation between Peer Support Network (PSN) Coordinators, Health and Wellness Center, and the UBCSUO.
Sophie, a counsellor at Health and Wellness Center, would spearhead this project, funded by us, to build capacity through PSN, and some students who have experienced mental health difficulties but are currently doing well to help model the principles (i.e. welcoming attitude, ability to hold a safe space, openness to diversity, familiarity with art materials and its use). This therapeutic space could also meet many of the needs identified; anxiety management, trauma, and possibly increase ADHD coaching and ADHD groups.
Policy 131 Implementation Find it HERE.
Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct (Policy 131) came into effect May 2017; nevertheless, changes like academic accommodations and reimbursements to survivors on withdrawn courses within the academic framework of UBC are yet to be completed. I plan to work with our Senate to insure a reflection the changes, and to work in coordination with Shilo St. Cyr, Director of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, to bring those accommodations to life.
UBC have developed Policy #131 Sexual Assault and Other Sexual Misconduct as mandated by the Ministry of Advanced Education "All public post-secondary institutions in British Columbia are required by law to have sexual misconduct prevention policies in place and make them accessible. The legislation required policies to be in place by May 2017."
A former UBCSUO executive have sat on the committee in the developing phase of the policy. In the summer, I was chosen to sit on the hiring committee to recruit the Director of the Sexual Assault Preventions and Response Office who came to be Shilo St. Cyr.
Shilo St. Cyr
Director, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office
Nicola Townhome 120 | Phone 250.807.9640 | Cell 250.575.8586
Food Insecurities & other Services:
I plan to continue to build the Food Grant Program, a voucher given to students to address the 40% of respondents to Voice4 who reported facing food insecurities
- Work with the Students Experience Office and the Admission and Awards to centralized or better advertise for t
- Strike an ad-hoc Services Committee of UBCSUO; to evaluate the UBCSUO Services. i.e. the Food Grant Program, Students aid and bursaries, funding for Disability Resources Center, expand the Health and Dental Care coverage, and look into adding legal services.
- The topic of food insecurities is so complex. It should not be talked about lightly.
- Voice4 Survey show that 40% of our students have faced food insecurities in the past 12 months.
-As your VP External this year, I've advocated and lobbied the BC and the Federal Government about students’ issues; grants not loans for low and middle income students, eliminating interest on students loans. Until we fix the systematic issues, bandaid solutions must take place. This year I have established the Food Grant Program, $5000 for students facing food insecurities, as well as brought more funding for the Food Exchange Program.
If elected as president, I plant to continue working on both the systematic issues, as well as improving the services, bursaries and aid programs that the UBCSUO provides
* Parties * Culture * Initiatives *
Our campus is not only changing the future of the students, but also shaping the future of the Okanagan.
Empower Clubs and Course Unions
As our campus is growing, so should our resources and services, and enhancing the operations and the finances for UBCSUO Clubs and Course Unions. I am committed to further facilitate space for our students leaders to break through their own boundaries, to connect, learn, and to inspire. I believe that by allowing for continuous learning, encounters will spark passion and set students of all ages, genders, and sexualities a step closer to their empowered selves and ideal paths. If elected as President;
- Town hall and/or a survey to all clubs and course unions, to consult them about what's working and what's not.
- In order to eliminate biases, establish ACC Funding Approval Committee: consisting of Sarah Furgason ,the Students Associations Coordinator, VP Finance, President and a Director at Large.
- All Clubs and Course Unions (ACC) Orientation: This full-day orientation is to be held in September; Sponsorships 101, Funding 101, Leadership Training, City Mayor and/or City Councillors, team building activities, External speakers, and a networking event.
- Living Document of the legacy events and initiatives to include in the UBCSUO Sponsorship Package. - Create an ACC Initiatives Promotion Plan, where the Kelowna community can engage and participate.
- Continues training and ACC development workshops, this is an investment back to our leaders.
- Lunch Meet-ups are to be hosted every 6 weeks.- Space solution for Course Unions, look into freeing out one of the three UBCSUO storage rooms, potentially getting space in the New Learning Centre. Long term is to continue working with the AVP Students and the University in discussing UBCSUO Building.
- Take lead on 10% of ticket sales to the community, to culture and diversity events ie Eid Diwali, Harmony, ACSA Gala..
As VP External, I have established valuable connections with key figures and businesses, I will continue to build a sustainable relationship between the university and the Kelowna community
I intend to work with BoD and SUP to look into the possibility of turning SUP into a UBCSUO business. No more 20k Blueprint budget, thus, FROSH & RECESS becomes the SUP staff person responsibility, who would work closely with VP Services to bring the elected executive vision about those concerts into life.
UBCSUO Vape Lounge
yes? YES! Hookah too? You're crazy!!!
Did you know that there is already a Vape Room here on campus?
your answer would be no, cuz it's kept confidential as Cannabis in not yet legal. Cannabis is already vaporized indoors in the immediate vicinity of classrooms, which have been operating for the past two years, so we know that we have the ability to create this space.
33% of UBCO students reported using Cannabis
52% prefer alcohol. But, of those who prefer alcohol: 42% said it was because they can use it in public, and 43% because it was legal (both of which would be changing!)
Why Vape Lounge?
- Promotes inclusion on campus for over a third of our campus population
- Eliminates cross exposure of individuals who do not want to be exposed to cannabis
- Provides safe space for subtense use.
- A source of revenue
Plan is to work closely with the experts on campus, Dr. Zack Walsh, Canada's leading cannabis researcher, is right here on UBCO campus. As well as, working with UBCO's Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy Committee, some of whom sit on the national committee.
Myself and other BoD members have been participating in cannabis legalization effects on UBCO campus, and how the Cannabis Policy would look like. Participants in those conversations range from cannabis users (medical and recreational) and non-users.
In the light of legalization, the UBCSUO should look into opening a highly ventilated vape lounge on/off campus, as well as look into selling edibles through the UBCSUO businesses.
One thing to carries me forward, is the true value that we can bring to the society and the impact that will amplify to the rest of the word by our students.
Affordability and Accessibly of Post Secondary Education
Fairness for International Students
If elected as president, I pledge to
- Work with Board of Governors to create more fee stability and predictability for International students
- Lobby and work with the BC Government.
- Include in the submission to the select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services Recommendation to regulate tuition fees for international students, and either freeze these fees, or apply a cap on annual allowable increases.
It is not a new story that International students pay much higher tuition than domestic students; average of $25,180 for international students in 2017-18 compared with $6,571 for domestic students. They’re estimated to contribute over $11 billion to the Canadian economy annually, which amounts to over 122,000 jobs. In BC, they contribute $1.77 billion annually, making them the third largest export in the province.
International students add immeasurable to the quality of Post Secondary Education for all students in Canada by bringing important new perspectives to the exchange of ideas, perspectives and knowledge. The Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy set a goal of doubling the number of international students in Canada, from about 240,000 in 2011 to over 450,000 by 2022. This Advisory Group Strategy states that “International students also help address the shortage of skilled labor that diminish Canada’s long-term capacity for research and innovation…”
This campaign is a call for fairness, a call to regulate tuition fees for international students, and either freeze these fees, or apply a cap on annual allowable increases.
Open Educational Resources #TextbookBroke
If elected as president, I pledge to
- By end of summer, have at least ten professors to commit to using OERs
- Create a steering committee with the stake holders; students, senate, faculty associations, Provost office, and librarians
- Continue a good relationship with BC Campus, and seek opportunities for further cooperation
- Continue to lobby the Federal Government for funding for the Tri-Agencies to graduate students creating OERs
The high cost of textbooks has become a serious obstacle to getting an education in BC. Expensive textbooks only add to our student debt which means we usually have to make difficult decisions to either skip out on buying the textbook, or avoid courses altogether because of the book costs, compromising our education.
OERs are openly licensed teaching and learning materials that consist mainly of open textbooks, but also other materials. Studies have found that students do as well, or better in classes that use open textbooks This essentially means free textbooks, or extremely low costs to print. Imagine having a textbook that is free, or costs 20 bucks to print.
UBC Vancouver have started this campaign 4 years ago, and thus far have saved students $2 millions. I brought this campaign for the first time on UBCO campus, and if elected as President, I pledge to work with stakeholders and expand the availability of OERs on our UBCO campus.
I believe that courage can change the status quo, and with thinking differently,
I aspire for something better, that we can do next, together.
UBCSUO Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan
"The Backstage Platform"
Create the Strategic Plan in accordance with the state of UBCSUO, UBC strategic plan, and the City of Kelowna. This year's Strategic plan would factor in the elected board platforms, and priorities are to be selected after consultation to what UBCO students see.
This year, my team and I started the cultural change of the students' union, accountability, transparency and clarity will continue to come along. We can get there from here. Thus, and based on the three values, those are some action items I urge you to hold me accountable for:
Cohesion | Consultation | Cooperation
As president I will change how do we do things:
- Define the roles and responsibilities for the BoD.
- Goals and Objectives milestones and deadlines.
- Performance Indicators (using BoD platforms)
- Performance based Honorarium for the BoD.
- Code Of Conduct
- Consequences to breaching Bylaws and Regulations.
- Work with every faculty representative to hold clinics for their constituents.
- Work with the Executives and Directors at Large to actively consult UBCO students.
- Students and SUO representation on the committees of UBCO
- Work with BoD, staff and General Manger to bring the UBCSUO initiatives to life.
- Work with VP Internal on WUSC to bring more student refugee.
- Work with VP External on businesses and expanding partners, advocacy and lobby efforts, and leaving the Canadian Federation of Students
- Work with VP Finances to re- prioritization, through consultation with the UBCO students body, how best allocate students money, funding for clubs and Course Unions and funding for Disability Resource Centre
- Work with VP Services and VPX on turning advocacy and awareness campaigns into parties, making them fun and exciting
- Monthly training for the BoD, staff, resource centres coordinators, course unions and clubs executives.-
Agenda for Finance Committee:
- what are the priorities? Budgeting in consultation with BoD and UBCO students.
- Funding for Disability Resource Center
- Increasing funding for clubs and course unions
- Student Society Emergency Aid Fund (SSEAF)
Agenda for the Campaigns Committee:
- OERs Campaign
- Fairness for International Students
- Grants Not Loans
- CFS Referendum
Agenda for Policy Committee:
- Communication Plan to the Members
- Procurement Policy
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Conference and Travel Policy
1st third: Summer:
May - June - July - August
- Expand the Health and Dental Care coverage, and look into adding legal services
- BoD Orientation; define roles, responsibilities and fiduciary duties. Also, team building activities!
- Work with Professors and Faculty associations, discussing OERs
- Create the Vision, Mission and the Strategic plan
- Vote BoD to be on the various UBCO committees, to insure student voice representation -Skills Development Symposium, an orientation weekend hosted by the BC Federation of Students, to be hosted at UBCO campus, providing profit to our catering businesses.
- Seek sponsorships, I will continue to create business
- Prepare for Club orientation:
- UBCSUO community involvement and presence
2nd third: Fall:
September - October - November - December
Presentations from Senate and BoG to explain to BoD what is their role and our work with/through them
Finish the transition to the new Societies Act
October 31st: Launch International Students Campaign
AGM in November: change auditors, approve any amendments to bylaws:
Bylaws I would like to amend/add:
- Include under represented groups representatives to the BoD; Indigenous Students Rep, Students with Disability Rep, International Students Rep, Women's Rep, and Queer Rep
- The Job Description of the General Manager, to include more of an executive director duties
- Visit VP Services and VP Internal roles, abide the bylaws, or change VP Services to be VP Students Life