The Sheaf Presents: Your 2017-18 USSU Election Candidates The Sheaf March 22, 2017 12:00 am News LYNDSAY AFSETH The school year is nearly finished and the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union is gearing up for their elections with a campaign featuring nine candidates. Students can vote between 9 a.m. on Mar. 22 and 4 p.m. Mar. 23 through their PAWS account. In anticipation of this event, the Sheaf asked all of the candidates two questions: what are their major concerns for the 2017-18 school year and what they hope to accomplish during their year in office. President David D’Eon third-year political studies “I think it’s important to make sure that the tuition rates that are set next year remain accessible to students. The other issues I’ll be talking about are housing and student wellness.” “I would like to reform the Saskatchewan Students’ Coalition. I would like the USSU to make an effort to get input from all the colleges. I would like to create a permanent housing committee and pursue new on-campus residences that are more equipped towards Indigenous people coming off reserves and [for] single parents. I would also like to establish a fund that would be towards student initiatives aimed at improving overall wellness, targeting things such as nutrition, exercise, educating people about mental health issues and crisis situations.” Sajid Kabir third-year economics “The main thing is finance. I would like to reduce costs in terms of textbooks and other related costs.” “I would like to focus on unity among students. I would like to focus on student groups and making them better by creating a friendlier environment on campus. I would like to throw professional events where students would get the chance to meet with employers before graduating. Connections you make as a student will help you in the future. I would also like to increase student group financing by having the co-hosting of similar events.” Emmanauel Barker final-year international studies “I believe that there is a huge space for consolidation within the unions, the campuses and student representation. There’s a lot more room for student groups and for the campuses to all start working together. I also believe that the international student differential is quite high.” “I want to re-establish the connection between the U of S and the northern campuses. There is provision for the executive to work alongside the campuses that I want to improve on. I want to lobby to make sure that the international student differential is closer to that of the graduate students. I want to work with the Graduate Students’ Association to make sure that the graduate students are represented. I also want to make sure that this year’s new executive works closely with students regarding new policies.” VP Academic Affairs Jessica Quan fourth-year political studies “There lacks a unified student body with a unified mandate that we all want to work for collectively, so you see things like tuition rising and how we all agree that it’s not a good thing, but we need something that will unify us and push us forward in the future.” “I’m going to establish a commission on tuition. It would be a formal and legitimate body that assists to keep funding bodies accountable, as well as being accountable to students. I also want to double the amount of open textbooks that we have on campus, because I don’t think learning resources should be a barrier to getting an education. I also want to push for non-academic transcripts and also promote the services that are available on campus.” VP Student Affairs Crystal Lau fifth-year arts & science “A lot of students don’t know their rights on campus, so my main goal is to work with students and student groups and advocate for student bodies so that their concerns are heard.” “As Help Centre co-ordinator, I started a project for free menstrual products, so I am hoping to expand that for the whole university. I also want to make sure that students have a choice to either pay for their parking tickets or work hours towards the amount owed. I also want to make sure that winter is not as dragging for students and to have a more active Welcome Week in January.” Mackenzie Paradzik third-year political studies [The major issues are] things like housing, decolonizing the campus and curriculum, student engagement and more student involvement with the USSU. Indigenization is a huge issue on campus right now that I think should be engaged with.” “[I want to focus on] decolonizing campus and curriculum, housing and residency issues, mental health advocacy and sustainability on campus. I would like to engage in initiatives to help the U of S’s standing in Canada. Mostly, I hope to be able to reach out and work with students and strengthen relationships between the USSU and groups on campus. I think change starts with students.” VP Operations & Finance Kosy Ugo-Okeke second-year economics “At the U of S, there’s a lot of opportunity for the university to make student life more lively, interactive and timeless.” “The first thing is to increase funding to the student body. The second thing is to promote intercultural events. Thirdly, I would like to see more student opinions on matters that concern them. Before any decision is made, like tuition increases and infrastructural development, I would like the students to be engaged in that conversation.” Deena Kapacila third-year political studies “We’re probably going to get an austerity budget from the provincial government, so it’s really important to be managing students’ money efficiently.” “I want to set up a database [that] will use students’ preferences to be able to search campus clubs and what they are doing that students would be interested in. I also have a team from Edwards [School of Business] working on a marketing plan for Louis’ so that it can start making a little bit more money. I want to bring more vendors onto campus and I want them to be local businesses and to employ students.” Stephanie Deptuch fourth-year business [My main concern is] presenting to a council because I know that it’s very structured and sometimes decisions take a long time, which is not ideal.” “I want to build on the relationship with [Saskatoon] Transit and possibly put together a plan to change routes so that transit is more accessible for students. I want to make sure that campus groups have the information and knowledge that they need. I want to have workshops and information sessions for students to start groups. I would like to have something set in place so that student groups can partner together and have shared events.” What would you do if you won a million dollars? “I’d buy a house by a lake, and I would never leave it. I would learn how to paint.” – Emmanauel Barker “I would pay off my student fees first, and then I think I would invest it and just use what I need.” – Stephanie Deptuch “I would probably buy a piece of land and start a wiener dog ranch and just live there with my dogs.” – Jessica Quan “I would set up a scholarship in my name, to either the U of S or my high school, for students who have spirit and enthusiasm about what they do.” – Crystal Lau “Probably give it to friends and family or donate it. I would also pay for my tuition.” – Mackenzie Paradzik What animal would you like to be? “Definitely a mantis shrimp. They have incredibly powerful mandibles that create mini implosions in the ocean when they’re attacking other fish.” – David D’Eon “An eagle because they have freedom to fly around and see the world.” – Sajid Kabir “I’d be a panda because a panda has different colours, which represents diversity, which is one of our strengths on campus.” – Kosy Ugo-Okeke “A llama for sure. They are a really sassy but personable animal.” – Deena Kapacila — All Photos by: Jeremy Britz / Photo Editor heidi so proud of my economics major father.