TRU will go to the polls next week to choose the next student union board of directors. The Omega put two questions to each candidate. Here’s what they had to say.
Cast your vote on March 25 or 26 in the TRUSU boardroom down the hall from the members’ desk.
(1) What do you hope to accomplish if elected?
(2) What do you think need to change with your student government?
(1) If elected, I wish to include international students on the health and dental plan, advocate for tuition-free Adult Basic Education, improve the academic advising process for students, and work towards a more integrated, equitable campus community with the experienced and dedicated team, Your Vote = Your Voice!
(2) The students’ union does an exceptional of supporting students on campus. Everyone’s perspective within student governance is valued, and I would like to see more students on campus that have concerns to express them, to become more engaged, and to take action collectively with the TRU students’ union.
(2) If elected I hope to breach the barriers of communication between students and students and the TRU Board of Governors. This would allow a more united campus to flourish and increase student involvement. I would also like to tackle some issues we have on campus and hear more from students.
(2) I believe that students need to comfortable coming to TRUSU reps with their issues, so communication is key. The sense of community is quite lacking and we need to address that as well as the several political issues that our campus is facing.
(1) Redirect funding from business into science and arts, enhance local business on campus, establish a art gallery with art students’ art for sale, take parking regulation back into TRU students’ hands and enhance culinary arts’ food supply throughout campus.
(2) Making the changes needed to provide care and good health to our students. Without us there would be no school.
(1) Create a better entertainment program for more students to be engaged with one another. Promoting activities that foster a safe, supportive and inclusive campus community that values diversity. Promoting opportunities to share experiences and diverse perspectives among campus members.
(2) Candidate did not respond.
(1) Tuition-free Adult Basic Education; improve academic advising; build community on campus; get international students on the health and dental plan and as the VP internal I will do my best to meeet all students’ expectations and also be always there for them.
(2) the students’ union is doing fantastic job in providing the best services, entertainment and advocacy. I would like to support that and add my own touch in developing them, supported by the board of directors and the amazing stuff of the students’ union.
(1) If elected, I would like to see improved integration of the campus with the broader community, tuition-free Adult Basic Education for students wishing to upgrade qualifications and improved academic advising for students so that students have an accurate idea of what courses they need to take at TRU.
(2) The students’ union currently does an excellent job of providing advocacy, services and entertainment for its members. However, I would like to see a more community oriented board where we are able to use the resources of out members collectively for positive change on our campus.
Mwansa Lembalemba Kaunda
(1) As with my slate, TRU Synergy, I hope to enhance campus experience, be transparent and accountable at all times, and finally, try and make sure that education is affordable.
(2) The issue of communication and creating an environment where promises are kept as opposed to being pushed to the side.
(1) I would like to help TRUSU play a larger role on campus when it comes to supporting student activities and events, along with achieving greater student participation in TRUSU.
(2) In my experience, many students don’t know what TRUSU exactly does and feel like board members aren’t very approachable. I think there needs to be an improved dialogue between the Board and the student body so students feel like they really have a voice in TRUSU.
(1) If elected, I hope to keep Adult Basic Education tuition-free, improve academic advising, get international students on the health and dental plan, and build a more inclusive, engaging campus community. As VP external, I will work directly with student representatives of the campaigns committee to accomplish these goals.
(2) The student government works hard and effectively in providing advocacy, services, and entertainment to the students of TRU, however it would be beneficial to take a more positive, collective action as a membership of the students’ union, while engaging as many students as possible in the process.
(1) If elected, I will work along side other executives to bring about positive reformation to the student union and use my position to challenge current policies and practices, which are contradictory to the needs of the student body.
(2) The student union represents the largest population on campus, yet holds very little influence within the institution. The student union needs more power within this school. These powers should include participation in decision making, as well as having jurisdiction concerning student issues, including discrepancies with the registrar’s office.
International students’ rep
(1) If I would have the honour to be elected, I will improve: tuition-free Adult Basic Education; academic advising; build community on campus; get international students on the health and dental plan; represent the valuable perspectives and interests of international students and ensure the improvements for international students at TRU.
(2) I will definitely say no drastic changes are needed. The students’ union team has been doing an amazing job in representing and improving conditions for the student comunity. The only wish I have is to involve even more students on campus in order to provide more powerful collective action.
International students’ rep
(1) To be able to address the needs of all students regardless of where they come from and to encourage international students to celebrate their differences and embrace diversity, not only during International Days but in the different clubs and societies that they are in.
(2) The issue of transparency is one that definitely needs to change in our student government. Students need to be able to question decisions made and see progress from all the different members that make up the board.
Graduate students’ rep
(1) If elected I will make lowering tuition fees for both domestic and international students my priority. I will represent students’ interests on and off campus and advocate for their rights. I also find it important to improve the university spirit through organizing various events.
(2) To me Student Union should have an open-door policy where every student can contribute and provide their feedback. I believe that apart from organizing evens, TRUSU could help unite the international and domestic student bodies as well better promote the services they offer.
(1) I’m hoping to accomplish tuition free adult basic education, improve academic advising, get international students on the health and dental, create a happy, more connected campus community and also promote more education of LGBTQ issues and hopefully some gender neutral washrooms!
(2) The Student’s Union is doing an amazing job so far with advocacy and entertainment. They were also able to lower parking rates and offer half-day rates to some parking lots, which is really amazing! I’m pleased so far, but I’m ready to move even further.
(1) If elected, I plan to continue promoting positive body image as well as educating students about gender issues on campus. With Your Vote = Your Voice, I will be fighting to bring back tuition free ABE and get international students included on the health and dental plan.
(2) The students’ union already provides the students with some excellent services, entertainment, and advocacy. My focus will to be on making sure more students are engaged and feel that they are being properly represented by the board of directors.
Aboriginal students’ rep
(1) If I get elected I hope to enhance campus experience for both domestic and international students. This process would include increasing school spirit. Another issue that I would like to addressed is the rising tuition and living costs for students.
(2) I think that the most pressing issue with the student government is the lack of communication and information with all different entities on campus. Many students of Thompson Rivers University are not educated on the responsibilities and actions of the students’ union.
Sonya Lil’Fawn Charley
Aboriginal students’ rep
(1) As an Aboriginal Representative I am running as a new slate member for YOUR VOTE = YOUR VOICE and I intend to improve academic advising. It is also important to keep the Adult Basic Education tuition-free, introduce international students to the health and dental plan and build community on campus.
(2) I find that the students’ union already seems to have the insight as to what is needed on campus and is doing an exceptional job of providing advocacy, services and entertainment to the students on campus!
(1) Tuition-free Adult Basic Education; improve academic advising; build community on campus and get international students on the health and dental plan. My goal is to speak for the students of TRU and make decisions based on the good of the whole student body.
(2) First of all, I appreciate all that the students’ union already does in terms of providing advocacy, student services, as well as entertainment and events for the students. I would just like to build on what the students’ union already does and focus on a more positive and collective action.
(1) As a member of the Board, I would like to see a re-working of the food services at TRU, to have wider variety, more flexible hours and greater cost-effectiveness. I would also like to address the parking issues at the university.
(2) The largest factor that can provide the biggest change would be the implementation of a more open-door policy. The student body needs to ensure that anyone is welcome to voice their concerns with any member of the board and that they integrate with their fellow students.
(1) I want to create university experiences worth remembering for ALL students and be a part of making them proud of TRU! As my bio mentions, there are several platforms my slate, YOUR VOTE = YOUR VOICE, will work to accomplish if elected. These will aid in creating good experiences for students.
(2) TRUSU already does an awesome job of providing advocacy, services and entertainment! But, if elected, I will work to insure that campus becomes more inclusive, enjoyable and overall more conducive for ALL students. I want people to be proud of their student government and encourage more involvement from the students.
(1) If elected, I will advocate for tuition-free Adult Basic Education, improvement of academic advising, the construction of a stronger community on campus, and the addition of international students onto the health and dental plan. I hope to promote diversity on campus and work towards building a more inclusive campus!
(2) The students’ union already does an awesome job of providing advocacy, services and entertainment for students. I will focus on strengthening relationships among the student body so that I am able to best represent their needs and wants. I want TRU to be a safe, inclusive place for all students.
(1) I am really excited to learn more about the Thompson Rivers University students’ union from an operational and management perspective, as well as to hopefully participate on the entertainment committee again. It’ll be great to see TRUSU events from behind the scenes and help make them even better!
(2) I am specifically worried with the general student body’s awareness of TRUSU operations. After all, the Student Union is made up of students for the students, I hope to see more engagement and feedback from our members, as well as educational opportunities on current programs and events.
(1) I hope to work with the campaigns committee and the other students’ unions across B.C. to advocate for a five year moratorium on tuition increases as has been put in place in four other provinces. I also hope to use every dollar in the budget as effectively as possible.
(2) I believe that we need to make a student government that is more open and not cliquey. We need a government that supports clubs in all their endeavors. We also need to have a student government that keeps balanced budgets so as to keep us out of debt.
(1) Being an international student, getting all international students on the heath and dental plan is my most important goal to accomplish along with other priority areas such as tuition fees. I would ensure that students support our movement and also talk to us about any issues they face on campus.
(2) The students’ union is doing a wonderful job on providing advocacy, services and entertainment to the students on campus. My focus will definitely be on taking more positive, collective action as a member of the student union and getting students involved in our movement.
(1) I would like to help the board in planning events on campus that unite students, increase school spirit, increase student interest and activity in TRUSU.
(2) The student government needs to have more visibility on the campus and be more approachable to the students of TRU. We are here to serve the students and make their lives much easier, the only way this is possible is if the student body feels the same way.
(1) If elected, I hope to accomplish an interactive relationship between the students’ uwnion members and the student community. As part of my campaign, I will focus on communications and connected diversity.
(2) Our student government needs to have a better perspective on the how to communicate throughout the student body, making it easy for students to speak out and feel comfortable asking for change.
The following candidates did not provide complete responses to our questions. Further information on these candidates is available on the TRUSU website.