Candidate in focus: Emiko Ohama, women’s representative

For the position of women’s representative, the candidates are Emiko Ohama and Saprina Chandi. According to the TRUSU website, the women’s representative ensures that the valuable perspectives and interests of women are represented on the Board of Directors. Chandi is a third-year bachelor of social work student and Ohama studies in the faculty of arts. We interviewed them both on their views about women’s status in the modern world, TRU’s sexual assault policy and their plans after being elected.

Emiko Ohama, women’s representative candidate with the Student Advocacy Coalition slate. (Diana Igumnova/The Omega)

Biggest issues faced by women today

“We need to work together to change the world’s biased perceptions, treatment and acceptance of our strength to truly liberate us all,” Ohama said.

For Ohama, the biggest issue facing women today is the lack of women in leadership roles.

“Women today are strong. Our biggest challenge is changing social constructs and the way the world perceives our strength,” Ohama said.

Representing women at TRU

Ohama said she’d like to strengthen community ties within TRU. She wants to do this by reaching out to local female leaders, professionals and NGOs in Kamloops to provide both mentorship and sponsorship to TRU students on a one-on-one basis.

She plans to administer a survey to WolfPack athletes, indigenous women, students with disabilities and single mothers on campus to receive feedback to better support them. In addition, she wants to continue to support the provision of female products free of charge by the Wellness Centre.

Sexual assault policy

Ohama has been a part of TRU’s Student Wellness Ambassador team where she received hands-on training by the manager in charge of the policy. She would like to continue her support for the policy and amplify it.

How has previous experience prepared you for this position?

Ohama said she networked with non-governmental agencies at the recent Commission on Status of Women Youth Forum on Gender Equality and Sustainable Development, held at the United Nations headquarters, where she said she was selected to be a representative of Canadian youth.

Over her academic career, Ohama has participated with the WolfPack, the TRU World social media ambassador team, and the TRU Health and Wellness Centre.

“My involvement creates relatability to the experience of different student groups,” she said.

In addition, she said she feels that her experience in marketing will help her connect her initiatives better with the students of TRU.