TRUSU Election: candidate questions

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?

candidate26Melissa Gordon


(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.


candidate22Assetou Coulibaly


(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.


candidate24Jordan Robinson


(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.


candidate20Hlazo Chansa

VP internal

(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.


candidate19Meshari Alanazi

VP internal

(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.


candidate18Ryan Makar

VP finance

(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.


candidate17Mwansa Lembalemba Kaunda

VP finance

(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.

candidate21Kenna Sim

VP external

(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.


candidate25Amber Storvold

VP External

(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.


candidate23Christopher Herbert

VP External

(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.


candidate16Dana Prymak

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.


candidate15Tsungai Mhembere

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.


candidate14Ivan Egorov

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.


candidate13Julian Simpson


(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.


candidate12Paige Bernard

Women’s rep

(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.


candidate11Rayne Wilson

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.


candidate10Sonya 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!


candidate09Abdullah Aloshaiwan


(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.


candidate08Alex Hanna


(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.


candidate07Cameron Staff


(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.


candidate06Eric Rankin


(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.


candidate05Hope Mikal


(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.


candidate04Robert Wisla


(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.


candidate03Noel Braganza


(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.


candidate02Santi Swain


(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.


candidate01Sierra Rae


(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.