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SLC musical chairs continues as SU looks for new arts representative

By Tina Shaygan, November 1 2017 —

One of the four Faculty of Arts representative positions on Students’ Legislative Council is vacant after Puncham Judge’s unanimous appointment to Students’ Union vice-president external position. This vacancy will be filled by the SU Nominations Committee and applications are open to all undergraduate arts students until Nov. 10.

SU vice-president operations and finance Ryan Wallace — who also chairs Nominations Committee — said the committee is looking for someone with diverse experience and a leadership background.

“That is the way Nomination Committee’s questions are shaped. It’s just trying to get a better understanding of [the candidate’s] people skills and ability to work with other people,” Wallace said. “We want to make sure they’re able to start running with the rest of the representatives.”

According to Wallace, Nominations Committee will appoint a subcommittee to review the applications and conduct interviews. The subcommittee will then recommend a candidate to Nominations Committee, who will, in turn, make their recommendation to SLC. The process will be finalized after SLC votes on the resolutions.

Wallace added that it is essential that candidates have a realistic understanding of the scope of the position. He said those interested in applying should reach out to current elected officials to get an idea of what they can accomplish during their term.

“I think it’s important that they come in with that strong foundation of understanding the position so they can start on their goals,” he said.

Current SU arts representative Sumaira Islam said connecting and engaging with students has been a fulfilling experience.

“Being able to work in such a great community and plan events and actually see where you think there are things lacking in the faculty and make improvements on it, I think it’s a really big accomplishment,” she said.

Islam added that for her, drive and passion are the most important qualities for the new arts representative.

“A good candidate is someone who is passionate, has an idea of how to engage with the arts faculty and students,” she said.

Islam said some of the initiatives current SU arts representatives are working on are implementing an Arts Career Fair, hosting a town hall and engaging with members of the faculty.

Faculty of Arts Students’ Association (FASA) vice-president communications Drew Thomas said SU arts representatives fulfil a unique role within the organization. FASA is the official academic club of the Faculty of Arts and includes six executives and representatives for each department in the faculty, as well as SU arts representatives as honourary members. FASA also hosts events like the annual Arts Gala, represents students on Faculty Council and engages with the Faculty of Arts dean’s office.

“One of the great things about having arts reps engage with FASA is that we both get to know what the other one is working on and it allows us to be a little bit more agile in what students are looking for and what we need to complete,” Thomas said.

Thomas added that there are a variety of ideas new candidates could bring forward.

“For me, one of the most important issues is making sure that arts students are getting the most out of their elected officials,” he said. “Try to find something that the other current arts representatives, who are working really hard, haven’t done yet and try to fill that niche.”

Applications for the SU arts representative position can be found here.

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