By Kristy Koehler, September 13 2019—
In an effort to introduce new — or even continuing — students to representatives in the Students’ Union and in the Students’ Legislative Council, the Gauntlet is running the series, ‘Who’s Who in the SU.’ We introduced you to the executives, now let’s meet the Faculty Representatives. Faculty of Arts Representative Justin Gotta tells his story.
The Gauntlet: What do you do in your role?
Justin Gotta: As Faculty of Arts Representative, my primary role is to give the students in my faculty a voice on Students’ Legislative Council, Students’ Unions Committees as well as various other university committees. In my role, it’s important to maintain a positive relationship with faculty members as we act as a liaison between students and our faculty as we voice students’ concerns and interests to prominent faculty members. On top of all this, as Arts Representatives, we push forward our platform ideas to make a positive impact on student life in our faculty.
G: Why did you run for your role?
JG: Student politics have always been an interest of mine and something I wanted to get in too. I’ve always seen myself as somewhat of a ‘doer’ and after hearing many students’ comments and concerns about our campus, I decided to run to help solve various student issues. As well as all this, I believed in my vision for a better campus life and decided to run to put that vision into action.
G: What do you specifically plan to do within your role?
JG: Within my role, I look to overhaul the SU Online Exam Bank to bring more practice exams to our faculty by expanding it for more departments and getting clubs that provide practice exams involved with our online exam bank. I’m also looking to bring a textbook fair to our faculty in order to provide an easy place to buy and sell textbooks at affordable prices. One of my goals I am excited to pursue is to introduce a summer internship and employment fair to the Faculty of Arts to help students find summer employment by inviting various businesses to showcase their employment opportunities and internships. Last but not least, I look to renovate the spaces around the Arts Lounge to make a more enjoyable commons space for students in my faculty to meet, hang out and study.
G: For someone who doesn’t know what Students’ Legislative Council is, how would you describe it? And how would you describe what it does?
JG: Right off the bat it’s important to say that SLC is nothing like Parliament or a city council. Instead, we are a bunch of representatives and executives working together at the very top of the SU chain of command to improve student life. What we do is approve any major changes to how the SU functions — budget, policy, Quality Money — so we can better improve the functionality of the SU and ultimately improve student life.
G: A year from now, when you are done your role, what do you want to look back on and see?
JG: When I’m done my role I look to leave with my successors and faculty a summer internship and employment fair that will help students kick start their careers and leave an ever-lasting impact not just on the faculty but students’ lives moving forward as they enter the world. In the end, I look to leave not just a positive impact on the faculty but the lives of the students within it, even past their graduation.
I also look to leave a positive impact on students in their studies. I know many students love to use practice exams to study so I really want to improve our online exam bank to make sure students have proper access to these resources to help improve their time studying.
G: What’s one thing that you’ve learned now that you wish you had learned in the past?
JG: I wish I learned about the people that make the SU and its businesses function before my campaign. I thought at the start of my campaign that student reps could just easily walk in and just change how stuff in the SU or its businesses run, but now seeing how we employ many wonderful and hardworking full-time staff to do this job for us is great because they are always happy to take in new ideas to help improve our already great businesses!
G: How can students get in contact with you if they need you?
JG: Students can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to pick up one of my business cards at the SU office where they can get my phone number if they need to call! I am always happy to set up meetings with students at their request.