Jonah Feng gave a very impressive interview. It is clear he deeply understands the issues facing not only students in the Faculty of Nursing, but the challenges faced upon graduation.
Feng is well-versed in the culture of nursing at the University of Calgary and has made every effort to connect himself with the undergraduate nursing groups on campus. This experience positions him well to represent students and make an impact on the faculty with the wider platform of the SU behind him. He draws heavily on his own experience in junior years and knows what changes need to be made in order for students to have the best experience possible in the Faculty of Nursing. He is well aware that many people view nursing as an “in-hospital” job and he plans to show students that there are other opportunities in the field as well, whether that’s by hosting lunch and learns or connecting students with upper-year and graduated mentors.
Feng’s keen observation that the NCLEX practice exams offered to nursing students are no longer free and that some students take these multiple times before sitting the real exam is insightful and he plans to work hard to find an alternative or negotiate competitive pricing. This is perhaps a lofty goal, but the recognition of the problem shows a good first step to making it happen.
When asked what sets him apart form his competition, he gave a classy and composed answer, complimenting the platform of his competitor. What does set him apart, however, is how well-rounded he is. Feng not only understands the academic challenges facing nursing students, but is also aware of the need for mental health initiatives and some fun events to bring people together. His knowledge of the political climate facing nurses after graduation and his desire to set students up for success is admirable.
Feng is personable, diplomatic and incredibly knowledgeable. There’s no reason not to cast a vote his way.
Dorsa Zamanpour is a very well-intentioned candidate who shows empathy, care and passion for her faculty and the students within it. Her platform is mainly focused on improving the student experience from a social standpoint and lacks depth and understanding of the academic issues facing her faculty.
It’s evident that Zamanpour has put time and plenty of thought into the events she wants to host and was able to tell us exactly why each event would be a beneficial. She has a well thought-out plan to host each one and these range from yoga with baby animals to spa days to a pancake day. She’s aware that mental health is important and believes that these events would go a long way to helping nursing students de-stress. Her ideas are fun and thoughtful.
She understands that collaboration is important and said that she doesn’t want to be confined to her platform, citing the need to listen to the students in her faculty.
One of the more puzzling ideas in her platform was a nursing-only textbook buy-and-sell platform. She didn’t seem to realize the problem with cannibalizing an existing SU business, Bound and Copied, stating that any lost revenue would be negligible because “it’s just one faculty.” Despite there being many other platforms available to buy and sell textbooks, Zamanpour is very focused on this point.
Zamanpour has done her homework and consulted with students but the solutions she has come up with are slightly misguided. She’s relatively unaware of the SU’s current structure and function, by her own admission.
It was impossible not to like Zamanpour’s calm demeanor and caring approach. She clearly wants to make positive change within her faculty. She would be someone who passionately listens to the students in her faculty and pours her heart into the role. Unfortunately, she’s naive about the political climate facing nurses upon graduation and lacks the ability to strongly advocate for students.
Remember, the supplement constitutes the opinions of our panel — it’s important that you read the candidate’s platforms on the SU’s website, interact with those running for positions, ask questions and make up your own minds about who deserves your vote!