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SU election supplement 2020: Schulich School of Engineering representatives

Nabeel Amjad

Nabeel Amjad did not interview with the Gauntlet. Having not spoken with him, a thorough analysis of his platform wasn’t possible and we can only make a judgement based on the platform posted on the SU’s website.

While Amjad’s platform contains very good starting points, the ideas aren’t fully fleshed out.

He has all the trappings of a student representative, including buzzwordy concepts like transparent communication and encouraging mental health initiatives. What specifically is lacking from his platform are deliverables. He mentions making more de-stress events as a means to tackle mental health initiatives as well as working with the Engineering Student Society to expand a database on research opportunities -— nay, look to expand. What does that even mean?

Most of all, Amjad’s platform lacks a tenacity that is needed to balance faculty, student and SU needs since this sort of representative role tends to work on the precipice of all three simultaneously. The platform, though a good effort, feels recycled and without comprehension for how to accomplish these goals. 

This platform is a good launching point, but it isn’t fully realized and that’s the issue. If tweaked slightly, perhaps including more actionable items and being clear with what the platform will do, it has a fighting chance in the election. The parts are there, the execution needs work. 


Juan Sanchez Higuerey

Juan Sanchez Higuerey’s platform is mostly rooted in advocacy in minimizing damage caused by budget cuts.

Sanchez Higuerey’s platform focuses on the budget cuts primarily because of the steep 10 per cent tuition increase faced by new engineering students, as well as staffing cuts to the Maker Multiplex labs. He said he was involved with the campus club Students for Direct Action informing students on budget cuts and tuition increases and is wanting to take the next step, using the representative position to further organize against tuition increases.

Securing staffing in the Maker Multiplex labs is Sanchez Higuerey’s main goal, citing the significance of experiential learning to engineering students. Though he acknowledges it would be a hard ask, considering staffing has already been cut, he hopes to work closely with the Dean to do their best to find a way to staff the space since they are so important to students.

“I care deeply about making the student experience a great one.”

Sanchez Higuerey also hopes to mitigate the loss of mandatory fees to the Engineering Students’ Society through the SU, as any help would “enrich the engineering student experience.” 

Sanchez Higuerey said he’ll be a fierce voice against upcoming tuition increases and budget cuts, and is ready to stand up for students. Overall, he’d be a competent choice for engineering rep owing to his past work in student advocacy and his knowledge of the issues that are impacting students at Schulich.


Bharat Uppal

Bharat Uppal did not interview with the Gauntlet. Having not spoken with him, a thorough analysis of his platform wasn’t possible and we can only make a judgement based on the platform posted on the SU’s website.

Mental health features prominently in Uppal’s platform and his plan to work with the Engineering Students’ Society to bring wellness workshops and resources to Schulich. 

Networking with industry players and making connections is an often overlooked part of the student experience and a welcome addition to Uppal’s platform. 

We wish he’d addressed a plan for staffing the MakerSpace, because it’s an area that engineering students are clearly concerned about. We also wish he would have addressed tuition increases and budget cuts in some way. 

Uppal has pledged to be available to students via multiple forms of communication, a commendable. He has experience in communications and seems like an approachable candidate who will put the work into this role. He has demonstrated in past roles that, at least communicatively, he tried to get information out to engineering students. 

Overall, his platform seems doable and crafted with care. Focusing on immediate, actionable items shows an understanding on what he can realistically accomplish in a one-year term. He makes his case as a passionate candidate to represent engineering 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!



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