Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Photo courtesy Neelinder Sarao

SU by-election 2021: Neelinder Sarao

By Cristina Paolozzi, Sophia Lopez, Julieanne Acosta and Enobong Ukpong, October 10 2021—

The Students’ Union (SU) is holding a by-election for several different positions, one of which is the Haskayne School of Business faculty representative. The Gauntlet sat down with Neelinder Sarao to talk more about her platform and what she plans to do if elected to the position. 

Currently the interim representative, Sarao is a fourth year Haskayne student and has already facilitated and helped organize events for Haskayne students. Sarao said that one of the reasons she wanted to run in the by-election was to continue to form the relationships she had with the student population. 

“I’m passionate to speak and represent student voices,” she said. “And the fact that I was able to advocate for students, especially given the changes that were happening with course deliveries — the work itself was really fruitful.” 

Sarao specifically said that a highlight of her time as interim representative was leading Haskayne’s Campus Expo this year to introduce both first and second year students to the program. 

Sarao plans to increase awareness and advocacy concerning tuition increases with town halls and says that her goals are to create conversations between students and the faculty concerning issues that affect the campus community. 

She plans to moderate these town halls and ask questions that students will have submitted to university administration and other community leaders, helping facilitate transparent consultation. She sees these town halls as a way to keep university administration accountable to student concerns and give students more opportunities to have their voices heard.

Sarao also plans to have these town halls livestreamed so that students who wish to remain remote will still be able to participate. 

“So I’ll be having those open conversations asking questions and obviously taking in student inputs as well,” she said. 

Sarao also spoke about her ideas surrounding equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) which involved making period products more accessible for menstruating students as well as her plan to gain funding for washroom renovations in Scurfield Hall. 

While promises for renovations are popular platform points during SU elections, she said her plan was to secure funding through the Quality Money program in which she has already started the application process. 

Her plan to have more accessible period products for Haskayne students comes from a personal stigma she has overcome, and wants to be able to have open conversations around intimate topics. 

“I’m just trying to get the conversation on menstruation going and just removing that kind of stigma,” she said. “Because it’s uncomfortable to talk about and I’ve overcome that personally.”    

Overall, Sarao’s platform points are attainable, and a continuation of much of the work she has already done in her short time as interim representative.   

Online voting in the SU by-election will take place Oct. 13–15 and can be done through the myUofC Student Centre. Voting begins at 9 a.m. on Oct. 13 and closes at 4 p.m. on Oct. 15. To learn more about Neelinder Sarao and her campaign check out her and the other candidates’ platforms online. All undergraduate students registered for the Fall 2021 semester are eligible to vote.


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