2022 SU general election: Faculty representatives — Arts
Along with the responsibilities outlined for all SLC members, faculty representatives are accountable for Along with the responsibilities outlined for all Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) members, faculty representatives are accountable for responsibilities particular to their role including: Reporting to students of their faculty the policies, positions and programs of the Students’ Union (SU), reporting to their faculty itself (like Dean’s Council) the policies, positions and programs of the SU, representing student constituents of their faculty at SLC, representing student constituents of their faculty on university committees and reporting to the VP Academic on matters of academic importance within their faculty.
Rachel Cabalteja stepped forward for the role of Faculty of Arts representative in the hopes of easing the transition of new students to university life.
While she mainly targets first-year students with this goal, she also wants to help all students feel less lost within the community when returning back to campus.
She is well aware of SU politics, having volunteered to run campaigns in the past, and has seen the changes in SU administration over the years. She was heavily inspried to get involved after seeing her sister navigate the uncertainties of online learning.
Through in-person events, Cabalteja wants to help students slowly get comfortable in an in-person setting by talking to other students face-to-face once again.
Due to the pandemic, many clubs were no longer able to promote or even host events to the extent at which they used to, resulting in a lack of student engagement.
Cabalteja is aware of the safety concerns some students may have coming back to campus, but encourages students to embrace finding their communities as they adjust to in-person learning.
While the university is home to over 300 clubs, Cabalteja aims to increase club promotion through two main focuses — student clubs and faculty or department clubs.
She wants to focus on connecting clubs with similar interests and engaging students that way, while also focusing on networking events for clubs within the same faculty or department.
Cabalteja’s previous experiences with debate and as deputy speaker in the Student Legislative Council, make her a knowledgeable candidate who knows how student politics operate — she would do all that she can to meet the needs of Arts students.
All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Rachel Cabalteja as one of five FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.
A no-show for her Gauntlet interview, Areeba Nadeem is running uncontested for Faculty of Arts representative.
Since we were unable to interview her in time for print, we will only have her platform to go off of.
Nadeem’s platform advocates for pretty run-of-the-mill points, including creating more work experience for students, accommodations for class delivery and reducing the cost of textbooks.
After the tough academic year many U of C students have faced, these are standard goals that a typical faculty rep can sustain over the course of their term.
Nadeem states that she would like to host relevant workshops to promote different internships and research opportunities over the course of the year.
She also plans on creating more networking events where students can connect with alumni from the Arts faculty.
Nadeem will also advocate for teaching staff to upload their notes online to help create a smoother transition from online to in-person learning, as well as have instructors continue to provide recorded lectures to students.
She also would like to provide resources to create a used-textbook community on social media — which is something that currently already exists via the U of C textbook exchange on Facebook.
Overall Nadeem is a safe choice for Arts rep, and will advocate for students who have struggled throughout the pandemic.
All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Areeba Nadeem as one of five FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.
Ermia Rezaei-Afsah is running to be a Faculty of Arts representative. He hopes to talk to students and fight for solutions to the issues raised by students — one of which is food insecurity and diversity.
Rezaei-Afsah spoke about how his inspiration to run for this position was brought on by the lack of initiative he found with the current Arts reps.
He believes that running SU positions for a resume line is doing a disservice to students, especially with the level of diversity within the faculty — the biggest struggle is to properly represent all students.
Rezaei-Afsah is looking to implement a free meals program for all students by working alongside the SU Food Bank with options based on dietary needs.
He mentioned the possibility of exploring a food cooperative, but while researching this initiative, found that this would require changes to the SU’s constitution and ultimitely believes it is not feasible.
In addition, he wants to make sure that students have more options for halal and kosher food around campus and specifically in Mac Hall.
He hopes to push for more affordable and accessible options for students over his term.
Rezaei-Afsah also hopes to fight for Arts students who haven’t been able to access the classes needed to graduate in a timely manner and wants to push university administration to fix the problem of what courses are offered and when.
Although this is his first foray into SU politics, Rezaei-Afsah wants to fight for a more equitable treatment of students.
All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Ermia Rezaei-Afsah as one of five FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.
Siraaj Shah is running uncontested to be one of the five Faculty of Arts representatives. He hopes to continue the fight against tuition hikes, boost club and student engagement and further support Quality Money projects.
His extensive background in advocacy as a student and as a licensed realtor shows that he is passionate and willing to achieve what is best for students.
Shah talked about how there is a structural problem in the provincial government and in how tuition is administered.
Shah mentioned how the vast array of programming in the Faculty of Arts is a benefit for advocacy measures, in that Arts students have incredibly unique persepctives to bring to the forefront.
To help with this, Shah looks to implement an SU working group that would unite experts specifically at the U of C to combine efforts and showcase to the university ways tuition can be reduced and how resources can still be offered at a lower cost.
Shah spoke about collaborating with SU Club executives to bring them more training opportunities so that more students would have important knowledge and skills on how to run events and workshops.
While this already exists in the form of ClubHub 101 and ClubHub 201, Shah aspires to create retreats for club executives to hone these skills.
Shah looks to work closely with other elected Arts representatives and even the next VP Student Life to achieve the goals set out in his platform.
Shah’s plans moving forward are well thought out and feasible for his term. Shah’s advocacy work in the past shows how he is a strong candidate for this role.
All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Siraaj Shah as one of five FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.
The Gauntlet was unable to contact Nathaniel Tschupruk in time for print, so we will be commenting on his online platform alone.
Tschupruk is running uncontested for the Faculty of Arts representative position and he includes three main pillars in his platform.
The first point centres around accessibility, which would see Tschupruk advocate for teaching staff to continue to post recorded lectures and notes online for students.
Tschupruk also identifies U of C as a top five research institute, however highlights that the university still struggles to provide adequate mental health services. He hopes to create more trust between students and the mental health services on campus, pushing for more funding for mental health programs.
Tschupruk’s last two pillars revolve around accountability and communication. He hopes to send out monthly surveys to students, the results of which will be shared with the university’s administration.
Tschupruk also wishes to host two town halls each academic year, as well as create a live Google Form to be added to the SU’s social media pages for constant student feedback.
It is still unclear as to what Tschupruk hopes for once this feedback is shared with the university administration, and how the consultation process will move forward given that the SU has had many conversations around student consultations this year.
Tschupruk has many actionable goals for Arts students this year. His platform indidcates he will continue to provide outlets for student feedback during his term.
All undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts can vote YES or NO on their ballot for Nathaniel Tschupruk as one of five FACULTY REPRESENTATIVE or ABSTAIN from voting.