The election takes place online between June 2 and June 4
The University of Ottawa’s partial senatorial election will take place from June 2 to June 4 via online voting.
The partial election aims to fill seven student seats, for seven of the university’s faculties. The Student Representative on the Senate’s main function is to provide a liaison between the administration and the student body of his faculty so that the student perspective from his faculty may be better taken into account in executive academic decisions on campus.
The Fulcrum gathered short biographies on each of the 19 candidates running for a Senate seat in this election. Unless otherwise indicated, the following statements were provided by the candidates to the Fulcrum via email or Facebook. Some of the quotes have been shortened and edited for length and comprehension reasons.
Faculty of Arts
“My name is Celina Seguin, I am a second-year Communications and English student running to be our Senator for the Faculty of Arts. I wish to pursue my passion for student advocacy through this role by being a supportive and contributing partner in the activities of the Senate.
My focus is to be actively engaged in the decision-making process to make each student’s post-secondary experience a successful one, particularly through prioritizing students’ accessibility to mental health resources, maximizing student success with distance learning formats, and broadening opportunities for experiential learning.
With my vision, voice, and values, I am committed to serving our U of O student community and hope to have the opportunity to represent you as Senator for the Faculty of Arts.”
“My name is Tina, and I am running for Senate because I am committed to working for you and ensuring that our Senate is as diverse as our student body.
I will summarize my platform into three main points
- I firstly want to push for more student career programs and CO-OP opportunities for Arts students because your professional development is important.
- I also want to ensure that online classes are up to university standards, and I will advocate for recognition of the fluidity of the current learning environment, as well as suggesting accommodations so that everyone can benefit from online courses.
- Last but not least, I believe that mental health is a priority no matter where you are: I will oversee academic policies and advocate for opening the discussion on mental health with SASS, students, teachers and the administrative body.
Having worked on the Hill, in an international law firm and a national think-tank, I know how to navigate academic and administrative policies and procedures. I want to be your voice for student representation.”
“My name is Haiyi Yan, and I am a third-year undergraduate student of the Faculty of Arts, majoring in Second Language Teaching, minoring in English.
I value the multicultural campus environment of the University of Ottawa very much. At the U of O, international and ethnic minority students make up a large proportion of the student population. Therefore, I want to attach great importance to the essential role of language and culture in undergraduate students’ learning experience.
Since the U of O is inclusive and committed to providing an equal learning environment for international students, ethnic minorities and sexual minorities, I would give special attention to the study and living environments of the LGBTQIA+ community and all minority students.
I have been serving as a student senator since 2019 and have a lot of experience voicing and fighting for Arts students in the University of Ottawa senate. I believe if I am re-elected, under the joint efforts of Arts students and I, a better Arts 2021 can definitely be created.”
Faculty of Engineering
Frank Farhang Amini
“Frank (he/him) is a multidimensional candidate who has seen many sides of university life through his extracurricular activities on campus and the local community.
He has served youth in the National Capital Region for the past three years through determined advocacy at both grassroots and executive levels. Frank is detailed and thorough in his communication and plans to continue his campaign Instagram (if elected) throughout the year to keep students updated on what is happening at the Senate level.
Just as he did as VP Equity & Transparency for ChESS, he aims to introduce himself to students by giving class talks and proactively asking for their feedback and direction. Regardless of which candidate you pick, please read our bios and remember to vote!”
“Hello, my name is Hervé, your bilingual representative for the faculty of Engineering Council. I am now running to represent the faculty at the university Senate.
My focus is on more career opportunities, student’s mental health and the promotion of Engineering at the University of Ottawa. While focusing on those areas, I will also attentively listen to and advocate for all of your other concerns.
Vote for me! And feel free to reach out if you have any questions.”
Faculty of Law
“Sabrina is entering her final year in the English Common Law Program. In her second year, Sabrina was elected to her faculty’s student government as Vice-President of Social Affairs, where she chaired the Social Committee in planning various faculty events including first-year Orientation and Graduation Ball.
Serving as a teaching assistant for both “Public and Constitutional Law” and “Legal Foundations” this past year, Sabrina understands the importance of sound academic management, especially pertaining to access and equity issues.
The Senate’s responsibility is especially important during this unprecedented time where critical educational policies are being decided. Sabrina is committed to providing a voice for students by serving as an effective liaison between law students and the Senate Committee.”
Daniel Chow, the second candidate running for the seat in the Faculty of Law, provided the following statement to the Fulcrum by Facebook.
“This year, when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in Canada, I applied to become a volunteer in Ottawa and Montreal hospitals affected by the virus, in order to help as much as possible and make my societal contribution, despite not being a health professional. This experience I now have under my belt was the catalyst for my Senate candidature.
Considering the many tragedies that have taken place on campus – notably due to mental health issues – as Fauteux representative, I would like to fight at the Senate level on students’ behalf for a review of policies to support mental health and reduce anxiety within our faculty.
Furthermore, I recognize that we are currently living through an unprecedented event in COVID-19. As such, the U of O is now faced with a myriad of new education policy questions that have never before been answered. For example, why should one professor allow a group project and another, a timed and proctored exam? How should the university react and aid a low-income law student with his newly found technology needs? As a Senate candidate, my contribution on this front would be to voice students’ concerns and opinions regarding this “new normal” to the people making things happen at the U of O. At the same time, I assure you that fundamental issues such as equal access to services, as well as principles of non-discrimination will not be forgotten. You have my word.
As a candidate to the Senate, my main focus would be on the crippling problem of mental health and personal well-being, as well as educational policy questions. However, I also have the technical know-how to address other issues, because I am now a three L, so please let me know if there is anything else I should look into.
On a personal note, I want to mention that I am completely bilingual and can also communicate with students in a multitude of other languages. In the spirit of full disclosure, I hope that my campaign will help to bring civil and common law students closer together in terms of meeting our shared goals.”
Faculty of Medicine
“First off, my name is Adrian Bailey. I am a second-year medical student at the University of Ottawa and previously graduated from the Biotechnology program, in the extended French stream. I have worked in various basic science laboratories during my undergraduate. I was chosen to represent my graduating class as Valedictorian in 2018 and was awarded the silver medal for my academic achievements. I have worked on research projects in nephrology, orthopedics, hematology, and general surgery.
My passions include research, education, and mental-health. If elected into the faculty senate, I plan to propose and support initiatives to counteract the current OSAP cuts to our education and to endorse the expansion and increased pay of student research positions across the university.
In addition, I believe student access to mental health services should continue to be a priority for the University, especially in these uncertain times. Lastly, I strongly feel that improvements to the university’s online education platforms are needed to counteract lost in-person learning opportunities.
“Bryce Bogie is an MD/Ph.D. student running to represent all Faculty of Medicine students on the University of Ottawa Senate. Bryce is a strong proponent of student representation across all levels of the institutional hierarchy at the University of Ottawa.
Bryce is running for this particular seat because he wants to advocate for an evidence-based response to the current mental health crisis; propose a streamlined process to accessibility and accommodation procedures in the Faculty of Medicine; propose the creation and development of health care and research programs in the Faculty of Medicine (e.g., a Physician Assistant Education Program); advocate for tuition support and relief, along with increased funding for research students; contribute to improved teaching and learning policies with respect to didactic learning, distance learning, and in-person clinical and research training; maintain open and transparent communication between the Senate and the Faculty of Medicine students; and improve the Faculty of Medicine’s emergency response policies and procedures to, for example, a global pandemic.”
Carlie Boisvert, the third candidate running for the seat in the Faculty of Medicine, provided the following statement to the Fulcrum by email.
“During my four years of engaging in student politics, including a term on the Board of Governors in 2016-2018, I learned to rely on a collaborative approach.”
“I welcome discussions and ideas to ensure that my goals always fit students’ needs! I look forward to collaborating with the Faculty and other student reps to improve mental health support and programs, improve academic accommodation measures, provide options regarding a return to in-person laboratory research, advocate for flexible class options for the fall semester (online / in-person) and support the creation of the first French undergraduate doctorate program in pharmacy, in a province other than Quebec.”
“I will be fully transparent throughout my mandate by providing regular updates and I will be advocating in both official languages!”
Faculty of Science
“My name is Maya Elkbouli and I am running to be the Faculty of Science Senate for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Throughout the past two years at the University of Ottawa, I and my fellow peers have faced many issues and concerns and this motivated me to take on this position. I want to advocate for three main topics: improvement of mental health support, increasing the flexibility of academic regulations, and increasing financial support by reducing tuition fees and increasing scholarships and bursaries.
I want, as a student representative, to take students’ opinions and concerns and bring them to meetings during the decision making process. Please contact me if you have any questions.”
“My name is Chantal MacLean, and I’m going into my second year of Biomedical Science in the Extended French Stream! I’m passionate about student government, and this fall, I was elected as one of the first year reps on the Student Science Association!
As Faculty of Science Senator, my main goals would be to work towards more inclusion and transparency in the U of O’s academic policies and increase mental health services!
If you have any questions or want to learn more about my platform, don’t hesitate to contact me.”
“My name is Caleb Rudyk and I am a fourth-year U of O student in biopharmaceutical science. I am running in the upcoming election for the position of Undergraduate Representative for the Faculty of Science in the Senate for the 2020-2021 academic term.
I believe I am an ideal candidate for this position given my wide range of experiences and skills that have prepared me to effectively represent the interests of the science undergraduate student body at the University of Ottawa.
I am completely bilingual, and able to actively communicate with anglophone and francophone students as well as with other members of the Senate. I am also continually looking for new ways to make a positive difference in the community, and I will be sure to bring in many great ideas should I be elected as science undergraduate representative in the Senate.
I want to make sure that science students continue to have access to great opportunities and that they can continue to study towards their goals regardless of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you and stay healthy!”
“My name is Anjaliya Sonnilal and I’m entering my fourth year of Biotechnology as of Fall 2020. My goal is to promote an equitable campus as much as possible, where regardless of your race, upbringings, nationality, gender or sexuality, everyone has equal access and chance to excel in the subject of their choice.
Overall, I strive to bring a positive change in all aspects of my life, and I believe that promoting positivity and open communication across our campus can one day lead to a more equitable one. During my three years at the University of Ottawa, I’ve made it my goal to integrate myself in the student life as much as possible, having had the pleasure of sitting on the Science Student Association and being a member of Delta Delta Delta.”
Christelle St-Pierre, the fifth candidate running for the seat in the Faculty of Science, provided the following statement to the Fulcrum by Facebook.
“I would like to bring changes for the future students of the Faculty of Science so that they can have the opportunities that I would have wanted.
These changes (include) more opportunities for research projects, more classes available in French for fourth-year courses, (an) increase (in) the financial aid available for students, as well as increasing the resources available for mental health.”
Faculty of Health Science
“My name is Sarah Aly and I’m re-running to represent the Faculty of Health Sciences on the University of Ottawa Senate.
Over the past year, I have had the pleasure of working alongside other student representatives in order to advocate for choices in the student populations’ best interest. My passion for student involvement is evident through my role as Board of Director on the University of Ottawa Students’ Union for the previous and current term, in addition to my roles in various student clubs and organizations across campus.
Seeking re-election to my position in the Senate, some of the issues I hope to continue to address include better mental health services, CO-OP opportunities for HSS, HK, etc., financial support through scholarships and bursaries as well as reduced tuition costs. Feel free to check out my platform for more information.”
Harneet Cheema was unavailable for comment. The following is a summary of her platform as found on the university’s administration and governance webpage.
A second year student earning an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences, Cheema is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Interprofessional Health Association club, and has long been involved in health science clubs and competitions.
Her primary goals as Senator include transitioning laboratory-based learning online in the most effective possible manner, ensuring the quality of a Health Sciences education is not degraded by the pandemic. She also aims to provide a voice that promotes equality in the interests of Health Science students.
Jameel Kara, the third candidate running for the seat in the Faculty of Health Sciences, he provided the following statement to the Fulcrum on Facebook.
“Hello, students! I am currently running for a seat on the University of Ottawa Senate to represent the faculty of Health Sciences.
By being in the Senate, I will be able to branch further from my current role as VP Academic on the Human Kinetics Student Association and have the ability to vote on numerous policies that govern academia at our university. There are a lot of areas that I feel need improvement and so I want to do whatever I can to help academics feel less like a burden. Some of my primary areas of focus include increasing mental health support, exam schedule adjustments and reducing tuition costs.
For more information about my campaign feel free to contact me!”
Telfer School of Management
Katherine Giurguis was unavailable for comment. The following is a summary of her platform as found on the university’s administration and governance webpage.
The only candidate nominated by the Telfer School of Management, is receiving the position of Senator via an election by acclamation. She has served as a health care worker throughout the pandemic and is currently the VP external for Telfer International.
Her platform consists of three primary objectives: to address the mental health crisis on campus, reevaluate restrictions on Telfer students in terms of program and course flexibilities, and to improve the experiences of international students at the U of O.