Running for vice president for student life
Major: political science
Below are excerpts from an interview with The Western Front.
Why do you want to run for the AS?
“Basically I, like many other students on campus, don’t feel safe. I want to make Western a safe and inclusive place for everyone. I want them to know they are important and their lives are important.”
What would that safety and inclusivity look like if you were elected?
“More inclusivity with the students and AS. I feel like a lot of people don’t even know what the AS can do for them. I want it to be a more public entity where the AS is involved with the students more and have their voices be heard, and implement it. So basically serving the students, which is what this position is meant to do.
What specific issues are you focused on tackling?
“Coming from a family of migrant people, some undocumented, [undocumented student advocacy] is a big issue for me. I understand the feeling of not being safe, not knowing what can happen to you at any moment and being separated from your family and friends, so it’s definitely one of my stronger issues.
“I’ve talked to many students who are on edge constantly because of the current administration of the United States, and it shouldn’t be that way. It’s not acceptable for them to not feel comfortable on campus, because they are there to learn, to better their lives and the lives of other people, and they deserve that opportunity.”
How would you address the issue of undocumented student safety on campus?
“Correct me if I’m wrong, but Western as a whole isn’t a sanctuary campus. There are places, I believe, that are part of sanctuary campus, but I’d like to make Western as a whole a sanctuary campus. That way, students can come to school and know that Western wants to work with them and for them.
“I’ve been looking into [how to implement this], but I’d definitely, after elected, have a lot more resources, time and availability to do that.”
What are your qualifications?
“I’ve been involved with many clubs on campus and I’ve had leadership roles in those clubs, such as the French Club. I’ve been involved in student government at the high school level, and those skills that I learned from that transfer to the skills needed to lead students.”
What other marginalized communities, as your mission statement describes, would you fight for in this position?
“Definitely the LGBTQ community. I’m a bisexual man, and that’s a big problem for me, especially for bi people who are often disregarded by their own community. I want to advocate for them as well. Same with women and the different things that’ve been happening on campus involving sexual assault, I’m here for them as well.”
Your mission statement described advocating for housing, transport and the environment. How would you address these issues?
“Housing would have to do with the RA issue of being safe on campus. I went to the meeting last night and the issue I heard was that some have multiple keys to get in [dorm buildings] and others only have one for the door to outside, so I feel like we could work on that to maybe make it a gated place, that way there’s an extra level of security for them.
“Right now, with the new bus schedule and times, I know people have been having difficulties with working around it, since they switched up the whole route system. I’d like to talk to the WTA. My dad works for them, and he goes to the monthly meetings for their union which I’d be able to attend and have that open forum to make it more helpful for the students and the faculty that ride the bus to get to school.”
Do you have any final words you’d like to share?
“I just want people to know that I’m running for them. I want Western to be a great experience for them. You’re paying a lot of money and you should have a say in how your college experience goes.”
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