Asking CSU candidates the tuff questions

The Fall 2009 elections for the CSU executive committees are in full swing, and it’s up to the students at Capilano University to decide which student will be elected for each position.
The 10 positions up for election are Educational Issues Coordinator, Environmental Issues Coordinator, First Nations Students’ Liaison, Queer Students’ Liaison, Social Activities Liaison, Students of Colour Liaison, Students with Disabilities Liaison, and Women’s Liaison. Although four of these positions only have one candidate running, those candidates still need to be voted in if they are to take the position. The candidates were interviewed and asked several questions about their plans for this year if they are to be elected.
So read on, and don’t forget to vote!
Voting will take place in the Birch Cafeteria on Monday, October 5 from 11 am to 6 pm, Tuesday, October 6 from 10 am to 4 pm, and Wednesday, October 7 from 8 am to 4 pm. please bring your student I.D. in order to be able to vote.

We asked the Candidates:

What is the activity or event you are most excited about
putting on if you are elected?

Why should students be interested in this committee?

What sets you apart from the other candidates? or if there
are no other candidates, why should people vote for you?

environmental issues coordinator

Mathew Bakker


1. The event I am most excited about is the “Do It In The Dark party”. Whatever energy is needed for this party, say for a band or DJ, will be supplied by bikes hooked up to generators and light is supplied by candles. Food, beverages and possibly beer would be local and/or organic. There would be a dance floor up front, and a “tree fort” with hammocks in the back for people to chill in.
2. Environmental and sustainability issues impact everyone’s life. This committee is at the forefront of environmental action on campus and provides a great way for students to act on issues that spark them. plus, the positive and passionate spirits held by committee members and the collaborative and supportive decision making processes ensure that everyone has a great time.
3. I have a lot of experience and can easily turn vision into action. Besides volunteering with the CSU’s Environmental Issues Committee for all of last year I capitalized on the opportunities provided by provincial Bill 44, starting up the goBeyond chapter at Cap and successfully holding the goBeyond Teach-In in March 2009, an event which engaged 1000+ Cap students in climate change dialogue and problem solving. I continued my green activism at Cap leading a group of Cap students at the global Wake-up Call Flash Mob in front of MP Andrew Saxton’s office on Sept 21, 2009. I will continue to empower students to create change.

Brandon Yau

1. To be completely honest, the reason why I decided to run for the environmental issues liaison was not to plan these amazingly fun events or activities. I ran because I’m passionate about the environment and I feel it’s pertinent to make change. As a result, I’m much more interested in campaigning for and working towards the incorporation of ‘green thinking’ at all levels of the university, ultimately leading to a fundamental shift in the way we live our lives.
2. I think students should be interested in environmental issues because it affects them. No matter how disengaged one may feel from the natural world, you cannot escape the reality of our impact on the environment and how the environment impacts our lives. Additionally, the natural world is such an amazingly beautiful, complex, breathtaking system. For this reason alone, people should embrace their inner biophilia (look it up!).
3. I think what sets me apart from other candidates is my approach to environmental activism.
I believe that there is no distinction between environmentalism and human rights. On a practical level, I think this makes environmental issues more concrete and campaignable, adding much more weight to the argument for sustainability.

Kenan Sungar
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1. The activity I am looking forward to organizing for the Environmental issues committee is an awareness campaign about issues which are B.C. specific, such as sustainability, local food issues, and the collapsing forests and salmon stocks. This campaign would run with groups outside the college and show students what is being done locally and provincially by activist groups.
2. I love the Environmental issues committee, I have been involved with it for four years. It has been a part of my life at Capilano since I started, and affects students every 0day. I think the committee needs to do difficult work, but it is work that is fun and rewarding. I hope to be able to bring fun events to the committee that encourage people to want to be involved.
3. I have been on the committee for four years, twice the length of any of my opponents. I really love the environment and find sustainability work to be the most rewarding. I have over five years of volunteer experience at CFRO Co-op radio working on promoting local issues, activism, and music. I think the committee could benefit from my leadership and experience. I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to work for the students of the campus on sustainability and environmental issues.

Students With disabilities Liaison
Shaun Stewart

1. I am excited about the Halloween party which will be on Oct 29th from 4:00 till whenever the Courier/CSU party starts. In the past, the Stand up comedy for mental health has always been good with a great turn out. Also, power wheelchair soccer has also been requested so I intend to put some energy into that as well.
2. There are many disabilities among the students at Capilano. Some of us don’t want to admit it, and we shouldn’t have to hide. Making time to help people with or without disabilities, with understanding as the backbone, is one of the measures of good people.
3. The people involved in my committee and I helped keep buses on purcell as a new bus loop was needed because of the Upass. A centralized bus stop for 239 Cap U was needed because the new bus loop was way on the top side of the campus and difficult to access for people with mobility issues.

Queer students Liaison

Mark Lee

1. I’m most excited to get a monthly bowling event going. Queer or Straight, everybody loves bowling.
2. No other committee on campus offers phenomenal fashion and sex advice, in a safe and understanding environment.
3. I get right down to business in everything I do, and I don’t let up until the desired result is achieved!

Patrick Surette

1. The first, bringing in a speaker such as Augusten Burroughs, who speaks on true equality and feeling good about who ever you are; Irene Monroe, who speaks about some roles religion plays in discrimination; or Jennifer Finney Boylan, who speaks on the transition of becoming a woman from a man. I think bringing in a public speaker who has plenty of knowledge on their topic would be excellent for Capilano U and surrounding schools. I also would like to see cultural viewing events. This could include going to see a Queer Film, going to art shows, going to cafes for open mic nights, or even putting on fund-raising shows.
2. Students should be interested in this committee not only because Queer people are a main part of our society, but it could be a lot of fun, too.
Also, being involved in this committee would allow people to explore areas that they may not know too much about and it would allow them to ask certain questions about the Queer peoples or even themselves.
3. I believe I am very passionate about Queer issues being that I am gay myself. Everything that happens in the government, public, or even certain social groups that involves queer people affects me either directly or indirectly. I also plan on creating a larger sense of community at Capilano University. I believe that that is one of the biggest issues all of our campus faces. There are certain social cliques that are segregated by them selves and I believe that we all should band together and create one gIANT FORCE against oppression and exclusion of many different social groups.

Jeremy Menard
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1. I plan to organize a sort of pride week where there will be all sort of activities. Just to name a few (still brain storming): A T-dance somewhere in the school, and discussions with queer students where they share their feelings on what it is like to be queer.
2. I think students should be interested in this committee because a lot of students probably don’t even understand what it is to be gay. Something that I find very discouraging is the fact that gay or lesbian people don’t feel comfortable expressing their emotions or even holding hands with the same sex out in public. My dream is to one day see all sorts of homosexual people just being themselves, without having worry about what other people are thinking. people just need to understand that “All you need is love.”-John Lennon; The Beatles.
3. I spent half of my life in Vancouver and the other half of my life in Quebec. I went to one of the few English speaking high schools in a small town called Richmond (in Quebec). After I graduated, I decided to escape for a couple years, so I went to Montreal. Not knowing where to apply myself I ended up doing something that no one would imagine possible; stripping! I did that for maybe a year until I started feeling degraded, and got a job at a coffee house. Overall, I have had a lot of experience in Vancouver and Montreal which makes me qualified for this position.

Keith Van
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1. I would be most interested in getting students involved, whether it be getting the Board of governors to repeal the bylaw prohibiting booze on campus so there can be a college pub or beer gardens, or helping to develop a course on sexuality studies to academically engage the community in gLBT issues. Awareness is a priority concern of mine, and I think developing a strategic approach to student involvement would benefit all students at Capilano, not just GLBT students.
2. Students should be interested in this committee because it’s awesome! I think that any GLBT students (and their allies) should definitely get involved, get to know each other, and network. Capilano is not a big school, and it would be the biggest shame to leave Capilano without befriending or acquainting with fellow students. There are also opportunities and social activities involved, so it’s a mix of both fun and work.
3. I have prior experience working as a director in the Capilano Students’ Union and have been on the Senate at Capilano, so I am experienced and knowledgeable about the issues involved and what can be accomplished by students. I am goal-oriented, and have an agenda that is both ambitious and able to be accomplished. While all my fellow candidates are of high calibre, I believe I have the most concrete objectives in my platform this election. I would like to see results and work done.

Camille Noullett

1. I look forward to meeting with the whole Women’s Collective group to plan and organize events if I’m elected. I anticipate some of the possibilities could be events promoting awareness of issues facing women, and holding donation drives for community organizations addressing those issues.
2. The Women’s Collective should be of interest to students, especially women students, because it allows them the opportunity to access resources and a community of peers to help them get involved in the social issues they observe and experience in their lives.
3. I have been involved previously with the Women’s Collective at Capilano, have experience working within various governance models in a number of organizations, and have a broad knowledge of feminist issues.

 Sarah Vitet

1. First of all, I’d like to hold an open-house event in the Women’s lounge so that everyone can be aware of where it is and what it’s purposes are. I’m also interested in starting a movement to promote safer sex work in the lower mainland.
2. You don’t have to be a woman to care about women’s issues, and I’m eager to encourage anyone who is interested to participate. The women’s collective deals with issues that apply not only to women’s lives globally, but to the female students at Cap as well. There are a lot of women at Cap, and that means a lot of voices. Everyone should get involved in some capacity so that every voice can be heard.
3. I’m young, eager to learn and passionate about the position.

First Nations Liaison

Linda Epp

1. I am extremely excited about hosting another Aboriginal Awareness Week or month. Last March was very successful but not a good time of year to host it since it was during final exams. We have quite a few new First Nations students on campus and it is great to get them involved and feel proud of our ancestry. As well, I put forward a letter to the Capilano Executives wishing to honour the traditional territory of Capilano University and Chief Capilano by putting traditional signage around campus.
2. We deal with an enormous amount of issues pertaining to Aboriginal people and the communities we live in. We collectively gather to honour our Elders, to feast and support one another during our academic time here at Capilano University.
3. I have learned a lot over the past year as FN rep and would like to continue moving forward, representing the Aboriginal students locally, nationally and provincially. I am dedicated to helping out the FN students by providing a safe, comfortable place for us to study.

educational issues coordinator

Noah Fine

1. At our last Educational Issues Committee meeting we discussed planning a series of activities to raise awareness of students issues at Capilano, in BC and across Canada. We discussed outlining bodies of students in chalk throughout the campus like a crime scene and beside the body write a different fact about cost of being a student. Alongside the chalk outline we will be distributing handbills that have more facts and details for a forum we will hold with presentations and discussion about Educational Issues. I think this will be a great way to get students involved in the committee and help build a united student body that can work together to make being a student easier.
2. getting an education is becoming more a privilege instead of a basic right. All of these costs of just going to school are only a part of students overall costs which include rent, transit, food etc.
As students we have a basic uniting factor: We’re students! I think students should be interested in the Educational Issues Committee because it is a place where we can come together and get work done that affect and benefits us all. Let’s unite and make being a student better!
3. A coordinator of any committee must be developed in two parallel fields. The first, to be able to focus on the details of an issue. For instance issues of education at Capilano. Campaigning to get our parking fees and tuition fees reduced here.
The second and perhaps even more important is an overall generalization. We must be able to take our specific situation and relate it to the big picture. Means, we with our issues should always compare, share and relate to other students issues in Vancouver, BC and Canada. If we win a small victory a Capilano then other students in other areas can use us as an example of what is possible. In this way we can contribute to the overall struggle of students in Canada for a better education system and a dignified living!

Ngaio Schiml

1. The event I’m most excited about right now is the letter writing event being planned as a joint event for all committees. If all goes according to plan there will be food and music and everyone interested in an issue will get together to write letters to. This looks like an awesome opportunity to get our voices heard, to learn more about other important issues, and to just have a good time.
2. On the surface, educational issues sounds like a dry subject, but these are issues that affect student’s lives every day and will in all likelihood continue to affect them once they graduate. Issues like rising tuition, the U-pass, the 4th Hour, and parking fees are all educational issues and they are things that affect people’s day to day lives. Then there are issues that few people even realize are educational issues like the HST and how it will raise tuition by 7% next fall in taxes alone. By paying attention, caring and getting involved things can change: these things don’t have to be set in stone. Be interested and get your voice heard.
3. What sets me apart from the other candidate is my focus and attention to detail. I’m extremely passionate about educational issues and right now getting MLA’s to see the benefit of exempting tuition from the HST (thus preventing the 7% rise in tuition in a year) is my number one goal. I’m open to other issues and I’d be happy to work on them for people, but I do have a goal and I believe it to be both an achievable and measurable one. In a year’s time I will know what was accomplished.

students of colour collective

Gurpreet Kambo

 1. I love open mic events, and I am very excited about doing more open mic events in the CSU based on the theme of the month if possible. Last year we did a very successful open mic event for March 21, International Day to Eliminate Racism.
2. Students should be interested in this committee as it is important to address the very particular issues and barriers that students of colour face in their school environment. This committee works to address issues of diversity, discrimination and acceptance at Capilano, issues that everyone has a strong interest in addressing, though depending on our various backgrounds and statuses, we are all affected differently by.
3. People should vote for me because of my track record in this job. I was in the same position the previous year and it went very successfully. We had a vibrant committee and we were able to put on quite a few events that were enjoyed by many people.

Social Activities Coordinator

Daniella Hajdukovic

1. There are a few event ideas I would really like to see happen this year. One of them would be to put on a Music Showcase in the spring of next year. I think it would be a great opportunity to get students from all over the campus showcasing their talents, unique and all. I also think it would be fun to organize some physical activities on campus, like a Yogathon. Also, smaller-scale activities like Speed Friending, the cousin of Speed Dating, would be a great way to start introducing new students to each other.
2. The Social Activities Committee is a great place to meet new friends, give a helping hand, and an eager mind, towards putting on events and activities for Capilano Students. Think of it as your way of helping Cap become a community, one where students look forward to their experiences on campus.
3. I’m ready to get students excited about going to Capilano, and to look forward to the possibility of meeting new friends, and finding new passions.
I also think it’s due time to get students aware that the Social Activities Committee is fueled by all your ideas. The more students we get attending the meetings, the better chance we will have of putting on events that represent the interests of students from all over Cap U. Let’s have some fun, Capilano!

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