Name: Kati George-Jim
Hometown: Victoria, BC
Program: Double major in Political Science and Sustainability
Relevant experience: I was First Rear Representative for DASSS (Dalhousie Arts and Social Sciences Society) and DUPSS (Dalhousie Undergraduate Political Science Society), as well as part of the Howe Hall Residence Council, and an active member of the Dalhousie Model United Nations last year. This year I was Vice President Academic for DASSS, Vice President Internal for DUPS and helped an executive position on DMUN. I have a lot of experience working with faculty members and the student union, which kind of tailors to being able to work with BOG and higher administration. I have a lot of knowledge about how the university operates, drafting legislature and working with reports.
Why do you want to be on the Board of Governors?
I jumped into student societies in first year because I think it’s really important to be learning outside of the classroom and having a well rounded university experience. After seeing how diverse the Dalhousie community is, I would love to be a facilitator between students and the BOG. I want to be able to explain what the BOG is doing for students, and make sure students know what is going on at their university. I think Dalhousie needs to be a leader in representing all of the cultural groups that are a part of this university, especially those that have been systemically marginalized, and helping to empower their students. I have a lot of passion for student advocacy and really helping students.
What do you plan to do once you’re elected?
I want to concentrate on making the BOG accountable for recommendations they have already made. We are the people who have to hold them accountable and make sure they follow through, while also making sure we are working with the university. I can’t make all these promises about tuition and how we want to abolish it, but I think it is very important to be working to make education more accessible. I understand fiscal responsibility, but we need a balance. Mental health and wellness – I really want to see this go further. Also, continuing the Dal Connects campaign and making sure that I am advocating for this issue because many students face mental health and wellness issues every day. I really want to make sure that students have the chance to be heard and make sure the issues that students care about are being heard by the BOG.
What experience do you have with Dalhousie’s Board of Governors?
I’ve been to several of their meetings and I think we can move in a direction of working together. I don’t have any experience specifically with the BOG, but through my experience with DASSS, I’ve done a similar job on a smaller scale. I think I can definitely transfer these skills into the BOG representative position.
If you had been on the Board of Governors this year, what issues would you have brought up?
The hot topic right now is tuition, and I definitely would be working with students on campus and making sure their voices were heard. Pressuring the university to follow up on the dentistry scandal – I really want to see this conversation to continue and turn into finding real solutions and not just assigning blame. As well, in 2018 we have our 200 year anniversary, and I think it is really important to be working with the Native Student Association, talking about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations – I would love to see more conversation with students about this. A lot of other universities are moving forwards with this and I don’t want to see Dalhousie left behind.
What role do you see the Board of Governors playing in the upcoming year?
I think it’s important to address the diversity problem we have on campus and the lack of representation. It would be nice to see the BOG role increase and have them have more of a leadership role and be active in making the university better. It would also be nice to see consultation not just with students, but also with faculty.