Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Board of Governors candidates

Interviews by Shannon Doherty

 

Christopher Ross Rector, 21, Third-year mathematics

Hometown: New Glasgow, N.S.

Who do you aspire to be? A leader in my community

Describe yourself in three words: Driven to succeed.

Past Experience: Dalhousie Mathematics and Statistics Undergraduate Society, Dalhousie Science Society, DSU Board of Operations

 

Rector is interested in being a representative for students in the operational and managerial side of things as the university faces new and challenging tasks in the future.

He says his experience on the DSU Board of Operations has given him the kind of experience that is needed to be on the Board of Governors.

Rector considers himself a serious student with a lot of passion for Dalhousie University.

“This is the place I wanted to be for my undergraduate degree,” he says. “I really want to try to give back to the school.”

Rector says that important decisions are facing the university beyond the tuition increase and cuts to university funding. While the financial issues are something he feels are important he is also concerned about some of the operational issues the university will be dealing with in the future. Rector cites the Student Union Building (SUB) addition, which didn’t go through, as an example of one of these operational issues.

To solve the problems and concerns facing both the university and the student population he says there needs to be cooperation and teamwork.

With all the decisions facing the university he wants to be the person to help find a direction for the university to go in.

Rector says he is really passionate about his extracurriculars and takes his responsibilities and leadership roles seriously.

He says that there needs to be “a lot of collaboration between the executive and the board as a whole”, and feels that he has the experience necessary to facilitate this negotiation.

 

 

Max Ma, 21, Third-year classics

Hometown: Vancouver, B.C.

Who do you aspire to be? Someone who makes the world a better place

Describe yourself in three words: Honest, capable and patient.

Past Experience: Board of Governors rep at the University of King’s College, Dalhousie Senate Discipline Committee, Dalhousie Undergraduate Classics society, DSU orientation week committee, member of the DSU Awareness and Community Committee, DSU rep to the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations, Dalhousie Senate and DSU Council, DSU “Society professional of the year” award.

 

Ma has been involved in student issues since his first year on campus and says he has “always been really passionate about student issues and student advocacy.”

Ma has been both an executive member and a council member in the past and says he “has the experience to understand the issues surrounding the university.”

During this time of financial difficulty, Ma says there needs to be an experienced person at the table during the discussions who can holds executives accountable.

He says that his experience has “taught me how to contribute in committees and meetings.”

Ma says there are not enough councillors that speak up at meetings and that he will correct this. He wants to be aware of all the agenda’s of those involved and says his “background has trained him to ask questions”.

Ma feels he is a good listener who “will listen to the agendas of others so I can better reconcile student issues with the agendas of other parties.”

He thinks his varied experience in student politics has given him the tools needed to succeed in his position and he wants to bring a strong student voice to the table to deal with the financial issues and constitutional reforms that the university faces.

Ma says that the “strength of your diploma and the strength of your alumni depends on the strength of you university”, and feels a strong university needs “an experienced and strong student voice.”

 

 

Dustin Griffin, 24, Second-year law

Hometown: Armstrong, B.C.

Who do you aspire to be? No one other than myself, and better as the years go by

Describe yourself in three words: Determined, extroverted and relaxed

Past Experience: VP External for the Dalhousie Law Student Society, Dalhousie Student Union council, Dalhousie Law School student finance committee. During his interdisciplinary undergrad at UBC, served as member at large on UBC’s Campus Life council.

 

Griffin voices concern about the recent developments regarding university funding. He says that these governmental decisions will not apply to professional or graduate students and this is a cause for concern.

Griffin says that, “students should get a fair deal on tuition regardless of their program.”

He says that as the provintial tuition cap does not apply to professional and graduate students the university may see these programs as a source of tuition funding.

“There is a misunderstanding of what professional students do with their degrees,” he says.

He thinks that many of his fellow students plan to enter the human rights or legal aid sectors, which do not pay major bucks.

Griffin’s main reason for running is to be a “strong voice on the Board of Governors to defend the reality that we as students have.”

He’s quick to point out that undergraduates also need a voice and that he would give, “the Board of Governors back to students.”

He says that all students need to be asked what they need and what alternatives they see as solutions.

Griffin believes that in order to lobby for policy change he needs to be able to bring solid alternatives to the table. His focus would be on graduate students but not to the exclusion of other groups.

“Change can only happen by consulting all groups and while the university is looking at making some tough choices,” he says. “We want to strong student representation at the table.”

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