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Candidate Profile: Ramz Aziz

Name: Ramz Aziz

Program: Fifth-year neuroscience

G: Why are you running for the VPI position?

It’s something that I’m really passionate about. Public service, student service, is something that I truly enjoy doing. And for me to have the opportunity to do that, and focus on providing services for students would be like a dream come true.

G: What do you think the role of the VPI is?

The VP (internal) is the chief communications officer for the union. Basically, their job is to, in a rough sense, do housekeeping—making sure all the files are in order, and making sure that communication is smooth and efficient between the union, the university, and the committees and all the other organizations that make up this wonderful campus.

It’s a very integral job—you have to be organized. You’re there to make campus smaller. 

G: Do you have any specific policies you plan on implementing if your campaign is successful?

One of the themes of my platform is to provide more student-centred policies. So perhaps re-examine the way we do room bookings in the SUB, with consultation from the director of room bookings, of course. I do have a model in mind, depending upon what’s feasible.

So, creating a new DSU mobile app. And maybe focusing more on society support. I would hire photographers to work for the DSU, and all societies could use the photographer for free and upload the pictures on Facebook for them. That’s one way of addressing the gap between students and societies and the services they offer. Allowing free holiday stay for students in res. Switching up the society fair, switching up society training—again, mixing up the way we do things. Making society training more online-focused, and less of a day-long strenuous affair.

And create an exam bank for students—that’s an important one. Law already has it, a lot of faculties might appreciate a centralized version of it. Other universities have it. So one we get the ball rolling, I think it’s possible.

G: What makes you the best candidate for the position?

Well, for VP (internal) specifically? I think the experience and vision I bring, particularly. I’ve been in multiple societies here at Dal. I’ve worked at eight different departments at Dal, and that gives me a holistic view of campus. I understand how the big machine works. So for me to apply my skills, apply my knowledge and apply my connections to make the university more focused on being accountable and providing services to students. And having a vision to make change, and go where we haven’t gone before.

And, if you look at my history, I’m very focused and very dedicated—I’ll work like a horse to get stuff done. Around the clock.

G: There have been a number of proposals this year to hold plebiscites or referenda asking students whether they ought to be able to opt out of all levied societies, and the DSU. Do you have any stance on these questions?

Currently, I’m actually curious to see what students have to say on these issues. I’m glad that the plebiscite has been put up for voting, and I’m currently indifferent on the issue. I’m curious to see what the students want. [Ed. The proposed plebiscite was rejected by council, and will not be on the ballot.]

G: There has been a new elections system put in place for faculty level societies. Do you have an opinion on this?

I applaud the DSU for trying to make the elections more immersive and changing the format—I appreciate the intent of their actions. Again, whether this was the best way to do it is a question, and we’ll see how this year goes before sticking with that policy.

G: There has been neither budget nor annual report made available online this year. Is that something that ought be made available to students?

Yes. Definitely. I think that more transparency is key. I think it will be for both the VP: (finance and operations) and VPI to collaborate—it’s my job to collaborate with the students, and it’s the VPFO’s to provide the numbers.

G: Anything else you’d like to add?

I hope to bring a series of new changes to the DSU next year, tiny things that will make a big difference in their lives. Laptop and charger rentals in the SUB; a textbook renting program.

I’m here to serve the students, and it would be an honour if they elect me.

Watch one of Aziz’s campaign videos:

Also running for VP (Internal) is Josh Gummett.

Calum Agnew
Calum Agnew
Calum was a News Editor of the Gazette for Volume 146 and served as Assistant News Editor for Volume 145.
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