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Candidate profile: Rebecca Haworth

Board of Governors representative candidate Rebecca Haworth. (Photo by Bryn Karcha, DSU)
Board of Governors representative candidate Rebecca Haworth. (Photo by Bryn Karcha, DSU)

Name: Rebecca Haworth

Age: 21
Hometown: Waverley, NS
Program: Honours in Psychology, 4th year

Position: Board of Governors representative

 

Dalhousie Gazette: Why do you want to be on the Board of Governors?

Rebecca Haworth: I’ve been fairly involved in my last four years here at Dal, I’ve been on everything from residence councils to varsity council and being a varsity athlete. It seems that a lot of our conversations in those organizations have come to the point of, “And now we’ll see what the Board of Governors has to say about whatever we’re trying to move forward.” So I think it’s time, and I’ve developed the skills to be on the Board of Governors.

DG: What do you plan to do once you’re elected?

RH: There’s three main priorities I have, the first being to improve student experience. I think that Dalhousie pride is really lacking here at Dal, and I want to improve that. Secondly, I’ll really work to promote and improve our academic and research capabilities. Lastly would be to improve our reputation as a university. We’ve kind of been seen as aloof or just not really connected with the community in the past, so I want to improve that and improve some facilities that make Dal look like that prestigious university we all want it to be.

DG: If you had been on the Board of Governors this year, what issue would you have brought up?

RH: After speaking with some of the members of the Board of Governors, it seems that there has been a kind of small group of students whose interests have been brought forward to the Board of Governors meetings repeatedly. I think that if I was on the Board of Governors, I maybe would have reached out to a broader group of students and got more priorities from students to bring forward to the meetings, rather than just focusing on a few issues.

DG: What role do you see the Board of Governors having in the upcoming year?

Rebecca Haworth: With Dr. Florizone starting his tenure now, in conversation with the Board of Governors, their main priorities are to work on those things that he has identified in his 100 Days of Listening and make sure all of those priorities can move forward. Obviously, facilities are being built right now. International students and their differential fees are a really hot topic right now as well, mental health of students is also a big priority. And then as an athlete, of course, I’m really interested in improving athletic facilities, because we know how much of an impact exercise has on student mental health as well.

DG: What capital projects are you most in support of for the upcoming year?

RH: I’m really excited to learn more and have a hand in the new Interdisciplinary Health Science building that’s in the works now. That’s where science is leading us. All faculties are really looking into interdisciplinary research, and Dalhousie’s biggest PhD program is an interdisciplinary PhD. So, I think that’s a really great facility, and I’m interested in looking at that facility as well as the new Mixed Use facility.

DG: An expected one per cent increase in government funding this year is not enough to prevent another tuition hike. What would you do to help the university’s budgetary concerns?

RH: I think that what it comes down to a lot is that everyone is facing tighter budgets, and we need to really streamline and make sure that all of our faculties are as lean as possible. So things like facilities management, I’ve heard, have areas where perhaps we can realize some cost savings. As well, I think we’re spending about $20 million a year on administration. That seems like a really big cost to me, especially when compared to the almost six million dollars that’s spent on students a year, and student experience. So, really making sure we’re running things as economically as possible and making every dollar count.

DG: How do you think your experience as a varsity athlete will benefit you on the Board of Governors?

RH: Being a varsity athlete for the last four years has meant that I’ve been somewhat of a public figure in the press for Dalhousie. I know a lot of alumni, I know many of the Board of Governors members, I know a lot of faculty members and I’m kind of a familiar face and a familiar name, and that has meant I have a positive and strong reputation among these people. I think that a big part of being on the Board of Governors is being able to throw your weight around a little. You need to be able to stand up to board members who have the experience and are CEOs of whatever company, or a board member on this foundation. So I think that I have the reputation and the skills needed to stand up for the priorities of students and to make sure that our voice is heard.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 

Online: http://rebecca4bog.tumblr.com/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rebecca4BoardofGovernors

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebeccaahaworth

Jesse Ward
Jesse Ward
Jesse, editor-in-chief of the Gazette, is a fifth-year student of journalism at Dalhousie and the University of King’s College. He started university with three years of experience writing for Teens Now Talk magazine, where he is now copy editor. Before writing a story Jesse likes to think about how his metal detector could finally be useful in researching this one, but there is never a way it could be. Jesse has produced writing and interactive features for Globalnews.ca and The Chronicle Herald. He may be followed on Twitter, @RealJesseWard, or from the Gazette office on Mondays around 8 p.m. to his home in West End Halifax. Email Jesse at editor@dalgazette.com.
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