Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and formatted for style and clarity.
The Dalhousie Gazette sent a similar questionnaire to each candidate in the 2019 Dalhousie Student Union election.
Name: Fatima Beydoun
Running for: Board of Governors representative (uncontested)
Program and year: Second-year Sustainability and International Development Studies
What about the Board of Governor’s representative position influenced your decision to switch to it from Arts and Social Sciences rep?
The ability to sit on different standing committees and work with other board members as a student-voice to manage the affairs of the university is an opportunity for change in students’ experiences; that influenced my decision to switch from Arts and Social Sciences rep to BOG rep.
Many decisions that highly affect Dalhousie students are adopted by the board, and I feel that in such a position, I will be able to properly convey student concerns on a higher level.
What changes would you like to bring to the DSU in your new position?
I would like to help build engagement capacity, where there is more opportunity to get general DSU membership engaged with the council, as well as engaged with the resources that already exist.
I would also like for there to be a more accessible list of resources that direct students in the right direction for mental health, food
Finally, I would like to expand the ways in which students can receive grants and funding beyond what is already provided.
What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue on campus right now?
There are a plethora of issues on campus, however, a concerning one that I’ve come across through various student’s experiences this past the semester has been the lack of means in holding professors accountable for offensive commentary and syllabus materials within classrooms. They are oftentimes harmful to BIPOC and other marginalized students. Oftentimes, due to power dynamics, students are not able to properly express their discomfort, and if they do, it is never met with meaningful accountability or commitment for future change. Increased cultural competency is necessary for a learning environment.
What are your goals once elected?
Keeping the nature of my role in mind, I look forward to consulting with various students’ interest groups. I hope to bring back what I am able to share from the board to get students’ thoughts, as well as bring their concerns back to the table.
Advocating for international students, making sure Dalhousie is investing ethically and sustainably, as well as promoting transparency are additional goals of mine I look forward to pursuing.
What do you admire about the current DSU executives?
I admire that when a new motion is presented during council meetings, different members are able to challenge certain things; and
I also admire the willingness to provide support whenever I asked for advice or more information from members who may know.
What have you been streaming on Netflix lately?
Patriot Act and Always a Witch.