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DSU Residence students rep candidate: Sandra Sunil

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: Sandra Sunil
Pronouns: She/Her
Running for: Residence students representative (uncontested)
Program and year: Bachelor of Science, double major in Neuroscience and Political Science; third year

What inspired you to switch positions on the DSU council?

I was inspired to run for the residence rep position this year because of the amazing learning experience I had with the DSU –– and seeing the need to bridge the gap.

I absolutely love being on the DSU as the Faculty of Science rep. I am so fortunate to be in this position and it has been an amazing learning experience. From learning how the DSU works to services they provide, I came to realize how much of a gap there really is between the DSU and the residences. 

I have been increasingly seeing this gap with lack of communication of DSU services, opportunities and programming to the residents, as well as lack of residents’ voices on the DSU Council. Being part of residence affairs for my 3rd year on the Shirreff Hall Residence Council has also shown me the importance and need to have a residence rep; to ensure that residents are informed of the resources and that their voices are being heard.

In fact, it would have been beneficial to have someone to be the liaison, provide support and unite the residences and the DSU closer to bridge the gap.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue about residence on campus? 

There are many student leaders –– like the resident assistants and council members and staff –– that work hard to ensure that residents have a great experience in residence and so it feels like home. However, between all that each of them does, it can be difficult to carry out the mandate if the necessary support is not there. Hence, having a residence rep to provide support and assistance would be beneficial and I believe I can accomplish this.

For example, one of the things I want to implement if elected is a council, consisting of residence council reps, RAs and other residence staff; to increase transparency and create a great sense of community in residences.

I believe that with the necessary support in uniting residences closer that we can work together more efficiently to address students’ concerns with food and bring in a variety and diverse range of events and programming –– which would all aid in residences in being more welcoming and a home away from home. 

What, if anything, would you like to change about the residence system?

I believe that positive change can happen not just with one person, but with a team of people all working for a similar end goal. So, I believe that working together with the other members in residences, I can bring in more transparency, unity and equality with opportunities for residents no matter the building they’re in. 

What would you like to see the DSU do differently?

I would like to see the DSU focus a bit more on addressing the food concerns on both campuses, especially Sexton campus. It is important for students to have access to accessible and affordable food in residences and on campus. 

What do you admire about the current DSU executives?

I admire how supportive and caring the DSU members are to me. Throughout this journey as a DSU councillor and with other involvements, they have helped me understand the position better: answering all my questions and assisting me in anything I needed help with. So, I really appreciate the time they put in to help me with representing my faculty better and with other questions I had.

What have you been streaming on Netflix recently?

I love watching movies, especially superhero movies. The most recent movie I streamed on Netflix was tAnt-Man and the Wasp.

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