DSU Vice-president (Finance and Operations) candidate: Liam Finnegan

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: Liam Finnegan
Running for:  VP Finance & Operations
Pronouns: He/Him
Program and Year: B.Sc. Economics – 4th year

Why are you running for this position?

I am super passionate about the students on campus. I work two jobs at the moment to be able to afford a comfortable life while studying. I understand the financial struggles many students face; I want to make life here at Dal as much better as I possibly can. 

As the financial commissioner for the DSU this past school year I’ve seen and learned a lot about students’ issues and their relationship with the DSU budget, which has inspired me to work hard to create a budget that improves the lives of as many students as possible.

You’ve run for this position before – does that affect or change the way you have been campaigning?

I learned a lot from last year. For one, my social media game was lackluster at best. This year that is changing! I plan on being more vocal and getting my message out much more clearly and effectively.

I also have learned a lot more about the actual operations and finances of the union. That’s definitely given me more knowledge on how we can tackle the issues students face, so when I ask students what they want out of the budget I can give them a better answer to what can be done for them.

What do you admire about the current DSU executives?

Can I say everything? All of them are kind, passionate, intelligent individuals I have had the extreme pleasure of getting to know this past year.

Working under Chantal [Khoury] has truly been a highlight of the school year for me, while getting to know the full-time staff and the other executives has been wonderful. I hope, if elected, I can fill in half the shoes they are going to leave behind. 

What would you like to see the DSU do differently?

Better involvement of students in the budget-making process. I do realize it is difficult to get students excited about a budget. That’s why I plan on tabling in front of the SUB once a month and on Sexton to give students months and months of time to talk to me.

I won’t be on the second floor, I will be in their face trying to reach out, showing them I truly care about their voices. I also hope this will make the budget more transparent and clearer for students.

Why should students vote for you?

I have the experience; as the financial commissioner I know the DSU’s operations and finance side better than any other candidate in my field. My experience will allow me to truly get this rolling as soon as I start.

As well I am so passionate about students’ wellbeing. An example is my co-leadership in starting the DSU’s Adulting Workshops, coming this March! I know students want more than just a degree, they want to know how best to pay down debt, how to set themselves up for success post-university. 

What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue on campus right now?

Affordability. If students can barely feed themselves because all their financial resources are going towards tuition and other fees, I definitely see a problem. You can’t learn and be the best self when you can’t give your body the right nutrition. That scares me. 

What have you been watching on Netflix lately?

Working Moms. It’s this CBC show, written by a mom, about working moms. It’s hilarious and sheds some really good light on the troubles of working moms. My mother was one of those and my cousin is an executive in CBRE with two children, so seeing them properly represented on a TV show brings me so much joy. And the comedy is golden.

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Rebecca Dingwell