Name: Sandra Rachel Sunil
Hometown: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Major, Year: Double Major in Neuroscience and Political Science, First year
What are the issues within the faculty of science?
Some of the issues within the faculty touch on accessibility, lack of communication between the faculty and science students, and inclusivity. It is shocking when we realize that some people cannot access some of the resources and spaces provided by the DSU and the faculty. For instance, at the Dal Lead conference, one of the keynote speakers had a trouble getting off the stage due to her disability. It is easy to be unaware of issues like these when it does not affect you. However, it is unfair to not bring it into awareness because all students have the right to the resources and space being provided. With that said, not all students know about the things being provided in the faculty. I believe there is a lack of communication between the students and faculty.
Furthermore, another issue within the faculty would be inclusivity. Although all the departments are represented at the DSS council, it is more difficult for smaller constituent societies to spread word about seminars and other opportunities within the departments. Thus, several students go without knowing of opportunities to create a positive change and to challenge one’s self intellectually.
If you became the faculty of science’s representative, what do you plan to do?
If I become the Faculty of Science Representative, I plan to focus on continuing the progress on accessibility, communication, and inclusiveness. The Faculty of Science is so large, as it has several departmental societies, that some do not have an equal representation. Smaller societies are less known to several science students. If elected as the Science Rep, I will do my best to reach the departments and ensure students are aware of resources their departments and societies provide. I would do this by working with representatives of constituent societies.
Similarly, I will bring awareness to concerns of accessibility to the DSS and the DSU. Being the Dalhousie Association of Psychology Students Rep, I have had the chance to consult students in science, especially those in psychology. I have come to learn that it is the environment that makes a person disabled and not the person them self. Thus, I will work with the DSU in creating solutions that permits all students to have access to resources.
I will keep the science students’ best interest at heart and ensure that the science students and the DSU will clearly communicate by creating an open discussion platform, such as on social media outlets and with roundtable discussion sessions.
Why do you want to represent the faculty of science?
I realized I have a passion for the sciences when I was in high school. Taking a variety of courses within the sciences has shown me the sub-disciplines in science are similar in a lot of ways. One thing the constituent societies have in common is the drive to create a positive change and unity within one another. Our passion for the sciences should be encouraged and used to bring people together one way or another. Hence, I want to promote this if elected as the Science Rep on the DSU council. I want to represent the Faculty of Science because I want to ensure that all students and constituent societies have the chance to be heard.
Not only do I have a passion for the sciences, but I am also passionate about promoting inclusiveness. I believe the DSU is a great network that connects several students and I could aid in making a larger impact on campus. Hence, working with the DSU to advocate for student rights in an area I am so passionate about will be such an honour. In fact, giving back to my community gives me a sense of purpose and value.
How have you been involved with the faculty of science and its constituents?
I have been actively involved with the faculty and its constituents in a variety of ways. For example, I am on the Dalhousie Science Society (DSS) as the Dalhousie Association of Psychology Students (DAPS) Representative. As I oversee and consult students in the Faculty of Science, especially the department of psychology, I am enthusiastic about bringing the voice of students to the larger DSS Council. I strive to continue to create an environment that is inclusive and respectful to all students.
In order to continue my efforts, I also joined the DSS Social Committee, aiding to organize and facilitate events, such as the DSS Gala, yoga nights, and several more. I strive to create a sense of community in my faculty. Therefore, with my leadership and personal experiences, I have come to place importance on creating an open and inclusive environment for everyone.
What is your favourite thing about the faculty of science?
My favourite thing about the faculty would have to be the connections I have been able to make thus far with students and professors. I believe the faculty has created an open environment where I can go and easily speak to professors if I so wished. As well, with the courses being so flexible and interdisciplinary, I have come to meet several wonderful classmates that are taking completing different things. The exposure to such diversity in the subjects being taken allows me to personally see how we can use various ways of thinking to solve the same problem. It is amazing when you talk to someone who is different from you because you learn so much from them and it permits you to be open minded.