DSU VPAE candidate Sydney Keyamo (uncontested)

Voting opens March 14

The Dalhousie Gazette Why are you the right candidate for the role of VPAE?

 
I’m extensively involved in my community. My very first year, I took strides to get involved, and I took on a leadership position for Howe Hall Council. That allowed me to get familiar with the inner workings and society’s constitutions. I found I really enjoyed it. The following year, I joined the psych association, in another leadership position. And then this year, I decided to go bigger, I joined council as the Black students representative and joined on the senate, also as Black students rep.  

I have numerous leadership positions under my belt, this summer I worked for the Canadian Federation of Students, which gave me really good insight into student advocacy and the inner workings of policy building and meeting with provincial and municipal government leaders to make change in the community. I decided that this is something I’m really passionate about and want to be doing.  

 
What are some of the key points in your campaign

 
My big three are a tuition freeze, or at least an increase in transparency between the higher-ups and students. I feel like the biggest issue when it comes to tuition increases, is that they don’t warn us ahead of time, nor do they really explain where the money is going until after all the big decisions have been made. And I feel like there needs to be more discussion with students if we’re going to keep making these decisions that only affect students.  

 
My second big thing would be service for international students. I feel like in the past few years, more specifically, since COVID-19, international students really have held a lot of the financial burden that comes with the pandemic. And even though they’re paying more and their tuition is being increased and they’re getting additional fees put on top of the tuition, they’re not really seeing any support in return. I feel like they’re consistently left out of the conversation about and really just the bigger picture. And so, I want there to be more communication, or more support services and resources available.  

 
My third thing is academics. I want to standardize the course selection process slash just standardize the way academics are streamlined at Dalhousie. For example, I’m in psychology, and when you go to pick your courses there’s a beautiful guidebook that lays it out perfectly for you, tells you all the courses you need all the possible routes for your major, everything is beautiful, and it’s really easy to read. But not every program has that and a lot of students are kind of just left in the dark to figure things out. I want to streamline that and have there be one standardized way of doing things, or at least have the same core selection that we have in psychology for each program. 

 
What is your favorite way of connecting with the Dalhousie community? 

 
Honestly, just talking to people in person on campus is probably my favorite way. I found being involved in a lot of different clubs has given me a different perspective and being able to hear and see different people in different groups and their views on how a system’s running and how everything is going, it’s eye opening. 

I also like connecting with the community online. I’d like to see more social media engagement from the DSU, Instagram polls and fun accessible things to drive up student engagement. 

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