2015


Shery Alam

My name is Shery Alam and I am a 3rd year student majoring in Business Administration and if you ask anyone the first thing they’ll tell you is how much spirit I have for this school. Why? For one thing, it’s my new home away from Pakistan! I am running to become your Vice President of Student Services for the Simon Fraser Student Society at SFU.Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 4.37.52 PM

Mission:  Develop an engaged, transparent and accountable foundation for sustainable community building.

Experience

  • A Beedie student with a passion for business and entrepreneurship

  • I have been involved in the SFU community in various roles and capacities since I joined this amazing university.

  • Elected as the President of the Pakistan Student Association at SFU in 2014

  • Organized 10 sold out events being the President PSA which includes Social nights, cricket tournaments, pub night and various cultural events.

  • Residence Orientation Leader at Residence Housing Association.

  • Orientation leader (7 times) for the Burnaby campus orientation at SFU and FIC.

  • Marketing coordinator in various case competitions, cultural events and SFU Fashion Week 2014.

  • Sponsorship & PR officer of SFU’s Got Talent 2015.

My experience outside SFU includes:

  • Completing Internship as Junior business analyst in manufacturing firm in 2014.

  • Brand Ambassador – Tim Hortons

  • Sales Representative – MBNA Credit Union

My Platform

  • Work with Commercial Services (specifically Food & Beverage Services) to make sure all the operations of the society is efficient and effective in terms of costs, revenues and accessibility.

  • Launch an awareness program that would primarily spread awareness among students about the benefits from Health and dental services which are underutilized.

  • Having health and dental facilities is not enough if students have to wait for the appointments. I would work with SFU’s health and counseling services towards improving and expanding the health care services to eliminate long waits and appointment issues. We currently split the cost of an ombudsperson, I would like to visit an investment into necessary health services for Student.

  • Like to bring back the Night Line! Students have stated this was a vital service they require and thus I would like to see it continue!

  • Make sure that the implementation of Compass Card system is smoother and easier for the students of SFU.

  • Work to improve the student spaces of SFU campuses, including the Surrey campus and the Vancouver campuses also.

  • Constantly work towards maximizing students’ exposure to underutilized opportunities or services that the SFSS offers to maximize the value of students’ money. The tax filing clinic is a great example of one such service, given Accounting club services over 1,500 students. Awareness of our services is extremely vital!

  • Internal service evaluation for necessary organization wide upgrades

  • Work towards creating online platform for employment opportunities for students to look on-campus job postings, on and off campus accommodation postings on SFSS website.

  • Work towards the development of a system in which there is continuous inflow of feedback from students and use it to improve the current services and create more.

  • Work with the President and the VP Student Life to encourage student engagement and leadership within society by involving society members through various events and project management platforms.

  • Work towards improvement of leadership training and workshops services for the executives of Student clubs and DSUs to run their clubs in better and successful way.

  • Create a platform to hear students’ voice in deciding the events for the year so that we can create more value for the students using their money they pay.

I want to create value for students’ by advocating the services they need, this will be my highest priority for the year and I’m ready to serve you!

If you have any recommendations about how to improve the services offered by SFSS, questions about my campaign or if you would like to just reach out, please do not hesitate to contact me at https://www.facebook.com/sheryalam007 or alammuhammad91@gmail.com. For more information, check out my Facebook campaign by searching “Shery Alam for VP – Student Services vote #SchoolSpirit”.

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others – Mahatma Gandhi


Darwin BineshScreen Shot 2015-03-12 at 1.14.37 AM

My name is Darwin Binesh and I am running for the office of Vice President Student Services on the Board of Directors in your Simon Fraser Student Society. This office is responsible for coordinating services that support and enrich the University experience for SFU students. This position requires; expertise, sound experience, and a deep understanding of SFSS services – which I will demonstrate through this platform and my campaign.

If elected, my priorities for the organization upon entering office will include, but not be limited to, the following 5 key points:

SFSS Database:

  • We live in the information age, but the SFSS has no database and not having one has been a major hindrance. The Society is legally required to have a student registry, but the University does not provide one on a regular basis. Aside from the legal requirement, this registry would be the foundation of a database and reaching an agreement with the University to receive this registry is the first step to the process. This is where I would start.

  • With this infrastructure, the SFSS could effectively save months of labour, provide an efficient mechanism to track and manage volunteers, produce sharable reports describing the status of services students pay for, and serve as the foundation for recurring and effective student consultation. The SFSS may then track recurring trends and make decisions that are proactive instead of reactive.

  • A member of the Board of Directors is ultimately a decision maker. This database would provide the Board with information, facts, and data so they may make more informed and responsible decisions on a long-term basis.

Internal Efficiency:

  • Wasting less, means having more to give. There are many inefficiencies, and the process for solving these is internal. The current Board of Directors has made fantastic strides in improving efficiency, and I hope to continue this trend.

  • Meetings can be more effective and efficient; committees should be structured to help, not hinder. Inefficient meetings cost a lot of money, but those dollars could instead given back to students through our services. I have been working on a new committee structure with our staff, currently chair very effective and efficient meetings, and have proposed completely new methods of budgeting and executing advertising work in order to make better use of every dollar on a long-term basis.

  • I will continue to seek improvements where possible to make more of what we have, instead of seeking more from the students who already pay into the SFSS.

Commercial Services improvements

  • Our commercial operations are a mix between for-profit businesses and subsidized services. At the SFSS Special General Meeting earlier this year, students voted to continue operating the food and beverage services at current costs – setting a mandate which effectively defines them as subsidized services.

  • The current direction of cutting costs as a result of this mandate needs to continue. Moreover, I will keep working with the SFSS communications office to continue improving the way advertising work is done. Advertising leads to customers, customers lead to revenue, revenue means not having to increase prices and could even lead to lower prices for students.

BUILD SFU:

  • Constant involvement with the largest project in the organization is vital. I will continue pushing for reviews of the department and the manner in which the project is executed and communicated to students.

  • Every campus needs more space, and to ensure effective use of space I would at the very least investigate restructuring the BUILD SFU department to deal with space on every campus, not just the Student Union Building and Stadium. This would require significant time and resources, so my hope is that the elected Board would support me in this endeavor.

Contract Negotiations: U-Pass + Health and Dental Plan:

  • The contracts for these services are expiring and the process for re-negotiating them needs to begin. The U-Pass will have to be negotiated as the Compass Card Program is implemented and will be impacted by the current transit referendum. The Health and Dental premium will expire and so it is vital to be proactive in reaching a new agreement. I feel capable of handling this endeavor, and have demonstrated my ability to do so by completing collective bargaining for two contracts with CUPE Local 3338 Unit 3 and Unit 5 this year.

Serving as the current Vice President External Relations has given me clear insight into the difficulties associated with the role of an executive officer, so my learning curve will be very short if elected. A sound understanding of the organization; from communications, to labour relations, demonstrates clearly why I feel very suited for this difficult and complex position.

My ability to succeed should I be elected, is based on (but certainly not limited to) the following:

  • Communications and Public Relations Improvements.  The SFSS website and social media have been the highest they have ever been in the history of the organization since the current Board and I have entered office.

  • Proposed a complete restructure of the advertising work of the Society. This new structure concentrates workflows, creates efficiency, clarifies messaging, strengthens the SFSS brand, and makes efficient use of every dollar over a long-term basis.

  • Chair of the Advocacy Committee where I oversaw over 9 advocacy campaigns, tracked finances, provided orientation and one on one support for committee members. Due credit must be given to every member of this committees for their work. Please note I cannot claim credit for what they have done and that my role was one of administrative support to these student volunteers.

  • Chair of the Constitution and Policy Review Committee, where we lead the full revision of the policy manual with support from our Campaigns Research and Policy Coordinator. Again, due credit must be given to the members of this committee for their commitment to the diligent review of every policy proposal that came through this committee.

  • Attended and coordinated the attendance of SFSS members in national and international conferences.

  • Served as the President of the Society of Arts and Social Sciences, and lead the first campaign to establish a Faculty Student Union at SFU.

  • Hired the current Campaigns Research and Policy Coordinator.

  • Serve as the official spokesperson of the SFSS to external organizations by conducting media interviews, drafting press releases, writing open letters, submitting letters of endorsement, and creating formal messaging for the organization.

  • Currently hiring the SFSS Human Resources Manager.

  • Completed collective bargaining for two contracts with the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3338 (Unit 3 and Unit 5).

This platform is based on realism and pragmatism. I believe it is vital for candidates to understand the root causes of problems so solutions may be tactical and practical; so they may address the real issues. Experience is the defining factor which separates candidates in their ability to perform well if elected to the Board of Directors. One year is not as long as it may seem when serving in office, and that is why being realistic is so important when making claims.  Consequently, my platform progresses with a deep understanding of the organization, the current services, and I believe my experience is what will separate me from other candidates.

Thank you for taking the time to read my platform and make an informed decision.

If anyone has any questions or comments, you may reach me at dbinesh@sfu.ca

With my best regards,

Darwin Binesh