The president’s role is to lead the board and guide them down the right path towards their goals. This requires knowledge of the society and a willingness to cooperate. I started my involvement in the SFSS at the departmental student union level. I then took the position of science representative and facilitated Science Frosh and Geek Week; before taking office as the member services officer and completing the implementation of the U-Pass program. I also have a deep understanding of the general, finance, and resource offices. All of which are vital to the operation of the society. I have an incredibly thorough understanding of the society and I will be there to help the board achieve their goals.
During my term as MSO, I found that SFU often shares goals to invest in students university experience. More often than not, we have been able to find mutual benefit to both the SFSS and SFU to enhance our community as a whole. I wish to take a cooperative approach with SFU and provide the student perspective when making decisions, but I will not hesitate to voice contention when student interest is at stake
There are a few crucial issues and ongoing projects for next year and I will ensure they are taken care of:
- The Compass program that replaces the u-pass program
- Evaluation of the Health and Dental Plan for improvement
- Continuation of easier access for DSU/Club services and additions to services
- Build SFU Consultations
- Continue to cooperatively work with SFU to ease student life eg) SFU facility access, SFU community development
- Strengthening of SFSS foundations for a stronger society
The SFSS is an investment of the whole student body; it is here to provide services and act as a unified voice for undergrads. However, students are busy and sometimes do not have the capacity to be as engaged with politics as they might want to be. For these reasons, we need an SFSS President that you can trust and who challenges you to be more engaged with the university community. I am running as President with the Renew SFU slate, because I believe that together we can make this a reality.
My Experience – Founding Member of the Student Non-Profit Sustainable SFU
As a founding member of Sustainable SFU, a student non-profit, I have experience creating legal structures, hiring staff, interacting with the university administration and faculty, budgeting, working with Board members on committees, training and succession planning. Since the SFSS and Sustainable SFU have the same membership of undergrad students, I have also learned how to create projects that engage across disciplines.
How I will Support Your Involvement – Interdisciplinary Student Engagement
As President I will create spaces for students to interact across disciplinary and cultural divides. When multiple disciplines come together, we can have a more holistic conversation and final ideas are well rounded. It is the responsibility of the Executives of the Society not only to talk to the people who are in the room, but look around the room and notice who is not represented. As the SFSS represents and advocates for our members, we need to go to the students not wait for them to come our office.
What I Will Do – Full-scale SUB Consultation Process
I am excited to imagine what a creative student space could be and how the legacy of a student space could shape SFU student experience. I think that building a SUB is a great opportunity to engage with current SFU students and create a meaningful process. We could draw from the Greenest City Action Plan in Vancouver or last year’s SFU Envision process. The participatory processes for Build SFU up to this point are insufficient. That is unacceptable because this is the exciting point in the process that must harness student creativity. This is a large investment, and the students who will be paying for it are not the ones who will vote on a levy, so a fair process must be followed. Regardless of the outcome of the Build SFU referendum vote, as President I will create a process that engages at least 30% of SFU students, hires one full time staff person dedicated to consultation, and extends over two semesters before choosing a building.
Planning For the Future – Nurturing Leadership for the Society’s Future
Our Society passes on not only its policies and by-laws to future Boards, but also its culture. My first day in office, I will be thinking about “how the decisions I make will affect future Boards”. We need to set up a Society that builds year to year on projects and visions that past Boards have created. We are not counting down until the last day in office, but counting up on the years that the Society has existed. As President, I would inject a burst of creativity and energy into the life of the organization. I will look at past visions and campaigns of the Board, such as BYOB (Bring your Own Bottle) or a Board visioning session, and have the 2012-2013 Board build their annual plans reflecting on the past while building an inspiring trajectory for the future.
Vote Ashleigh for President!
Financial transparency and democratic governance should not be campaign points; they are the indicators of the health of an organization. SFSS has the potential to be healthy now and into the future, but to do that, we need a leader who is dedicated to making the Society a safe, fun space for students to collaborate and create community outside of their classrooms. Community can be built in many different settings. (Just because I cannot understand why people would spend their free time in Math Competitions, it does not mean that they should not exist!) We need to recognise these diverse settings and support them to flourish.