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A few minutes after Sai Kit's resignation on Wednesday, the Imprint reporter at the campus media forum asked the candidates for VP Internal if we would commit to serving all the students and not put our personal biases up front. The VP's role must be just this. While I should state my own biases: to work on social justice and environmental issues, I am interested and excited every time I learn about the actions of another club, and I will work for everyone. To do this, the VP Internal must be competent and accessible to all groups and students. For example, I am vegan and so I have certain dietary restrictions for various reasons. Does this mean I place value judgments and undermine the Cheese Club? Of course not. I may have a bias towards the Campus Response Team, because I've been a member of Red Cross first aid and disaster response teams in the past. But does this mean I don't put equal time to helping the Food Bank? No, obviously I care about this service just as much.
With so many Society forums, I don't feel I've had enough chance to talk about the Services. As the only candidate with real experience in one of the seven Feds services (I was Co-coordinator of UWSP), I understand the problems that Services face and will come into the position with competence and the ability to work together to make the necessary changes.
My team will implement a Services Director to provide much needed support. We also need a stronger 'thank you' to those service coordinators who do so much for our students - these individuals need more support, which can be given in a small honourarium, but also in simply being treated well by Feds. Sai Kit was just investigating a clubs reward program. When I was Coordinator of UWSP, we wanted to thank our long-time Board members and our volunteer of the year, but didn't have support to provide even a framed certificate.
Service executives feel they are led around to different people when dealing with planning an event with the help of Feds. I will be efficient, and work to investigate, then solve these problems. Not all problems are too difficult to solve. International Student Connection told me they want to know other Service leaders better - this will help students be able to go to each other for questions and solutions. We need a Feds website with simple forms to recruit volunteers and a better coordinator handbook for volunteers. While my opponents and I all commit to more COPs meetings for Societies, I commit to more join Services meetings. If Service volunteers notice any problems or issues while I am Internal, I want them to bring them to me right away.
GLOW, CRT and UWSP all have internal or structural challenges that can be looked at and solved with some hard work by many individuals. When I Coordinated UWSP, Michelle Zakrison was my Internal Communications Director and she came up better communication plans to deal with the organization's problems, after having private interviews with each of the key stakeholders. It's an exciting time for the Women's Centre, with several upcoming events and partnerships. It's now time to eliminate conflicts with Council, and provide the right support that the service may flourish.
The University also offers services which we all pay for, such as athletics, libraries, the Safety Office, and Office for Persons with Disabilities. When I was in first year, because of a lung problem I required the service of the Student Access Van for a few months. It opened my eyes to the needs of some students. That's why I say in my platform that we'll have forums for students and groups to see what's going well and what isn't. We must know that UW and Feds services are working for you. Administrators will come to these forums because they're primarily here for students and they care about your issues.
I've realized through the campaign that people don't know how to get involved in ay part of Feds, but many will with the right information. People need Feds explained, and I will speak directly to groups of students in my term to inspire them to act and get involved.
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