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The Science, Social Science and Health Science Student Council president positions are all acclaimed this year, with only one nominee for each role.

While they may have no opponents, the candidates will still face a vote of confidence from their faculties on Feb. 1 and 2. Here's what they have to say.  

Science President

Shanika Mahakul

Fourth-year environmental science student


What experiences have prepared you to be faculty president? 

Experiences that have helped prepared me to be a faculty president include being on the Science Student Council as the internal affairs officer as well as being on the University Students' Council as a science councillor this past year. I have also had the opportunity to work with faculty, sitting as the undergraduate representative on the mental health counsellor hiring committee. I have been in high-stress environments working with Cadets Canada and know how to be a team player. These experiences have all taught me to be a caring, motivating and resilient leader.

What do you hope to accomplish as faculty president?

As faculty president, my main focus is to reconnect the SSC to the students. It is so important to me that there is a community formed in the Faculty of Science and that students know that the SSC is there to support them always.

What’s your Spoke Bagel order? 

Everything bagel with roasted red pepper cream cheese.

Social Science President

Nika Bajaj

Second-year political science and sociology student


What experiences have prepared you to be faculty president? 

Coming to Western University, I was no stranger to student advocacy! As a student trustee in high school, I first learned the power student advocacy can have when we work to mobilize and engage as a collective. Coming to Western, I wanted to continue this work by serving last year as a first-year representative on council, currently being a USC councillor, president of the Delaware Hall Residents’ Council and a soph! My experience in student governance, vast involvement on campus has given me the skills to achieve my vision of creating a more energized and engaged faculty.  

What do you hope to accomplish as faculty president?

After 65 hours of consultations with student leaders from all walks of life, it has become clear to me that the council that I know and love can further improve our ability to represent all students within our faculty. This begins with ensuring our council is working to amplify the voices of all student’s. Whether it be through collecting student feedback on how their faculty donation fee is spent, streamlining the appeals process, hosting town hall council meetings or greater transparency [in] our advocacy efforts — the platform is taking an innovative approach that aims to make our council more accessible to all students.  

What’s your Spoke Bagel order? 

Morning is always a jalapeno cheddar bagel with roasted red pepper cream cheese!


Health Sciences President

Kennen Qin 

Fourth-year health sciences student.

Qin did not submit a profile to the Gazette.


Hope Mahood is the Coordinating Editor of news and opinions for volume 114. Email her at opinions@westerngazette.ca or find her on Twitter @hopemahood

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