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Conner Mcgoey  

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What is your current year and program? 

I am proud to be a third-year student completing an honors specialization in English through the Arts and Humanities faculty at Huron.

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator? 

Considering I attend one of the three affiliate schools, I am running for the position of affiliate senator. I feel I would best suit the role of senator because I have taken a wide variety of courses at different campuses and would bring valuable insight to inform the academic policies of the university.

What do you think senate should do next year? 

If elected I hope to bring a larger voice to the students of the affiliate schools. Many students I have spoken to with regards to my campaign have little to no knowledge of the activities of the senate and I hope to change that.

What’s your Spoke bagel order?

I am a simple guy when it comes to my Spoke bagels, if you catch me there you will usually find me ordering the classic everything bagel with cream cheese.

Artika Pahargarh

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What is your current year and program?

Second-year medical sciences

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

I believe I am best suited for this position as I am motivated to bring a change and have the execution capabilities given my previous experience of serving as a USC and SSC Science councillor and being the vice-president of finance for the UWO Pre-Medical Society. With these experiences, I have been able to develop many transferable skills, such as planning, organizing, staffing, teamwork, communication and how to effectively tackle problems that arise. My outreach and dependability make me a reliable candidate who will contribute to make positive changes at the school, as well as serve my fellow students. 

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

Earlier release of final grades – first semester grades should be released before the add/drop date of second semester (prerequisites especially), so students can change their schedule accordingly. Mandatory make-ups – students should get the chance to write midterms if they missed [them] without having the added stress of a heavier-weighted exam. Syllabus database – students should be able to view up-to-date course documents before enrolling to make informed decisions. Optimize course waiting times – students should be able to know whether they can take a certain course or if they need to consider alternatives. Maintain self-reported absences.

What’s your Spoke bagel order?

Cheddar and herb bagel with spinach and feta cream cheese!

Lina Ghattas 

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What is your current year in program?

I’m currently a third-year student in interdisciplinary medical science, also completing a minor in economics!

Why do you think you’re best suited for the role?

Undergraduate students hold only 14 of the 102 voting positions on senate, making the role of a student senator very unique compared to that of other student leaders on campus. My experiences serving as an at-large senator and the chair of the Western Student Senators have allowed me to fully understand the intricacies of senate, and I have gained a lot of knowledge about all areas of academic policy. Additionally, being a soph and a member of various other groups on campus has allowed me to interact with a diverse group of students, providing me insight on various student experiences and allowing me to advocate for students of all backgrounds.   

What do you think the senate should do next year?

The Western Student Senators are currently working on a few projects including earlier final grade release, improving resources for differently abled students and working with faculty and administration to resolve issues surrounding self-reported absences. I think that in addition to continuing these projects and establishing new ones, the senate, particularly the student senators, need to continue working on making themselves more accessible. Many students have questions and concerns regarding academic policy but are unaware that the student senators are a resource they can use. It is only by increasing visibility and hearing these concerns that the student senators will be able to best represent students on the senate floor.

What is your Spoke bagel order?

My go-to bagel order is a jalapeno cheddar bagel with spinach and feta cream cheese!

Zachary Train

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What is your current year and program?

I’m a second-year student in economics and political science.

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

I believe that I am best suited for the position of senator because of my frequent consultation with students and my drive to make a difference in our community. By having the opportunity to serve in leadership roles such as peer mentor, Social Science Faculty soph, and two vice-president positions within the USC clubs network, I am exposed to various student interests on a daily basis. In these positions I have heard your concerns as Western students. As a senator, I intend to work tirelessly to ensure that students are treated as equals in the decision-making process.  

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

Next year, the senate should pursue an agenda that prioritizes student wellness and enhances the student experience. Specifically regarding topics such as self-reported absences, the senate should work with academic counselling to fix its current shortfalls and ensure the program is preserved. Aside from this, the Senate should also consult with students to measure the stress policies such as Sunday exams and three in 23 hours   exams create for students. Finally, I believe that the senate should standardize previously implemented policies such as course waitlists to make them easily accessible for all classes.

What’s your Spoke bagel order? 

Unfortunately, I am allergic to gluten, so I can’t order Spoke bagels, but I do love their caramel lattes!  

Tyrese Walters

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What is your current year and program?

I’m a second-year music student studying voice performance

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

Throughout my two years at Western, I’ve been on my faculty’s council [as a] first-year representative and internet commissioner), choir council (vice-president of  communications), as well as being a residence soph. Communicating and advocating is a lot of what these positions do, and two things that I am very passionate about. My experiencing speaking on behalf of others about what they care about most, as well as my understanding of communication means I will be able to make sure the constituencies' concerns are brought up, as well as ensuring that the policies that senate touches will be communicated effectively back to these constituencies. 

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

I think that senate needs to be at the forefront of all students’ minds when they think about academic policies such as Self-Reported Absences or Reading Week. Student Senators have the best interests of students in mind, with representatives from their faculties, however lots of students simply don’t know where to find Senate online, in person or on-campus. I would love to see Senate be on social media a lot more, interacting with everyday students at Western to ensure perspectives that are unique to students. 

What’s your Spoke bagel order? 

It’s pretty basic, but I love getting an everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese.

Reese Berlin-Bromstein  

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What is your current year and program?

Second-year honours specialization in English language and literature combined with a major in the school for advanced studies in the arts and humanities.

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

After spending a term as associate vice-president of the Arts and Humanities Students’ Council, and a year on its academics portfolio, I realized my advocacy efforts have the potential to go beyond one faculty and have refocused to make systemic changes. Along with leadership experiences as a residence advisor, co-chair of a work-life balance initiative and proxy for the USC presidential roundtable, I have a passion for student voice, mental health and increasing Film and Media Studies’, Arts and Humanities’ and Musics’ visibility. Overall, I think my unique voice, background in leadership and vibrant passions make me best suited for FAM senator. 

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

In light of the incoming provincial performance-based metric model that favors STEM faculties and puts smaller and creativity-focused faculties at risk of budget cuts and ensuing negative ramifications, I will push for the senate to protect the underrepresented FAM faculties. Not only will I be the loudest voice on the senate floor and advocate for FAM, I will also do my part to unite the three faculties and dismantle the pre-existing stigma surrounding them, which views these faculties as “lesser” when compared to the sciences, engineering and so on.

What’s your Spoke bagel order? 

Falafel with hummus on Canadian harvest.

Nicholas Nestico

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What is your current year and program?

I am currently in third-year studying English at Huron [University College]. 

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

An effective senator is one that listens and ensures they act on behalf of the most important needs of our fellow students. I am confident in my ability to be attentive to others and I look forward to using these skills to be an effective voice of the students. A vote for me is a vote for a better overall university experience. 

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

I believe the senate needs to not grow larger, but our reach must grow. Not enough students know about the senate and what it does. In terms of advocacy, I want to be a part of a senate that promotes new mental health solutions that allow a wider range of critical needs to be met. Also, as I am running for affiliate senator, I [am] seeking to strengthen the cross-campus opportunities for the affiliates, thus fostering a greater community.

What’s your Spoke bagel order?

Everything bagel with cream cheese. 

Anthony Tan 

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What is your current year and program?

I'm a fourth-year student pursuing a dual degree with business and politics, philosophy, economics.

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

I have been actively involved in student clubs and social organizations both on campus and outside of it. Beyond supporting students academically and professionally, I have been involved in social impact, artistic and diversity and inclusion initiatives within Western which have given me the experience and perspective on how to bring different groups together on key issues. We have an amazingly diverse and engaged community here, and I'm excited to help represent Western students next year on senate!

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

Senate needs to ensure academic policies are transparent, easy to understand and ultimately fair - and beneficial - to all parties involved. There is a lot of confusion on the goals and application of different academic policies, and we need to take a closer look at the impact of new ones like the Self-Reported Absence. Involving more feedback from students and faculty will help us make sure policies are fulfilling their original purpose. Closer collaboration with the USC, and reaching out to different student groups and societies on campus, will help us do that. 

What’s your Spoke bagel order?

That's a tough one - they're all pretty great, but you can't go wrong with jalapeno cheddar!

Libby Ricker

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What is your current year and program?

I am in my third year, studying political science and French at Brescia.  

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

In my last two and a half years at Western, I have taken courses at main campus, Brescia and Huron. Through these experiences, I have recognized the uniqueness of each of these school communities. I believe that this distinctively qualifies me to be an affiliate representative on the UWO senate. I have not taken classes at King's, but as the affiliate representative, I will work with students there to understand their needs in order to best represent them. I am a compassionate and kind leader with experience in student leadership; it is always my intention to raise others up and stand up for their needs. 

What do you think the senate should do next year? 

I am particularly passionate about the environment and will help ensure that Western improves in becoming a sustainable organization. I also believe that the senate should ensure that the needs of all students are represented. As the affiliate representative, I will be focused on the needs of Huron, Brescia and King’s, I will work to represent all students. I believe that diverse representation is important in the senate and I will additionally work hard to represent both the female student population as well as the LGBTQ2+ community, both of which are often underrepresented in governing bodies. I believe that universities should be leaders in modeling inclusivity and fairness.

What’s your Spoke bagel order? 

This might be the most difficult question to answer. My go-to used to be a BLT on jalapeño cheddar, but since I've made the switch to trying to eat more sustainably, I would say veggie on jalapeno cheddar.

Christopher Harasym

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What is your current year and program?

I am a first-year law student and I am in the HBA/JD dual degree program at Ivey and Western Law 

Why do you think you’re best suited for the position of senator?

My experience on Western Student Senators’ this year, along with my prior experience on Social Science Students’ Council have prepared me well for this position. Furthermore, studying law has improved my policy writing and advocacy skills which will help me better represent my constituents.

What do you think the senate should do next year?

Next year, senate should continue its work improving the student experience at Western and advocating on the behalf of all Western students. Important issues like professors violating academic policy, when fall reading week will be scheduled and how Western’s priorities will change in response to the Ontario Government’s Strategic Mandate Agreement three will require a student voice that I will provide on behalf of my constituents.

What’s your Spoke bagel order?

Mushroom swiss with herb and garlic cream cheese!

Aidan Rozovsky

What is your current year and program?

I am currently in my third-year working towards getting an honors degree in political science with a minor in history.

Why do you think you're best suited for the position of senator?

I am best suited for this position because I have already held various student advocacy positions. In my first-year, I was on the Saugeen-Maitland [Hall] residence council, acting as a floor representative, helping to plan many events. Further, this past year I had the honour of being a club executive and representing the students on senate as an at-large senator, which included membership on two senate sub-committees, Senate Review Board Academic and Operations and Agenda .

What do you think the senate should do next year?

The senate is one of two of Western’s governing bodies and is responsible for the University's academic policy. As such, it is essential that the student senators continuously advocate for pro-student initiatives and ensure the current initiatives the student senators have helped pass, such as self-reported absences, are not removed. Further, the continuous advocacy of policies currently being worked on, such as mandatory make-ups for exams, will be an interesting topic for next year's policy discussions and will hopefully be deliberated on by senate. Additionally, it will be important this coming year to try and find a more accommodating date for the fall reading week.

What's your Spoke bagel order?

Everything bagel with regular cream cheese.

Also running (no response):

  • Zain Al Shamil 
  • Mark Garabedian
  • Parker Thomlinson
  • Riley Kennedy

Update (Feb. 3, 10:53 a.m.): this article has been updated to add Aidan Rozovsky's response upon retrieval.

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Hope Mahood is the Coordinating Editor of news and opinions for volume 115. Email her at hope.mahood@westerngazette.ca or find her on Twitter @hopemahood.

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