Student Association elections: who’s running and why

A look at the races in this year’s elections for the Student Association of George Brown College

Voting hasn’t started yet but already the Act Now! slate has wrapped up eight positions on the Student Association of George Brown College’s (SA) board of directors. The slate is contesting for another eight positions plus the lone student seat on the George Brown College board of governors. The Dialog is funded by the SA.

Director of campus life

This year the director of campus life is the only contested executive position. Candidates Brittany DaCosta of Act Now! and Monir Mojumder of Students for Students (S4S) are current members of the SA’s events squad and both want more events to be more inclusive of all campuses. DaCosta is enthusiastic about getting to know the needs of the different campuses and extending St. James gym hours. Mojumder wants “to create a memorable frosh week to keep students present and motivated throughout the school year.”

St. James campus director

Csaba Suki of S4S is running for St. James campus director and wants to create a more fun and positive environment and get students more involved in activities at St. James. Francis Torres of Act Now! wants to improve communication between students and the SA by “being more proactive and ensuring that I attend as many on campus events as possible to engage students and build a rapport.” Torres also said they want more gender-diverse events and workshops.

Waterfront campus director

At Waterfront, Gagan Deep of Act Now!, the current director of communications and internal, is running for Waterfront campus director. Deep wants to improve the food options and make students more aware of immigration workshops, scholarships and bursaries.

His competitor, current Waterfront campus director Jamie Jamieson who was on the Act Now! ticket last year and is running for re-election as an independent, is campaigning on a greater variety of food, improving student well-being and more social events.

Arts and design representative

In the arts and design representative race, Rajat Sood of Act Now!, and independents Cathryn Honschar and Amandeep Singh are jockeying for position. Singh wants to increase peer tutors and resources in the library. Sood wants to increase job opportunities by expanding the industry liaison offices and career centre, as well as new technologies for fashion students. Honschar wants to be “a voice and an advocate for other students” and make art and design students more aware of the SA’s services and programs “to ensure their needs are being met to help each individual reach their goals and find success.”

Business representative

The business representative position is being sought by independent candidate Ron Greenberg, Fadi Mardnli of S4S, and Mayank Shah of Act Now! Greenberg promises to improve SA accountability by critically analyzing the SA’s budget in order to get more out of its initiatives. Mardnli believes his experiences living abroad with different cultures and languages will help him reach his constituents. Shah hopes to enhance networking with industry professionals and job fairs.

Health sciences representative

The new health sciences representative will either be incumbent Roohjyot Cheema of Act Now! or challenger Megan Phillips of S4S. Cheema is campaigning on installing a student lounge at the Waterfront campus, educating students on how to deal with stress and promoting healthy lifestyles. Phillips is seeking to improve the practical learning side of students’ academic experience with improvements to the WAVE clinic and co-op placements as well as hosting job fairs.

Liberal arts and preparatory studies representative

Janae Kelly-Clarke of Act Now! is running against Michelle Harrypaul of S4S to be the liberal arts and preparatory studies representative. Kelly-Clarke believes bringing students together with small, program-focused workshops will encourage students to be more engaged. Harrypaul’s focus is to support students in the transitions to post-secondary education program (TPE), hoping to increase awareness of the program and push for easier access to academic upgrading.

International students representative

The final position up for grabs on the SA board is that of international students’ representative, with Rekki Kumar of S4S running against Gurjot Singh of Act Now! Kumar wants to have more events for students who are new to Canada so they don’t feel lost at the college. Singh said he would lobby the college for more access to labs and equipment, longer library hours, and lower tuition fees for international students.

The women and trans people representative position was uncontested and remkains vacant; a by-election will be held for it in the fall.

George Brown College board of governors: Student representative

The other election happening is for the lone student seat of the GBC board of governors. Supply chain operations management student Gazi Farok has years of experience with the Ryerson Student Union and the Ryerson Senate. He is running on the platform of negotiable tuition fees, more grants and bursaries, holding monthly town-hall meetings, and developing a student advisory committee.

Pawandeep Singh is the Act Now! candidate for the GBC board of governors. A business accounting student, Singh said he would defend the college’s autonomy and that ensuring its strategic plans are in line with the college’s mission is important to him.

For more information and statements of each candidate, visit the SA’s website at studentassocation.ca/elections

Voting begins March 18 and continues until March 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays with the exception of Good Friday when the college is closed.

Poll locations
Casa Loma campus:
C Building – Second Floor Food Court
E Building – Student Centre, Main Floor
C Building – Third Floor Library

St. James campus:
SJA 1 – Main Floor (Outside the King’s Lounge)
SJA 2 – Basement Food Court
SJB (Hospitality) – Main Entrance

Waterfront campus: Main Entrance

Ryerson campus: SHE Building – Main Floor

The acclaimed positions are: 
Director of communications and internal: Prabhnoor Anand (Act Now!)
Director of education: Tiffany White (Act Now!)
Director of equity: Mohammed Rajai Mohamed Refai
Director of operations: Gemeda Beker (Act Now!)
Casa Loma campus director: Naqeeb Omar (Act Now!)
Satellite campus director: Shu (Stephanie) Han (Act Now!)
Community services Rep.: Andrew Murrell
Construction and engineering Rep.: Candidates Mojeeb Attai (Act Now!)
Hospitality Rep.: Cathy Chung (Act Now!)
First Nations, Métis and Inuit Rep.: Leslie Vanevery
Accessibility Rep.: Carolyn Mooney
LGBTQ Rep.: Sheldon (Aintony) Mortimore (Act Now!)

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Student Association elections: who’s running and why