The Senate manages the academic policies of the University and is one of the most important administrative bodies at Western. It consists of members from the administration and representatives from all faculties, staff, affiliated colleges and the undergraduate and graduate student bodies.

This year, 11 candidates are running for six senator-at-large positions. Nine candidates responded to The Gazette questionnaire in time for publishing. Funke Folayan and Bryce Paxton's profiles will be updated online when they are available.

Courtesy of Madeline Chloe

Madeline Crystal

First-year education

Why are you running for this position?

I feel that I will bring a unique voice to the Senate to be able to make tangible change for students. I completed my undergraduate degree here at Western in political science and now I am at the Faculty of Education, so I have a large scope of students’ experiences, which I think will be a valuable asset to the Senate.

Overall, I genuinely want to improve all aspects of the University that impact the lives of the students.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

I plan to reach out to as many students as possible so that I can represent a true student voice. I will advocate for more mental health initiatives and accommodations for students battling all health-related issues.

I hope to work on making campus a safer place. In regards to the tragic events that happened this year, and in past years for that matter, I think more measures need to be taken to restore campus-wide safety.

Courtesy of Wali Abro

Wali Abro

Second-year mechanical engineering

Why are you running for this position?

As an at-large student senator, my goal is to help formulate academic policies that will improve the quality of education for all Western students across the board. I want to build a name for Western on the world stage that will only testify to the excellent background preparation of all Western graduates: past, present, future.

My biggest platform point is promising to maintain direct, open lines of communication with all my constituents — which is ALL undergraduate students, from ALL faculties and includes ALL affiliates. Not only that, I intend to actively go out and initiate engagement with my constituents in order to gather feedback so that I may accurately represent them in Senate.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

Other points include advocating for mental health well-being; formulating fair academic policies, including fair scheduling of class times and locations; improving financial and logistical access to course materials, such as lecture notes and worked solutions; expanding course options for the summer session and increasing the number of courses offered as distance studies courses; and addressing the issue of systematic and inherent racism, or white-bias, in social science courses — especially historical ones.

Courtesy of Harry Orbach-Miller

Harry Orbach-Miller

Third-year social science

Why are you running for this position?

As a current senator, I know that students can make a difference on Senate and it starts by working together. There is a need for meaningful dialogue throughout campus about what Senate actually does and how all students can make an impact. I want to build conversation so that every student feels empowered to create change at Western.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

Move Fall Reading Break to Thanksgiving? Release exam schedules earlier? Fix the "three in 23" exam rule? All of these are incredibly important priorities for students and I'm committed to continue to advocate for them.

However, I'd also like to address the immense underrepresentation of students on Senate. Not only do students account for less than 20 per cent of Senate, the majority of committees have only one undergraduate student on them, while some have zero. This is something that needs to change.

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available):  

https://www.facebook.com/MakeSenateGreatAgain/

Nathan Kanter

Arjun Singh

Third-year social science 

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for Senate because I want to work towards making lives for us students at Western a little easier. I want to make sure that stories of students are heard and the system is fairer towards students and accommodates us for different reasons. I am very passionate about University policy and want to work with my peers to make this campus better for all of us.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students? 

As a senator, I plan on advocating for earlier exam schedules. I understand the University Students' Council and senators have been working on this for years but I believe it is something achievable and a goal we need to keep working on.

Secondly, I want to look into the possibility of making guardrails on sidewalks on campus to ensure campus is safer for students. I want to keep myself open to other priorities that may come up and ideas that other senators will have.  

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available):  

http://www.facebook.com/ArjunforSenatoratLarge2016

Courtesy of Alexander Pearson

Alexander Pearson

Third-year neuroscience

Why are you running for this position? 

Someone once said, “What's the use of complaining about something you have no intentions of changing?" So, by running for the Senate, I am trying to change a few things that I complained about in the past, which is the laundry list that became my platform. 

I was tired of voting each year and not noticing any real change occurring on campus. So I decided to roll up my sleeves and hit the campaign trail!

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

My platform focuses on three areas: academics, mental health, and openness and accountability.

Academics: Tuition freeze, Fall Reading Week, earlier exam schedule, booking academic counselling online and financial counselling for students.

Mental health: Hire more psychological counsellors, a stop the stigma campaign and 24/7 student help phone line.

Openness and accountability: Make information about Senate proceedings more accessible and making myself accessible. 

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available):  

http://votealexpearson.weebly.com/

https://www.facebook.com/VoteAlexanderPearson/

Courtesy of Arusha Sood

Arusha Sood

Third-year health science

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

With this position, I hope to enhance student experience and well-being, and advocate for mental health initiatives. I also want to increase communication between the student body and the USC and propose solutions to common issues that students feel strongly about.

Broderick Lomax

Broderick Lomax

Second-year social science

Why are you running for this position?

Walking around campus, you constantly encounter students who have strong opinions and concerns but don't think their thoughts could make a difference in the Western community. I want to be there for the students to bring those voices to the table and be able to implement actual change. 

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

Some of my main priorities, if elected, include increased accessibility to mental health services, implementing changes to the exam accommodation system regarding mental health, increased transparency with constituents and a focus more towards fixing the causes of issues as opposed to the resulting effects.  

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available):

www.facebook.com/VoteBroderickLomax 

Courtesy of Rebecca Meharchand

Rebecca Meharchand

Third-year arts and humanities

Why are you running for this position?

I'm running for this position because I want to help give a voice to some of the smaller faculties. Currently, I'm the only student from arts, music or FIMS that's running for a position on Senate. I think it's important to have fair/diverse faculty representation on the Senate in order to have a more accurate account of student needs across campus.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

Oftentimes, student platforms tend to feel like recycled material. We always hear about how candidates want to change various things across campus, like the three in 23 exam rule, but we never actually see these things come to fruition.

If I'm elected as a senator, I'm interested in using the critical thinking skills that I've gained from being in an arts program to think about other ways we can solve some of the issues that have remained unresolved for some time.

For example, if we can't change the three in 23 exam rule, perhaps we can release the exam schedule when students begin to sign up for courses so they at least have an idea of what their workload will be like during exam time, or know whether to defer a course to next semester or next year.

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available): 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1012536542125835/

Courtesy of Arman Bachmann

Arman Bachmann

Fourth-year social science 

Why are you running for this position?

I am running for the position of senator-at-large because I believe my years at Western have provided me with many insights on academic policies and academic issues that undergraduate students care about. I seek to act as a passionate, outspoken voice for these academic issues while providing an open ear to listen to any students who reach out to me. It is a great opportunity to serve and meet more of the talented undergraduates here at Western.

If elected as a senator, what do you plan on working on/advocating for students?

I believe releasing final exam schedules earlier than they are currently is an important initiative for many students who must book flights home after exams or need longer notice to plan other activities after exams. If comparable universities in Ontario are able to release their schedules earlier then I’m sure Western can, too.

Also, current exam accommodation policies, such as three in 23, are too restrictive to benefit many students and fail to prevent students from stressing about their exam schedules impacting their final grades. As a senator I will work to find concrete solutions to problems such as these.

Your platform/website/Facebook page (if available):

https://www.facebook.com/Arman-Bachmann-for-Senator-At-Large-2016-520935228088512/

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