As the student in charge of one of the largest faculties on campus, being a faculty president is no easy job. Meet your presidential candidates for the faculty of science.

Graeden Middel

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Graeden Middel

Current year and program: Second-year medical sciences

Favourite item at The Spoke: Veggie bagelwich on a jalapeno cheddar bagel with roasted red pepper cream cheese

Why are you running for faculty president this year?

I’m running for faculty president because I want to offer more science students the same opportunities that I was offered through the Science Students’ Council. The SSC helped me become a more involved, open and caring student, and we have the power to do this for all science students, however we must create the foundations for this to occur. We have to increase engagement opportunities for science students to connect with us directly and offer more services to empower our students.

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by students in your faculty?

I think the biggest challenge for science students is finding the proper platforms to benefit them. A lot of students, when looking for a particular service or form of help, have no idea where to go to. Right now the SSC isn’t doing a great job of addressing this. There aren’t good platforms for students to reach out to the SSC and have their ideas heard and problems solved. Our job is to represent all science students, but this becomes essentially impossible when we don’t have the foundations for students to reach us easily and effectively.

As president, what are the three most important initiatives you hope to accomplish in your term?

I think the three most important initiatives for me as president would be creating a science lounge, introducing leadership awards and getting students connected to more work-integrated learning opportunities.

Creating and facilitating a science lounge helps to both engage with students and to offer a space for students to take a break from university stress. Our students work hard on academics, but self-care is equally, if not more, important. This space would allow the SSC to connect with students, while allowing students to relax from academics. Leadership Awards would allow us to reward and support our students even more than we do now. We do offer some upper-year scholarships, but they aren’t enough, and we have the funding to offer more. Connecting students to work-integrated learning opportunities would help students gain experience, transferrable skills and beneficial connections. Learning in class is great, but having real experience gives unparalleled advantages.

How have your previous experiences prepared you for this position?

I’ve had the pleasure of being both a department representative as a first-year representative and a University Students’ Council science councillor. There are different issues faced by different roles on council, and fixing these specific issues offers the ability to help a lot of students. This has allowed me to experience different aspects of the Science Students’ Council, helping me see problems from multiple perspectives and allowing me to find solutions for those problems. These positions have also allowed me to connect with many students-at-large, to be able to hear their issues and ideas; now, I want to create feasible solutions.


Frank Ye

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Frank Ye

Current year and program: Third-year interdisciplinary medical sciences

Favourite item at The Spoke: Ham & Swiss bagelwich on mushroom Swiss 

Why are you running for faculty president this year?

I am running for faculty president this year because I want to translate my passion into action and continue the work that I started this year as one of your University Students' Council councillors. I see many of the day-to-day problems that students face being ignored, whether it is the lack of study space, the broken power bars on Taylor Library's main floor or the broken academic consideration system; all these issues need to be addressed. I want to lead the charge in fixing these problems; although I am a leader, I am still here to serve you.

What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by students in your faculty?

The biggest challenge by far is apathy. Students are not seeing results from their leaders, and thus, have no confidence in their ability to bring change. Student are not going to become interested in politics because you give them food or show them a nice poster. They need to see student leaders working on their behalf and producing tangible results. To combat apathy, we need to show students concrete results of our efforts, they need to see promises being kept, they need to see their voices being represented and above all else they need to see their concerns being heard.

As president, what are the three most important initiatives you hope to accomplish in your term?

My platform is broken up into five main parts, but the three main focuses are

1. Replacing broken power bars on Taylor main. When students are already stressing about exams, they shouldn’t need to stress about finding a working outlet; I will replace all broken power bars on Taylor main before the start of the new school year.

2. Academic consideration reform — the plan consists of three parts: implementing mandatory make up tests, giving students five grade days per semester and allowing students to miss an assessment worth up to 25 per cent of their mark without need to provide documentation.

3. Mental health reform — I take a practical and research-based approach to tackling this issue. I want to expand the coverage at Western University as there are some wellness issues that no professional on campus is trained to handle, and I want to implement an online system like the one at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

How have your previous experiences prepared you for this position?

In my roles as USC councillor and the vice-chair of the advocacy standing committee, I have shown that I am willing to work hard. I passed five motions on the council floor, ranging from supporting transgender students to starting the process of working towards academic consideration reform. My advocacy has gone to municipal, provincial and federal levels in meetings with the mayor, provincial politicians and federal politicians. I worked hard to earn your trust as a USC councillor, I worked hard to advocate on your behalf as an Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance delegate and now I will work hard as your president.

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