Staff | Report
Fourth year psychology student Hannah Derue launched her campaign on Tuesday for the upcoming University of Guelph Senate by-election scheduled for the fall, in an attempt to represent Guelph-Humber in the academic policy chamber.
Ms. Derue, who is also the president of the independent and unofficial Academic Reform Group, told The Avro Post that she is motivated by “a variety of experiences as an undergraduate in the BASc. Psychology program” as she enters her fourth year.
The 21-year-old went into detail, citing “experiences from peers in the community with disability, as well as personal challenges with some of the University of Guelph-Humber’s policies and practices”.
“I’ve held other leadership positions within the University of Guelph-Humber and felt frustrated by the communication issues and lack of transparency that administration has had with students.”
Several students expressed similar views during the college faculty strike that took those enrolled at Guelph-Humber out of the classroom for five weeks during October and November of 2017, though not all agreed with criticism of the administration.
Although Derue does not have a website or complete platform at this time, she asks students to refer to her Hannah Derue for GH Senate Facebook page, which is how her campaign was brought to the Post’s attention on Wednesday morning.
However, Derue made clear her platform would be focused on “increasing student freedoms and accessibility measures on campus” along with transparency, topics she has not shied away from in her role within ARG and independently as a student.
“More will be coming in the next few weeks, and any changes or updates will be posted on the new Facebook page,” she added.
“Regardless of whether I get a seat on Senate or not, UofGH students can expect that I’ll be fighting for change where it matters to students of all programs,” Derue wrote in a statement to the Post.
About four hours later, Derue posted some platform points on her campaign page that included “increased” accessibility, GH representation on Senate, student freedoms, transparency and accountability to students.
The candidate also stressed she was open to student opinion via her email, email@example.com.
Derue is vocal in student politics at the University of Guelph-Humber, having founded the Academic Reform Group with the aim of changing academic policy for students and creating a student government for just the university.
Currently, Guelph-Humber elects student leaders to Humber College’s IGNITE executive and sends elected representatives to Guelph’s Senate where it holds four seats in the 160-plus chamber, the largest in Ontario.
In the spring, only three senators were elected and thus, in accordance with Guelph by-laws, there will be a by-election in the fall for an additional GH representative.
Derue held a rally during the college faculty strike of 2017 that called upon the Guelph-Humber administration to be more transparent with their plans for dealing with the situation, and it was followed by growing criticism from students campus-wide.
More coverage to follow. Image of Hannah Derue from Hannah Derue.