Staff | Interview
The Avro Post reached out with questions for University of Guelph Senate candidate Kayla Terceira following the launch of her campaign to take a single by-election seat up for grabs at Guelph-Humber this fall.
This is the relevant text of the interview.
1) In your platform, you mention “less limitations on student government for increased student autonomy” — does this mean you want an independent student government at the University of Guelph-Humber
I was thinking more about clubs that are affiliated with IGNITE. Something like posters and promotions have very strict guidelines, even down to asking permission to have a meeting. I think some of these rules should be loosened lightly, just to allow autonomy among these clubs. I look forward to working with IGNITE to work on what guidelines are necessary for student/ IGNITE protection, versus what could be changed.
2) While we aren’t absolute in this, there are a few platform items that would normally be associated with being under the jurisdiction of IGNITE executives, what would you say to that?
If that is the case, then I would hope to lend power to IGNITE and help support them in terms of policy to keep these ideas flowing into Guelph Humber. Specifically Guelph Humber, because we only have one small little cafe in our building itself.
3) What has motivated you to run? Has your experience with ARG or any other leadership experience motivated or prepared you?
I think my experience with ARG definitely motivated me. I was excited to bring student voices to light about policy change, and give them a position of power in their own education. However, it was deratified immediately and we lost all leverage because of reasons that everyone involved had, that I don’t feel is right to disclose in this way. We had people afraid to join and afraid to come to meetings. There’s only so much we could do to help forward the policy changes that were needed in the eyes of the students. When I left, it was a hard decision. But, I needed to do what was best for my future and the future of the student body. It was disappointing that it ended the way it did, but I hope that I am able to take some of the ideas that I had for ARG to senate.
In terms of experience in leadership, I was involved in student government in high school in a position of power. I find that it was helpful in learning how to balance school work, personal and professional relationships, while actually doing the work I wanted to be doing. I find that it has prepared me, especially in balancing those relationships. I think that’s the most important part of student leadership. If you’re too professional and rigid, you’re unapproachable. If you’re too friendly and not professional enough, you’re not seen as credible enough. I think it also taught me how to deal with conflict with friends and peers. I find that I am capable of being stern without alienating allies and peers; I also find that that’s a skill that is learned – not innate.
4) Have you held other positions, either paid or elected at Guelph-Humber?
In terms of student government, I was the Vice President of Correspondences for the ARG before is was deratified. In terms of other positions in the school, I have held positions within the school such as Co-Communications Manager for the Psychology Conference, this year I’m going to be a START leader. I haven’t been involved in other student-based activities as much, simply due to conflicts in my schedule.
5) What would you like students to know about you?
I want them to know about my integrity. I want people to know that if I say I’ll do something, I will do it, or I will try. And I will do so in an honest way, without malice or pettiness. I want to do as much as I can for the school without being aggressive in any way. I also want them to know that I am not a pushover. I want to help and keep the students informed as much as I can but I will not let people belittle me to get their way, and I will fight hard for them in the same way. I also want them to know that I am not running for me. I am one of more than 5000 students. My voice is no more important that any one else’s.
Everything I want to do and I want to get done will be done because people want me to. I want people to know that I am not interested in putting my own interests before any of my fellow senator’s, or before my peer’s. And I want them to know that I am open to criticism. if someone believes that I am not doing what they elected me for, I want them to come to me, professionally and politely, and have a discussion on what I can do better. I want them to know I will never speak over them, and I will do my best to bring up what they say to me to fellow senators. I believe that this is what is important when people choose who they believe is the best to represent them.
More coverage to follow. Image of the candidate from Kayla Terceira.