Staff | The Panel

University of Guelph Senate candidates Hannah Derue and Emelia Maceášik participated in the Senate By-Election Debate hosted by The Avro Post on Tuesday, talking about their vision for the future.

The pair of senators sat in GH 424 on the University of Guelph-Humber’s top floor and were moderated by News Editor Jacob Argintaru, answering questions as they aim to win the remaining seat the university has on the Guelph Senate.

There are five candidates running in this by-election. Saffiya Lulat, a current elected official on the IGNITE Board of Directors, declined the invitation, Kayla Terciera had scheduling conflicts and the fifth candidate was unreachable via her GryphMail.

For ease of reading, the candidate’s answers to the moderator’s questions have been broken down so that their key message gets across to voters.

This is The Avro Post’s third The Panel, a live stream dedicated to student or student-related politics.

Why did you decide to run?

  • Maceášik: “Amazing experience” to connect with students, faculty; a ‘great oppurtunity’
  • Derue: Thinks “transparency and communications” is important, “students deserve to know where to go for certain issues” and wants to be the person to “bridge those connections”

What do you want to change?

  • Maceášik: “We need more accessibility and accommodations for students” with disabilities and those that are dependents for their parents
  • Derue: “Make sure that policies are very open to students”, assuring that students know where to go for accommodations, health and dental services, make sure there are community events happening, giving the example of Aboriginal Resource Centre; Aims to get students “engaged” in both services and events — Maceasik agrees

How will you stay accountable to students?

  • Derue: “I love this question”: Wants “knowledge translation session” after senate meetings where Derue as a senator would engage with students one-on-one in a town hall in person, or social media, to explain what happened at senate and take questions
  • Maceášik: Says she agrees with Derue

What experience do you have to lead?

  • Maceášik: “I occupy a whole bunch of different positions at Humber College”: President of Humber College’s Chapter of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Nursing Assistant; Has “a lot of experience working within an interdisciplinary team”
  • Derue: Praises interdisciplinary, and says she wants to let certain students know what options are available to them; VP of Events for Psych Society, Member of Psi Chi where she engages psych community and hopes to launch Pre-Medical school society, which would be the first inter-program society on campus

Is senate well advertised? Improve?

  • Maceášik: Says she did not know “Senate was a thing until a few weeks ago”, says the solution is more social media advertising, flyers
  • Derue: Says the key is “collaboration”, working with other groups, student government to get the word out; Student Life E-News, help from the administration to engage the students

Why is student government important?

  •  Maceášik: “Students need to have someone they can go and talk to, informally” about questions, concerns in regards to different policies
  • Derue: Says “it’s important to eliminate a certain kind of intimidation”, Wants to represent the majority at school which are students; Student voice is critical

What’s your take on Ontario free speech mandate?

What is this? Find out more: Ontario Free Speech Mandate

  • Maceášik: Doesn’t know, passes to Derue
  • Derue: Everyone, students and faculty and administration, at the school needs to work together to make effective for the students and administration it serves; Make sure it carters to students because “in all reality” it is about the students and their freedom of expression — Maceášik agrees with Derue, “do a couple surveys”

What can you do to promote inclusivity, accessibility on campus?

  • Maceášik: Notes her own hearing disability, she says she is in touch with the accessibility struggle and says she wants t make is easier for students to have access to accommodations; Says school needs more technology, like computers and textbook accommodations
  • Derue: Says a great part of promoting inclusivity and accessibility on campus is “being an ally to those who are marginalized, making sure that you stand next to someone”, coming beside them to find a solution; “It’s about empowering people”, meeting them one-on-one and then taking them to people who can make a difference for their accessibility needs

Closing arguments

  • Maceášik: “I’m going to listen to students, and bring your questions and concerns” to administration
  • Derue: “I want to bring a bold, new face to leadership on campus, I want to be the most transparent and consistent candidate that there is, and I really hope that you guys vote for me and give me the chance to use my power to empower others.”

More coverage to follow. 

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