Melissa Lopez | Report
During the mix and mingle event on Wednesday at the Humber Lakeshore campus student centre, two board candidates spoke about their platforms to students.
In attendance for the first 30 minutes of the event only two board candidates were present, Camilia Ruiz Tacha and Asiya Awan. The candidates that were not interviewed by The Avro Post were vice president candidates Ostap Pavliuk, Ryan Stafford and board candidate Stephanie Fallico.
Camilia Ruiz Tacha
Maria Camilia Ruiz Tacha, who goes by Camilia is currently in her third year of the child and youth program at Humber Lakeshore. Tacha is running for the first time and has a background of working with the First Year Experience (FYE) program and within the athletics department.
Tacha says her platform is based on three main goals; providing financial help to students, specifically international and out-of-province students- promoting mental health and creating more projects about accessibility on campus.
“I have talked to a lot of international students that tell me there are not enough scholarships or grants that are provided to them,” said Tacha.
“I want to try to push for more grants that can help those international students instead because they have more costs than we do and it would be really helpful for them to get that money back.”
Tacha said students should vote for her because of her involvement around campus and her passion for students.
When asked about being transparent with independent student publications, like the Avro Post, Tacha said it helps with getting students informed.
“I think it’s really great that you guys are able to go around and talk to everybody and see everyone’s points of view and get it out there. A lot of these elections don’t really get heard by students so I think its a great way to for us to get our word out there,” said Tacha.
Asiya Awan is a third-year student within the paralegal studies program and has also had experience working with the FYE program as a peer mentor and has volunteered with orientation events at Humber Lakeshore.
Awan says because of her passion for volunteering she decided to run for her first time at IGNITE as a board of director.
“The reason I’m running is that, over the past two and a half years during my volunteer experience I have met so many students all from different programs and different backgrounds and more importantly different perspectives,” said Awan.
“The one common thing between all of us is that we are all students, we face the same obstacles, we face the same barriers and if elected into this position I hope I can be an advocate and a voice for all of us.”
Awan’s campaign slogan is “building our future together” and she says her platform will focus on student engagement and awareness.
“Personally, IGNITE would not exist if it wasn’t for what the students’ concerns were, and what the students wanted,” said Awan.
“So in order for it to function is for them to hear student concerns and what they want and that’s only possible if a board of director like myself steps in and actively seeks out students and ask them what they hope to see happen on campus and what they don’t like about campus.”
Awan said from all the IGNITE events she has attended over the past two years she says she does not see enough board of directors present.
“I think that’s very disappointing because the role of a board of director is to act as a leader for students, we’re here for the students and if that presence isn’t there how are we expected to move forward,” said Awan.
“An idea that I have is to engage with students constantly, which is not just by being present at IGNITE events but by engaging with them on a daily basis, -there are so many different students and I would be able to access them and what their concerns are.”
The main topic during the mix and mingle was the funding cuts to student fees and Awan says she is extremely disappointed by it.
“I am a low-income student myself and a lot of the assistance that I received was based on grants including the low-income family grant and its affected me a lot. One of my goals is to work with students affected and establish what they need within the structure we have here at IGNITE,” said Awan.
When asked about being transparent with any student publication Awan said she has no problem with being interview by publications like Avro and believes it is important for students from Guelph-Humber to be aware of what happens at Lakeshore.
Image from the Candidates Mix and Mingle from The Avro Post.