Eli Ridder | Report

There are five students vying for two seats on the Board of Directors — only one of them gave an interview to The Avro Post going in-depth with her plan for governance, Erika Caldwell.

The other four — Afifa Abbaszadeh, Drake Foo, Jim Hung and Julia Ciampa — have left the student body largely relying on their social media and blurbs on the IGNITE website for information on their campaigns.


Abbaszadeh

Abbaszadeh, who was the only candidate to refuse an interview, has a four part platform where she promises fiscal responsibility, accountability, transparency and advocation for change.

The Justice Studies student vows to “only approve funding for IGNITE if it will benefit students, ensure the student union and its elected officials are “held accountable for their choices” and carry out their platforms.

The candidate also said she would “maintain transparency between IGNITE and the student body regarding the funds spent and platform promises” and “advocate for change that will benefit” current and future students.


Foo

Drake Foo is all about the social relations on campus, he told The Avro Post during the elections Mix and Mingle event earlier this month.

“I’d like to create more opportunities for us to meet and interact with people from outside our own programs,” he says in his IGNITE candidate blurb, adding: “I’d push for social events and clubs that are diverse to all programs.”

Foo also wants to advocate for greater study space at the university by optimizing classroom use, saying that “school space is valuable, and we should make the most of every room.”

The last platform item he brings forward is his plan, if elected, to push for hot water at the GH Café “for everyone” so that students can bring their own hot drinks with reusable cups to save money and cut down on waste.


Hung

Jim Hung’s description on the IGNITE candidates page is short, where he says he wants to “continue to provide the best service possible with changes to legislation and possible budget cuts to IGNITE.”

However, his plan as described at the Mix and Mingle event goes further with a take different in comparison to a majority of other candidates — dismissing questions about optional student fees to focus on “academic excellence”.

Hung proposed two ideas he said he would be fighting for if elected: Putting in place a system for complaints against professors and having the end-of-semester course reviews made public for transparency’s sake.


Ciampa

Julia Ciampa has not responded to any request for comment or an interview and was not present at the Mix and Mingle election event, however, her platform is well-detailed on her campaign social media.

Ciampa calls for expanding the budget for financial bursaries “in order to allow additional students to receive support”, advocate against the recent changes to student grants by the Ontario government and work with the executives and University of Guelph-Humber senators to “ensure exception education”.

Under the heading “remote student engagement”, Ciampa says, if she is elected, she wants to “continue to create events in order to foster school spirit and pride” and hold an end-of-the-year event.

In a platform item unique to Guelph-Humber, Ciampa wants to create an online counselling service that is confidential. Currently, students are referred to the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre for mental health care.

Ciampa also aims to “bring forth initiatives such as ‘The Friendship Bench’ and Canadian Mental Heath Week”.


Image of candidates from IGNITE.

Written by Eli Ridder

Eli Ridder is a freelance journalist. He founded The Avro Post in October 2017. He writes for Breaking911 and Guelph Politico, among others. Feel free to connect at ELIRIDDER@ICLOUD.COM or at ELIRIDDER.CA

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