This year’s ASUS election sees a pair of third year students looking to draw on extensive student government and leadership experience in their bid for ASUS executive.
Sagal Sharma and Alissa Enns, both ArtSci ’19, characterized themselves as the “most qualified team” in this year’s ASUS executive elections. They back up this claim with a platform geared towards abiding by and extending the ASUS mandate.
In an interview with The Journal, Presidential candidate Sharma explained her team’s decision to run.
“We’re dedicated to ensuring that Arts and Science students understand the value of their degrees, and we’re excited to continuously advocate on behalf of student voices and ensure they are heard at the university level,” Sharma said.
While the prioritization of student voices has been a theme across numerous campaigns, what truly sets Team Sagal & Alissa apart is their governance and leadership experience at Queen’s. Sharma has worked as Deputy Returning Officer for the AMS in the past and currently works as ASUS Services Commissioner.
“Working directly in the division of student affairs means I have a firm understanding of the way the University operates, as well as the resources and opportunities that are available to all students, and specifically Arts and Science students,” Sharma said. “Understanding more about the ASUS mandate and operations is definitely going to be an asset within the role of ASUS president.”
As for Enns, she believes her membership on the Mental Health Awareness Committee has fostered a personal prioritization of mental health that will translate to her actions as Vice-President.
The vice-presidential candidate stated that she looks forward to “setting the tone, if elected…that self-care and self-awareness when it comes to your mental health are important.”
The team has released a platform centered on five pillars: professional development, academic advocacy, change management, ASUS unification and equity, as well as diversity and inclusion. Each of these objectives are accompanied by actionable items the team is looking to pursue if elected.
The implementation of a professional development certificate is an idea supported by Career Services meant to equip students with tools to succeed in the workplace. This would provide students with a certificate signifying the completion of a professional internship or practicum. Recipients will be viewed as more employable and competitive applicants, the team said.
With emphasis on the importance of ASUS as an academic support system, Team Sagal & Alissa promises to advocate for all Arts and Science students. Finally, in recognizing that equity, diversity and inclusion have become prominent topics on campus, Sharma said her team is pushing for a cultural shift in ASUS.
“ASUS should constantly be striving to create spaces on campus for its diverse student body to feel comfortable, welcome, and like they have a place within the Society and Queen’s as a whole,” Sharma said.
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