Teams talk ResSoc election

Three trios in contention for newly created society

DDP’s campaign values representing students’ voices.
DDP’s campaign values representing students’ voices.
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Team PAS hopes to improve the experience of first-years.
Team PAS hopes to improve the experience of first-years.
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Team YSO’s platform is built on advocacy, accessibility
Team YSO’s platform is built on advocacy, accessibility
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Representing the student voice is one of the main focuses of team DDP’s campaign for the newly created Residence Society.

DDP’s platform is based on four pillars: community, student voice, integration and experience.

“There is a disparity between what Council believes students want and what students actually want,” presidential candidate Hasina Daya, Artsci ’14, said.

Daya’s running mates include vice-president of judicial affairs candidate Chantal D’souza, ConEd ’14, and vice-president of residence affairs candidate Katie Preisner, ArtSci ’14.

The team proposes using focus groups to determine what students want and also hope to create a closer relationship between the executive and students.

With the amalgamation of the Main Campus Residence Council (MCRC) and Jean Royce Hall Council (JRHC) set to happen next year, team DDP believe they have an advantage given their team members’ experience with both councils Daya and D’souza have served as a don and house president respectively on Main Campus and Preisner has acted as house president of Harkness International Hall and vice-president of student affairs on JRHC. D’souza, who has also been a Residence Facilitator and Student Constable, said she hopes to create the Positive Recognition Program. When a student is noted doing something good, the act would be recorded. This goes on the student’s record, and when the student is brought in for an infraction, the previous good acts of behaviour will be considered. “This bridges the gap between students and residence staff … to not see the staff as the enemy,” D’souza said.

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Team PAS plans on advancing the first-year experience with better events for first-year students, if elected for the Residence Society executive. Proposed activities include a camping trip or a Summer Olympics day during Orientation Week.

Presidential candidate Amar Randhawa, Comm ’14, is running with vice-president of judicial affairs candidate Pranay Khanna, Sci ’13, and vice-president of residence affairs candidate Selene Lopez Reyes, Nurs ’14.

Randhawa said his team would ensure the consistency of house events, so that no residence would have better events than another. Khanna, who has worked as a residence facilitator with MCRC for three years, said he wants more student input in the judicial system.

“There has been a judicial advisory board in the past,” he said, “but most of the students don’t even know that it exists.” He wants to hold incentivized focus groups to gain student opinions on residence rules. Lopez, who has worked as a don, said she’s learned that personal development is crucial for first-years.

“We want to create [the Residence Alumni Mentorship Program], which links students with upper-year students, not necessarily by faculty but by interests, so they can learn more about career development in the future,” she said. Randhawa’s experience as MCRC’s vice president of finance made the handling of funds another focus of the team’s platform.

Aside from transparency and accountability of budget, they propose to invest surplus from MCRC fees into a financial portfolio or into implementing something like a bike rental program, which the team feels will benefit the community.

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Team YSO is running on a platform of invigorating the residence experience, according to current MCRC vice-president of residence affairs and now presidential candidate Dorothy Yu, ArtSci ’14.

YSO also includes vice-president of judicial affairs candidate Claire O’Connor, ArtSci ’14, and vice-president of residence affairs candidate Mariam Shafi Khan, ArtSci ’15.

The team’s campaign is based on three pillars: advocacy, activities,and accountability. They seek to create a close connection with students through social media.

“We will have summer updates with information videos, introducing our constituents to residence and to us, and a more interactive Facebook page,” Yu said. “This will really establish us from the start as a go-to place for help.” The team’s proposed changes to the judicial system include shifting the demerit system into an “accountability system” and focusing on chronic infractions.

YSO will also use social media to promote ResRules before students move in, such as through videos or memes, and will follow up by posting a copy of the rules on every floor and creating a concise one-page outline of major rules and consequences.

“I am positive that by implementing a systematic way of making sure all students and staff members in residence not only know the ResRules thoroughly, but also understand why they are in place, we can avoid a lot of the miscommunications that currently happen, and make sure no one feels treated unjustly for violating the ResRules,” O’Connor said.

Voting takes place on Jan. 29 and 30.

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