This year’s Con-Ed Student Association’s election will see one team focused on making the program an inclusive, supportive faculty with plenty of opportunities for students.
Tiffany Wong and Connie Trinh, both Con-Ed ’19, and Sarah Reddick, Con-Ed ’20, form Team Create, this year’s uncontested candidates running for the Con-Ed Student Association’s (CESA) executive. Wong will be running for President, with Trinh and Reddick running for Vice-President (External) and Vice-President (Internal) respectively.
After deciding to run for President, Wong reached out to Reddick – a Con-Ed student with no leadership experiences within CESA – to run for the VP external position.
“In forming this team, I tried my best to be intentional about reaching out to certain people to join this team,” Wong said. “I really do want to represent the diversity of Con-Ed students to improve the overall quality of our community and make sure that we, as executive, each have different leadership opportunities that we’ve already been involved in.”
Basing their campaign around how they can foster more student involvement within and without CESA, Team Create has built their platform, titled “Celebrating Student Involvement,” on three pillars: Promoting Professional Development; Community Celebration; and Breaking Down Barriers.
Wong said the Community Celebration pillar best reflects the philosophy of Team Create’s campaign and goal for inclusivity. If elected, the team will place value on student experiences and leadership outside of CESA to make it a faculty that welcomes and supports students of different backgrounds and personalities.
“Our goal is to create new opportunities for student involvement while at the same time celebrating what students are involved with already,” Wong said. “We want to make sure that every student is seen, heard, and valued. We want to remind students that their identity as a Con-Ed student isn’t measured by their level of engagement within CESA and it’s not grounded on their personality type.”
To develop their first pillar, Reddick plans to create opportunities in which Con-Ed students can develop their professional skills and begin building a career before graduation.
“We want to create opportunities in which [students] can gain valuable skills to be used after graduation and during school,” Reddick said.
When looking at her internal candidacy, Trinh approaches the VP role with an understanding that financial insecurity is a significant barrier to student involvement. She’s specifically concerned with financial access to CESA events and intends to revolutionize their budget to provide free access to otherwise costly events.
“We want to re-look at our budget, and re-allocate funds towards different events, like year events, so that those events can be more financially accessible,” Trinh said. “It’s the same with the bursary budget; we want to allocate more funds for those who need financial support.”
Team Create recognizes that CESA currently doesn’t have enough affordable opportunities for students to get involved, as many of their events charge attendance fees. Trinh intends to use the team’s third pillar – Breaking Down Barriers – to eliminate social barriers and expand the definition of what it means to be a participating member of CESA beyond their events.
“We understand that in order to be more inclusive as a faculty there is a shift in culture that needs to be performed,” Trinh said. “We want to initiate that shift by being intentional in reaching out to other Con-Ed students who aren’t always at our Con-Ed events.”
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