The BCITSA general election is just around the corner, with 30 candidates vying for 12 positions
30 candidates are running for a position on the BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) executive board, some seeking re-election, some getting involved in student politics for the first time, and others exercising a passion to get involved.
Last year, the BCITSA saw 33 candidates run for various positions on student council, which broke the record. The year before only 18 that ran, which changed campus politics according to elections chief Marwan Marwan.
“The voting turnout last year was the highest and it was a really tough race,” Marwan told The Link. “Last year really kind of rocked the boat and challenged the status quo.”
Marwan said he is happy about this year’s candidate turnout and acknowledged the current executives for encouraging students to run in the election.
“One of the most amazing things for me was the personality in the people that are running,” said Marwan. “A big thank you needs to go out to the current councilors that rallied these students to run for positions.”
One candidate’s personality has shone through in a unique way, through a rap song and video produced for her campaign. Eirene Cloma, who is running for vice president of student affairs, said she wanted to engage students and encourage creative campaigning.
“I felt with a rap video it would kind of mix things up in the campaign and appeal to other senses that may not necessarily be stimulated when you’re so busy with school,” Cloma told The Link. “The main goal of doing [the rap] is to let that creative fire grow.”
Last year, only two candidates ran for president. This year, there are five hopefuls, one of whom was looking forward to an opportunity to be a voice for students.
[pullquote]“I know how hard our students work and I know how great they are and I really want to offer them everything they deserve.” — Rebecca Davidson, presidential candidate[/pullquote]
“[Politics] seemed like a lot of hard work and up until coming to BCIT, I wasn’t really interested in hard work but I am now and I think this will be a lot of fun,” presidential candidate PJ Krider told The Link. “I really want to be a sort of voice for the students. I have a big mouth, so I’m good at that.”
Tristan Gillon, another candidate for president, said he is running because of encouragement from current executives, but admitted he doesn’t have a lot of experience.
“Honestly, not a whole lot,” Gillon told The Link when asked what experience he has going into the election. “A few years ago, I never would have expected myself to run for anything, so this is a big step for me. I’m really excited about doing it.”
Kevin Hipolito, who is also running for president, said he is involved because of the number of students that he has seen dropping out of BCIT, despite their potential.
“I want people that are smart and ready for the working world to actually get through the hardest years of their potential life,” said Hipolito.
Jamie Clark is also in the running for president and feels his work in the BCITSA’s marketing department has prepared him well for the potential role.
“I learned a lot about the Student Association and how they run things,” said Clark.
Rebecca Davidson is the other presidential hopeful. She reitereated that her passion for the students of BCIT as her motivation to run.
“Everyone got me really passionate and I realized how much more we can do for the school,” said Davison. “I know how hard our students work and I know how great they are and I really want to offer them everything they deserve.”
A new position was created this year to represent BCIT’s downtown campus, with one candidate in the running.
Voting for all positions will take place from Friday, April 12 to Friday, April 19.
To find out more about the candidates, you can read their platforms below. Please note that only those who responded to questions have been included and all responses are unedited.
Candidates for President
Since the beginning of my time at BCIT I have been involved with the SA. I began by participating in the SA’s Peak Leadership program and then became more involved with the SA this past summer, working part-time in their marketing department. My experience with the SA gives me insight into areas that are strong and those that need improvement. I want to lead the SA in maintaining its strengths and bettering its weaknesses.
Lets face it… you are not going to enjoy every minute of BCIT, but I want to make everyone’s time here a little less stressful. I want to do this by increasing what the SA is able to offer its parttime and full-time students. I will achieve this by maximizing the efficiency of the SA, freeing up resources to be used in new ways to serve you.
Students at BCIT are the most determined and dedicated people I have come across thus far in my life. It would be an honour to work hard for what this BCIT student body deserves. I have the leadership and compassion the position will require. Some of the factors that inspired my campaign are my two full time years here, sitting on the Education Council and working as a peer tutor at the BCIT learning commons.
If elected my objective would be to create a safe atmosphere for students, where all their voices and concerns are heard; I will take on a challenge for you. Some of the changes and initiatives I want to achieve are: to improve the communication between students and faculty, to collaborate student ideas and encourage interaction, especially between schools and to ensure proper study areas are available and flexible to meet the needs of every student.
Being President is about representation; it is about taking the ideas, voices, and needs of the students and bringing them to the Board. What a President needs is the ability to present, persuade, and deliver a point and I know I can do just that. I will serve to represent and advocate for all students.
BCIT is already highly regarded in providing students with strong work ethic and amazing team skills but I want to bring more to our table. As President I will look into having BCIT participate in more inter-school projects, hold effective seminars on work placement, and take initiative on opportunities to improve BCIT as a whole.
Far too often politics comes down to voting for a lesser of two evils. Students shouldn’t have to make that choice. I’m running because I want to do something positive for BCIT and the people who go here. It would be arrogant of me to claim I know what’s best for you guys – only you know that. I’m here to listen to what you guys want and give voice to your opinions and ideas.
I want to get students involved in more social activities. This is the time where we can make friends that will be with us for life. I also want to make the whole BCIT experience more affordable – from tuition, books and food vendors on campus. If we are the future, we should not have to pile up huge amounts of debt to realize this future.
Candidates for Vice President, Finance, and Administration
I believe in BCIT and am passionate about improving student services & lifestyle while being financially responsible. I am currently a member of student council and sit on the 2013 budget committee for the BCITSA. My background with the budget committee and the Financial Management Program at BCIT provides me with a strong foundation for the responsibilities of this office.
During my term in office some of the key improvements I would like to make are improve the availability sof used books on campus, make BCITSA services available to part time and satellite campus students, create more specials and healthy menu items at the pub, improve availability of food options during the weekend, work with BCIT in cleaning up the bathrooms and student areas. To learn more about me visit my LinkedIn Page: linkedin.com/in/bradjohnsonfinance
I am currently a set rep in my first term, one of my set mates recently had his apartment building burn down, and through that, discovered that students have little support in cases of emergencies and I want that to change. I believe that I can change that through the Student Association. I have experience in accounting and have great interpersonal skills. I love being active in my community when I get the chance.
I want students have a support network in case they have a real life emergency. I want fundraisers to happen, so students can get financial aid. Some emergencies are traumatic, and I want them to have places to go to deal with them, and the knowledge of where to get all this help. Students need more support then they get. These aren’t issues that affect everyone, but you never know when they will.
Candidates for Vice President, Campus Life
I am seeking election because I am passionate about BCIT student involvement. As a current councilor for the SA, I learned that we have the power to change almost any aspect of our school. I believe that our campus vibe can be more positive and BCIT’s events more engaging! I bring passion, dedication and my outgoing personality to the position and I look forward to the opportunity of enhancing the student experience at BCIT.
If elected, I intend to promote campus spirit by continuing events such as Froshfest, SA 5K and instituting many others. I would like to enhance orientation for new students and improve interfaculty relationships. My ultimate goal is to create a fun and engaging environment that encourages students to become more involved with each other across faculty boarders. BCIT is a fantastic place to meet new people, make lifelong friends and future connections!
I have been through enough of BCIT that I will be able to make a difference in the way the school treats its students. I have been here for over 2 years and have experienced much of what this school has to offer. I wish to improve the school in any way that I will be able to, even if it means going above and beyond my position.
As VP of Campus Life I have a few goals that I wish to achieve, including reducing club fees and making it easier for students to start up clubs. I will also be striving to make BCIT a more social, exciting campus by pushing for more pub parties and campus wide events.
Candidates for Vice President, External
I am seeking re-election as VP External because I wish to continue to ensure the BCITSA delivers value to BCIT students. My experience as VP External this year will make for a smooth transition into next year and I can offer valuable insight to newly elected executives. As VP External I will continue my work from this year to build on existing relationships with BCIT and the BCIT Alumni Association for the
As VP External I will work to ensure student fees do not rise, education is already expensive enough, and raising fees will not enhance student life at BCIT. Second, I want to increase access to student services for part-time students. Third, is electoral reform, the current student election process is far from perfect and needs to be fixed.
I’m seeking an election at this time because I feel I have a lot of qualities that would be useful from Computer Information Technology. I am fourth level student at the moment and am wanting expand my knowledge in the world of leadership, raise my experience, and establish a connection with the student body
I’m hoping to achieve; more bus routes, better connection with out post-secondary schools through social events and continuing the u-pass referendum.
Candidates for Vice President, Student Affairs
I am inspired by the potential for growth and positive change within student culture. I believe that I possess the necessary intention, skills, attitude, and relevant experience to make students care about their school environment. I recognize how diverse our student body is, and how we all experience and internalize things uniquely. I will support all students with this perspective, through an open-minded, inclusive, and compassionate approach.
I want students to understand BCIT policies, to feel supported if something doesn’t feel right, and to know what resources and options are available to them. I will emphasize extra-curricular learning and community-building using media and culture. For example, I could make meaningful video PSAs about self-care, rape culture, sustainability, and racism. Through collaboration, I would like to encourage students to contribute and apply their skills by participating in committees, campaigns, and research.
Since coming to BCIT, I’ve naturally fallen into an advocacy role within my intake, and I want to extend that to the entire school. I believe that every student’s success should hinge on only one thing: how hard they work. I want to invest my time to eliminate any obstacles they might face, so that they can focus on what we all want: getting a great education and a great job.
There are multiple improvements I would like to work towards, such as better bus service during peak hours, a greater awareness of clubs, or the quicker adoption of skills and certifications that employers want. Ultimately, what I work towards has to be relevant to students. Therefore, my primary goal is to remain receptive to their needs, both individually and as a group, and then address those concerns as efficiently and as passionately as possible.
I want to help students get jobs. In the past, the VP of Student Affairs has focused more on academic grades and helping students pass courses. But what’s more important to you, passing a test or getting a job? What’s the point of getting high grades if you can’t get a job? I want focus the Student Affairs Office on what really matters to students. And that’s finding work in school and after graduation.
I intend to leverage BCIT’s sterling reputation to create more direct industry liasons with students such as through mentorship programs and networking sessions. I want to help the Workplace Co-operative Education Office become more accountable and effective in helping students obtain work placements. Finally, I want to be accessible to students as an advocate for their needs.
Candidate for Chair of the Aerospace Technology Campus
I have the leadership qualities needed for this position. I can face challenges straight on and well represent our students. I will be a transparent, empathetic and hardworking chair for you! I will dedicate the time and effort necessary to listen, observe and solve any issues or concerns our student body may or shall have. I believe in a campus in which all trades and levels of study have a clear and open communication.
To improve the quality of student life in campus by creating a welcoming, exciting and nurturing environment to international, out of province and domestic students. An essential part of continuing to improve our community is to move forward and build a stronger, well united community where learning is comfortable, easy and most importantly one which we all look forward to going to everyday! Let’s make our experience here at BCIT one that we’ll remember always!
Candidate for Chair of Downtown Campus
As a student who has the majority of his classes downtown, I am in a unique position to represent the downtown campus. I live in both the Burnaby and Downtown campus and able to provide a working knowledge of both. This affords me the face time to speak to issues on both sides, as well as represent each campus, when I am at the other. I am running to represent everyone at DTC.
As you may know, Columbia College currently utilizes 2 floors of the downtown campus. With the refurbishment on the way, they will vacate these floors. I am actively advocating for one floor to be devoted entirely to the students and also the Student Association, so all BCIT students can receive Student Services. It is my goal to put in a purification water system, as well as a lounge and study area complete with microwaves.
Candidate for Chair of the School of Business
On stage he makes the crowd Rock & Scream. On campus he just Rocks, enough said. I want to make the upcoming year the best year ever by getting involved in all aspects of school and student life. BCIT is great but there is always room for improvement and making something great even greater is my motto. YOLO? YOVO!
For those who know me, I’m real and upfront. I won’t make promises I can’t keep such as lowering tuition and improving parking issues because they’re outside of the realistic scope. But I will put my dedication to improve networking opportunities amongst different faculties and industries, communication between students and instructors, education qualities, and school facilities. Let me be the man to speak for you all in the front line! Vote Jay Jung.
I, like all of us at BCIT, have big dreams for myself after all this schooling is done. However, as graduation is still a couple years away, why should I wait until school is over to make a difference? Chair of Business is a position that I have had my eye on ever since September and it fits with who I am: organized, supportive and outgoing.
I hope to become a staple at BCIT and an advocate of change. I want to be someone who students want to share their concerns, questions or ideas with and have the ability to do something about it. I am not the kind of person who sits around and does nothing; I need to be involved and busy to feel that I have had a successful day.
Candidate for Chair of the School of Computing
As a Set Representative, Iíve witnessed the Student Association work hard in making many changes to the school to accommodate students. As Chair of the School of Computing & Academic Studies I will continue to push for the changes that we need to make your experience at BCIT the best it can possibly be. I also want to continue providing the advocacy that the previous executives are known for.
I want to create an entrepreneurship club that welcomes students from all of the schools and helps foster start-ups and projects. There are many students with ideas and many students with the technical knowledge to turn these ideas to life. I want to connect these students and help them form partnerships. I would also like to create more opportunities for computing students to meet and relax from their studies.
Candidate for Chair of the School of Energy
I am seeking election because I want to be involved in the decisions that affect BCITanditsstudents. Ihaverealizedthatthemostimportantaspectofthis school is all of the students who go here and I want to give them a powerful, passionate voice within the student association.
If elected as the Chair for the School of Energy I hope to be able to make positive, proactive decisions about policies and events that will provide the best education and campus experience for all students. I hope to achieve a good relationship with all bodies involved around BCIT and make this campus a place that all students can be proud of!
Candidate for Chair of the School of Health Sciences
I am an advocate for fundraising and charities, and being in a health promotional field, I would love to lead the charge for more fundraisers at BCIT to not only gain experience, but to help those in need. I am a vocal person and I am not afraid to speak out, so the Chair of Health Sciences would serve as a solid platform for me to help those who are afraid to speak out.
I want to involve Health Science students in opportunities that may take them out of their comfort zone and help them grow professionally. Strengthening the voice of the students belonging to each faculty and seeking opportunities for exercising leadership in the community will enrich their experience at BCIT. The graduates from the year that I am in office will walk away from BCIT an unique experiences and confidence.
I want to see a more connected and engaged community especially within Health Sciences. How many of us know our fellow students outside of our program – the very people who will be our future colleagues? Why not start the collaboration now? As chair, I believe we can shift the focus from being program-specific to becoming a network of disciplines. Connected, we will be motivated to work together to shape a better student experience.
I would like to provide avenues for networking and inter-collaboration of students across health science programs and other schools. Also, since students are busy with their studies, it is important that we continue and enhance mental health, wellbeing and health promotion services and resources to all students to ensure a healthy student body. Furthermore, I would like to see more environmentally conscious campus services (ex. more water bottle filling stations across campus, composting).
Candidate for Chair of the School of Transportation, Construction, & the Environment
I am seeking election because I know I am right for the job. I will work hard to represent my fellow students in all matters. I am a good problem solver and clear communicator that will dedicate my time and energy making student life as pain-free as possible. I know that amazing things can happen when you speak up. It would be my privilege to be the loud voice of my fellow students.
One thing I would hope to achieve is a higher level of awareness. Every student should be informed about all the rights and benefits associated with full time enrollment. There are an abundance of tools and resources that come with tuition fees and it’s a shame to let them go to waste. With more information and better communication students can actually take advantage of all the services available.
As a 3rd year Architectural Science student, I understand and appreciate the hard work that it takes to succeed at BCIT. I have been actively involved as a Set Representative, Student Councillor for the SA, and I recently co-founded and became president of Architectural Connections, a student club. I am ready to take my leadership skills to the next level to reach out and serve the larger community of BCIT.
The school of Transportation, Construction, and the Environment is a large school with many different programs. I will work hard to create better lines of communication and improve the networking within this school to ensure that every student’s needs are met. I will continue to reach out to the Great Northern Way satellite campus, making sure all voices are heard.
As a BCIT student, I have learned that you have to be tough to succeed here. We all endure sleepless night working on projects and assignments, not to mention surviving an exam month instead of exam week — unlike those university friends of ours. This is why I want to represent all of you tough BCIT students because well, we are all awesome!
As Chair I will help make sure all of you are aware of what type of benefits BCIT and the SA have to offer to make your learning here more enjoyable and successful. I want more of your ideas to be heard and I want to fight for issues that matter to students, like cleaner washrooms, water fountains that work, and finding support for student appeals. I want to fight.
I usually go to BCITSA meetings as an observer or as an executive of the United Geeks Liberation Front (AKA the BCIT Board Games Club). However, Councillors or BCITSA execs are the only ones permitted votes at meetings. Since I’m going to the meetings anyway, I might as well be able to do something there.I basically want to get more involved with the runnings of the BCITSA!
There are many clubs and socieities for students in any of the engineering disciplines. The BCITSA was hardly even presented as an option for me to volunteer for! I find that it is a lot of work to sort through each group’s mandate and select one which aligns with my personal goals. I figure since I’m trying to figure this out for myself, I should leave that information cohesive for following generations of students.
Neetu was born and raised in the Okanagan Valley (minus the few toddler years she spent living in Punjab, India where her line of heritage is from). She moved to the lower mainland to attend BCIT and is now in her graduating year of the Broadcast and Online Journalism Program. Her writing and editing for Link magazine often happens late at night because when she’s not at school she works as a reporter and anchor for CKNW Newstalk 980 and is also involved in the start up of a charity called the Beautiful World Foundation. She loves to travel and feels fortunate to be in a field where she can share the stories of interesting and inspiring people from around the world.