2021 QUSA ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
President: Haby Ka
Vice President: Syrine Gamra
Academic Director: Sam Hollon
Director of Arts: Avanya Joab, Harrison Cohen
Director of Intercultural Affairs: Apeksha Naik
Director of Health & Recreation: Isobel Casey, Tharcille Tuyisenge
Director of Social and Environmental Justice: Nathalie Burgeff
Haby Ka (President)
My name is Haby, I am currently in my 3rd year at Quest and I am running to be your next QUSA president. Having served in the same role this previous year, I am well aware of the importance of maintaining institutional continuity as our university is going through a period of transition. My goals remain the same: to advocate for students while providing the services and funding students need and deserve. I am counting on your vote to continue the work I have been doing to support the Quest community. Please feel free to reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding QUSA or the university in general.
Syrine Gamra (Vice President)
My name is Syrine, a second year student, and I’m running for the position of Vice President of QUSA.
The transition phase Quest is going through encouraged me to run for this position as I truly believe that student voice does not only matter, but also instrumental to decision making processes of the institution, especially now as Quest is trying to reshape itself. My main objectives are: to collaborate with Qusa members to advocate for students and support their learning experience in the best way possible during this transition period and beyond, and to also ensure student representation in Quest’s institutional planning for the upcoming year.
I believe that my current experience with Qusa as a general manager, combined with my involvement with different organisations all across the globe as a strategy associate or curriculum designer, I have the scope of skills, and understanding needed to be efficient in this position and to ensure that students have an effective political voice.
Please do not hesitate to reach out on Facebook or via email email@example.com if you have any questions. I’d be very happy to connect with you and provide you with any further information you need!
Sam Hollon (Academic Director)
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sam Hollon, and I’m running for re-election as Academic Director at QUSA. As this year’s Academic Director, I’ve had the honor to work on projects such as creating the Learning Guides program to continue previous years’ Peer Tutoring services, advocating for students’ course needs to inform slate planning, and providing academic support to individual students. I’m running for a second term because I want to do everything I can to help our community and academic program survive the transition into a new phase of our university’s story and flourish for years to come by (1) pushing for transparent communication by academic leadership, (2) ensuring student representation as Quest begins a new Academic Planning process, and (3) advocating for students’ individual academic success.
I bring two qualities to the position that I believe will help facilitate that transition: continuity and experience navigating changing academic environments. I bring continuity through my work as Academic Director this year and through my positive working relationships with Quest’s Chief Academic Officer, Curriculum Committee Chair, Academic Council Liaison to QUSA, and tutors. This puts me—and other QUSA incumbents—in a unique position to begin work right away to improve our school community. I bring extensive experience navigating changing academic environments from my time before university, when I attended a series of small alternative schools with similar visions to Quest as well as similar challenges—such as offering a rich academic experience with limited resources and maintaining a vibrant community in the face of unforeseeable change. At both the high schools I attended, I worked directly with teachers and administrators to develop new courses and academic offerings. And at the high school I graduated from, I conferred a student perspective on program changes during a time of financial, administrative, and community crisis. If elected Academic Director, I would apply that experience and passion to preserving and improving the Quest program during this critical time.
You can find more information on me, my campaign, and my specific policy proposals at this link: Sam Hollon for Academic Director 2021.
Isobel Casey (Director of Health & Recreation)
My name is Isobel Casey, and I am a first-year student. When I am not on Zoom, you can find me at the gym, skiing, playing rugby or cooking. I do not have a question yet, but I know I want it to be focused on youth health. My passion for youth health has led me to be a volunteer at the hospital, research the consequences of vaping in youth, assist in Cardiac surgery in Tanzania, implement many high school sports events, and now makes me want to be your next Director of Recreation and Health. I am new to Quest, but I am running for QUSA because, in high school, I was student council president, so I miss having a leadership role in my school and want to make students feel healthy during hard Covid times.
As Director of Recreation and Health, I predominantly want to help students feel healthy during the unprecedented Covid times. This will focus on physical and mental health. Physically, if the campus is fully open, my goal is to open up gyms safety on the campus and organize events like soccer tournaments. These events would also be an excellent time for fellow Questies, from players to spectators, to interact. If the campus is closed, I want to give students information on how to get their heart rate up at home, with zoom workout classes and pamphlets. Mentally, I want to continue the work from Jacob with giving students access to counsellor funding. Also, work with other clubs and students to help stop the stigma around mental health.
A large part of me doing this job involves hearing from you. To help the community more, I want to have surveys, discuss on ideas for recreation events and listen to your thoughts on ways to support student health. I am excited to connect with you guys, so myself and QUSA can do our best to serve you. If you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to reach out on Facebook, Teams or by email at Isobel.Casey@questu.ca.
Tharcille Tuyisenge (Director of Health & Recreation)
Dear Quest community,
My name is Tharcille Tuyisenge, a fellow third-year Questie, a mental health and social medicine enthusiast. I am running for the Director of Health and Recreation position at QUSA because I want to better our community’s health. Once voted for the post, I want to focus on three main aspects:
I am aware of how COVID-19 and Quest's transition from the CCA have imposed extra stress on our community. I desire to advocate for access to mental health resources Questies need to cope with those challenges.
2. Physical health:
I aim to encourage physical activities on campus by working with Quest administration to reopen the gym and allow for socially distanced physical exercise. For those who are not on campus, I plan to organize virtual exercise events where you can participate.
Once the campus reopens, I will work with Quest and DANA hospitality administrations to provide healthier, more diverse and more nourishing meals for students. The food we consume has a significant impact on our mental and physical health. I hope that by addressing those three aspects, our community will continue to flourish.
What makes me unique?
I gathered advocacy and negotiation skills through working in the health sector both in Rwanda and Canada. In 2019, I interned with the Health Development Initiative Rwanda. My work included making essential healthcare services available, and advocating for human rights for minority groups in the LGBTQ community, sex workers, teen mothers, etc. Over the past two years, I worked as a sales associate at the supplement store, Squamish, advising people about nutritional supplements. I have also worked as a pharmacy technician at shoppers Drugmart pharmacy, where I helped my supervisor cater for patients. Finally, my classes, Question and Keystone project at Quest, pertain to socio-economic factors that influence the health of communities worldwide, especially in Africa. Serving as a Director of Health and Recreation at QUSA will be my honour, for it will give me a platform to better the overall health of our community while also learning.
Avanya Joab (Director of Arts)
My name is Avanya Joab, and I am currently a third-year student at Quest and am running for the Director of Arts position. I am running because I love engaging with anything that has to do with creative expression and believe that I can bring a new perspective to this role. I am from North India and love talking to others about my own culture as well as learning about cultures different from my own. I believe that through experiencing culture’s different to our own, we are able to build stronger community and relationships. And this is exactly why I would like to run for Director of the Arts position. I would like to bring organization and communication to the role, by being someone who is approachable and open to new ideas. Along with Quest’s already established events, I would like to create a space and conversation where ideas for new events can be held and new experiences be gained. Quest’s diversity is what makes it such an incredible college experience and I hope to build off its diversity in order to have fun events and learn new things about each other through our cultures and experiences.
Harrison Cohen (Director of Arts)
My name is Harrison Cohen, I go by he/him pronouns, and am running to be the next Director of Arts with QUSA. I am a 3rd year student and over my time here at Quest, I have been able to explore various styles of dance, different musical instruments, and roles on stage. I am incredibly grateful to attend an institution were getting submersed in the arts on campus is encouraged and supported.
My platform focuses on…
Accessibility – Creating arts spaces digitally to facilitate until it is possible to revitalize campus spaces.
Safety – Writing procedures for campus arts spaces to keep them available and low risk for after the eventual return to campus.
Student Projects – Create opportunities for student led art initiatives to take new forms.
As the position is being filled this spring, if elected, I would like to enable student to student collaboration through digital mediums, advocate for their proposals, and assist in bringing their visions to life. When a return to campus is cleared, the arts, will bring students together, lets just make sure that when that happens, “together,” can still be 6ft apart. Please consider voting for Harrison Cohen to be your next QUSA Director of Arts, it would be an honor to serve the community that drew out the artist in me.
Please feel free to reach me anytime by email - Harrison.firstname.lastname@example.org
Apeksha Naik (Director of Intercultural Affairs)
My name is Apeksha Naik and I am running for Director of Intercultural Affairs at QUSA. I am a second year student, from Mumbai, India. I enjoy going for walks amidst the forest, watching movies from different parts of the world and understanding different cultures through cinematography. I also enjoy cooking and love to share and hear about stories from different cultures and countries over a meal :))
As an international student, there are many hurdles that come along each of our journeys here at Quest. My experiences will enable me to help guide incoming international students cross these hurdles effortlessly. For the past two years I have learnt so much about different cultures and perspectives. For these reasons I believe I can support students by connecting and continuing learning about different traditions and heritages that each of us hold close to our heart. Squamish has such a rich culture and presence and hence, I intend to enhance and strengthen the connections between international students and the Squamish community.
Having enjoyed the festivities at home for so long, I can resonate with those individuals who feel they are missing out on celebrating their festivities in a land far away from home. Therefore, I intended to bring folks together and connect them with the different festivities that we bring at Quest.
This past year has been a struggle for each one of us, especially for international students. The transition into a new phase at Quest has been different, considering the pandemic and other stressful events as well. I want to do everything in my ability to help our community have a smooth transition. I intend to foster safe space as that is my primary priority. I aspire to connect individuals and have more informative and joyous celebrations in the coming year. Ultimately I aim to advocate and work towards improving intercultural relations and experiences with the QUSA and Quest community at large.
Nathalie Burgeff (Director of Social & Environmental Justice)
My name is Nathalie Burgeff, I use she/ her pronouns. I’m currently a second year student at Quest devoted to a sustainable equitable green and blue future. I’m running for the Director of Social & Environmental Justice as I would like to increase Quest Community environmental awareness. I’m strongly passionate about helping nature conservation, climate breakdown issues solutions, create new Sustainable Businesses and make a difference fighting for equal rights for all people. During my stay at Quest, I have increased my love and kindness towards nature, respect for all members of my community as well as the environment and I have become a sustainable active individual.I have been working with the Student Environmental Committee for the past two years. I took part in sustainable summits and the recent Quest Clean Up Week. In August 2020 I became a climate leader at the Climate Reality Training sponsored by former US Vice President Al Gore. Three months ago, I joined the MS2S Youth Council from My Sea to Sky. The goal of the MS2S Youth Council is to create a safe place for youths to interact with one another, express their environmental concerns and learn about topics related to environmental racism, environmental education and political activism. I believe that I can bring a new perspective to this role as I’m passionate about teaching students how to become socially equitable and more environmentally sustainable as we pursue our daily activities.
My Platform incorporates:
Sustainable Actions at Quest
Look forward for sustainable solutions to reduce Dana Hospitality Cafeteria's ecological footprint. Promote the use of reusable cups, make students commit to stop using deposable plastic or paper containers or paper. Start living a responsable non polluting active live.
Sustainable and Environmental Justice Events
Promote environmental and sustainable summits inside Quest community. Promote tolerance and positive attitudes towards differences and multicultural points of view inside the community. Create spaces for social & environmental justice discussions .
I would like to keep our strong relationship with My Sea to Sky to facilitate the Quest Community to engage in social, environmental and political events. Make Questies aware and active individuals on environmental issues and social movements.
Sustainable Tips for The Community
Communicate on social media about sustainable, environmental and social tips to make daily life respectful and more friendly.