VP University & Academic Affairs
What drew you to the position?
I am very passionate about graduate student issues and concerns, especially sexual assault prevention and graduate supervision. In 2015 I got really involved in fighting for a sexual assault policy at UBC and starting an office to respond to and investigate sexual assault cases. So that’s how I got to know the Graduate Student Society. Two years later I decided to run, because I wanted to make sure that the initiatives graduate students started in 2015 will continue in 2017.
What has been a highlight of your year?
I think representing the graduate students in the UBC strategic plan process, and really inputting to that high level framework has been a highlight. It has been an opportunity for me to engage representatives of other sectors at the university, from deans to associate deans, other representatives of other student organizations, staff members and of course the university VP’s and President. So definitely that’s one of the highlights of my term. The other one is attending the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies and representing UBC and UBC graduate students in that forum.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
Balancing my own research work and doing GSS advocacy work, because both endeavors take a lot of time.
What is your tip to students for work-life balance?
Turning Wi-Fi OFF when working will allow you to complete your tasks more quickly providing you more time to enjoy your life.
What skills have you gained?
Managing and engaging with people. Talking to authority figures, which includes engaging with university administrators, the UBC president and vice-presidents, deans; they’re not as scary as we think they are and they’re very approachable. They’re willing to listen and they’re also willing to mentor student politicians.
Do you think you can apply these skills in the future?
Definitely, because I’m interested in higher education, not only from the perspective of an academic but also from the perspective of an administrator, and so those are possible career paths for me.
How have you grown personally?
I’ve learned that I have a voice and that I can use that voice for good, to advance interests and concerns that I’m really passionate about, and that I should embrace that.
Why should someone choose to run for GSS?
It’s a great way to develop your management skills, meet people outside your department, and it’s a fantastic way of reaching out to other graduate students in other universities.
What’s something people might not know about you?
I like to sleep. Also, I’m a mature graduate student. Because I’m older than most of my colleagues here, I’m more comfortable dealing with authority figures and perhaps less scared and more open with communicating my own thoughts as well as the concerns and interests of graduate students.
If you could have one superpower to help you with your job what would it be?