President

SMUSA President 2013 2014

Gorba Bhandari

Hello SMUdents,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for the support I received in the SMUSA by-election. It is a real privilege and pleasure to be able to represent your interests at such a remarkable university for the upcoming year. Time flies so fast and it just feels like yesterday when I took over the position as the President. In fact, from that time a lot has happened. I was fortunate enough to bring a very strong and innovative team together as my VPs and managers.

The president of SMUSA has the power to do a lot of things, but only a short time to work with. It is therefore vital that I choose the issues that we will make our priority for the year. I, along with my great team of executives, met last week to decide the goals for the year and I am very pleased with the direction we chose to take. As you may know, we are only here for a very short period of time until April, so our main focus is to leave Saint Mary’s with something that will last longer than our term in office.

With that in mind, we have decided to focus our attention towards making it easier for students to become leaders, foster school climate and relationships amongst different groups and faculty, and to encourage events that support diversity and inclusion. Each of my executives has one of these goals in their agenda as a priority for the year and I will be working closely with them to provide resources and guidance in every aspect. On top of this, I plan to bring a new element of transparency to our organizational structure that can educate students about the services and representation that SMUSA offers.

I would like to end with a word of advice to all of my fellow SMUdents, which is to get involved and do all you can while you’re here. Your university is not only an institution of learning; it is a place that can be full of fun, memories, and personal development opportunities. It is your responsibility to give back to our campus community. Support the causes that inspire you, encourage the initiatives that help foster your learning, and finally, get to know your leaders. I cannot emphasize enough that SMUSA is a student run organization and your concerns give us the motivation we need to make changes. Feel free to knock on my door or any door of your SMUSA executives.

Gorba Bhandari

President & CEO

president.smusa@smu.ca

Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association

 

Vice President of Academic Affairs & Student Relations

VP Academic

James Patriquin

Hi Everyone,

My name is James Patriquin and I’ll be taking over the portfolio of VP of Academic Affairs & Student Relations. I’m originally from British Columbia, but I’ve been living in Dartmouth for the past 8 years. Previously, I’ve worked as the Chief Returning Officer for SMUSA, and this summer I worked as the Communications Coordinator. Moving into my new position will be an exciting opportunity to expand my list of responsibilities, and I will also be bringing some of my past responsibilities with me. Right now my areas of activity at SMUSA range from academic services, student funding and grants and representing SMUSA to each of our student levies. My number one goal for the year is to be as helpful and informative as possible, so please feel free to stop by on the 5th floor of the Student Centre with any questions or concerns you might have.

I’m going into my final year at Saint Mary’s this year, trying to finish up an honours degree in political science. One of my favourite things to do on campus is meet new people and take on any new and exciting challenge I can find. This zeal has led me to get involved with endeavours like working in the marketing department, and this year, I even co-founded the Chess Society.

One of the most exciting things for me this year, aside from graduating, will be the opportunity I have to represent SMUSA to both students and university faculty. I’m really looking forward to working to create some real institutional change that will not leave campus when I do. The two biggest concerns that I plan to address are issues of school climate and how I can make SMUSA more accessible and accountable to students. I have been working a lot with university staff and I’m confident that this executive can make a lasting impact on our beloved Saint Mary’s.

Most of all, I’m excited to be in a position where I have the ability to help my fellow students access the services and funding they need. If you’re reading this and ever need help with something on campus, please don’t hesitate to come and ask for it.

James Patriquin

Vice President Academic Affairs & Student Relations

vpacademic.smusa@smu.ca

Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association

Vice President of University Affairs

VP Uni Affairs 2013 2014

Paul Rukidi

Hello SMUdents,

My name is Paul Rukidi, and I’m your Vice President of University Affairs for the year. I was born in Uganda and I lived there with my close family until coming to Saint Mary’s University in the fall of 2009. I’m in my fifth year double majoring in Computing and Information Systems and Management. Prior to my hiring as VP of University Affairs with our Students’ Association, I was part of our university ITSS, under the ITSS infrastructure team. I have also been involved in the university’s International Centre, as a SAGA volunteer, and a VP Internal for the International Society, which organizes our annual International Night and other international events on campus. I truly enjoy being engaged in student societies and activities on campus.

I’m an extremely team-oriented individual and have always believed that there is so much more that can be accomplished when working together as a team than working alone. I’m excited for the possibilities that our team of executives can achieve despite the short period of time that we are in the student government. We will do our best!

As the Vice President of University Affairs, I sit on the University Board of Governors, which is the highest governing body of Saint Mary’s. Along with the Board, I also sit on the sub-committees like the Budget Advisory Committee, where I represent students concerns during these uncertain budgetary times. Furthermore, I am part of the Homburg Renewal Committee and the Stadium Decommissioning Committee where I express students’ interests towards their extra-curricular concerns. These positions allow me to make a difference. With your voice and concerns, I can address them to the proper committees and boards.

One of the most exciting things about being the Vice President of University Affairs is being able to represent students as Post-Secondary Education stakeholders. These include the federal, provincial and municipal governments, federal and provincial lobby Organizations, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) and Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS). Together, we work to advocate in making our education more accessible, affordable, and equal to all who wish to partake in an educational institution.

Finally, I personally believe that there is a lot more to University than simply attending classes, reading textbooks all night, or trying to pass an exam the next day. Coming to Canada has taught me the importance of exposure and staying active. I encourage each one of you to integrate yourself in the campus community and help build a better and more diverse campus for all the students and those looking forward to being a proud SMUdent.

I’m an extremely friendly person, so please feel free to send me an email or even better, come visit me on the 5th floor SMUSA offices. If I’m not available, feel free to talk to any of the other awesome executives. Don’t be shy, just say hi!

Cheers,

Paul Rukidi

Vice President of University Affairs

vpuniversity.smusa@smu.ca

Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association

Student Activities Manager

Activities Manager 2013 2014

Amanda Kolwich

Hello SMUdents,

I’m Amanda Kolwich, a third year marketing major. I moved to Halifax from Calgary to attend Saint Mary’s because of the abundance of leadership opportunities available. I feel that becoming involved in the university community is an important part of learning and growing as a student and beyond.

My job involves planning and hosting events, creating leadership opportunities for SMUdents and increasing school spirit. This semester, the events team and I will be bringing you fun events such as a Pajama Movie Night, Spidey the Mentalist, The Charity Ball, Country Night, Wingo, Trivia, Happy Birthday Gorsebrook, fun theme parties, live music, and more! I also focus on philanthropic campaigns and volunteer activities including: Shinerama, Movember, Trick or Eat, and Relay for Life. Working with me are the Volunteer Coordinator, the Spirit Coordinator and the Society Coordinator.

While I am in office, I plan to launch a SMUSA events council for the 2014-2015 academic year. This council will aid SMUSA in planning events that the students want. The goal of the council will be to increase school spirit, plan diverse events, and increase volunteer activity throughout the community.

If you have any ideas for events, fundraisers, or community volunteer activities, call me at 496-8710 or email me at activities.smusa@smu.ca. My door is always open for visitors!

Best of luck,

Amanda Kolwich

Student Activities Manager

activities.smusa@smu.ca

Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association