Before you place your vote on March 9 and 10, find out more about the candidates running for positions in the SAMU Executive Committee. Alongside Students’ Council, the Executive Committee advocates for students and helps to steer the Students’ Association of MacEwan University.
THE CANDIDATES FOR VICE PRESIDENT EXTERNAL
Carley Casebeer, Anu Chadha, and Nathan Lamarche
If you were elected as VPX, which two issues would you prioritize when lobbying the government?
Carley Casebeer: The two issues that are closest to me are as follows: First, I would prioritize making co-ops, internships, and placements available to students in all areas of study to get them the professional connections and skills that are required for the workplace. Second, I would like to ensure that funding for scholarships, student grants, campaigns and services (such as mental health awareness), and tuition is consistent and enough to support all students.
Anu Chadha: There are two issues that I will strongly advocate for with our lobbying groups. Firstly, I would fight for mental health funding in higher education institutions. As of June 30, 2016, universities within Alberta will not have mental health funding from the government. I would like to ensure that mental health is funded annually based on the number of students attending each university. Secondly, I would try to ensure that tuition is predictable for all students. Lobbying for tuition to be tied to the inflation rate would allow for effective financial planning.
What have you done to represent MacEwan in the wider community?
Carley Casebeer: I have been a MacEwan Ambassador, studied for seven months in Sweden, and worked as a student advisor, but my greatest representation would be through the United Nations Club. Each year, we go to New York, among other international trips, to lobby with 5,000 students from every continent. I have represented MacEwan at four of these international conferences, and have been lucky enough to be recognized in every award category, so everyone knows that MacEwan is on the map and ready to play in the big leagues!
Anu Chadha: Over my four years at MacEwan, I have taken the initiative to get involved in SAMU as a councillor. This has allowed me to sit on several committees, including the Health & Dental and Budget & Finance committees. As a fourth-year biology student, I have sat as a student representative on both the Faculty of Arts and Science Council and the Students’ Program Advisory Committee. I am currently employed on the events team at SAMU, and I have worked on several events held for students. Representing MacEwan as an Ambassador has given me the privilege of connecting with students from various backgrounds.
Who are three leaders that have influenced you?
Carley Casebeer: Queen Elizabeth I, because she was a badass “female prince” and didn’t take no for an answer; Craig Kielburger, who inspired me to take action regardless of how ‘young’ you are; and Pope Francis, who shows that through kindness and respect we can achieve what may seem impossible.
Anu Chadha: Three leaders who have influenced me would be: Clara Hughes, Marie Curie, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
What separates you from the rest of the candidates vying for your position?
Carley Casebeer: Simply put, I want to do this for the rest of my life. If we’re lucky, we find our calling, and I have found mine in government relations. My involvement in the UN has given me the skills to be effective — those skills, combined with my passion and dedication for making MacEwan students’ rights a top priority in government, make me the best choice for Vice President External.
Anu Chadha: I am the only candidate who took the initiative, throughout my degree, to get involved with SAMU before running for this position. As a councillor and a current SAMU employee, I have the most experience with our student governance body. This experience has allowed me to understand how student lobbying groups work and has given me a strong understanding of SAMU. I have spent the last three years preparing for this role and really getting a broad understanding of our student body. I am passionate and driven to fight for the rights of students, and I will provide a strong and informed voice.
Nathan Lamarche, another VPX candidate, did not respond to our Q&A request.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Candidates are responsible for the accuracy and relevancy of their statements. The Griff is not responsible for any inaccuracies on the part of candidates. For more information about the election and the SAMU Executive Committee, visit samu.ca.