Simran Parmar for
Why I’m Qualified
Over the past 8 years, I have had the honour of working many leadership positions which were all very social engagement focused. For the past three years, I have been the Director of Social and Membership on the Grand River Hospital Volunteer Association Board, where I have planned General Meetings and worked to enhance participation. Additionally, I have been a promo team member for the majority of my time at the UW. I have interacted with thousands of students, educated them on the political sphere of Feds and listened to the issues they face on a day to day basis. I understand what students go through and I understand the solutions to go about fixing those issues.
Why I’m Running
Throughout my university experience, I have served my community and centred my focus on connecting with my fellow students. I care about the issues that students are going through and I have the interpersonal communication skills and the determination needed to resolve them. I want to act as a voice for all students and work diligently to do my best to represent their interest and bring real meaningful change to this campus. I envision a Feds where all students feel included, where all students know their voices are heard, and where all students feel engaged in student life.
We will advocate for a multifaceted approach to mental health and wellness by prioritizing students needs
As President, I will work with the President’s Advisory Committee on Student Mental Health to ensure information and statistics are available when creating solutions to mental health related matters. I will establish a committee of students to assess the effectiveness of current mental health related support services provided by Feds and the University. And use that feedback to fill in any gaps.
The ability for a counsellor to relate to their patient is of utmost importance. For that reason, many students walk out saying they gained nothing from their counselling session. It is vital that students are matched with the right counsellor. We would also like to encourage the University to recruit counsellors who are from minority groups in order to increase the potential for students to find a counsellor who will be of maximum benefit.
We will work with the University to ensure students are matched with councillors with whom they’re more comparable.
We will also encourage the university to create an option where calls to counselling services (especially after-hours) may connect to anonymous 24/7 support services. Many students are unaware that 24/7 anonymous call services are available. Additionally, the wait times are also a barrier in seeing a counsellor. This would allow more people to receive help sooner, instead of continuing to wait.
We will encourage the university to provide optional training to staff and other members to equip them with the skills to help students during times when they are in need of support, especially in situations surrounding self harm.
I will work with the VP Education to encourage the university to create solid academic policies centred around mental health.
We will aim to make council more accessible to students and ease the ability for students to learn and engage with the Feds political sphere
A major barrier currently preventing student participation is the difficulty to understand the Feds by-laws, procedures, and other governing documents.
Our Exec will work with the marketing team to ensure Feds governance is more accountable and accessible to students.
We will change the format of council meetings to allow students who are not on council to speak at the beginning of the meeting to encourage engagement with council.
I will work with the VP Student Life and VP Operations and Finance to make information on Feds, including governance related information, more visible and understandable to the average student.
We will explore other avenues to ensure Feds governance is easy to follow so students can remain engaged.
Improve campus safety through proactive initiatives
Campus safety, and the safety of students is paramount. We will take meaningful steps to enhance student safety on campus.
Shuttle is a great service and has done a ton for students throughout its time. However, it has faced barriers preventing it from achieving its full potential. Chief among these, is the inability to know where the shuttle is parked, and ready for pickup.
We will work with the University and Police Services to bring back the Off Campus Shuttle. Furthermore, we will integrate a shuttle tracking widget into the Portal app.
This will transform the service into a more useful and handy resource for students. Additionally, this will improve the engagement with the portal app.
We will advocate to the university to improve lighting around campus and ensure there are panic buttons available around ring road.
We will advocate for students rights in housing disputes.
The provincial government recently released a new standard lease, which by law, all landlords are required to use if the tenant chooses to do so. Many students are unaware of this and could easily prevent many housing disputes. We will ensure access to this vital information is made available to students, especially during the end of the semester when people begin to look for sublets and leasing agreements.
We will provide student feedback to the University on improving the overall campus lighting, furniture, and design
A campus which is not aesthetically pleasing is off-putting, and an eye-sore to students and visitors. We understand and recognize the financial barriers in renovations, however, our push is to have the University reconsider how it prioritizes the construction of new buildings versus basic maintenance of older buildings.
We will request the university to provide more frequent updates and information related to the SLC/PAC expansion and ensure that information remains accessible and easy to find. Additionally, hold all parties accountable in ensuring the construction is completed in a timely manner.
We will encourage the University to make improvements to buildings with dim lighting and poor furniture.
We will work to ensure accessibility across campus, and ensure all students have a voice
We will advocate for improvements and an expansion to ramps on campus, ensure Feds and University policies don’t unintentionally harm students, and improve accessibility for all students.
We will advocate for improved snow plowing on campus and for the university to reassess its “snow day” policies
There have been a number of incidents in the past where Laurier, Conestoga College and the high schools in the area were closed. However, even under extreme weather conditions, the University of Waterloo remained open. Our candidate for VP Operations and Finance introduced an advocacy policy calling for improvements to Snow Day policy. We will continue to call on the University to reconsider how snow days are determined and the circumstances for a closure.
I will work with my fellow Execs and the university to ensure orientation thrives, and the new Bomber works for students
Many students tend to stay confined within close proximity to the UWaterloo campus. This is especially true for students in residences who often do not feel the need to travel off campus and visit the surrounding community. We want to ensure students are provided the opportunity to explore the Waterloo community during orientation.
We will work to enhance the off campus events within the Kitchener-Waterloo Region. Additionally, suggest collaboration with Laurier and Conestoga College during orientation week.
We will collaborate with the local organizations, local institutions and the municipal government to enhance the UW experience. Student life can be significantly enhanced by the Waterloo community, and students can benefit through gaining exposure to the community.
We will work with the major housing companies to ensure orientation leaders are given the right to move in on the first of the month, instead of moving in on the third of the month, like many require.
I will work with my fellow execs and the student council to enhance consultation with students on the Bombshelter Space and ensure it is revitalized in a timely manner.