Meet your community representatives

All four candidates are running unopposed

(from left to right): Judith Oviosun, Trevor Smith, Adrian Esenwah, Alicia Kubrakovich

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LGBTTQ* representative

Trevor Smith is a third-year psychology student who has served as the Rainbow Pride Mosaic (RPM) committee president and the director of communications for the Arts Student Body Council.

Running for re-election, he will bring ample experience in the role.

“With this upcoming year […] I want to focus a lot more on doing events for the community,” he said. “I think with this past year a lot of what I’ve focused on was more so RPM-oriented, and I definitely want to focus more on events for the broader community at large.”

Smith mentioned panels as an example of such events.

“This year, what we had wanted to do was bring back Drag Queen Bingo, as well as […] other events like different panels. So, for instance, an […] asexual, or aromantic panel, just having students being able to freely talk about their experiences and helping the community understand different romantic orientations, for instance. Just basically educating people about […] the identities that compose the community.”

Indigenous students’ representative

Alicia Kubrakovich, also up for re-election, is a second-year student studying Indigenous governance and is female co-president for the U of M Indigenous Students’ Association (UMISA).

She said community engagement among Indigenous students is a top priority for her second term, building upon her previous work in the role.

“Something I want to work on this year is getting a lot of Indigenous students aware of what’s going on besides Migizii [Agamik], getting them aware of what’s going on with UMSU, getting them aware of all these other different community groups that are offered on campus,” she said.

“This past November we also did Indigenous students’ month, and as that being […] the first-ever programming that we did collaborating with UMSU and various other Indigenous community groups, that’s something I want to continue and to make it bigger next year.”

Last year, Kubrakovich voiced her support for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation’s 94 calls to action.

She hoped to work with the U of M to implement the 16th call, which was to “create university and college degree and diploma programs in Aboriginal languages.”

“We did work a lot this year in regard to call to action number 16,” she said.

“That’s something I want to bring forward again this year to advance more. We did a lot of language programming and […] I want to work more with the 94 calls to action and to ensure that the university is recognizing those 94 calls to action.”

Kubrakovich acknowledged that her lack of experience during her first term was a detriment, but she hopes to get a lot more done over the next year.

“I wouldn’t say I accomplished a lot this year, but there’s still a lot that I want to do,” she said. “Coming in as a first-year, I wasn’t prepared for this position as well as I am now. I feel as [though] now, coming back into re-election gives me an opportunity to keep on working hard and doing all the initiatives that I plan to do.”

Womyn’s representative

Judith Oviosun is a third-year agricultural sciences student and president of the University of Manitoba Nigerian Students’ Association. She hopes to continue the work of past womyns’ representatives.

“I think a lot of people before me have started some good programs and I want to continue them.”

Oviosun wants to renovate the womyn’s centre as a priority, calling its current state in “bad condition.” She also mentioned making the centre as inclusive as possible as a priority and bringing in alumni as speakers.

“I would also like to invite other alumni of U of M that are women to come and speak on their experiences after university.”

“In the past, […] I’ve had other positions and it’s really been exciting and uplifting, and I feel like, having been working in the community, it’s time to step it up and represent the community in a larger sense.”

International community representative

Adrian Esenwah, third-year student of the Asper school of business, is prioritizing improving the financial situations of international students in several ways.

“My first policy is […] to work with [the U of M] to create more scholarship opportunities which can be academic or non-academic.”

As well as creating more scholarship opportunities, Esenwah hopes to make international students more aware of the general bursary application already offered by the U of M.

“Most international students don’t know about this, and […] I’m willing to hold seminars to educate them and to actually create more awareness about this general bursary application.”

International students at the U of M have seen a massive rise in their healthcare costs in recent years, currently coming in at $1,210 per year.Esenwah did not mention plans to push for lower costs, but rather hopes to make international student healthcare coverage nation-wide to ensure any students that travel outside the province are covered.

“I’m definitely hoping to work with the school and the incoming president to achieve these goals,” said Esenwah.

“I’m running basically because, as an international student, there are a lot of things I’ve noticed and there are a lot of things I want to put in place.”

“I want to be there for my fellow international people.”

 

 ­­— With files from Gillian Brown