By Katie Dahl
As the only international student in the running to be Algonquin’s new Student Association president, Arvindkumar Chavda is thankful he took on the challenge.
Chavda has only spent six months in Canada, all of them in Ottawa, and so far is having a good experience and loves the environment.
Motivated by the lack of international student representation and his two month road to becoming a member of the board of directors, he felt he may as well go for the president position.
“I never actually thought about it [being president] even when I was applying for the position of director,” Chavda said.
With previous experience in management and volunteering he feels he has the skills needed to be a leader of the college’s student population.
“There are students who are ready to work for you, you just have to go ahead and become their leader,” said Chavda.
Chavda gained many of his leadership skills when he lived and went to school in his home country of India. He ran and co-founded a club, worked for the council committee and hosted a technical event throughout his previous years of education.
When it comes to the issues that Algonquin students are facing today Chavda said he recognizes that a dialogue is needed between the Student Association and the student body.
“You cannot just go to a student and ask them about their problems,” he said. “There is more to it than that.”
Chavda feels this is where his international student status gives him an advantage.
“Being an international student, I have that perspective of looking at things in a different way…Go around the other side of a situation and think about it in a different way and maybe that will actually help me come up with solutions,” he said.
“He has very good leadership qualities,” said friend and roommate Nitinkumar Jaiswal, adding “he is very passionate for his work.”
“My first action is to solve this U-Pass issue,” Chavda promised if elected.
Understanding that there are drawbacks and repercussions involved, he is still shocked that the issue has not come to a conclusion over the two years that it has been debated.
At the student forums he has attended over the school year the U-Pass has been a hot topic.
“All students were asking about the U-Pass only,” said Chavda.
“When I become president I’m sure that I’m going to solve this issue,” he said firmly.