Students compete for a seat at the table on the Board of Governors

Student candidates aim to bring light to issues concerning fellow students
Photo: Nathalia Lencioni
Aditya Mishra, Germain Arrighi, Linh Ngo, and Mouatez Aissaoui (left to right) are running to represent students.

Four students from varying programs have joined the race for the opportunity to represent fellow students within the Board of Governors, the election will happen on Feb. 21.

One of the candidates, Mouatez Aissaoui, a student in the automation and robotics program, expressed concern about high food costs on campus.

“My main goal is to get more affordable food options for people on campus,” said Aissaoui. “If at the end of this Algonquin students can walk into the cafeteria and see a $3 food option, that would be great.”

“Students are already financially constricted as it is, and to put food on top of that, really isn’t good for the students,” said Aissaoui. “I’m tired of leaving the campus to go somewhere else to eat.”

Germain Arrighi, a student in the social service worker program, said the program has given him the skills to be a student representative.

“A lot of the program is being an advocate for our clients, having empathy and building relationships with people,” said Arrighi. “I have talked to a number of the students about services, and some of the main issues are housing, permanent residency issues, and finding a part-time job, I’d like to see what the college can do in terms of arranging some kind of rent subsidy for students.”

“We need to work with students and faculty to find the best solutions for everyone. I’m also a strong advocate for progressive rights. For our liberties and freedoms, including the freedom of information, and I will advocate for students,” he said.

Aditya Mishra, a student in the mobile application design and development program, wants to open communication between students and college administration.

“I was a school captain back in India, so I have experience in leadership. I plan on speaking to management about a collaboration with landlords, so students have more housing options,” said Mishra. “There’s also transit system issues and international students who are struggling, I plan on advocating for them.”

“My goal is to be connected with the students, I’d like to be a bridge between administration and students; I’d like to launch a town hall meeting every month so students can tell me about problems they’ve been dealing with,” said Mishra.

The final student representative candidate, Linh Ngo, a student in the digital marketing and communication program, said she wants to be there for students in whatever way they need.

“I want to lower food waste and advocate for discounted tuition fees, I have ideas that I would like to put forward,” said Ngo. “My focus is on helping people adapt to the new college environment. When it comes to helping someone, I’m very responsible. I feel fine if they don’t want to vote for me, but I hope that they will give me a chance, even if they just want to have a friend, they can reach out to me.”

“I want to step out of my comfort zone, I’m already a class representative but I want something more challenging, so I’ll try this and even if I fail, I still tried,” said Ngo.

The board establishes the governance practices for the college, decides on institutional goals and directions, as well as supervise the performance of the college’s President and CEO Claude Brulé.

Elections for the Board of Governors are regularly reoccurring and all members of the college constituent group can participate in the election process. further instructions can be found on ACSIS, voting begins at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 21.

In addition to the student representative position, the academic staff and administrative staff representative positions were also open. Both received one nomination.

Julia Fortey (left) and Shawn Pentecost
Julia Fortey, (left) is the administrative staff representative candidate and Shawn Pentecost (right) is the academic staff representative candidate. Photo credit: Nathalia Lencioni

Julia Fortey, administrative staff representative candidate and associate chair at the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence said her experience teaching made her passionate about making an impact in the college.

“I just love being involved, I started as faculty in 2012 and saw firsthand the positive impact teaching can have on students,” said Fortey, who has applied for the administrative staff representative position. “Now I have the opportunity to see the college from a completely different perspective and make an impact on a larger scale, I believe it will reach students as well as faculty.”

“My approach is utilizing what I know currently working closely with students, faculty and administration to honour their voices,” said Fortey.

Shawn Pentecost, academic staff representative candidate and faculty member at Algonquin College, said his experience in the college and community makes him especially qualified for the role.

“I have board experience having been a member of the board of directors of a Renfrew County service agency for five years, I am also a faculty union steward and have represented faculty both locally and provincially,” said Pentecost. “I felt my experience gave me a strong foundation for the position. I am a problem-solver by nature and welcome the opportunity to work with others to find solutions.”

“This is a challenging time in the college system,” said Pentecost. “I wish to raise the profile of professors, instructors, counsellors, and librarians in the decision-making process at the board, and to ensure that the board understands the impact of board decisions on faculty members and students.”

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