Meet the STUSU executive candidates for the spring election

    Tyler MaGee, Sydona Chandon, Alex Nguyen and Victoria Young are running for executive positions on the St. Thomas University Students' Union. (Collage by Aaron Sousa/AQ)

    Tyler MaGee – President

    Tyler MaGee, St. Thomas University Students’ Union current sexuality and gender diversity representative, is running for president because he said when he came to STU, he was going through a hard time in life and STU welcomed him with open arms.

    “Running for president and potentially heading the Students’ Union to be that voice for students is the number one way that I can give back to the community that made me feel so safe, so connected, so represented and free,” MaGee said.

    He said he’s primarily been involved with the 2SLGBTQIA+ community on campus. He’s sat in on consolations on policy work about issues such as mental health, sexual assault awareness and prevention as well as harassment legislations.

    His platform points focus on student well-being, equity in advocacy, community building and transparency and accessibility.

    No one is best suited for any particular position, MaGee said, because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.

    “For me, I think my biggest strength is that I’m always focused on learning,” he said.

    Everything is a learning process so being able to have an open mind and take on the role of the active listener is key, said MaGee.

    He said he’d like to take a more fluid approach rather than a rigid one when it comes to advocacy. He said what he’s learned as a student leader is that a lot of projects STUSU designs come from individual situations throughout the year.

    “The [Students’] Union is there to support students, we are there to represent students and student issues and student needs,” said MaGee.

    “So, having students fuel where our advocacy should be is the number one step in improving our advocacy.”

    Sydona Chandon – President

    Sydona Chandon, vice-president of the Black Student Association, is running for president of STUSU. She said as a Black woman, she faces barriers in society, but by running for a position like president, she is breaking those barriers and influencing other students to do the same.

    “I’ve held positions that allowed me to support students,” Chandon said. “But with the position of president, it would give me a wider platform to address students from all over – from both domestic and international backgrounds.”

    Her campaign points include action-driven advocacy; promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion; maintaining clarity and transparency; and enhancement of the student experience.

    Chandon said she’s the best person for the position of president because she was the international representative on STUSU in her second year where she learned how to support student needs, she planned Black History Month events while on the Black Student Association and she sat on STU’s International Student Association for two years.

    “I think my constant passion for student needs and just wanting to be a change-maker is what motivated me to run for president,” she said.

    Chandon said she wants to encourage mental health support for students if she were to be elected president because, she said, everyone is suffering due to COVID-19 and not having in-person classes.

    She also said she personally understands the challenges people of colour and international students face since she’s part of those communities.

    “I think I have garnered the necessary experience working with both clubs and societies and also having sat on the SRC, which makes me more receptive to any student needs.”

    Alex Nguyen – Vice-president administration

    Alex Nguyen, the international student representative on STUSU, is running for vice-president administration and wants to be elected to the position to have a bigger outreach and voice in order to make an impact on STU students.

    “It would definitely be important to increase student engagement, especially [in a] post-COVID year,” said Nguyen.

    Her four campaign points are to increase clubs and societies’ presence and promote student engagement; uphold and increase STUSU’s transparency and accountability; continue to advocate for increased financial support and bursaries, especially for international students, but also for the STU community as a whole; and promote sustainability through policy initiatives.

    Nguyen said she has experience with budget management and administrative tasks. This year, when she was elected international student representative, she got to observe how STUSU operates during COVID-19.

    “I got to understand how the [Students’] Union worked,” she said.

    “I am confident that I can carry out and uphold the responsibilities of vice-president administration.”

    Victoria Young – Vice-president student life

    Victoria Young is the at-large representative on STUSU and is running for vice-president student life. She said she saw how the current vice-president student life, Kyle McNally, engaged with students and made student life an impactful part of the student experience.

    “I really enjoyed my position as at-large representative this year and I just wanted to take that further,” said Young. “University support and student opportunity is crucial to excellence in education, as well as being a well-rounded individual.”

    She said she wants to ensure all communities at STU are represented by collaborating and supporting different groups through event planning including the Black Student Association, the International Students’ Association and the Indigenous Students’ Reconciliation Committee.

    Young’s main four campaign points include COVID-19 adaptability, student involvement and engagement, mental health and student wellness.

    “I have engaged with students, I’ve advocated for students and just overall been helping with student activities and events as a whole,” said Young.

    “I’d also like to have consistent updates and transparency about student representative council projects and initiatives by increasing student feedback and communication with the student body.”

    The vice-president education position remains vacant at this time.