Fall 2023: By-Elections Candidates & Referendum Question

The Arboretum Student Engagement Fee Referendum Question Submission


The Arboretum and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots: University of Guelph Chapter are proposing a joint fee to be paid by undergraduate students to increase capacity and student experience in the Arboretum. The internationally-accredited Arboretum, 400 acres of green space located on campus, focuses on habitat restoration, educating youth about nature, and conserving Canada's rare and endangered woody plant species. The Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots: University of Guelph Chapter club is a recognized post-secondary chapter that aims to create engaged community leaders who understand sustainability issues and their impact on people, animals, and the environment.

The Arboretum does not currently collect any undergraduate student fees. This is a new fee. The fee amount proposed is $2.50 per semester from full-time undergraduate students and $0.50 per 0.5 credit per semester from part-time undergraduate students.

The fee will fund a new Arboretum staff member to provide year-round, accessible, student-centred programming and services differentiated for undergraduate needs, and will increase inclusive access and offerings in various formats for UofG students in the Arboretum, as well as direct engagement with UofG students to access, experience, learn from, and participate in the Arboretum.

A separate referendum was approved by the Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Referendum Question:

The University of Guelph Arboretum and Roots & Shoots: Guelph Chapter currently do not collect undergraduate fees.

Do you support the collection of a student fee of $2.50 per semester from full-time undergraduate students, and $0.50 per 0.5 credit per semester from part-time undergraduate students, to expand student experience in the Arboretum and hire an employee to provide additional programming and services for students?

This fee will be collected each semester (Winter/Fall/Summer), beginning Fall 2024, and continue indefinitely, subject to increase annually per the Statistics Canada consumer price index average for Ontario. Students may not opt out of this fee.

Executive Candidates

Adam Ratkowski  VP Student Experience
Hey Gryphons! As some of you probably remember I ran in the previous CSA election for the position of President. I’m now running for VP of Student Experience in this upcoming by-election to ensure that your student government represents the interests of all of you, the students. If elected to the position of VP of student experience I will ensure your dollars go towards events that reflect the true interests of the student body, along with ensuring that your student government remains open and accountable. If elected to the VP studentexperience position, I will ensure that the CSA hostsexciting events that represent the interests of allstudents, along with guaranteeing that all CSA registered clubs are treated fairly and with respect.

McKenna Williams  VP Student Experience
Hello U of G undergrads! My name is Mckenna Williams and I'm seeking election as your Vice-President of Student Experience. As a recent University of GuelphNeuroscience BSc graduate, retired student club Founder, President and Communications Executive,and previous CSA Front Office Assistant, I have been committed to improving student experience on campus for years now. As VPSE, I look forward to putting my experience to use to host events and initiatives on campus that would create lasting memories for all undergraduates. My goal as VPSE (and as a person) is to make others smile and bring people together through meaningful experiences. As a lifelong student, I understand the hardships of university, but also the moments that make people feel like they wish they could be a student forever - those are the moments I seek to foster as your VPSE.

Bawneet Singh  VP Academic
I'm Bawneet Singh, a 3rd-year computerengineering student at the University of Guelph. Recognized with the Hasnul F.Abdollah International Student Award and the Laurie Schnarr-I Am A Gryphon Award, I'veadvocated for inclusivity and celebrated our studentdiversity. With my experience as both a bounce-back facilitator and a student outreach facilitator, I have a unique perspective on the academic and extracurricular facets of student life. As the VP Academic, I aspire to championacademic rights, inclusivity, financial support, and student well-being. With the dedication I've shown as a residence assistant and as an award recipient of the RLS member of the year and the Kevin Durie Award, I commit to elevating the academic experience for all, reflecting the true Gryphon spirit.

Board of Director Candidates

Nate Broughton  Director College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Hello! I'm Nathaniel (call me Nate!) -a Computer Science student at UofG, running for the CSA Board of Directors. I’m committed to bridging the gap between the CSA and students. My unwavering commitment to understanding student sentiment is reflected in myengagement with many sources to gauge and address student concerns. My background as a high school government executive and member of the IT Student Advisory Committee at the university highlights my commitment to effective leadership and student representation. I aim to boost transparency and communication within the CSA, ensuring all decisions echo the diverse voices of our student body. My approach is collaborative and innovative, with a focus on student welfare and progress. Always accessible, I’m eager to listen to your concerns andcollaborate on effective solutions. Let's strengthen the CSA together, making it a strong advocate for our needs as students. After all, it’s your CSA! 

Sarah Dent  Director Ontario Agricultural College
My name is Sarah Dent and I am a first-year student studying agriculture. I am interested in representing the OAC on the CSA board of directors because I am passionate about using resources thoughtfully and efficiently to benefit students at the University of Guelph. Specifically, I hope to serve the student body by advocating for sustainability and joining CSA committees such as the FoodBank Committee and the Ethical Purchasing Committee. I have been involved in leadership in my high-school yearbook program and youth group; I also represented student voices in my community on the city Parks and Recreation Commission. Beyond school, I plan to pursue a career in agricultural policy and continue to volunteer to serve my community.

Hillary Schneider  Director Ontario Agricultural College
Hello, my name is Hillary Schneider and I am currently in my third year of Food and Agricultural Business, minoring in Agriculture Science. I am a passionate student of the OAC who is involved in many OAC clubs and executive. My passion for agriculture began when I was young, growing up on our family farm. As my passion continue to grow, I knew I wanted my career to involve agriculture, and the University of Guelph was able to give me that opportunity. I love how the OAC embraces the passion students have for agriculture and allows for so many unique opportunities inside and outside the classroom. I believe the voice of students is an important and essential aspect to the University. As Director of the OAC I will take my role seriously, making sure OAC student voices are heard and will provide communication between the CSA and OAC.

Bella Litvak  Director Ontario Agricultural College
My name is Bella Litvak, I am a second-year in Animal Science. A hard-working, creative, energetic, Jewish student who is eager to join the CSA Board. I know English, Russian, French, and basic ASL, and am learning Korean. I have leadership skills from starting, organizing, and running the ASL club at my high school. I have social-media skills from the ASL club at UoG. I have animal experience from my dogs, caring for wild squirrels, a wild sparrow, a wild mouse, and riding horses. I have work experience from volunteering at a vet clinic, farms, a medical center, and a dental clinic. I love working with others, discussing solutions to problems, thinking creatively, and learning more about my community. I am seeking an appointment to join the CSA Board because I want to make a difference so my classmates and friends can enjoy University life. I wish to help my classmates in any way possible.

Last Updated:
Wednesday, October 11th, 2023 4:37 PM