Winter 2024: General Elections Candidates & Referendum Question

Referendum Question: Fall Reading Week 

Referendum Question Preamble: 

The Central Student Association (CSA) at the University of Guelph aims to improve the student experience and advocate for student interests. This would include the establishment of a Fall Reading Week if that’s what the students want. Currently, the university lacks this break, citing concerns that impact the semester length, deferred examinations, and the duration of the end-of-semester break. Students have consistently voiced their desire for a Fall Reading Week, emphasizing its potential benefits in providing time for rest, exam preparation, catching up on lectures, and attending to personal matters.

An informal survey conducted in Fall 2023 garnered responses from 983 students, with 699 expressing support for a Fall Reading Week. However, it's acknowledged that survey responses may be biased towards those in favour of such a break. Given the potential impact on all students, a referendum is being conducted, requiring a 20% quorum of the student population. This referendum follows previous efforts by the CSA, including historical research and surveys. 
If the referendum reaches quorum and a majority of undergraduate students vote in favour, the CSA will advocate for a four-day Fall Reading Week, intending to present the proposal to the Senate for implementation in the 2025-26 academic year. Students are urged to consider the referendum's implications, as it not only affects current undergraduates but also future students at the University of Guelph. Concerns raised include a shorter Winter break and potential delays in receiving Fall semester grades. 

Referendum Question: 

If this referendum reaches the requisite 20% quorum and passes with a simple majority in favour, the Central Student Association will submit the results of the Fall Reading Week Survey and Fall Reading Week Referendum to the Senate and advocate for a 4-day Fall Reading Week to be adopted into the Schedule of Dates beginning in the 2025-2026 academic year by shifting the exam schedule back by 4 days. The passing of this referendum question does not guarantee the adoption of a Fall Reading Week.  

Do you support the addition of a 4-day Fall Reading Week to commence during the 2025-2026 academic year, to take place in October and follow the Thanksgiving holiday Monday?

Executive Candidates

Hartej Singh  CSA President
Dear fellow students, I am thrilled to announce my candidacy for CSA President for the 2024/25 term. My campaign is centered around your needs and concerns. I am committed to fighting against unjust fee increases, advocating for policies to make education more affordable, and working to enact new laws that will ease the challenges students face. As your voice, I will address international student issues and actively work towards resolving the housing crisis on our campus. Together, let's create positive change and make our university experience better for everyone. Your support means the world to me, and I am eager to serve as your advocate for the coming year.Let's build a brighter future for our student community! Vote for progress, vote for change. Thank you for your trust and support!

Daythan von Schwerin   VP Student Experience
Hello fellow Gryphons! My name is Daythan von Schwerin and I'm a 4th year about to graduate in Neuroscience. I'm very excited to be a candidate for the VP of Student Experience within the CSA. Over the last two years, I've had extensive interactions with a lot of hobby clubs within the university and have been an executive in both the Tabletop Games and Anime club this year. During this time, I've played a strong organizational role in making sure events and growth happened within the clubs. I know that my experience will translate very well into making me effective in organizing and running events for the CSA. I'm running for this position because I've loved my time as a student in Guelph and I'm hoping to provide an even better experience for the students yet to graduate. 

Simran Kalra   VP Student Experience
Hello fellow students, I am Simran Kalra, your candidate for VP-Student Experience. As an international student and person of colour, I've felt the quiet struggle of being overlooked. Yet, I'm driven to change whispers of neglect into shouts of action and inclusion. Serving on the Board of Governors, CSA Director at Large, the Senate’s Honours and Awards Committee, and the University Finance Committee, I've championed inclusivity and tirelessly worked to ensure every student, especially the marginalized, feels supported. Electing me promises a campus rich in support, opportunity, and a sense of belonging for every student. I pledge to boost your career and experience through dynamic events, ensure fair funding allocation for student groups, advocate for affordable housing, expand study spaces, and enhance mental health resources. Your voice is my priority, let’s build a future where everyone thrives. Choose wisely, VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHO STANDS FOR ALL. 

Bawneet Singh   VP Student Academic
As the Vice President Academic of the Central Student Association at the University of Guelph, I, Bawneet Singh, have dedicated the past year to enhancing our academic community. Recognized for my advocacy for inclusivity and diversity, I've been involved in ongoing talks about late-night study spaces and more clarification on academic misconduct documents. Moreover, I have advocated for several students in their academic misconduct cases and helped them pave the way for an appeal.  My role as a 3rd-year computer engineering student and my experiences as a facilitator and residence assistant have fueled my commitment to improving student well-being, academic rights, and financial support. Seeking another term, I aim to solidify our progress and further champion the true Gryphon spirit, ensuring every student's success. 

Natalie Wilkinson   VP External
Hey Gryphons! I'm Natalie Wilkinson, and I'm excited to run for CSA VP External for the 2024-2025 academic year. With a background in non-profit work, I understand the importance of effective advocacy and ensuring your needs are met for an enriched CSA experience. Having served as the Vice President of Internal Affairs for one year on the College of Biological Science student council and contributing to the 2023-2024 CSA Board of Directors, I bring a comprehensive understanding of student affairs. My three years of involvement in various leadership positions within residence life further enhanced my ability to advocate for your needs. I'm not just offering experience but a commitment to bridge that experience with a genuine passion for student advocacy. Your voice matters, and as VP External, I pledge to champion your concerns effectively. Choose Natalie: Your Voice, Your Choice for VP External!  

Board of Directors Candidates

Mauricio Canedo Fernandez   Lang School of Business Director
Hi there! My name is Mauricio and I'm running for re-election as Director for the Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics in the CSA Board of Directors. As a fourth year Bcomm co-op student and Venezuelan refugee, I understand the importance of having strong checks and balances in place to ensure accountability in our institutions. I'm passionate about continuing my work to make sure that our student union represents you transparently and continues offering you the valuable services that make life in university easier. This past year I have not hesitated to advocate at the local and provincial level for increased housing supply and improvements in our transit system to fight the affordability crisis and make life easier. If re-elected I will continue my advocacy, while also making sure that our student union uses our fees efficiently, maximizing value per dollar and reducing or freezing fees where possible. 

Daniel Neiterman   Lang School of Business Director
Hello Everyone! My name is Daniel Neiterman, and I am running for the fantastic opportunity to represent the Lang School of Business for a third consecutive term on the CSA Board of Directors. For the past two years, I have tirelessly advocated for the best interests of over 3,500 undergraduate students at Lang. Supplementing my success in this role is a long list of extra-curricular involvement within and beyond the Lang School of Business, rendering me the ideal candidate to be your representative. My current roles as Co-President of the Accounting Students’ Association and a debate team delegate on JDCC Lang are a testament to my commitment to and involvement in fostering a strong community within the Lang School of Business. I am excited to continue my work representing Lang on the CSA Board of Directors, and I am hopeful I can count on your support to make this happen yet again! 

Manpreet Rattan   Lang School of Business Director
I am a GEM! Hey, I'm Manpreet Rattan, a fourth-year Government, Economics & Management (GEM) student, and I am your ideal candidate to represent the ambitious, sustainable and entrepreneurial beliefs and voice of the Gordan S. Lang School of Business. In my role at the CSA, I plan to strengthen and solidify the reputation and name of the Gordan S. Lang School of Business to effectively compete against the "Target Business Schools" for opportunities. I plan to achieve this by presenting common issues faced by business students at Guelph and the job market and, accordingly, formulating resources to overcome those challenges. My past leadership experiences at the University of Guelph, including roles such as Director of Events, Director of Marketing, President of GEMA, and Vice President of Ace Lang, have instilled in me the various leadership qualities and knowledge regarding the University of Guelph to succeed within this role effortlessly. 

Sarah Dent   Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) Director
My name is Sarah Dent, and I am a first-year agricultural sciences student. 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. Specifically, I hope to serve the student body by advocating for sustainability and joining committees including the FoodBank Committee and the Ethical Purchasing Committee. I worked part-time at the CSA Food Bank for the past year, providing me with unique insight into how best to support the CSA services and the students who use them. In high school, I was a leader in my youth group and school yearbook program and represented students on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission. At UofG, I am involved in the Crops and Soil Science Club and Hillel. I plan to pursue a career in agricultural policy and continue to volunteer to serve my community. 

Bella Litvak   Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) Director
Hello, my name is Bella Litvak, a second-year in Animal Science. My grandfather’s family owns a horse-breeding operation in the East and my grandmother’s family raised ducks. I’m currently serving on the Board of Directors and have enjoyed my time thus far. I wish to continue to be apart of this team and continue to focus on helping the students of the OAC. I’ve worked in many different aspects of agriculture, but by far on-farm experience in the barn has been my favourite. I have a lot of respect for the events and clubs organized by the OAC and aspire to continue supporting them. I’ve worked with domestic animals, livestock, and wildlife, even having my own garden with a spread of fruits & vegetables. Additionally, I speak English, French, Russian, and ASL. Overall, I plan to continue serving the students of the OAC, ensuring every voice is heard. 

Chadha Gursimran   Ontario Agriculture College (OAC) Director
I'm Chadha, a proud member of OAC and Class of 2026 Rams, actively involved in various clubs like Dairy, Swine, Poultry, Beef, and ABSA. From OAC games to the 99th College Royal, OAC Winter Ridgetown games, and Dairy Trip 2024 to Western Canada British Columbia, I've been deeply immersed in our community's activities. Coming from Punjab, India, an agriculture-based community, my passion for agriculture runs deep. I am a 2nd year Animal Bio student with a minor in Business. I aim to transform agriculture sustainably, ensuring global access to nutritious food amidst a growing population. I'm running for the CSA Board of Directors to bring strong leadership, advocating for fair resource allocation to benefit our community. It's an honour to run for this position, committed to serving OAC with integrity and dedication.

Jonah Greenhut   College of Arts Director
Hi, Everyone! I am seeking your vote for re-election as your College of Arts representative. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a 2nd year BAS student minoring in CJPP and Stats. This past year serving on the CSA has been fulfilling and insightful. I spent time getting to know the ins and outs of how the CSA works and learned the true potential of what it has to offer. I delivered on my promise of making elections more transparent by passing policies and sitting on the fall by-election oversight committee. I now want to take the next step and make sure that the CSA works for you by creating structures of director transparency and accountability. I hope to continue to serve you in this upcoming year.

Noam Einy   Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Director
Hi, my name is Noam Einy and I am a second-year student at the Ontario Veterinary College. I am rerunning for the OVC board of directors position in the CSA because I feel it’s very important to connect the OVC with the university in a more meaningful way. By doing this position, I can communicate back and forth between OVC students and the university so that we at the OVC stay in the loop on important issues!  

Nate Broughton  College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS) Director
Hello! I'm Nate, a Computer Science student at UofG, running for re-election to the CSA Board of Directors! This past year, I've been extremely involved with the CSA, focusing on making the CSA more transparent, and enhancing the student experience. A main focus of mine over these past few weeks has been our stance against Navitas, advocating tirelessly for our academic & welfare interests. I sit on many CSA committees, including, Student Events & Initiatives Funding, and Policy & Bylaw Review. Recently, I have been appointed to the UC Board, which governs the University Center. Outside of the CSA, I also sit on the IT Student Advisory Committee. If re-elected, I will continue to work on ensuring the CSA remains transparent, inclusive, and responsive to all student voices. If you have any questions, please reach out at any time, I am always happy to talk about what we do! 

Jake Levy  College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS) Director
My name is Jake Levy, and I am a fourth-year student majoring in Computer science and minoring in Math. I am seeking re-election onto the CSA Board of Directors to continue to do my part in ensuring equality for all students at the University of Guelph. During my past two years as a member of the Board of Directors, I have consistently fought for the rights of all students within the CSA through my participation in the Policy Committee, Finance Committee, and others. I will continue to fight for each and every CEPS student. I want to be your voice on campus! 

Yael Lazebnik  College of Biological Science (CBS) Director
Hi, I’m Yael and I’m majoring in Zoology. I’ve always been passionate about advocating for students, even during high school. I was a finalist for the position of student trustee of my school board, and I’m currently very active in my community on and off campus. If elected to the CSA Board of Directors, I’ll work tirelessly to bridge the gap between CBS students and the CSA. My commitment is to always be available to listen to students’ concerns and represent our college effectively. As STEM students, we often feel overwhelmed and burnt out. Every student has the right to feel welcomed, heard, and equal on this campus. It’s essential that we foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity to truly cultivate an environment where all students thrive. Through student governance, we have the power to bring about lasting and meaningful change at Guelph - let me be your voice. 

Isaac Maas  College of Biological Science (CBS) Director
Hi everyone, my name is Isaac Maas, and I am seeking election to the CSA Board of Directors to represent my fellow students in the College of Biological Science. I am a first-year student majoring in Biochemistry, with an option for Co-op. I decided to run for CSA this winter to ensure that every student has a voice in our student government at Guelph. This passion will guide my actions in this role, as I am  committed to providing communication between our college and the CSA. Furthermore, I will be available to you directly to voice any concerns to me. Let’s make this year a great one! 

Looking to Vote? click here for more information on how to vote starting on Monday, March 4, 2024. 

Last Updated:
Monday, February 26th, 2024 2:00 PM