YUMSO Elections 2014

Candidate Profiles:

For the position of President, we have nominees as follows:

Mike Hatton:

Hello YUMSO members, alumni and fellow mature students.

My name is Mike Hatton and I am currently the President of YUMSO (York University Mature Student Organization). I am running again this year for re-election for President.

I have been a member of YUMSO since starting York three years ago. I have volunteered and been a part of the executive team last year in the role as director, prior to taking on the role of President. We have had a great year with an increase in membership of 30% and the amount of volunteers doubled this year making the office more accessible to our YUMSO members and mature students in general. As a team we have joined an alliance with University of Toronto and McMaster's Mature student leadership to introduce a voice on the 30% tuition reduction that mature students are not currently entitled too. In terms of events we had a wonderful "Meet and Greet" exam de-stressor catered in from the Orange Snail on campus. This event brought together many mature students, faculty and alumni friends.

If elected, I will continue to support Mature Students through Peer Mentorship, Social events (3 already planned for this upcoming year!) and the strong relationships with both Vanier College and Atkinson Centre for Mature and Part-time Students (ACMAPS). These partnerships are vital in providing access to key resources around campus for mature students. I have supported mature students through the First Year Experience program which helps with the transition to university studies. I have met many new mature students this past year and have volunteered to help connect them to various services around campus.

Saereen Qureshi:

Saereen has experience working in the health sector, the customer service sector, and the social work sector. Saereen is currently employed by CAMH where she uses her skills to improve the services that CAMH provides for its clients and their families. Saereen has had leadership and advocacy training and hasfacilitated many groups at various agencies like Across Boundaries and the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Saereen is currently a mature student at York University and has received the Cragg Award for academic excellence and for her role as a Student Representative here at York University. Saereen is involved with many York University clubs and was an executive member with the Undergraduate Political Science Council for the year of 2014. She was a volunteer with York is U during the York University’s 55th birthday celebration for 2014. Saereen also volunteered during the Refugee Camp Week that took place in Vari Hall during the 2014 year. She also helped with fundraising for UNICEF and joined the celebrations at the Muslim Student Association at York University. Saereen is also involved with political activities with the Federal and Provincial Liberal party of Canada. Saereen has also been to college and knows about the different learning systems and their requirements. Saereen believes that we are here at York University for such a short time and we should enjoy the process and get involved. That is why Saereen Qureshi is running for President for the York University Mature Student Organization. Saereen Qureshi wants to help you today, for your tomorrow.

For the position of Vice-President, Keel, we have nominees as follows:

Kristen Kern:

I am running for Vice President of YUMSO not because I want to be a passive placeholder/figurehead of this organization, but because I want to encourage and aid all mature students in their endeavors to succeed in life, especially during their time here at York. I would like to share a few things about myself to help you see what I can bring to the table in terms of commitment and skill.
During my life, I’ve been a top student, a funeral director, a volunteer firefighter, and a member of various volunteer organizations. I’ve adopted three kittens and a lizard. I love videogames, motorcycles, and books, and I am married to my wonderful partner of two years.
After clocking over 35 hours of volunteer time with YUM SO in the Fall/Winter year and another 35 hours this summer alone, I have managed a 7.9 grade point average while acting as a class rep and volunteering as a notesharer for York’s CDS department. I also find time to intern with a fitness/wellness firm near my home, work a part time job, strength train four times a week, eat healthy, perform in a drum corp, explore hobbies and have date nights. You may be asking, why am I telling you all of this? To illustrate my pride, my commitment, my honesty, my skill (especially in time management), and my compassion; I would like to apply all of these characteristics to my work for YUMSO.
Yes, I have the audacity to be proud of the effort I give forth in every aspect of my life. As mature students, you should also be proud! I believe that all of us, as mature students, should be proud of our dedication and achievements. How many people do you know that can balance a full schedule at home and at school without losing their minds, ruining family/friend relationships, slacking at work, or slipping in their grades? And many of you are raising children! That is an achievement many of our younger counterparts can’t even fathom. This is why YUMSO and its partnerships are so important to our campus community: to continue to allow mature students to maintain that homeostasis.
My goal as VP is to continue to foster those partnerships between organizations to provide the best overall experience for mature students. I also want to have a more active event schedule (such as Frosh activities for mature students and fundraising/volunteering opportunities), update some of the furnishings in our office, and consistently advocate for mature students in school policy, to make sure we are at par with the other students and benefit equally from their rights and opportunities. I can guarantee that, if elected, I will exercise my role efficiently and responsibly, and encourage open and active communication between our officers and our members.
Thank you for your consideration.
Respectfully yours,
Kristen M. Kern

Janette Castano:

Hello fellow mature students and YUMSO members,
My name is Janette Castano and I would love the opportunity to represent you on the YUMSO executive committee as your Vice President at Keele.
I am a Finance Major and will be entering my second year of the program. As a full time student and a single mother of three beautiful daughters (that by far are my inspiration for pursuing a University degree) I can understand the many different challenges that mature students face at York. I come from a background in the Dental Field where I had the opportunity to grow and learn both professionally and personally. I dealt with clients one on one and learnt to handle situations on the spot. As like many of you, in order to continue up the professional ladder in my field, a degree is essential. And so here I am!
I was introduced to YUMSO through the First Year Experience program, offered by ACMAPS. After feeling out of place in such a large University, I took the opportunity to volunteer at YUMSO. Returning to school was a huge adjustment and learning curve. At YUMSO I was able to make connections that helped me navigate and survive my first year here at York.
While tabling for YUMSO last term I realized that mature students, although from very different backgrounds and walks of life, all shared similar issues and concerns as students. As Vice President of Keele I will work together with the executive committee to help bring our concerns to the York administration. Not only in regards to policies that are quite frankly unfair to mature students but also the variety of activities held at York (like Frosh week) that are clearly aimed at our younger counterparts. Along with Mike Hatton (YUMSO’s President last year) and many mature student bodies from other Universities and Colleges, we helped initiate and support a campaign to have the Ontario Government include mature students in the 30% tuition reduction that younger students are eligible for. That campaign is still in progress and I feel stronger than ever that it will be successful. As Vice President of Keele, I will continue to work towards that goal.
I believe there is strength in numbers and I will work tirelessly to help our membership grow. I would like to see YUMSO become the central hub for mature students. Where students can not only have a place to study but a place where they feel they are a part of something. A place to make new friends and share our experiences and knowledge. Where we can help each other survive the different hardships we face as mature students. A place where we can voice our opinions and thoughts and have them heard.
I look forward to meeting many more of you throughout the coming year and can’t wait to get the proverbial ball rolling at YUMSO!

For the position of Vice President, Social, we have the following nominees:

Nicholas Steele:

Dear YUMSO members,

My name is Nicholas Steele, and I would like to represent you on the YUMSO executive as your Vice President Social. I am in my second year in the Disaster & Emergency Management Program, and was introduced to YUMSO by Janette Castano in my second semester. Janette and I have a shared vision for YUMSO that I hope will resonate with its membership.

My first motivation for joining the YUMSO executive is that one of the first things I noticed when I began at York is that I felt a lack of a sense of shared experience with younger students. As a mature student, I was in a routine where I would go to class, get my work done at the library and leave. This is not the social atmosphere I had envisioned: however there wasno compelling reason for me to stay and make new friends or engage with other students inactivities, events and discussions that would enrich my university experience. I see YUMSO as a place and organization that can change that routine, a bridge where we can meet people with whom we can relate.

My second reason for joining the executive is that I believe that the connections and friendships we develop in University can last a lifetime and be beneficial to our personal and career development. The mature student population is both large in number and diverse in experiences and cultures. In these I see a wealth of both professional and personal experiences that can be shared and expanded within the community given the right opportunities. The biggest challenge we all face as mature students is one of scheduling; we juggle multiple competing priorities outside of school such as our spouses, children, jobs and other responsibilities. As your VP Social my job will be to help create events that are relevant to you and fit into your busy life. I plan on reaching out to all YUMSO members to make these events happen; therefore your engagement in the planning process is not a static one where I impose my ideas onto you --your input will be critical in both selecting which activities we organize as a club but also when we choose to have them.

As for my qualifications, I have over 20 years' experience in IT, Banking, HR, and the Food industry. More importantly, I am passionate about creating opportunities for people to get together and socialize. One example is that every year for the past 5 years I've hosted a fairly large BBQ competition with friends. As anyone who meets me will tell you I'm food obsessed, and see experiencing food as a shared experience.

Together we can pool our strengths and experiences to learn from each other, develop friendships and enrich our lives. All it takes is to be involved and participate. Let's do this.

Jaya Roopansingh:

VP Social Campaign Statement

As students, time is precious. We all know how hard it can be to fit school, work, responsibilities, family and friends into our schedules. It's hard to keep focused, responsible and have a little social time. I am hoping the YUMSO space will be used to foster more social activities. The key is time management. If we can have more events on campus we can fit in some social time with each other in between classes. We have so many wonderful cultures at York. I would like to have pot lucks. We can make a dish and have a spread in the YUMSO room once a month. In the past we have had wonderful pub nights around campus. I want to bring those back and do more of them so those who miss it on one night can try another night. I would also love to do a movie or pub night at the end of each semester and those time periods after assignments are due and you just want to relax or let some steam out. We have a wonderful little new pub/restaurant in York Lanes to gather for sports, food, good fun and mature socializing. I also want to get together with VP Social Glendon and do some activities outside of campus. I am aiming for 10 events minimum for the entire Fall/Winter 2014/15. The whole point of YUMSO is to create more social friendly experiences with each other. Hope to see this come true!

Jaya Roopansingh

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