FSU prepares for presidential election

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: FANSHAWE STUDENT UNION
Nomination packages for the next Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) president and directors will open on Jan. 25 at fsu.ca/elections.

It’s time once again for a new leader to step up to the podium.

The Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) has put out the call for any students to consider running as the organization’s next president. Its sitting president, Katyayini Thakur will exit from the seat in May.

Thakur, a graduate of Fanshawe’s health systems management program, told Interrobang that the experience as FSU president has been invaluable.

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“I’ve really been able brush up and enhance my management skills which is something before I had no experience with. It’s been great getting to know people and how different students from different countries function and what are the common trends, so I’ve gotten pretty good at analyzing trends,” Thakur said. “If I were to take a management position, that’s going to come in handy. It’s given me a lot of confidence.”

Thakur’s tenure as FSU president has been nothing short of eventful. The former FSU director was the sole candidate for the role during last year’s 2020 election period in March. The resignation of 2019 president Abdullah Qassab had led to interim leadership from finance coordinator Julia Brown that year, and Thakur’s undertaking turned a new leaf for the College’s student-run government.

However, Interrobang had only just published the news of her newfound presidency when the College was forced to shutter its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thakur, who hopes to one day open her own medical clinic, then spent her summer learning the ins and outs of the job virtually. She found herself unexpectedly challenged to somehow generate a sense of connectivity among students throughout the crisis.

“The most challenging part with working from home and being a student-centric organization is getting the students to follow us on social media,” she said. “I think that’s a big one because when we’re on campus we have such a big on-campus presence, so that’s been a bit tricky.”

Thakur turned to Fanshawe’s class reps, volunteers and directors to redirect students to the FSU’s newsletter and social media pages, where Thakur worked hard to provide regular video updates and question and answer sessions. She also managed to create virtual volunteer opportunities for students looking to bolster their resumes.

With nomination packages opening on Jan. 25 at fsu.ca/ask-to-run, Thakur is now encouraging students to consider running for either the one presidential or eight director positions. Elections will run from March 15 to 17.

“This is a great opportunity for students to voice their opinions, to be the voice of change, and to represent the underrepresented students,” she said. “It’s any student’s chance to shine.”

Reflecting back on the past year, Thakur also relayed a message of hope for Fanshawe’s student body.

“I know that things have been grim and gloomy for a while now but it’ll just be a while longer,” she said. “This is our final test of perseverance and please continue to follow all the health and safety protocols that have been set by the provincial government and by Fanshawe. Maintain social distancing, stay at home as much as you can and if you have symptoms, don’t go on campus. Give it one final push and in no time we’ll be together as a social unit. Take care and stay safe.”