Eight student senator positions filled by acclamation

Campus News

Next call for nominations to begin Feb. 24

The first eight spots for elected student representatives on the UVic Senate have been filled by acclamation, as only eight students ran for the 16 available positions. The Senate controls UVic’s academic governance, which includes granting degrees and overseeing faculties.

The UVic Senate has 72 seats, 16 of which are reserved for representatives elected by the student body. Each undergraduate faculty is guaranteed a seat, while the Faculty of Graduate Studies gets three. The remaining student seats are designated as at-large positions and can be occupied by students from any faculty.

The university will send out a call for nominations to fill the eight remaining seats beginning on Feb. 24 and ending on March 9.

Undergraduate Representatives

Jonathan Granirer (Social Sciences)

Granirer is in his fourth year at UVic. While he was originally a creative writing major, he is now studying political science and economics. He has spent this past year serving as the University of Victoria Students’ Society’s Director of Outreach and University Relations. Through this position, Granirer promoted the use of open-source textbooks and consulted on the creation  of a 24/7 mental health line by the university. He currently sits on a variety of university committees including four run by the Senate.

Granirer has made three promises for when he starts his term on the Senate: continuing to advocate for the use of open-source textbooks, supporting students by sitting on the Senate appeals committee, and showing up to meetings, as attendance has historically been an issue among student senators. 

Benjamin Gijzen (Social Sciences)

Gijzen is a second-year economics major at UVic with experience representing students by serving on various student councils throughout middle and high school. Gijzen says that he has always enjoyed representing students, and wants to hear all sides of student issues before making any decisions. 

As he starts his term on the Senate, Gijzen hopes to be able to rework the grade review system, as he says that students have very little say on how their courses are graded and the process for re-grading is time-consuming. He also promises to make sure that student tuition is put towards programs and facilities that will provide a better learning experience for undergraduate students.

Navinder Hundal (Science)

Hundal is in her first year at UVic and is a member of the Faculty of Science. She credits her experience of growing up in Victoria, surrounded by forests and the ocean as the inspiration for her pursuit of a science degree at UVic. Hundal volunteered in the recent federal election as an Information/Registration Officer for the riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands

She has not released any promises in regards to what she hopes to achieve in her term on the Senate. However, Hundal says that the experience of being part of musical ensembles in high school taught her how to be part of a team, while being part of her high school’s leadership council taught her how to plan, lead events, and engage students.

Tomas Kalyniuk (Business) 

Kalyniuk is a student of the Gustavson School of Business and is in his second year at UVic. He has been active in the community, working to advocate for those living with Type 1 diabetes while also gaining insight into the political process through participating in Model United Nations conferences. Kalyniuk is passionate about the environment and has earned the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards, as well as the Queen’s Venture Award for his work on environmental stewardship.

Through serving on the Senate, Kalyniuk hopes to preserve UVic as a diverse school that works for the needs of the student body.

Evan Roubekas (Engineering)

Roubekas is a third year Engineering student and aims to become a software engineer. 

By serving on the Senate, Roubekas hopes to improve student participation and increase communication between the administration and students. He hopes to get students directly involved in the decision-making process of the Senate and through this, wishes to impart students with a greater knowledge of what the Senate is and does. His end goal is to help grow the university community and increase awareness of campus politics as well as activities around campus amongst members of the student body.

Graduate Representatives

Joseph Martin (Science)

Martin is currently pursuing an M.Sc. in Earth and Ocean Sciences while working in the Climate Modelling Lab. He already holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering as well as a master’s degree in international business. Before coming to UVic, he was a Naval Warfare Officer in the Canadian Navy’s Pacific Fleet where he conducted NATO and counternarcotics operations while deployed in the Mediterranean and eastern Pacific oceans.

Through serving on the Senate, Martin hopes to ensure that the university reflects the views of its students and fulfills its responsibilities. He says that he will also lobby to increase access to education by helping to remove physical and socioeconomic barriers.

Jeffrey Bruton (Education)

Bruton is working towards his Ph.D. in Education and holds a master’s degree in music. He has taught audio and broadcast production and worked for five years at Microsoft as a senior systems engineer.

In addition to being acclaimed to the Senate, Bruton has also put himself forward to be a candidate for the Board of Governors. By hopefully serving on both boards he aims to bring decades of board, business, and educational experience to university administration.

Robyn Giffen (Education)

Giffen is a PhD candidate in curriculum and instruction. Her main area of study is Indigenous language revitalization and she holds a master’s degree in linguistic anthropology from UBC. At UBC, Giffen served as a graduate student representative on the student union, Senate, and Board of Governors. She has also taught anthropology at UBC Okanagan and Yukon College.

Through being on the Senate, Giffen wants to improve the experience of graduate students at UVic and make sure their voices are heard.