Dalal Tubeishat is running as an independent for the position of Director of Student Affairs. Tubeishat is a political science major working on a minor in social justice.
What are the three most important aspects of your campaign?
Tubeishat: I am running on a platform of affordability, sustainability, and advocacy. Through lobbying against issues like tuition hikes and for needs-based grants, I hope to make university life more affordable for students. I will continue to advocate for full divestment and work to reduce non-recyclables in the SUB. I will also continue to advocate for mental health services and for meaningful steps towards decolonization and Indigenous sovereignty.
What did last year’s board do well and what did they do poorly?
Tubeishat: The previous board has done well in fulfilling some of their big promises. I am most proud of the work that was done with the Divest campaign, and it has become one of my biggest priorities. Next year, I will build on Divest’s momentum to continue in efforts for full divestment by 2025. However, not all promises were met, and this has a lot to do with how hard it is to be a new director in a large and confusing institution. The biggest challenge a new board faces is navigating the inner workings of the UVSS. It is because of this prior knowledge that I am most qualified for this role. I know exactly what this position entails and I am prepared to take it on.
How do you plan to improve upon, or do differently, what you feel the previous board has done poorly?
Tubeishat: I think we can all do better to support the Indigenous students on campus and the issues happening in our community regarding Indigenous sovereignty. There’s a lot more to decolonization than territory acknowledgments. Doing land acknowledgments without action behind them becomes a check on a box and is not meaningful. I have tried my best to show up to actions and stand in solidarity with UVic’s Indigenous and as the Director of Student Affairs, I will prioritize supporting the actions of Indigenous students.
What compelled you to run in this election?
Tubeishat: I am passionate about serving and giving back to the community that I spend so much time in. I am excited for the opportunity this position offers to advocate for what students need and to support students in their university career.
What is the biggest issue facing students on campus, and how would you address it if elected?
Tubeishat: As students, we are juggling multiple issues at the same time, including struggling to afford school, maintain our mental health, and feel safe and included. These are issues that every student faces at varying degrees throughout the year, and that I will focus on if elected. In my platform, I have listed specific actions I will take to relieve some of the stresses that come with these issues and I am dedicated to following through with these promises.
Typically, only about 15 per cent of the student population vote in UVSS elections. How do you intend to raise student participation in student politics, or events you would run on campus if elected?
Tubeishat: Over the past year, I have seen firsthand the immense student involvement in issues that students are passionate about. From climate actions with Divest to protests against international fee hikes, it is obvious that students are passionate and become engaged when the board commits to these issues. This is why quorum was met at the Annual General Meeting for the first time in the past six years. Students are passionate and can become engaged — it is up to the board to make those passions a priority.
What do you think is important for students to know about your campaign and the upcoming elections?
Tubeishat: It is so important that students vote in elections. Your voice matters and your vote matters. I want to represent you, not just the students I agree with. I am running independently because I believe that representing students should not be influenced by personal relationships. An issue that most boards face is that they run with friends and find it difficult to disagree with them once elected. I am proud that I am running independently and I am excited that this allows me to embrace all viewpoints on campus.
Do you think it’s the UVSS’s responsibility to focus on issues outside of just the University of Victoria campus? If not, why? If so, what issues?
Tubeishat: Of course. Student life does not end when we leave campus. We are most powerful when we stand together, and that is the beauty of the UVSS. The board represents the student body and this is how and why the board can lobby the university and the government. It is vital that the UVSS takes a stance that represents student views and that we use this collective power to stand for the beliefs of the student body.
Voting for the UVSS elections will take place from March 4 to 6. The Martlet and CFUV are co-hosting two election events, the All Candidates and Referenda Forum on March 2 and the Lead Directors Debate on March 3, both at 2:30 in the Vertigo lounge.