UVSS ELECTIONS | Meet independent candidate Isha Dhillon

Campus News

Dhillon is running for the position of Director-at-Large

Isha Dhillon.

Isha Dhillon is an independent candidate running for the position of Director-at-Large in the 2019 UVSS elections.

What are the three most important aspects of your campaign platform?

Dhillon: Developing a safe and inclusive campus community. I think it is important that students feel safe, so they can express their opinions and beliefs as well as be themselves without the fear of being mistreated. This includes ensuring that students have access to proper resources such as food security, mental health services, and … awareness of services for students with disabilities.

What did last year’s board do well and what did they do poorly?

Dhillon: The board needs to promote more student participation by creating more accessible events and changing the time of events, as well as having them across campus. More office hours are needed as well to hear the opinions of students across campus.

What compelled you to run in this election?

Dhillon: Like many students, my involvement with the university has so far been mostly academic. [The] UVSS is an organization that facilitates a great sense of campus community, which is important for maintaining a healthy student life. I am choosing to run because I see it as a great way to get involved by supporting and expanding our great campus community.

What is the biggest issue students on campus face, and how would you address it if elected?

Dhillon: Student wellness is [important]. If elected, I would like to see a five-day reading break in [the] fall to ensure student mental health is taken care of. Students need time to relax and relieve themselves from stress. Holding reading breaks for only a few days does nothing to help students.

How do you intend to raise student participation?

Dhillon: When holding events, I feel that students are more eager to come when a reward is involved. Giving out pizza at the start of an event can be a great way to increase the number of students who attend events. Once students do come [it would be] up to me and the UVSS team to accommodate them and ensure they understand the message we [would be] putting forth. Also, social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat) are an excellent way to reach out to students.

What do you think is important for students to know about your campaign and the upcoming elections?

Dhillon: Enthusiasm and dedication are things that I bring to everything I do. If elected, I will do everything in my power to reach out to students to better understand their needs, as well as work with them to make their great ideas a reality.

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?

Dhillon: The UVSS has some responsibility on issues outside campus. The University of Victoria is diverse in cultures from across the world and promotes equal rights, especially for Indigenous peoples. If the UVSS should invest time outside campus, then it should be for events that promote engagement and rights for Indigenous peoples. Involving ourselves in [such] events … will bring a sense of inclusion for Indigenous students who study here.

Is your slate promoting or opposing any referenda?

Dhillon: I support all four referendums 100 per cent. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

For more information on the UVSS elections, check out the Martlet’s briefers here and here.