Statement from Saadiq Sumar, Candidate for President | SU Elections 2013

Hello Wanderer Readers!

My name is Saadiq Sumar and I would like to serve you as the next Students’ Union President. Why do I want to be YOUR President? Very simply, I am passionate about the Students’ Union and student leadership in general, I have extremely relevant experience, and I believe I have a fresh outlook on things.

I have been involved in all different facets of the student experience on campus. I started out my student involvement in Lister, lived there for 5 years, served as the Floor Coordinator on 3 Henday and the Vice President of Henday Hall. I also continue to be a Head Referee for the Lister Dodgeball League.

I also have participated in a number of events and activities put on by my faculty association, the Engineering Students’ Society, activities such as GEER Week and the Engineering Head Shave. I have been quite active within student groups as well, serving as an executive on a number of different clubs, including the Residence Halls Association.

Last year, I served as an Engineering Councilor for the SU’s Students’ Council and the General Faculties Council, two of the highest governing bodies on campus. I also served as the RHA’s VP Programming and helped to build the RHA that can be seen today.

Over the course of this academic year, I have had the honor to be the Vice President Student Life and have worked to represent students in some of the University’s governance bodies. I have also been heavily involved in the Programming and Venues Department of the Students’ Union and with SU Services. Through my experience, I have gained valuable insight in both the advocacy side and the operational side of the SU. This balance is seen in only one other SU Executive portfolio: SU President.

If elected, my activities would revolve around three main themes: Campus Pride, Campus Care, and Affordability of Education. I must stress that working in the spirit of these themes will be the responsibility of more than one president and one exec team. I will work to develop these themes within the Students’ Union and the institution and try to ensure that the next president takes these themes up as well, as they are areas in which the SU and the institution are quite far behind as compared to other institutions across Canada and the world.

Campus pride is something that is crucial in developing a strong campus community and is something we need to continue to build on our campus. Because of its commuter nature, it has been quite difficult to implement this in the past, but I would like to promote our athletic teams a bit better, create strong links through mentorship programs, and creating a more homely feel to campus.

Campus Care essentially revolves around the accessibility of campus as well as making campus an inviting and open environment for everyone. It is my belief that we are lagging behind various other institutions in this area and that we need to pick up our socks and start making campus much more accessible, inviting, and healthy for everyone who attends the U of A, whether as a staff or a student.

Finally, Affordability of Education is extremely important, as fees and the cost of attending a post-secondary institution is steadily and unceasingly increasing. The fees associated with tuition, mandatory non-instructional fees, and residence-related fees are key areas where the SU is taking strides to make the cost of education less of a barrier for incoming students and current students. I would like to continue taking steps in the right direction by working with the Administration, the Board of Governors, and the Provincial Government to demonstrate to them how much of a burden this is and to take measures to make education more affordable.

My platform is outlined below. “Protecting Students” is my first, and most important platform point. Providing accessible and affordable education, making sure that rent is affordable and not competitive, working to eliminate the mandatory nature of the meal plan, and the empowerment of student representatives are all initiatives I’d like to work on.

“Health Initiatives” is my second platform point. Working to expand Health Week, implementing academic programming during Reading Week, increasing the frequency and location of pet therapy days as well as the variety of animals, and the renewal of the SU’s Health and Dental Plan will be important for the President and the Executive to work on in the upcoming year.

“Sustainability” is my third and final platform point. Making sure we are diverting as much waste as possible and potentially drawing revenue from the savings as well as working towards providing a more accessible campus and potentially a new SU Service for the LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) Community are initiatives in which we are lagging behind other institutions.

On a side note, if you have managed to read everything to this point, good on you. If you’d like more information on any of these items, visit my website at, connect with my via Facebook or Twitter (@VoteSaadiq), or send me an email at

Last but not least, check out all the candidates’ platforms and don’t forget to vote on March 6th and 7th. I would be honoured to serve as your next Students’ Union President. It’s been a pleasure serving as your Vice President Student Life and I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve you further in the upcoming year.


What is the name of your campaign manager?

My campaign managers are David McBean and Kyle Brant.

What are the three on-campus activities that you are involved in do you consider the most important?

That’s an extremely difficult question to answer. I believe that the three most important on-campus activities that I am involved in are:

–       the Students’ Union’s Campus Musical, as this is the first time in a long time that a campus-wide musical has been undertaken

–       the Gender Based Violence Prevention Project, as this is an important issue of safety and equality in our community

–       Orientation/Week of Welcome, as this is the first time our new students interface with the Students’ Union and our institution and it is also a time where we welcome back our returning students (I also thoroughly enjoyed being the Cat in the Hat this year for the first week of school and during the President’s Address)

Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

Well, according to this very simple Bill Nye Meme, it wouldn’t matter which one I picked

But, if I had to pick one, I would say one horse-sized duck because it would be a one on one and because I think I could easily run from its giant waddles if I needed to escape.


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