Tygerberg Student Representative Council (TSR) Election 2021
TSR Election Candidates
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Meet the candidates
I have been gifted with an exceptionally loud voice and a powerful passion for people. My wish is to amplify students’ voices and to bringabout change where needed. I believe that the TSR has been doing much more than many know and can do even more. This requires buy-in from both the FMHS and students in order to address the multi-faceted, unique challenges our students face.
My mission is to improve communication between students, student organisations, the TSR and, ultimately, the university. I want to use this year to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.
According to the Tygerberg Student Constitution, every student has the right to “an enabling environment”. It is my belief that the sole purpose of the TSR should be to uphold an enabling environment by representing the views of students and being advocates for and facilitators of change where needed. The many unique challenges that our students are faced with amplified by the impact of CoVid-19 , have all been. It is therefore more important than ever that students know where they can turn to for help and that they have trust in the body representing them. For students to know what the role of the TSR is, ho w the TSR can help them and how to approach them, is the first and most important step in solving many problems. This is ensured by reinforcing a good chain of communication (students and will ultimately lead to greater buy in from students. TSR faculty) First of all, students need to know who the TSR is. This needs to be ensured by the TSR playing a bigger (visible) role during the Welcoming period. In order to reach a bigger audience and for more people to know what is happening on campus, the TSR needs to reach more people through their social media. Newcomers need to follow the social media accounts from the get go and the rest need to be incentivised to follow the accounts. People need to want to read what the TSR has to say, which is achieved by purposeful branding and effective promotion of events, projects and essential information. Lastly, social media accounts need to be a onestop destination for any questions regarding campus news, activities and feedback, important information and tips for newcomers or anyone needing help (“TygerMaties101”). From this foundation, issues can be addressed effectively, leading to an enabling student environment.
I am hoping to be given the opportunity to serve in the best of YOU , my fellow colleagues at Tygerberg for the TSR term of 2022 .
I am hardworking, caring and diligent. I am able to take ownership of my actions. I am very responsible and organised. I’m able to view situations from all views before giving my input. I am able to follow both verbal and written instructions, have a willingness to learn new things from experiences and I am thorough with time management. I enjoy problem solving and work prioritization. I am of sober habits and good behaviour. I have the ability to work under extreme pressure with tight deadlines, with the aim of reaching the targets as set out by my superiors. Having served you , the students of Tygerberg in 2021 as Speaker of TSP , I have a working understanding of the needs of the students and am hoping to serve you at the next level .
I believe could swiftly surpass your expectations in this capacity and I hope to be given a chance as I am confident that I am capable of meeting and hopefully exceeding your expectations.
The TSR is the highest student representative structure on Tygerberg Campus , by representing students at various levels of interaction within the faculty . I believe that the TSR can be a better student body by firstly realizing that student have rights – according to Chapter 2 of the student constitution , and that by representing the students , the TSR should always ensure that the rights of students are maintained and respected at all times .
Secondly to ensure optimum functioning of the TSR , one needs to realize that students have needs and that these needs need to be actively sought after since we are representing the students , and it is these needs that the body such as the TSR should bring up when interacting with faculty to ensure that these needs are met and that students are ultimately able to achieve their aspirations without any distractions .
Thirdly , although being part of the TSR is one of the most prestigious positions one can hold on campus , I think that one needs to continue to maintain humility , and in doing so providing a platform that the body is approachable for students to come to in providing advice to the TSR ,bringing up issues that they experience that they would like the TSR to intervene in and also bringing up recommendations in which the TSR can function more better .
Lastly , in ensuring that the TSR is a better body for students , I think that the issue of constant feedback / communication should be improved on . Issues worked on and currently being worked on between the TSR and relevant structures should be made public to the Tygerberg Student Union in eliminating the thought that the TSR is non-functioning . This can be done by optimising the TSR social media platforms and having regular feedback sessions with the Student Union.
To create an enabling environment for Tygerberg students through accountability, determination and a solutions-focused mentality.
“Tygerberg Student Representatives” – a student body that exists to represent the students on our campus. As it stands, the majority of students on our campus do not have direct access to the university management structures that make decisions that unequivocally impact us. The TSR body should utilise their position to amplify the voices and sentiments of Tygerberg Students in these shared spaces with faculty – thereby bridging the gap between students and our often-unreachable faculty.
To fairly represent our Tygerberg student community, we need to know what they need, not only what we (as a TSR body) think they need. We should continue creating spaces for students to voice their needs, concerns and grievances, so as to fairly represent them. We need to start asking ‘What can we do to help?’, as opposed to assuming that we already know.
The 2020/2021 period has been an unfathomably adverse time for most, if not all, Tygerberg students. Unfortunately, this pandemic and consequent social distancing policies have undoubtably diminished the sense of community on our campus, especially within the more junior year groups. The 2021/2022 TSR body will play a fundamental role in rebuilding our community alongside other student leadership bodies, through policy amendment and various campus-based initiatives.
However, for many students the diminished sense of community on this campus is not at the forefront of their concerns. Over the last year, a number of students have lost their bursaries or scholarships, have succumb to academic pressure given the current learning environment, have experienced loss of livelihood within their households, and so forth. As a result, the 2021/2022 TSR body will need to expend large portions of their focus on equity for students within our space.
Watching the sunset on Tygerberg campus reminds me of the grace I have received to be studying here. I love this campus and have a longing to be intentionally contributing to the welfare and improvement of all our lives. I believe that serving on the TSR will provide me with the opportunity to do just that. I am prepared and eager to learn what I need to, to do what you need me to. The times have changed, yet our time is now – let’s go.
Upon learning to what extent the TSR is involved on campus, I realized the importance of the council. I, along with several other students, only had a vague idea of the responsibilities and purpose of the TSR. This is the first aspect I believe the TSR can improve - through thorough awareness of the council. Being familiar with the TSR, the relationship between the students and council will improve, enabling the TSR to interact with and truly represent the student body. In this year the TSR has been involved in and responsible for notable events and improvements on campus such as the outdoor gym, Straatfees and the sports day. Yet it was not visible that the TSR was responsible. This brings me to the second aspect - ensuring visibility will enhance awareness and acknowledgement of what the TSR is achieving. Now this acknowledgement should not be for personal gain but to reinforce the impact that the council can have. I believe that this will build on the relationship with the student body and increase engagement with the TSR. The third aspect the TSR can improve on is the interaction with students. By building on the communication structures the TSR has developed in the past 2 years (e.g. the social media platform), effective interaction can be achieved. This could be in the form of easily accessible online forums, social media, question and suggestion boxes, etc. I believe being able to easily interact with the TSR will assist in hearing about the students needs and also increase future participation in events. Getting to know the TSR will hopefully encourage the students to raise their voices and in turn empower and enable the TSR to truly represent our Tygerberg student population – and this is how I believe we can reach our full potential.
A great leader does not set out to be a leader, but they set out to make a difference! Having the vision and the responsibility that it takes to bring Tygerberg to new heights, it is less about the role, and more about making sure that the voices of the students are heard.
I have spent the last few years being on the ground, listening to what the students (across all the Health Science degrees) have to say, what they struggle with, and where their pain-points are, it is time to transform their hopes into action!
The TSR to this point has been a very active student body that has held the representation of Tygerberg Campus in high regard. Focusing on inclusivity, we are at a time on Tygerberg where there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach. This campus is so rich in diversity, religion, culture, and political perspectives – and I believe that the current TSR has begun to implement measures and events to express the richness of a student community much like ours. Through implementing a more direct interaction with the students of Tygerberg campus, we will allow for a greater perspective to be taken based on the true requirements, pain-points and wants of the students. Through the TSR becoming the cornerstone towards the functioning of societies on campus, as well as the direct link between faculty and the student’s demands, by streamlining these narratives it will portray a strengthening to the quote “For the students, by the students.”
As an applicant I have had an array of interest regarding the incorporation of leadership based interdisciplinary approaches that are geared towards the needs and environments within the healthcare realm. I was able to display my passion towards leadership by being the Osler PSO Head Mentor for 2020/2021 as well as an ex-officio member of the Osler HK. Having also been a member of the TSR for the 2019/2020 term and the Student Wellness portfolio head, I believe I have the skills and values needed to deal with a wide array of different students, their backgrounds, and their personal needs and requirements. I believe I am an approachable, diligent, hard-working and a meticulous individual – qualities that are pivotal for any leadership position. Although I know I am flawed and nowhere near perfect, I have sought after ways in which I can strengthen my weaknesses. For example, I try my best to involve myself in local and international dialogue so that my norms, values and thoughts can be contested, because it is only when we have our deemed normality challenged that we truly do grow.
To fight for the social, financial, academic and emotional wellbeing of the students on Tygerberg Campus is what I strive for. With your help – this can be brought into fruition.
It is slow dripping water which hollows out rocks, not because of force, but because of persistence. There’s no time to be discouraged. Living sustainably involves persistent and conscious decisions each day, until we lead a sustainable life. It can be easy to get discouraged because we don’t see the change. The goal of Green and Sustainability would be to make the progress as visible as possible. Every small sustainable decision is a victory.
For starters, I am not entirely clued up on what the TSR accomplishes on campus. Admittedly, the pandemic has meant that students spend less time on campus and the TSR hasn’t been able to operate as it has in years before I got to university. Also, I am aware that many students on campus are here solely to get their degree and then take on the big world without ever engaging much with campus life and student leadership.
As a second year student, I am aware that there is a lot happening on campus – infrastructure development in the form of disturbing construction, lots of gardening and purchasing of plants and.. well, Tygerberg campus seems to just be a struggling island which in many ways is more boring than main campus.
I understand as far as education and clinical training and research goes, our campus is apparently thriving.
To me it simply doesn’t make sense how these two polar opposites can exist on a campus with strong leadership structures. I sense a lack of engagement and ownership by students – a general apathy. I think the TSR needs to have a wider reach to get all willing students to take ownership of the campus we work on. It is our campus after all. And once more students see their peers making a difference on campus, interest will grow and students may believe that the campus caters for them... and less like they’re just a bunch of student -numbers who need to graduate by a certain date. I know most of us can admit that climate change exists and that in our individual capacities, we will do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint... But wouldn’t it be better if our individual efforts could be combined and amplified? I believe it would be better.
It may be farfetched, but on Tygerberg campus, we’re sort of like a mini community living together whether you like it or not. I have a vision that we can live as a green community, with a reduced carbon footprint, and that all further development that takes place on campus can only go ahead if there’s a rock solid sustainability plan involved.
I am running for TSR because I want to be part of the team that initiates change on campus through representing students’ needs and viewpoints on various structures that comprise our campus.
Having served on the Tygerberg Student Representative council in the term of 2020/2021 as a portfolio manager, I was privileged enough to see firsthand the amazing work that the outgoing TSR team accomplished . In addition to this, I got to witness the background process of bringing about change such as the drafting of new policies hours put in discussion forms before a new structure can be initiated. Therefore, I do believe that the TSR of the term 2020/2021 did a and the numerous n excellent term serving our campus. Despite the Corona Viruses’ implications on job during their our existing structures , the team still It is because of furthered our campus in the interest of the students. This that I want to become an elected member of the TSR. I want to continue in the footsteps of the outgoing team and want to continue to fight for student s’ serve in upholding faculty to their set standards. I rights where and when they In saying this, I have noticed that the TSR is not a s accessible to are violated. Student body on campus desired . This is an issue as I feel that the TSR could improve on by increasing their as presence amongst students. I feel that students should not only know who the also know when and how to contact the TSR. I think is an area where in TSR members are but in hopes of increasing the communication between students and the TSR as that is the only I way that the TSR will be able to bring student’s viewpoints and wants in to focus and forward on the various structures they sit on.
"I slept and dreamnt that life was joy. I awoke and saw life was service. I acted and behold, serice was joy." - RabindranathTagore
I believe that the success of the TSR as an effective student representative body depends primarily on who is on the Team, and as such the TSR could be a better student representative body if those elected are passionate about serving the TSU and are willing to make sacrifices in order to ensure that every opportunity they receive to meet with University management and other relevant stakeholders are used as opportunities to clearly articulate the needs of the TSU and advocate for change. An effective TSR is one where elected leaders are determined, assertive and dedicated to being problem solvers as well as the voice of students. An effective TSR is also one where members of the Team understand various university systems and protocols, as using the correct channels i.e. presenting issues before the correct people is of great importance. I believe that the experience I have gained over the years in student leadership, primarily in the TSR (first as scribe and then as a portfolio manager) make me an ideal candidate for the TSR. Serving as scribe in the 2019/2020 term opened my eyes to the various issues that the TSU faces and awakened me to the fact that Tygerberg is often overlooked and that our unique context is seldom taken into consideration when making decisions. I also believe that working as a portfolio manager (2020/2021) has further prepared me to serve as an elected member of the TSR because I have grown as a leader and understand the University’s systems and protocols and know exactly which issues need to be addressed and who to hold accountable for addressing them. Continuity in leadership particularly in a structure such as the TSR is essential and as such I ask that the TSU elects me to continue serving them with my passion, skills and the knowledge I have acquired over the years.
“The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than what others are saying.” - Francois de La Rochefoucauld
To ascertain a representative body, especially one that is student-focused, as one that is viable and productive, I believe it should possess the ability to gather the full diversity of its constituents’ voices and be able to amplify and advocate for them unanimously at all levels of affiliated authority and governance. As much as the TSC is very capable of the above-mentioned point, desirable extensions would be, but not limited to, employment of practical innovation, urgency of implementation, transparency and accountability, maximum access to resources and last but not least, true consideration of student wellbeing in all spheres concerned according to the values we uphold. The concept of agreeableness is one that I hold dear to my heart. Not only does it allude to warmth, cooperativeness and optimism, but it also holds tactfulness to high regard.
I am not, in any way imaginable, better-suited than the next person, but the ability to clearly and assertively negotiate with bodies of governance in the best interest of the people I am potentially representing is a sure aspect I am able to offer. One can only advocate for that which one is able to listen to and understand, and I believe in the power of genuinely listening and tactfully amplifying, not only concerns, but input on creatively making a difference in the lives of people I am potentially representing. That means being able to take constructive criticism and feedback, and also being innovative in my thinking capacity to suggest and offer guidance on aspects that may have not been considered. This in conjunction with being able to bridge the gap between said people and bodies of governance so as to avoid disparity is a useful, I believe, assert to the TSC. In the TSC capacity, I would like to press for better coordination between university structures and ownership of responsibility in order to uphold accountability and refine procedural behaviors and protocols to best fit the wellbeing of students. My focus will be in the continuation and improvement of covid-adaptable mechanisms and services initiated in the past term, campus-wide policy and constitution renewed, and also restoration of some normality in student life to whatever degree possible.
I have always been someone who wanted to make a difference. One of my favourite quotes is "be the change you want to see in the world" by Ghandi. This quote resonates with me through all aspects of my life and is a constant reminder that the only way to ensure change is if I put myself in a position to do just that which is why I'm running for the TSR. If elected I hope to not only build on the great things the past TSR have done but also pave some new paths that can hopefully lead to some great things on our campus.
I believe that the TSR has done an amazing job this far at being a voice for the students of Tygerberg and at making decision to ensure the betterment of our campus as a whole. There is always room for improvement in any leadership body as methods of yesterday may not necessarily be the best for tomorrow so recognizing that leadership is an evolutionary process is the first step. This is especially true as we find ourselves in such difficult circumstances and we see now that we always need to be prepared to adapt. I believe the TSR could be a better student representative body by creating more efficient platforms for student interaction where concerns or suggestions are not only raised but where a conversation is held about how these will be handled and where progress can be given on a regular basis. By doing this the TSR not only becomes more transparent but will also appear more inviting for people to voice their opinions and know that they are heard. Another aspect thats important to me is sports and I wan t to take campus sports to another level. I do understand that due to the pandemic not much could have been done this year and hopefully next year will be a little better to work with. I hope to become the TSR sports representative and build on t he idea I started this year which was campus athletics. This idea was sparked due to the lack of the sports on Tygerberg yet we are invited to compete in cluster athletics on Stellenbosch campus where they have facilities to practice. So my main goal if elected will be to see this through and hopefully have it ready to be implemented by at least halfway through 2022.
Brave enough to start conversations that matter.
In opening, I must acknowledge the efforts and good work of the preceding TSC. Good leaders inspire people to become good leaders, hence my decision to run for the 2021/2022 Term.
It is important for us to recognize the primary function of this Council as being the channel of communication and representation for the students to the faculty with the elimination of Bias regarding all matters. This must be understood by all TSC members. There also needs to be a realization that good representation requires good communication. The TSC should ensure that maintaining this is a priority whilst remembering that there is always room for improvement especially living through unprecedented times with Covid-19 decreasing interaction opportunities between the TSC and students. I therefore feel that the most important improvement that can and should be made is trying to improve the reach of the TSC so that there is more interaction and feedback from students on campus for a fairer representation.
To close off I would like to share three words that are very important to me. Intention, Courage and service. These words can be applied to various situations and have helped me make decisions in difficult instances. I believe that with leadership we must always ensure that our intentions are pure, pure intentions will always have us acting in the best interests of others. Along with this we should also have the courage to challenge things that we don’t stand for ensuring that we fairly represent student needs. To complete this we must be able to serve and implement the change that we want to see on ground level. These are the three pillars by which I will rely on if I am elected to fulfil the requirements of the position I am given. This will ensure good representation of student needs from a well rooted team.
I have a passion for helping people. Therefore, I am running for TSR to better the lives of those I share the campus with by ensuring that their needs are heard and attended to, no matter how small or big they might be. We are all doing extremely demanding degrees, and students should not have to constantly juggle other issues outsides of that – so I am running with the hope that we can better the quality of and access to on-campus services, as well as to fulfil the needs of students as far as we can, and in doing so hopefully lightening the burden faced by many students.
As a well-integrated member of the Tygerberg student body, I often hear people talking about how unsatisfied they are with various aspects and services provided on campus. And, in most cases, they are either unaware of the channels available to rectify or change the issue (i.e., there is a lack of awareness of the existing channels, or the channels are not easily accessible to those who need to use them), or their attempts at affecting the change are ignored or unsuccessful. I am running for TSR to be the voice for the voiceless. To be the people’s champion. It is time that people’s complaints are heard, and something is done about them.
Most people in leadership aim to make the big changes, and the ‘smaller’ issues are usually ignored or dealt with unsatisfactorily. As a body that represents all students, all issues should be dealt with equally, and with the same urgency. Although potentially not feasible since members are determined by votes, I personally believe having a TSR body that consists of and represents all groups, especially the marginalized (i.e., LGBTQ+, disabled, etc.) would be able to get personal input from them on how to handle or fix issues that affect them directly, because I believe that those are some of the issues that may be considered ‘small’ since they do not affect the ‘majority’. It is important for TSR members to have grit – knowing that there may be instances where they are in a disagreement with a faculty, as we have seen in previous years. It is imperative that we are led by people who aren’t easily swayed to side with management, at the expense of the students’ needs. I believe I am headstrong enough to stand for those that I lead – no matter how intimidated I may be.
Having been a part of the leadership for the past two years – mentor 2019/2020 and HK 2020/2021 – I believe I have refined my leadership skills and acquired even more skills along the way. These skills will aid me in my journey as a TSR member where I determined to develop those skills further and use them for the betterment of the Tygerberg student body.