Candidate Statements 2021

Advaita Shetty

Running For: International Students Officer; Postgraduate Student Officer

Kia Ora koutou,

My name is Advaita and I am running for the position of International Representative and Postgraduate Representative. I have had the privilege to be raised in different countries and currently completing my Masters in Audiology. I enjoy meeting new people, learning from different cultures and horror movies. 

The reason for standing for these positions are simple – from my previous work with student council at another institute , I have realised the potential and value one can bring by being an elected representative of students. Sometimes it’s as little as listening and sometimes going above and beyond to make a difference. My biggest strengths include my long experience working with students at various institutions and having studied at various universities through different programmes (bachelors, distance, certificate) and therefore having a two way perspective, a road map to work with and skill set to draw from. One crucial area, I have experience with and would like to work on is to promote mental well-being. I hope to not just be a voice to raise your concerns but also a friendly face you can always walk up to. 

ngā mihi,

Advaita  

Afye Abdallah

Running For: Welfare Vice-President

Kia ora and Hello, I’m happy to be running for the AUSA Welfare Vice President 2022. 

My time at Auckland University has been full of great experiences and little bumps on the road but I am privileged to be pursuing a degree in Psychology and expanding my interests in International business studies. 

I know first-hand the struggles that many of you, my peers are facing while trying to achieve your tertiary goals and embark on your professional and personal journeys. We all know too well how those “little bumps” on the road can spiral at times. One thing I wish I knew when coming to University is, you’re not alone. There are people and organisations who want to support you. This is why the AUSA organisation resonates so well with me and what I stand for. 

As a Welfare Vice president, I will aim to ensure students aren’t feeling alone when the hard times come knocking. I propose:

  • Increase awareness of the student welfare body and the services that are available for students
  • Increase access to counselling for students from all backgrounds

The voices of many outweigh the voice of one. Vote for Afye to have your voice be heard! 

Alan Shaker

Running For: Education Vice-President

Kia ora!

My name is Alan Shaker, and I am running to be re-elected as AUSA’s Education VP for 2022.

So why have I decided to run for a second term? I absolutely love working in the area of student voice. This is a role I have served in 2021 with great passion. Utilising the AUSA Student Council, completely re-designing the Class Rep policy and training delivery, and advocating for students interests at the highest level have been just some of my achievements this year. But I need YOUR help to let me build on the mahi I have achieved this year.

As we head into a post-covid world, the University is going to be undertaking significant changes in the space of learning & teaching. Now more than ever we need a consistent, powerful and collective student voice. We need students to be at the forefront of decision making processes. My experiences in the role, combined with my passion for education, mean I know what it takes to make a meaningful difference in an academic setting.

Check out my campaign page to get to know me and more information about policies!

Ngā mihi nui,

VoteShaker #PuttingStudentsFirst

https://www.facebook.com/VoteAlanShaker

Alofa So’olefai

Running For: President

Talofa Lava. As a fifth-year conjoint student, there isn’t much left on my ‘Before-I-Graduate’ Bucket List; I’ve worked for 3 different faculties, stayed at OGGB until 11 pm, and cried for 10 minutes before carrying on with my assignments. I’ve learnt that when an opportunity pops up, you grab it with both hands and give it 130%.

This year I will be running for the role of President for the AUSA Executive 2021 and I am confident that I will do the students of UoA justice. As President, my voice will echo the demands of the student body in University meetings. My priority will be to prioritise you as a student through effective advocacy in the AUSA strategy to enhance the student experience, support and voice. Event management? My moral is to be the Good Samaritan in private as much as you are in public – that is, putting in the mahi needed to see our students succeed regardless of race, getting out of my comfort zone and accepting reprimands, and offering to help others when it’s within my means.

For more info, check out my Campaign Page: https://www.facebook.com/PresidentAlofa/

Bingyan Jiang

Running For: International Students Officer

Hey, guys. My name is Bingyan. You also can call me ice as my English name. I was born in Shanghai, China. I start to become an international student in New Zealand since 2016. I did my high school at West Auckland. I was an international leader back to that time. This is why l feeling the international leader  position from AUSA is highly match my whole life. 

The policy that l made for our international students.  I will focus on two parts( offshore students and the rest of our international students ). For offshore students, I will collect information which they want to know from uni.  For the rest of, I will plan more projects at the same time according to the AUSA system. 

Hope see you guys around. Vote for ice, make your life peace and nice.

Charlie Bi

Running For: Welfare Vice-President

Kia ora koutou
My name is Charlie Bi and I am a first-year Uni student studying Psychology and Biological Sciences.

I am applying for this position because I believe that the welfare and well-being of students is not enough of a focus for the university. Having had a bad experience myself I feel impassioned to prevent that happening again for my fellow students. I understand that there are currently systems in place but I don’t believe they are working as intended and many need adjustments. I am extremely passionate about all aspects of students’ welfare especially mental health. Every issue is valid and deserves assistance and that is a firm belief of mine.

I have had extended experiences in positions in coordination and support through being a class rep and prefect during high school as well as outside of school. During my psych studies and having previously completed a mental health first aid course, I believe that I am best suited for this position.

Outside of Uni, I work as a lifeguard and teach kids how to swim. I also play clarinet and saxophone, so hit me up if you want to jam 🙂

I look forward meeting you all!
Kia u ki te pai,
Charlie Bi

Charlie Harmer

Running For: Engagement Vice-President; Education Vice-President; Welfare Vice-President

Kia ora! My name is Charlie, and I’m really excited to be running for the AUSA Exec 2022! I’m in my second year of a Law & Commerce conjoint, but outside of Uni you’ll find me playing saxophone around NZ. The roles of Welfare VP, Engagement VP, and Education VP really resonate with me and it’s clear that now, more than ever, we need somebody with a clear vision to put students first. It’s really important to me to advocate on behalf of students to ensure their best interests are taken care of. In the past year, we’ve all seen how important it is to be provided with the best student support possible, to help mitigate the stress that comes with studying at Uni during COVID. In my work at YouthLaw Aotearoa, I have been able to contribute to meaningful developments in NZ law that directly impact young people. Additionally, I have experience fundraising for organisations, such as Leukaemia & Blood Cancer NZ and the Auckland City Mission. Now, more than ever, AUSA needs someone who isn’t afraid to put in the hard yards to enact change. I’m confident that I would be a powerful voice on your behalf. Ngā mihi nui, Charlie.

Emma Cooper-Williams

Running For: Welfare Vice-President

Kia ora! My name is Emma Cooper-Williams and I am running for AUSA Welfare Vice-President for 2022. I have been a student at the University of Auckland since 2017, and hope to start a masters degree next year. In 2021 I have been the Postgraduate Student Officer. I would like to continue the work I have done with the advocacy service, alongside the 2022 PGSO to support postgraduate students, in particular looking at the issues faced by doctoral students in terms of stipends, and other issues. As a disabled tauira, this year I also developed the Disabled Students’ Association here at Auckland, and I would like to improve opportunities and welfare of disabled tauira where I can. I have done work consulting with the Ministry of Education and disabled tauira on the Pastoral Care Code, and am extremely proud of this work. I would like to continue to ensure that this has been implemented. I want to help students with intersectional identities to have their welfare needs met and feel supported; I am a part of the rainbow community and also sit on the Māna Wahine subcommittee of Student Council supporting women. Lastly I would like to improve mental health opportunities and outcomes for students. There has been some consultation on mental health for students, but no outcomes. Please consider voting for me, I will work hard alongside the Postgraduate Student Officer to put students’ needs first.

Folau Tu’inukuafe

Running For: Women’s Rights Officer

My name is Folau Tu’inukuafe and I am running for women’s rights officer because for almost my whole life, I have been very passionate about the inequalities women face in society. Growing up in a coloured home, the inequalities were much more prominent and widely accepted and it was never an idea that I sat well with. My mother is a huge inspiration to me as I have followed her journey within her industry and watched her fight battles to breaking the glass ceiling and getting her to a role that was well-deserved. I am grateful to be surrounded by strong, independent women in my family, who show me where I can end up in the future and encourage me to aim high. This is only a few, of the many reasons why I would love to advocate for all womxn in UoA. 

Halaevalu Tuipulotu-Halanukonunuka

Running For: President; Treasurer/Secretary; Engagement Vice-President; Education Vice-President; Welfare Vice-President; Women’s Rights Officer

Harsh Sharma

Running For: Education Vice-President; Welfare Vice-President; International Students Officer

Hi, so what does running for such an illustrious positions mean? From experience and knowledge I say it means to be a role model, be responsible and basically to be committed like Aragon who did his best to protect Frodo as long as he could. I have the potential to be a valuable member of an already illustrious team like Kevin durant. I have good time management skills, am easy to talk and work with, and am a team player so I believe I will be a good fit to the role! Thank you! 

Ishie Sharma

Running For: Welfare Vice-President

Kia ora and Namaste, ko Ishie tōku ingoa. 

My name is Ishie and I am hyped to be running to be your AUSA Welfare Vice-President and Student Representative on the University Council in 2022!  I am a first-generation Kiwi-Indian, fourth-year student studying a Law (Hons) and Global Studies conjoint majoring in International Relations and Business. 

As the current AUSA Welfare Vice President, I am committed to grasping all the momentum that AUSA has harnessed over the year and continuing the legacy of doing some amazing sh*t! This year we achieved a lot but I still have some unfinished business here which is why I’m running to be your Welfare Vice-President again in 2022!

This is reflected through my policies & I look forward to sharing more about how I plan to: 

  • Include our response to the Code of Pastoral Care
  • Improve our mental health services 
  • Inspire reform & partnership with NZUSA

Come check out my FB page where you can get to know me, my policies, and other fun stuff: https://www.facebook.com/IshieforWVPandUCR 

Vote 2 ticks Ishie for Welfare Vice-President & University Council Rep! ✓✓

And thank you so much for your support already!

Aroha mai, aroha atu.

Karen Guan

Running For: Treasurer/Secretary; Engagement Vice-President; Education Vice-President; Women’s Rights Officer

Hi, my name is Karen. I’m majoring in Accounting and Marketing. And YES, I will speak to your manager. Some of you probably know me as the class rep for Comlaw 201, Accounting 221, and so on. If not, now you do. 

I have always wanted to become more involved in serving the University and students. Running for Engagement VC allows me to do so and utilise my marketing skills. So what better way than this?

University may be your main focus right now, but there is so much more going on around us. While everyone is busy studying, you don’t want to disconnect from the rest of the world and the last one to hear the tea. As your Engagement Vice president, I will ensure that anything you need to care about as a student outside the University sphere will have campaigned. I promise you won’t be the last one to know about, for example, the new regulations on Climate Change, election dates, or what is happening to our women and children in Afghanistan! 

Choose someone who wants to be your spokesperson. Choose someone who cares about what you want.

Choose me, Karen, for your engagement vice president.

Kelly Misiti

Running For: Postgraduate Student Officer

My name is Kelly Misiti and I am running for AUSA Postgraduate Officer.

I am a second year doctoral candidate, researching teaching practices and policies surrounding refugee background English language learners. As an international student and former teacher, I believe my passion, involvement with representation, and pastoral care experience makes me a strong candidate for this position.

I have been highly involved with UoA over the recent years as PG Resident Advisor at 55 Symonds, and as a PGSA (Postgraduate Student Association) Executive, focusing on developing faculty PGSA’s, working with AUSA, and enhancing PG representation University-wide. I have seen first-hand the support needed throughout my roles as  Residential Experience Officer, International Liaison, and Student Engagement and Welfare Vice President (current). I represent postgraduates on the Board of Graduate Studies, NZUSA, and Faculty Executive committees, and work closely with Campus Life, CDES, and the School of Graduate Studies.

My goal as Postgraduate Officer is to ensure all PG have the opportunity to make their voices heard. As PG students, we often face different challenges to undergraduates. I hope to be the voice in AUSA on your behalf and seek to ensure that postgraduates get the most out of their University experience. 

Makayla Muhundan

Running For: Engagement Vice-President

Kia ora! My name is Makayla (she/her) and I am a fourth year Law and Commerce student who is thrilled to be re-running as your Engagement Vice-President for 2022! I have served in this role this year and have had an absolute blast, and the amount that myself and the rest of the executive have been able to accomplish is astronomical! My motivation for running again is because I have  many more fresh ideas and unfinished mahi that I would love to see through! Specifically, my free public transport for tertiary students campaign is a project I would love to see through!

My three policies I will implement if re-elected are Ignite, Empower and Action, which are outlined below!

  • IGNITE student culture back to UoA
  • EMPOWER more students to be involved and engaged in the 2022 Local Board Elections
  • ACTION the voices of students on campaigns and issues we care about, such as public transport

If any of these sound like a bit of you, I would love your vote!

Check out my Facebook Page “Makayla for AUSA Engagement Vice-President 2022” to find out more about me and my policies!

https://www.facebook.com/Makayla4AUSAENVP2022

Hope to have your support!

Makayla xx

Matilda Dawson

Running For: Women’s Rights Officer

Kia ora, I’m Matilda, my pronouns are she/she. I study Global Studies and Geography majoring in Global Politics and Human Rights. I’m passionate about women’s rights which is a fact my friends know well as I’m always talking about it. For me, women’s rights are human rights. I would love to put this passion into advocating for and representing all self-identifying women on campus. This role is essential because it’s important to feel represented and heard at uni where we students spend so much of our time. All self-identifying women deserve full representation in their daily lives, AUSA executive and student council meetings. I would use my voice to join the conversation on campus to support all self-identifying women. Womenspace is such a positive resource on campus and in my role I would encourage the use of this space and further enhance it. From my personal experience it is amazing and calming. I would add more fluffy blankets and hand towels. It’s made long days feel comfortable because I could recharge in a safe place on campus, either on couches with a blanket or taking a nap and I would love to promote the use of such an essential resource for the self-identifying women on campus.

Mel Boerlage

Running For: Women’s Rights Officer

Michelle Strapajevic

Running For: Treasurer/Secretary; Women’s Rights Officer

My name is Michelle Strapajevic and I am running for the position of treasurer secretary and women’s rights officer for AUSA 2022. My major objective in running for office has been my passion towards holding the university accountable. My peers know me as a social butterfly and I hope that by being approachable I will be able to stand in front of the board and provide equal representation for all students at the university. I am currently a part one law tutor and believe this has taught me the skills necessary to be able to run for a position. Balancing the workload between tutoring and Uni has taught me strong time management skills. Furthermore, I am a diligent and organised individual which will allow me to ensure that the council has the financial resources needed to carry out its mission and that these resources are well managed. I know that a position at AUSA is no easy feat but I am prepared to take on the challenge and make a difference. If this sounds good to you, please vote for me and hopefully I get to meet a lot more of you as your representative next year. Thank you!

Pimpisa Petchsud

Running For: International Students Officer

I believe that I am suitable for the position because of my nurturing nature, I create a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for the people around me regardless of who they are. When you are talking to me, it will be as a friend talking to another friend, the space between us will be a no-judgement zone no matter what. I am extremely open-minded and friendly; I trust that you will feel safe and secure when talking to me. I have fought my way through a lot of things by myself and have learned so much from it. I want nothing more than to accompany you guys through your journeys in university or anything else I can help with. I live by the saying that kindness is key and that is what is a big part of who I am and hence why I believe I am fitting for this role. Thank you for taking the time to read this 😊.

Rayna Love (Duncan)

Running For: Engagement Vice-President; Welfare Vice-President

Sarina Todd

Running For: Women’s Rights Officer

Hi there! I’m Sarina, a hyperactive coffee addict who is overly passionate about women’s rights and gender equity.

I currently do a great deal of work around gender equity (currently around women in STEM, something I’m looking to expand); I am a She Sharp ambassador, Marketing Leader for WEN (Women in Engineering Network) and co-founder of the WISTEM project (www.womeninstem.co.nz). I have a fair bit of experience with gender equity and event organisation, which I will gladly utilise if I’m elected for Women’s Rights Officer. I am passionate about women’s rights, and want to establish and maintain an inclusive, welcoming environment for all self identifying females, in which we support one another during our university lives and beyond. If this is something you want to see, alongside some epic events (hopefully in person, with food!), vote Sarina for Women’s Rights Officer!

Steven Wijaya

Running For: Treasurer/Secretary

Kia Ora! My name is Steven, and I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. I am a proud 2nd year BCom student majoring in Accounting and Finance, aspiring to be an exemplary auditor in the near future.

When I am not studying for my exams, I would take most of my time in seizing every opportunity that allows me to either grow or contribute to the world. And when I am not doing that, I would probably be off travelling or meeting new people and making new friends.

I’m running for the Treasurer-Secretary role for I am passionate that AUSA is where I could be a part of a better UoA, a better Aotearoa. I believe that my interests in Accounting/Finance, academic knowledge and relevant experiences have prepared me with the necessary skills needed to take on this professional financial/administrative role.

Although successful change does take time, I am willing to learn new things through intellectual humility.

Sujin Lee

Running For: Women’s Rights Officer

Hi! I’m Sujin Lee and I’m currently a third-year student studying Law and Arts majoring in Philosophy. I’m running for Women’s Rights Officer as I’d love to have the opportunity to advocate for gender equity on campus. I’m especially passionate about tackling imposter syndrome amongst women, advocating for a healthier consent culture and reinvigorating Womenspace!

My hobbies including playing guitar, yoga and meditation, dancing to Kpop and going for walks with my dog.

My goal is to be a friendly, accessible, and effective representative for all UoA students! 

Theo van de Klundert

Running For: Queer Rights Officer

Kia Ora, my name is Theo van de Klundert. I am a second-year BA/LLB student majoring in Politics and Theological and Religious Studies. I am running for QRO to provide accessible and well-considered representation for LBTQI and Takatapui students. Witnessing my fellow queer student thrive and flourish in their respective study journeys has been a rewarding university experience and a reality I wish to improve by making our community more accessible to LGBTQI students, or students fledging into their queer identities. 

Most of my experience in leadership spaces has been in an advisory capacity as a junior college prefect at ACG and Rainbow Law Executive Member. I am not afraid to speak my mind and speak up for my community’s needs and the issues we face. This semester, I was also asked to take on the Presidency of Hidden Perspectives (the Rainbow Arts division), by the Deputy Dean of Equity. I have authored RAHP’s constitutions and am overseeing its transition from faculty to student-led leadership. 

My policies focus mainly on strengthening UoA’s identity and role within the University by making queer space more inviting for queer students. I hope to contribute more to mental health maintenance by hosting regular wellness hangouts in queer space and mental health workshops. Being neurodiverse myself, I hope to open up queer space to more neurodiverse queer students.

Tongyao Zhuang

Running For: Treasurer/Secretary; International Students Officer; Queer Rights Officer; Women’s Rights Officer; Postgraduate Student Officer

Varsha Ravi

Running For: International Students Officer

Kia ora, Vannakkam and Dumelang!

My name is Varsha Ravi and I’m studying a conjoint in Global Studies and Law. I’m an international student from Botswana and India, proud to be planting my roots now in Aotearoa.  As an international student, I recognise that there is strength in diversity, and am passionate about enhancing engagement with international students to ensure that we are integrated into the fabric of our university. 

By being one of the pioneering executive members of the Global Studies Society and as its current ISO, I’ve gotten the opportunity to sit on AUSA’s International Student Subcommittee. Along with the above-mentioned, this is my second year as a Leader in the Uniguide Programme, providing me with first-hand engagement with our students whilst gaining the valuable skills and experiences required for ISO.  These experiences have provided me with great insight into the inner functions of the University, which I hope to transfer into my role as ISO whilst I navigate the system to advocate for our needs.

Now that you know a little about me and why I’m running, head over to my campaign page to get some insight into my policies surrounding Voice, Vision and Vigour! Vote Varsha! 

https://tinyurl.com/m87c6em8

Yuqian Mei

Running For: Treasurer/Secretary; Engagement Vice-President; International Students Officer; Women’s Rights Officer