Zak Vescera

Interviewed by Isaure Simonin

What motivated you to run for the student rep position?

It was a very difficult decision to take, as I know this position to be a hard and stressful one. However the whole university experience made me realize that I have found a new home here, new friends, who help me become a better person. I therefore feel bound to give back to the campus students what they give me. People make the work worth it.

Do you have any previous experience, relevant to the Student Rep position… Or not, as you prefer, that you would like to share with us?

Yes indeed! Last year, as the production manager of my Eric Hamber Secondary’s theater department, I managed a 20 000 dollar budget. I had to work with Eric Hamber Secondary’s administration, with actors and technicians, with the student body, which was a building experience, for I had to moderate, direct, take care of financing, and communicate at a number of different levels. In the end, we produced 8 shows, and I actually wrote and directed one of them! I also created and became the Secretary of Vancouver’s Arts Council, with the support and cooperation of the school board of the city. We represented 15 000 students’ arts works. These extremely enriching experiences make me, I think, very suited to the Student Rep jobs, especially regarding the need for communication and cooperation with the administration.

What challenges are you expecting to overcome as a student rep?

Keeping the campus unified is the main challenge student representative face. We need to expand the representation so that everyone feels represented. As the campus grows bigger, this becomes even more and more difficult and crucial.

We first need to unite the Euram and Euraf cohorts. The Euraf student reps are not known by the Euram. Student reps of both programs should work together. Furthermore, exchange students have to be represented by a student rep that they would elect and would be united for one semester.

What do you think about the Student Rep Campaign process?

I think the student rep process is a wonderful way to get people engaged. However, promises are sometimes not realistic, and I reckon that more concrete proposals have to be made. One of my own strengths is actually that I do propose concrete proposals. You can hold me to my word! The Student Rep is as far as I am concerned, an imperative mandate.

What is unique about your platform?

First of all, the Euraf/Euram integration proposal I make is unique. I am the only one to argue for actual meetings and cooperation on common issues across the two programs. Proposing petitions for campus courses is also an idea of my own, as well as the student exchange proposal. More globally speaking, I consider my approach to be particularly responsible: I became a candidate for the mandate not because of popularity, career or power concerns, but because I truly and deeply want to better the student life here.

In three words, what is the role of a Student Rep?

Communicate. Delegate (to solve disputes). Participate.

 What are you the proudest of in your hometown?

The helpfulness and empathy of my fellow citizens in Vancouver make me proud, because I never found this generosity towards lost foreigners and needy people, outside of Canada.

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