Elections to our Board of Directors will take place at this year's Annual General Meeting, happening Thursday, March 31 from 5-7pm in room 2202 at Conrad Grebel University College. Please see our Board candidates' profiles below.
The AGM Agenda is available here. A Volunteer Appreciation dinner will follow after the AGM at 7pm.
Swetha Kulandaivelan (3B Mechanical Engineering)
My name is Swetha Kulandaivelan and I am in 3B mechanical engineering. I am a queer women of colour in STEM and played for 4 years on the UW Varsity Women’s Basketball team. I got involved with WPIRG mainly through the Women of Colour Discussion group. WPIRG means a lot to me because it has been the most active group on campus in fighting against oppression, especially for those who are at the intersection of many marginalized identities. I hope to bring to WPIRG a connection to engineering students and student athletes who often do not hear about social/environmental justice work on campus. I am looking forward to building relationships and engaging in dialogue with students and community members to better understand how to support and represent them.
Sidra Hasan (2nd year Speech Communication)
Hi there! My name is Sidra Hasan and I am currently finishing my second year in Speech Communication. My involvement with WPIRG includes active participation in Members Meetings, the Women of Colour Discussion Group, and the Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival film committee. I am currently a volunteer at our Women’s Centre and Glow Centre and I hope to bring to WPIRG a stronger connection with these networks so we can collaborate towards social and environmental change on campus. WPIRG is unique in the PIRG network for having a strong presence of women of colour on their board and as a queer woman of colour, I hope to sustain this diversity. Fighting against oppression, making voices heard and taking action towards change are the very things I wish to accomplish as a board member. I am beyond excited to run for this position and continue working with WPIRG to create lasting impacts on our campus and in our community.
Saam Koukpari (4th year Social Development Studies)
I've been involved with WPIRG for about a year and a half now, and I really believe in the good work they do. Social and environmental justice, by nature, demands of us a critical and constructive approach when dealing with various issues. In my experience WPIRG has time and again provided safe spaces to engage in such discussions and to collaborate towards creating a better place for all students. I think every student, at some point throughout their undergraduate careers, should take advantage of the organization's status as a public interest research group and take part in the democratic opportunity afforded to them to initiate positive change on campus and the wider community.
Hayley Clin (2B Geography and Environmental Management)
I was lucky enough to grow up in a community that fostered social activism. This really shaped my values and gave me a broader understanding of the world. When I transferred to the University of Waterloo, WPIRG caught my attention immediately because they take on varying issues and address the intersectionality of all their causes. This allows me to participate in all the social justice areas I am passionate about and also broaden my thinking to encompass the many complexities of all our causes. WPIRG also offers the type of leadership opportunities that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere with their non-traditional and non-hierarchical roles. I have always enjoyed listening and helping others to create change and I love how WPIRG does this by being on the ground right alongside people with real action that immediately affects oppressed groups. I have never been a typical leader as I prefer to listen, mediate and actively engage alongside my peers and not above them. That is why I am seeking a position within WPIRG. I believe I could be a valuable member of the board because I am receptive, steady, and strive to foster active and positive communication and participation. This opportunity would be a chance for me to learn more about how to organize and create change more actively and continue to expand my understanding of other’s and their experiences.
Julie Yeung (2B Speech Communication)
My name is Julie Yeung and I am finishing my 2B term as a Speech Communication major. I used to play competitive soccer growing up until I tore my ACL twice and have always had a love for sports.. I got involved with WPIRG mainly through the Palestine Solidarity Action Group and was also on the Yes campaign for the Sever Ties Referendum. I have been to many members meetings since my first term at UW in Fall 2015 and have enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people that you can only find when going to those meetings. I would like to be on the WPIRG board because I am passionate in fighting for justice. Although my experience has mostly been in social justice work I am working on learning about environmental justice. This is not only because I want to be on the board, but because I recognize its importance in society. Some issues that I am interested in are the Palestine/Israel conflict, the rights of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, women’s rights and fighting Islamophobia. My main philosophy is to be honest and transparent as possible to others around me. This not only will hopefully build trust with others, but also allow me to work on myself as a person by constantly challenging if my actions and beliefs are ethical and true. In saying that, I am open to any open discussion with anyone so long as the discussion is respectful and we both attempt to approach the conversation as equals and with an open mind.