On October 7, the UNB Student Union announced the appointment of Interim Vice President Advocacy, Melissa Ghanem.
Kelsi Evans, the outgoing VP Advocacy, gave her resignation on September 28, and Melissa Ghanem was appointed the following Sunday, October 4. Ghanem was appointed following the recommendation of the UNBSU team, who believe that she was the best choice given her history of involvement with the UNBSU.
“[Ghanem] was already very involved in a lot of projects that were coming up,” explained Sean MacKenzie, UNBSU President. “We wanted someone that could hit the ground running. So, we felt she would be the best option, and I guess the council agrees with us on that.”
MacKenzie declined to comment on the reason for Evans’ resignation, stating that it is a human resources matter that cannot be publicly disclosed.
Evans, however, chose to discuss her perspective in a letter to The Brunswickan, which will be published on Friday, October 23.
She is happy for her chosen successor, and expressed that she hoped that Ghanem would be the one chosen when she handed in her resignation, though she was not asked for her input regarding the recommendation.
“Melissa and I worked hand in hand and with the few months I had under me, I taught her everything I knew about how to advocate for students,” explained Evans, adding that Ghanem’s support was one of the reasons that she remained in her position as long as she did. “Melissa was extremely compassionate towards me and supported me all the way to the end.”
Ghanem is excited to take on the role of Interim VP Advocacy, and aims to facilitate a meaningful connection between the students and the UNBSU. She detailed the goals that she hopes to accomplish in this position, but explained that she has not yet decided if she will run in the November by-elections, as she aims to maintain a balance between her personal and professional life.
“I will [be] working on debunking the variety of services offered to students on campus, advocating for greater accessibility to supports, and creating greater awareness on sustainability,” she explained. “...I hope to create awareness and provide guidance and education to students and members of the university on relevant terminology to help foster a more understanding and inclusive environment.”