Alexandre Silberman
Alexandre Silberman
Alexandre Silberman is a second year student at St. Thomas University, studying digital journalism and new media, political science and communications. Alexandre is originally from Burlington, Vermont, where he has worked for VTDigger.org, a statewide, non-profit news and politics website, and the Burlington Free Press, the region's largest daily newspaper. In April 2017, he was named a finalist for a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, for a story on allegations of a harmful work environment for high school counselors. Outside of the newsroom, you can likely find Alexandre on the ski slopes or enjoying the outdoors.
February 27, 2019

UNBSU executive candidates 2019

The UNBSU executive candidates for the 2019 spring election.

President

Sydney Rankin

Presidential candidate Sydney Rankin.

Candidate bio


Hello everyone! My name is Sydney Rankin, I am currently in my third year studying economics and chemistry, and while growing up beside the Peggy’s Cove lighthouse had its perks UNB is unapologetically where I’m proud to call home. I’ve lived or worked in 3 residences on campus, found passions within 2 faculties, watched dreams become reality while organizing two TEDxUNB conferences and spent 902 days radiating enthusiasm with every endeavor! This past year working on the SU Executive has by far been my most transformative experience to date; having the opportunity to collaborate with so many students across our campus only reinforces that this is work I simply love to do. In my free time I can be found taking a hot yoga class, lacing up my skates or cheering on one of our talented athletics teams with an incomprehensible amount of passion!

Why do you want this position?

I have an immeasurable amount of love for this university, the students who breathe life between our red brick walls and the potential that emanates from each and every one of us. I cherish the amount of history that contributes to our UNB story, each interaction that strengthens our student voice and every moment shared in between. I truly believe that every student should feel comfortable and confident in their academic institution and that barriers to receiving a high quality education and actively participating in student life should be minimized. I understand that there are students on our campus facing these barriers, and I am determined to work tirelessly to eliminate as many as possible in order to ensure all students walk across the stage at graduation having maximized their experience with us. With a persistent lens of determination, ambition, adaptability and kindness I am confident that I could deliver on the best year as a UNB student yet.


What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

As House Committee member in my first year, the Harrison House Ed Proctor, and now Community Advisor in EPJ, it was clear to me from the start that I had a passion for student engagement in residence. Being a competitive athlete growing up who travelled often for training, I quickly fell in love with the sense of community and have loved each role I’ve pursued. Academic engagement and mentorship have been two influential roles that have had positive impacts on my life, and I was thrilled to take on various TA and peer mentorship roles within the Faculty of Science in my second year. I’m passionate about empowering students to use their voice, celebrate our diversity and enact radical change; my consecutive roles as logistics director and now co-chair of two TEDxUNB conferences have left lasting impressions of the incredible students we have on our campus. Most notably the past year on the SU executive as associate vice-president communications has prepared me the best for the role of president. In this executive role I maintain consistent engagement with all members of the Union, work alongside university administration, and facilitate interdepartmental collaboration on mass projects like the REDS Athletics rebrand, the Campus Events brand, and bi-campus equity conversations. This position has helped me grow and further my understanding of the influences that impact the quality of our student life. It’s the immeasurable learned experience from working within this organization that breeds my confidence in being the most qualified candidate for president!

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

I believe being the 9th elected female-identifying President of the UNBSU would speak profound volumes to the progress we’ve made as a community in redefining societal norms and breaking down the barriers that limit our ability to truly enter the office with a diverse lens. As mentioned above there is an immeasurable amount of experience that working as an executive member offers, whether it be in matching the ever-changing pace of student interest, adapting to the chaotic logistics of large-scale event planning, providing a transparent and empathetic crisis response, and of course a general organizational literacy that simply cannot all be communicated fully in a transition report. I have proudly used my seat at the table to challenge our university administration on current policy and practices, lobbied our provincial government for essential student supports, and spent the past year upholding the mission and vision of this organization with elation. I believe my experience particularly in communications, marketing, and student engagement also align perfectly with the goal of connecting more students to the UNBSU.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

While I may have grown up along the ocean, I unfortunately haven’t mastered how to swim! Any lifeguards in Freddy Beach?!


Craig Fernandez

Presidential candidate Craig Fernandez.

Candidate bio

I’m a third-year Renaissance College student, minoring in business administration. I’ve called UNB home for the past 3 years, but I’m originally from a small-town called Sunny Corner, New Brunswick. After growing up in such a small, tight-knit community, I was able to find incredible passion and meaning in strengthening the vibrant student community at the University of New Brunswick. This passion has guided the past three years of my life, motivating me to hold various roles with TEDxUNB, Residence Life, UNB SPRING, and the Renaissance College Society. The Student Union has also played a huge part in my university career so far. I served a one-year term as a student senator last year, representing student voices on important issues such as the proposed tuition-hike. I then decided to pursue a role that would allow for more one-on-one student engagement, running for and eventually winning a seat on the Student Union as an inclusion representative. In this role I work as a passionate advocate for increased overall inclusivity on our campus, and I’m also working on an upcoming project with White Ribbon Fredericton in an effort to better address the issue of sexual violence on our campus. When I’m not working, writing, or studying, I enjoy reading, playing guitar, and traveling.

 

Why do you want this position?

I feel that the role of UNB Student Union president is the best way for me to take all of the incredible connections, skills, and experience that I’ve gained during my time at UNB and use them all to fuel positive change. I’m so passionate about this university and its students, and I feel that the president position offers privileges like no other to engage the entire student population. I would like to capitalize on that by finding innovative, exciting new ways to involve more students than ever before, advocate on pressing student issues, to offer incredible services and events that truly define an amazing UNB experience, and to create a greater sense of community at UNB. Part of this would include constant collaboration and communication with UNB students, to ensure that the Student Union represents what’s important to them and that they feel as connected as possible to everything the SU is doing. UNB is an absolutely amazing place to live, play, and learn, and my years here have been the best of my life. However, I recognize that collectively there are barriers that need to be overcome, challenges to be faced, and new frontiers to be embraced, and I believe that I’m capable of leading the UNB Student Union into incredible, unprecedented places in the next year. 

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

  • UNB Student Union: student senator 2017-18, inclusion representative 2018-19
  • TEDxUNB: delegates director 2018, co-chair 2019
  • UNB SPRING: volunteer 2017-present
  • Residence Life: hall proctor 2017-18 & 2018-19
  • Renaissance College Society: treasurer 2018-19

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

I have an uncanny history of being able to craft community wherever I go. Whether it’s within a residence building, in a conference hall, or on top of a Himalayan mountain (I did an international internship in Bhutan), I always seem to find ways to bring people together. Sometimes that’s over common interests and values, sometimes it’s over contentious issues that the entire group is facing, but regardless, I see immense value in engaging in public conversations, having platforms for people to share varying ideas and perspectives, and developing ways for people to interact with one another, build relationships, and feel that they are a part of something larger than themselves. I believe the Student Union is the ultimate vehicle for crafting community at UNB, and I want to utilize that to its fullest potential. As outlined in my platform, I want to provide events, services, advocacy initiatives, and many other student-focused projects that directly benefit the entire student-body, create a more cohesive UNB community, and contribute to a more amazing overall student experience. I feel that all of my past experience lends to that in profound ways, and it would truly be an honour to use all that I’ve learned in my time as a student leader on this campus to make lasting, meaningful, positive change alongside all of you.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

I have a Black Belt in Karate!


Vice-President Advocacy

Kordell Walsh

Kordell Walsh is running for vice-president advocacy.

Candidate bio

My name is Kordell and I am a second year Renaissance College student, minoring in business. I am from Renfrew, Ontario, which is about an hour from Ottawa. I fell in love with UNB and Fredericton when I came for a campus tour the summer before grade 12 and felt that Renaissance College would be a great degree for achieving my life goals and better understanding those around me! I am a proud Harrisonian, having spent the last two years living in Harrison House on campus. I am also a very civically engaged individual looking to take my experiences and knowledge to the next level, by representing students on campus in the role of VP Advocacy in the UNB Student Union!

Why do you want this position?

I want to represent students at UNB. I want to ensure that their voices are heard at the table and inform the decisions that the Student Union makes. I feel that I have experience working in advocacy and consultation and can use that experience to ensure students are consulted extensively and effectively. As well, I am passionate about advocacy and improving the lives of those around me. I feel that this can be an effective role to make a significant difference in the lives of students here.  

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

I am an active member in the Harrison House community, and in the past have worked to organize and get a club recognized on campus. As well, this past year I had the wonderful opportunity of being a Redshirt for Orientation Week, which was an exciting experience that I recommend to any student wishing to be involved in O-Week after their first year!

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

A unique experience I can bring to the position is an experience I had in high school. The Ontario Minister of Education has an advisory council, known as MSAC, of approximately 60 students from across the province that help guide the decisions made by the ministry. One of my passion projects was aiding in the development of a report on the need for the Minister of Education to implement mandatory financial literacy courses in high school. MSAC played a key role in many large decisions, such as the implementation of financial literacy courses in high schools, as well as allowing students to acquire their mandatory high school community service hours in the summer between grade 8 and the start of grade nine.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

So this seems to surprise everybody I talk to – but I don’t drink coffee. I get so many questions about how I function without coffee, and frankly I’m not quite sure! While I love the smell of coffee, I cannot get past the taste. Tea is where it’s at.

Mick Jefferies

Mick Jeffries is a candidate for vice-president advocacy.

Candidate bio

I am currently in my last and final year of Renaissance College, minoring in sociology. I was born and raised in the Inuit NunatuKavut community of Charlottetown, Labrador. I have a passion for helping others and being a voice for people who are underrepresented. I am very much a family orientated person and my family means the world to me! I have a love for the outdoors and growing up spending so much time outside, I have so much respect for the environment. I hope to bring my own passions and love to my work here at UNB! In my spare time, I can be found hanging out with friends, talking to someone about conspiracy theories, or facetiming with my siblings!

Why do you want this position?

Coming to UNB from a small town in Labrador with a population of 325, I was worried that I was not going to fit in. I feared that I would not have a community to call home anymore. It was quite the opposite. I would be so happy to take on this position so I can help others find the same sense of community that I did, right here at UNB. I am very passionate about educating people in a fun and respectful way. With my experience of being a queer and Indigenous student, I want to create a more inclusive and welcoming community. It is not good enough that 28% of Indigenous students feel unwelcome at their university. I want this position because I want to help remove barriers for people who want to receive a high-quality education. I believe we have so much pride and unity at UNB, but we need to work on highlighting the folks who are often left underrepresented. I want this position because I want to hear student’s concerns and help them find a solution that is realistic and impactful. I believe that with my ambition, lived experience, and critical eye for inclusivity, I will be able to help students have a fantastic 2019/2020 school year.

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

Student engagement is nothing new to me. In my first year, I was an active resident in my house, earning me the “Residence Unsung Hero” award. I was also involved in a local theatre production of Salt Water Moon. I believe it was my experience in theatre and my cultural background that taught me the importance of team work and supporting a community. These are the reasons that I fell in love with community engagement work. It was this love that led me to become a hall proctor of Aitken in my second year and the current lead proctor. I was also previously involved with the UNBSU as an inclusion representative. During this role, I created the campus event “Clothing Buy and Sell.” I also assisted in bringing the only nation-wide, youth-led, mental health organization to UNB. I’ve sat on the executive for this group over the past three years, assuming the role of co-lead during the past two. I also have experience with volunteering at multiple events hosted on campus.

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

I believe that my knowledge and experience from being involved in multiple capacities in Fredericton specifically is an asset. As well, I believe that my work with mental health and sexual violence advocacy on campus is something that sets me apart from the other candidate. Another unique experience I can bring into this role was being a part of the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA) advocacy week. Sitting in meetings with so many amazing people and being able to effectively communicate is a skill I bring to the table. I am also more familiar with the NBSA as I spent time understanding the impact that they have on the student experience. I am so passionate and ready to take on this role. I believe that I bring a unique perspective and I have so many things to offer the 2019/2020 UNBSU executive team.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

I have SEVEN younger siblings! All under the age of 12.

VP Finance

Sam Arseneau


Did not respond to questions or submit bio

VP Internal

Grace Mangusso

Grace Mangusso is the only candidate for vice-president internal.

Candidate bio

I am from Quispamsis, NB and currently in my 3rd year of Renaissance College, minoring in business administration. I am proud to hold various leadership positions and be involved with many extracurricular activities that contribute to positive community life at UNB. I have completed a domestic internship placement as a camp counsellor at Camp Tippy Canoe with Partners For Youth, a free wilderness camp for at-risk youth in New Brunswick. I have also completed a 10-week international internship at Sherubtse College in Bhutan, facilitating leadership development and learning through the Sherubtse Student Leadership Program. Both of these internships I had the pleasure of completing alongside my incredible slate-mate, Craig Fernandez.

Why do you want this position?

I am extremely grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities and experiences I’ve had at UNB that have allowed me to explore my passions and meet countless amazing, creative, and inspiring people. This position presents an opportunity to help students learn, grow, and evolve. The Student Union executive has done such amazing work with academic advocacy this year, such as their progress on the elimination of ‘W’s on transcripts, an extended date to withdraw from courses without receiving a ‘W’ or ‘WF’, open educational resources, an academic complaint directory, an exam bank, extended library hours, and consultation on timing of the winter break. I have invested myself into understanding these components of the VP internal role so there would be a smooth transition if I were to be elected. In addition to this, I also feel passionately about giving students even more opportunities to get involved with the Student Union at various levels through clubs & societies, student jobs, and campus events. It is my vision that it is not just within specific events and moments where we feel unity and pride, but as UNB students we are proud of who we are, the knowledge we have gained, and the opportunities we have had to learn and grow together.

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

Currently I am0the lead proctor in Bridges House (previously a hall proctor), president of the Renaissance College Society (previously first-year and second-year representative), co-delegates director of TEDxUNB 2019, a student senator on the UNB Fredericton Senate, and Renaissance College faculty representative on the UNB Student Union. Additionally, I am proud to be co-president and communications executive of UNB S.P.R.I.N.G. after being a full-time volunteer for two years. I also have experience working part-time with Student Recruitment, Residence Life, and Conference Services. I am thrilled to continue my involvement at UNB as a BlackShirt for Orientation 2019.

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

During my time at UNB, I have developed my ability to actively communicate and interact with peers, professors, and members of the community. I am attentive to detail, self-motivated, and confident working both as an individual and in groups. With previous experiences working in teams, I understand the importance of being adaptable, utilizing strengths and overcoming weaknesses, and knowing when to extend yourself to help others. I am a motivator and I take great pride in my ability to maintain a positive mindset and encourage others to do their best. Pertaining to the role of VP internal, I’ve had the pleasure of being a student senator and sitting on the Student Union’s internal affairs committee and advancement committee this year. These opportunities helped me understand the traditions, creations, and innovations that have bound our university since 1785, and have also given me a strong foundation to build upon as we continue to craft our vision for what UNB has the potential to become.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

I can’t snap or whistle but I can make UNB an even more amazing place to call home!


VP Student Life

Isabella Gallant

Isabelle Gallant is a candidate for vice-president student life.

Candidate bio

My name is Isabella Gallant, and I am currently in my second year of a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in psychology. I was born and raised in a small town in Prince Edward Island, and was eager to start a new journey here in New Brunswick, building on myself as a person and student. I am so happy here – making lifelong friends, meeting others with the same goals as myself, and creating a brand for myself by taking advantage of all that is offered for students on campus. After I obtain my bachelor’s degree I plan to go into graduate studies and become a professional in the psychology field, working to achieve better mental health care strategies. I also plan to take time to travel within my field of study. I am so thankful for every person that has helped me to get to where I am today, whether it be a family member, friend, fellow classmate, faculty member, or career advisor.

Why do you want this position?

I genuinely want to make a long-lasting positive impact in the UNB community. I am very close with the residence community and can bridge the gap for UNB students who want their voices heard. I am a highly motivated individual, and I pride myself in the fact that I can help each student out as much as possible. Even without previous experience on the Student Union council, I have single-handedly represented my residence by working alongside the SU to implement our charity event, Polar Dip, within this year’s Winter Carnival. I have also attended a clear majority of Student Union functions and theme weeks held on campus. I am looking forward to becoming a part of new projects and events that I can be fully invested in, making the most for myself, students, other SU members, and the university.

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

Coming from a leadership background in high school, I knew I wanted to continue being involved in campus life while at university. Life in Bridges House was one of the best personal- growth decisions I have ever made. I was the first-year representative of my house throughout 2017-2018, and I enjoyed the position so much I became the 2018-2019 president of Bridges House. I run weekly meetings, make agendas and run all our events on campus. I also go to weekly house team meetings where I meet with proctors and residence life coordinators to discuss the overall balance of life between Bridges leaders and residents. I am also heavily involved in the Undergraduate Psychology Society, residence intramurals, Jack.org, Best Buddies, and being a Science 1001 teaching assistant. I am actively planning on getting involved as a science peer mentor, the Peer Support Centre, and Women’s Centre on campus. I love what UNB has to offer for all students and other members of the community. I am excited to make this campus a place where everyone feels welcome and eager to get involved with events that showcase their passions and talents.

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

I consider myself to have highly skilled leadership abilities which will aid in my upcoming position if I were to be elected. I am experienced in running and attending professional meetings, proving my professionalism, as being on a Student Union council involves many meetings with governing boards and administration. I am very interpersonal, easy-going and I love meeting new people. I thrive in a team-based setting and I believe bouncing ideas off one another helps complete tasks more efficiently. I am more than excited to be a part of new groups on and off campus, and I believe that students will recognize that I hold this position to solely help them and the future of UNB. Since I am in residence, I have made connections within all other houses and am eager to put forward ideas made by the residence community, who make up a large portion of the students here at UNB. All in all, I promise to do everything in my power to ensure the quality of life here on campus, and I believe that I would be an experienced asset to the 2019-2020 UNB Student Union.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

I used to send in Heads Up videos/random videos that I thought were funny to Ellen DeGeneres’ writers (Never got a response sadly) ... BUT I just got tickets to see her Q & A show in Toronto in March!


Anthony Gatto

Anthony Gatto is a candidate for vice-president student life.

Candidate bio

Hey UNB! Known as Anthony to some, or simply Gatto to many others, I’m a 3rd year medicinal chemistry student at UNB, proudly born and raised here in Fredericton, New Brunswick. If I’m not at the HIL or the SUB, you can be sure I’m taking a nap alongside my two dogs at home. If my schedule has a free weekend available, there’s a good chance I’ve left town for a spontaneous weekend trip to wherever there’s loud music. Having spent all 20 years of my life here in Fredericton, I know this city inside out - and I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Why do you want this position?

The VP student life position essentially splits between events and services. These are two areas of the UNB student experience which I strive to make a difference in on a daily basis. There are so many defining features which make UNB so unique and diverse, and I’m beyond eager to share my visions and ideas with all of you. The charm that comes along with such a unified, high-energy student body that makes UNB shine is a true motivator for me. I firmly believe in the saying “you get what you put in,” and I am fully prepared to give UNB my contagious passion and energy in order to receive the optimal result out of the VP student life role.

What is your history of involvement or leadership on campus?

I’m so thankful to have already received so many opportunities to demonstrate my involvement and leadership here on campus. I’ve covered many areas of the UNBSU’s events and services, such as being a weekly SafeRide driver, a member of the UNBSU student experience team, and the director of entertainment for the 2019 RED Awards. My roles over the past two years as an Orientation RedShirt and BlackShirt respectively is how I made a prominent name for myself across campus, demonstrating leadership, spirit, and my work ethic.

What unique skills or experience would you bring to the position?

With what I’ve put into the UNB Orientation experience, I’ve developed a diligent, detail-oriented, high-energy persona. Along with my dynamic experience, the incredibly valuable, varied thoughts and input on student life at UNB gathered through my roles on the Student Experience Team and as a SafeRide driver is a huge asset I possess. Having heard opinions from countless student groups which represent our student body, I’m eager to emphasize the need for communication in our Student Union and use this to our advantage.

What is a fun or surprising fact about yourself?

Many knew me as a “band kid” back in middle school. Flute, alto saxophone, the drums, you name it. Concert Band, Jazz Band, I was there. My start was in the concert band, as my mom told me it would make me cool. She was correct.

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