Candidate profile: Anisha Sandhu, senator-at-large

Current faculty of land and food systems (LFS) student senator Anisha Sandhu is running for one of five student senator-at-large positions on a platform of increased accessibility, student engagement and action within student government.

The two-time elected student representative for LFS ran unsuccessfully for student senator-at-large in last year’s election. Sandhu is also running for VP academic and university affairs.

Sandhu said that her experience in the Senate will be beneficial in contributing to the upcoming triennial review, which is an internal review completed by faculty and student senators in the Nominating Committee at the end of every three-year cycle. The next review will be in 2023.

Sandhu aims to use her experience to inform changes in the terms of references for certain committees.

“The terms of references [are] rather narrow in terms of what the committee can do. It’s a lot of making recommendations to the Senate but not a lot of ‘doing’ currently,” she said.

From this, she wants the Academic Building Needs Committee — where she serves as vice-chair — to be able to create a standard for academic buildings to accommodate for accessible learning.

She also hopes to address the “extreme power imbalance” that she has observed between student senators and faculty senators within the Senate by creating a code of conduct.

As a returning senator, Sandhu has an interest in the Academic Policy Committee. When asked about Policy V-102 on Examination Hardships and Clashes, which was approved by the Senate last April, she expressed that the conditions of the policy were too tight.

“It needs some refining to understand what academic hardship [is], because I think [even] with this policy, there is still some [unaddressed] hardship[s].”

While Sandhu is generally happy with the work done by the Senate to make accommodations for students throughout the pandemic, she said that there needs to be greater effort towards representing student voices.

Sandhu said that while student senators are not obligated to engage with students as part of their role, it is a big part of “doing [the job] well.”

In a follow-up interview, she said the Student Senate Caucus — a group that includes all 18 student senators — created a website to inform students about the Senate and enable them to get involved.

Apart from accessing information, she said students are also able to leave anonymous comments on the site, which is “a great feature to get a temperature check on how students feel about a certain topic.”

She did not detail how the website would encourage student engagement, however.

The other candidates running for Senate are Eshana Bhangu, Dana Turdy, Dante Agosti-Moro, Georgia Yee, Kamil Kanji, Romina Hajizadeh and Tate Kaufman.

Follow us at @UbysseyNews on Twitter and follow our election coverage starting February 28. This article is part of our 2022 AMS elections coverage.