By: Via Reyes

Today is the last day of voting for the UPEISU Fall Elections. In order to help the newest members of our campus community decide who to vote for, the Cadre reached out to the two First Year Rep candidates, Halen Sky and Cole Parkin, for interviews to help you make an informed decision at your nearest Campus Login ballot box.

What do you think makes you qualified to be this year’s First Year representative?

Halen Sky: I think I’m qualified to be First Year Rep because in high school I was part of fifteen different teams and clubs and I was actually a leader and a captain in several of these teams and clubs. Also, it is my first year at UPEI but not my first year in post-secondary education. I’ve already been through the first year jitters. I’ve asked all the dumb questions about post-secondary and so I’m confident in being able to ask those questions in my own skin. I’m also a very social person in the sense that I love to be friendly. My job during the summer is to be a camp counsellor where I meet hundreds of people and so I believe that I’m approachable and would love to speak on behalf of people and find out what they need help with and help them with that.

Halen Sky
Image Courtesy of UPEISU

Cole Parkin: I think, arguably, I’m probably not very qualified to be the First Year rep. I went to Bluefield last year and I wasn’t very involved in the Executive but I think I’d like to be. So I think that will make me a good First Year rep. I think have that kind of drive to be involved and to help people.

As a First Year rep, what do you think are your responsibilities in council? 

Halen Sky: I haven’t learned a whole lot, but from what I have learned, I know that I’d be responsible for voting within council as well as bringing up any problems first years may have. I believe it was mentioned to me they partner up with the VP of Student Life to host an event and so that’s something I’d be really interested in and excited to do. And just overall being the voice of First Years.

Cole Parkin: I think talking to a lot of the other First Year students and hearing from them their concerns, things they take issue with, and voicing their concerns to the other people in the Executive and making sure their voice is heard.

Cole Parkin
Image Courtesy of UPEISU

What do you think is the most pressing problem that First Years face? 

Halen Sky: Especially coming from a small island, I think that a lot of islanders that progress into UPEI don’t see this as their home. They still see their home at home being their home. They’re still in the same friend group and everything so they really don’t reach outside themselves to get connected to the University and I think that’s a big problem with the culture at UPEI. I’m not exactly sure how to fix that but I’m confident that being on Student Union is a good step towards figuring out how to do that and have that conversation. I mainly just want to make sure that every Panther feels like a Panther cause it’s a place they want to be, not just because they’re called that.

Cole Parkin: Maybe getting familiar with the school and getting to know the school a little bit. I think maybe a lot of people don’t know about clubs or things like that. That’s one of the reasons I am running is to kind of get to know the school and the people in the school.