May 16, 2015

Months ago, VPCI voted in their new Student Leadership Council. Among this group of dedicated students are Ridwan Kabir and Billy Liu, two ex-Grade Representatives as our latest Vice-Presidents.

Zamir Fakirani: “Were you initially disappointed when not elected as President? Did becoming Vice-President console you in any way?”

Ridwan Kabir: “I wasn’t disappointed at all. Going into an election against both Billy and Angela was really tough. They were both in older grades and had the capacity to reach out to many more people than I could. When I was first elected grade 9 representative, I had always wanted to take some sort of Presidential position on the SLC, so being elected as Vice-President was a huge achievement for me.”

Billy Liu: “I was initially surprised when I was not elected as president. Despite the disappointment, how countless of Panthers all across the board still put their trust in me to represent their voices is especially inspiring and encouraging. Becoming Vice-President allows me to continue to contribute to the SLC with dedication.”

ZF: “Please outline your campaign goals and why you believe they are important.”

RK: “The main things I mentioned while campaigning were ensuring that there was effective communication within Victoria Park, and making sure it was all done in an organized manner. Whether that was online on social media or during our school events, I really wanted the voices of students to be heard. Pretty much all of our school events are held successfully when they are executed with enough organization and student input. Both Billy and I believe in making sure there is enough student input because, of course, the events are held for them.”

BL: “My campaign goals include providing a platform for students to contribute to the planning of SLC events by sharing ideas. This will enable students to become more involved in extracurricular activities. Make in-school SLC events free of charge. Every student should have an opportunity to participate. I will work thoroughly with the Secretary/Treasurer to ensure that the SLC budget is not being spent wastefully. In addition, the council can initiate fundraisers such as selling merchandise students need, as well as raffle tickets to avoid deficit. Ensure the voices of every Panther are being heard. I propose that, once a month, Student Voices will review all your concerns and suggestions. This will create a more inclusive environment which will further improve our school spirit.”

ZF: “How do you aim to work together (with your co-Vice-President) to achieve your campaign goals?”

RK: “Billy and I will be running a Leadership Retreat next year and hope to strongly promote student leadership in our school. As students become more active in the school community, we believe that the school environment will begin to have more effective communication and allow for a positive and motivational atmosphere. It’s not necessary for students to be leaders either. Everyone contributes to making sure that we all enjoy coming to VPCI every day.”

BL: “I will achieve my campaign goals in collaboration with my co-Vice-President by discussing our initiatives in SLC meetings, advocate for student concerns and ideas, and maintain good communication amongst ourselves.”

ZF: “Do you have any words to the student body to reaffirm them for next year?”

RK: “If there’s anything I received criticism for during my first term on SLC, it was my lack of ‘getting things done.’ I’ve heard lots from students over the past year about what they want to see around school, and I can say that we have some wonderful things planned for next year. There’s some new and creative events in store, and I hope to be playing a big part in planning them. I’ll also be attending monthly Super Council meetings so rest assured that I’ll be bringing the opinions and ideas of students across the city to VPCI. Hopefully we can make going to VP something to brag about!”

BL: “Even though I did not become the 2015-2016 SLC President, I will never stop advocating for your concerns and help those in need to the best of my abilities. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting me throughout my campaign. I would like to congratulate Angela Du on becoming the 2015-2016 SLC President. Remember, together, we will make next year at VP the greatest.”