Third-year political science student Emmanuel Cantiller is running to be a senator-at-large in hopes of making life easier for students amid the pandemic.
“I want to help and create long-lasting policies that will affect students not just now, but for future students to come,” said Cantiller.
On accessibility, he’s advocating for students to have universal access to open educational resources (OERs), online recorded lectures and online office hours. Cantiller believes that this will make life easier for students so that no one has to pay more than is necessary for their education.
“I know there’s a lot being done in the push for OERs and I want to continue that push, just so students can have affordability and accessibility and don’t have to worry about any additional costs on top of the tuition that they already pay.”
However, he said that improvement of OERs, particularly online recorded lectures, will be his greatest challenge if elected, given the necessity of professors to adapt to a new system of teaching.
His ideas for a post-COVID-19 transition include transcript notations denoting online classes, later withdrawal deadlines and a more compassionate midterm hardship policy.
Cantiller has never sat on the Senate but has two years’ experience with the Arts Undergraduate Society (AUS). This year, he served as vice-chair of the AMS Student Life Committee and representative of the Political Science Students Association, and he was a second-year representative with the AUS in 2019/20.
In debate, he struggled to answer a question on a suggestion around the Indigenous Strategic Plan — which candidate Dante Agosti-Moro said would require amending the University Act.
Cantiller said he developed a strong ability for student outreach and consultation through these positions which he hopes to bring to the Senate and get more students engaged.
“I love reaching out to students to hear their opinions on what’s going on and in terms of student government. I’ve always tried my best to simplify information about what’s going on,” he said.
Cantiller said he learned about the Senate from former arts Senate representative Charlotte Gilby. The desire to continue Gilby’s work is what motivated him to run, as well as the desire to make academic life easier for students spending hours stuck in front of their computer screens.
Cantiller mentioned that a number of his friends are struggling with their mental health during the pandemic and he wants change for the sake of all students. He feels that current student senators failed to mitigate the added exam hardship of extending winter break and that they should have done more for students.
He hopes to create change by sitting on the Teaching and Learning Committee and the Academic Policy Committee.
“There’s a lot of issues with how the Senate is and how people understand it,” he said. “I would just try my absolute hardest to be a source of communication, consultation, access and information about the Senate.”
This article was updated to correct that Cantiller was vice-chair of the AMS Student Life Committee, not the AUS committee.