Katherine Girguis

Biography:

Little info about yourself?

My name is Katherine Girguis. I am a trilingual JD-BCom student who originates from Toronto. I am a Copt, meaning of an ethno-religious group of pharaonic descent. I am a dedicated and innovative student who has had copious experience with leadership positions. I have unparalleled communication skills and am always trying to improve myself. I won the Lieutenant General award from the government for exceptional community service. I am determined and committed to the well-being of students, giving 100% of my energy to our goals. Currently, I am VP external for Telfer International and work as a health care worker during this pandemic. I am fascinated and excited about everything. Talk to me about your problems, your successes, your passions, classes, extracurriculars, hobbies, art, dance, heritage, chemistry, psychology, etc. I want to hear it all.

Why you are running?

A) The mental health approach of the University of Ottawa has been disheartening. I’m not pointing fingers because I believe they were doing the best they can with what they had but it is not enough to the people who actually need it. Not only has being raised by a behavioural psychotherapist trained me to be aware and prepared for sensitive situations, but my own personal experience and environment, as well as being able to take control of said environment, has taught me to better understand and properly raise awareness. I actively seek to help people struggling with mental health issues and reshape the idea that the media has brought with regard to people suffering.

B) I want to reevaluate some regulations made by my faculty in order to allow for more student responsibility and liberty within their programs. To encourage the ambition and education of students rather than limit them due to regulations and bureaucratic structure. Hopefully, I can unify the regulations of the faculties to simplify procedures with regards to classes. From there, stems the need to reevaluate the steps to defer exams for different faculties as they disregard the need for breaks between examination times, which reinforces my point about mental health.

C)To promote solidarity and unify international students across the university campus, as well as give them more opportunities and funding to make them more comfortable in their transition to another country. 

What you are planning to do if you are elected?

If I am honoured with being elected onto the board, I will start by organizing the responses from the surveys I have created and prioritizing not only the needs that I have noticed but that my voters have asked of me. I want to give you an answer other than the many No’s (without explanation) you have been receiving. I want to fight and give you the voice you deserve. You shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask questions, and you shouldn’t have to wait hours for an unenthused office. As you can tell, I am bold, direct and honest. 

I will also try to create the necessary connections to start making the changes as quickly as possible. I have always wanted to start an international co-op program and have partnered with an association in Bolivia for orphans. I believe it will create a much more profound experience for co-op students by combining innovation and altruism.

Hopefully, we will be able to reevaluate the school’s approach to their suicide notice emails. We would also cancel the deferral of exams to the next semester. Instead, I would rather create a deferral week after the exam period to allow students to not have to write those exams during their next reading week, as it is a period the school has already deemed important to allow for rest and studying. This will end the embarrassing contradiction found in the mental health efforts made by the university and better help students.

Although none of these things are guaranteed, I am going to give it my all, and if you don’t know me you will soon know what that means when you see results. All I ask is that we work together as a team so I can do my best to help you.

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