Having to pay attention to his online class forced Hardeep Singh Sidhu to have a more muted reaction after finding out he’d been elected to the college’s Board of Governors.
Sidhu, a first-year global business management student, beat out thirteen other candidates to be named the board’s student representative for the 2020-21 academic year. When the email came in telling him he’d been elected, there were still 15 minutes left in his finance and accounting class, so his celebration was delayed slightly.
“When the result came out, I was very happy, so I celebrated my happiness with my friends, with my family members,” Sidhu said. “I believe in sharing my happiness with anybody around me.”
Now that Sidhu is elected, he’s focused on getting to work. The Board of Governors is responsible for the overall goals and administration of the college, as well as establishing Conestoga’s long-term strategic plans, with Sidhu serving as the student voice.
Sidhu said his new role was an honour for him, adding that his aim is to represent the students the best he can.
“I believe the students have given me a clear mandate,” he said. “I will give my whole heart and everything for this position.”
With the challenges Conestoga is facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sidhu said dealing with the issues arising from the disease will be his main concern. He added that he will also be looking at ways to help students who are looking for work right now.
While Sidhu hasn’t spoken with his fellow board members yet, his application for the post impressed one outgoing member.
Laura Briston, Sidhu’s predecessor as student representative, said Sidhu seemed well-qualified for the position and keen to make a difference at Conestoga. She added that while she hadn’t had a chance to reach out to him yet, she wishes him well.
Briston – who was the only candidate when she was elected – added she was pleased to see the amount of interest in the position this year.
“It’s such an important role advocating for the diverse interests of Conestoga students” she said. “It’s one of the main responsibilities for the student representative.”
When it comes to his role on the Board of Governors, Briston said she thinks Sidhu’s largest challenge will come in finding ways to interact with students in a virtual setting. Due to the realities of this school year, it might make things harder for him to make those connections.
“I think finding a way to connect with current and prospective students – virtually most likely – I think that will be a unique challenge,” she said. “But I’m sure the board is prepped to help with that.”