The most integral part of any educational institute are its students, and the Cape Breton University Students’ Union (CBUSU) is the collective voice of its members at CBU. The Union’s primary focus is to serve and represent students, and they also run Caper Convenience, the Caper Times, the Multicultural Hub, the Women’s Centre, the Ekkian Indigenous Centre, the Pride and Ally Centre and the Food Bank.
The CBUSU executive team consists of four members – President and Executive Vice President, who are elected, and Vice President of Promotions as well as Vice President of Finance and Operations, who are hired based on their skillset through an application process. The 2022/23 Executive team consists of Damanpreet Singh, Peter Oyedijo, Chloe Stewart and Himali Kadam. Here’s a brief introduction, so you can get to know them better.
Meet Damanpreet Singh, CBUSU President
When Damanpreet Singh (he/him) first came to Sydney in 2021, he struggled to find accommodations and a job. Once he settled in, he decided he didn’t want to sit around and watch the same thing happen to others. He decided to help incoming international students feel comfortable and adjust to life in Cape Breton. Through this process, Damanpreet grew passionate about helping others and decided to run for the position of CBUSU President.
Damanpreet is originally from Sri Muktsar Sahib in Punjab, India, and is currently in his second year of the Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Supply Chain Management program. He joined CBU after hearing good reviews from his friends who were already studying here. The fact that CBU was situated near Sydney, a quiet and peaceful part of the world, also influenced his decision.
In his role as President, Damanpreet is responsible for supervising the daily governance of CBUSU. He also acts as the bridge between the students and officials at the University. One year – the length of term for a CBUSU President – can pass by in the blink of an eye and Damanpreet is determined to put in the hard work to accomplish his goals over the next several months.
Damanpreet feels that a Students’ Union is necessary because it acts as a collective voice for the students. He encourages other students to get involved as it will help them learn more about the activities going on at CBU.
Meet Peter Oyedijo, CBUSU Executive Vice President
Peter Oyedijo (he/him) has been a part of student governance at CBU since 2020, and last fall, became the Deputy Chair of the Student Council. With such great experience behind him, he successfully teamed up with Damanpreet to become one of this year’s elected officials.
From Lagos, Nigeria, Peter is currently in his final year of the Bachelor of Business Administration (Supply Chain Management) Program. He was attracted to CBU by the high quality of education and loved that it was surrounded by beautiful highlands. He has enjoyed the community-friendly environment and the opportunity for growth that CBU provides and says it has shaped him to become a better individual.
As Executive Vice President, Peter fills in for the President when necessary and serves as the primary liaison between students and faculty in issues pertaining to academics. He is keen to support fellow students, and as EVP, he can do exactly that. An outgoing individual who is a varsity track and field athlete, Peter says he is very approachable and wants to ensure better student engagement during his time in office.
For Peter, it’s imperative that universities have a Students’ Union because it serves as a united voice for students and helps them raise any issues they might have. He encourages fellow students at CBU to get involved in student governance and be service-driven.
Meet Chloe Stewart, CBUSU Vice President of Promotions
Chloe Stewart (she/her) has worn many hats in the CBUSU over the past couple of years. In her first year at the University, she was the Social Media and Events Coordinator and had a stint as the Executive Vice President earlier this year. Now entering her final year of the Bachelor of Arts (with a concentration in French) program, she wanted to be involved with the student body once again, and decided to apply for the role of Vice President of Promotions.
Chloe grew up in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, after being adopted as a baby from China. After completing her undergraduate degree, she had plans of pursuing a Bachelor of Education, and CBU’s 15-month program caught her eye. She was also impressed with the University’s tour as she felt it was warm, welcoming, safe and inclusive. These factors played a big role in her decision to join CBU, a University in the same province as her home.
As her job title suggests, Chloe is responsible for everything promotions-related in the CBUSU – be it event planning, advertising or content creation. She feels it’s key for students to experience a healthy social life and wants to contribute to this by hosting events that result in unforgettable memories. The COVID-19 pandemic has played spoilsport over the last two years and Chloe is keen to make CBU a vibrant and exciting campus once again.
Chloe feels that the Students’ Union plays an important role as it provides several services and enhances campus life. According to her, such experience can be invaluable. As a female, Chinese-Canadian and transracial adoptee, Chloe feels it’s pivotal to have representation at all governance levels, including student government.
Meet Himali Kadam, CBUSU Vice President of Finance and Operations
When Himali Kadam (she/her) took charge as the CBUSU Vice President of Finance and Operations, she brought with her 11 years of work experience to the office. She says she is honoured to be a part of the Union and work for the students at CBU.
In her final year of the Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Supply Chain Management program, Himali is from Vadodara in Gujarat, India. After working for a few years, she was keen to grow both personally and professionally, and after some research, concluded that enrolling at CBU was the best way to accomplish her goals.
As the VPFO, Himali is responsible for looking into the financial aspects of the CBUSU, with the Caper Convenience store, Caper Times, CBUSU Food Bank and Societies also coming under her umbrella. She aims to make Caper Convenience profitable and the CBU Residence more accessible for students over the next year.
A firm believer in transparency and clarity in communication, Himali feels that students are often reluctant to discuss their issues with faculty or university staff, and the Students’ Union plays a vital role in bridging that gap. A piece of advice she wants to give fellow students is to keep trying harder, not lose hope, enjoy time with family and friends and most importantly, believe in themselves.