This year, the Performance Student Union is opening up a new voting position within the union, program reps. There will be one program rep for Acting, Dance, and Production. Please vote for your program rep on this page by October 6th at 12PM.

Manon Bourgeois:
Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

In First year, I was lucky enough to be part of the Student Union and I loved the experience! As an acting student, I realized that given our busy schedules, it made it so that not many acting students took part in the Student Union and Student Union events. I am interested in changing that, and although I cannot force actors to attend events, I can always make sure I am advocating for their wants and needs (which may raise their interest in Performance wide events!)

If selected, what ideas will you bring to the union?

As mentioned in the previous question, I would love to find any ways possible to interest the actors of all years to get involved in student union events. I think a really good way would be to have events that really focus on Professional Connection building (getting to know peers that you may work with someday!) Maybe even a kind of “creative lab”, or “idea party” of some sort to throw cool project ideas at the wall and get feedback, collaborators and ideas? Really don’t know if people would be interested, but personally, I think it would be a great environment to just meet new people and a possible zoom version could include breakout rooms!

Andrea Levick:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

I participated in a leadership training program in high school, and was a part of the National Honors Society.  I also acted as Principal Ambassador Artist for 2 years with Bodiography’s student dance company.  This role included being a role model for younger company dancers, helping them learn independence and responsibility, and organizing communication between the dancers and faculty.  The past two years, I have also participated in the mentor/buddy program and helped 1st years learn about the dance program.  

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

I feel like dancers are not very involved with the school and it would be nice to help bridge the gap.

If selected, what ideas will you bring to the union?

I’d like to just improve coordination and communication.  Like recently, I noticed that the coffee chat for dancers was being advertised as a chance for first years to chat with upper years, but it happened during a time when all 3rd and 4th years were in mandatory rehearsals.  Dancers are also busy (all performance kids really) and tend to hate putting effort into things that aren’t dance, so maybe helping to organize the facilitation of low effort activities that can still keep us connected.

Anna Simmons:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

I have worked for Scouts Canada as a camp counsellor & coordinator (management position) as well as being a program support worker which meant reaching out to people and trying to build leadership skills as well as working on programming for youth. In the coordinator role I worked with youth aged 11-17 primarily and taught leadership skills as well as career based skills (resumes, cover letters, interviews). As for leadership within the school I have been a production class rep since last year and see myself as a very active member in discussions and always wanting to ensure all voices are heard within my peer group.

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

I would love to become more engaged in the workings of the school as a whole and be a person people within my program can turn to for information as well as ensuring they are able to provide me with any information/ideas they may have. 

If selected, what ideas will you bring to the union?

I think a major issue within the school as discussed in a meeting with Caroline O’Brien is communication and I think having some more set times/events to just discuss how things are going would be beneficial to all students. Especially getting to hear the perspectives of the other programs and years. 

Erwin Lau:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

Founder and President of Drama Club, Director of (Sing) House Performing Arts, Captain of the School Swimming Team, Orchestra Manager, Teacher Assistant of Grade 10 Drama Class, Class Rep for 2 years.

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

Being able to represent our program would be an honour. I want to be a rep because I love helping and especially our program; being able to assist and offer help not only to my year but also to the whole Production program and create a safe community is a pleasure.

If selected, what ideas will you bring to the union?

I would like to hear and try my best to understand what each grade/year is going through and offer the best help I can, even if it’s an individual issue. I would also love to create an environment where all 4 years of Production could communicate and have fun, let us meet people that we haven’t met, make new friends, and build relationships.

Jeanette Reyes:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

Since the pandemic’s start, I have been active in the school and communities outside of the program. Outside of the program, I used to work for the Office of the Vice President: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion department, and I have utilized many services that the University offers that students may be unaware of. At the Performance School, I have been serving as a mentor to first-year students, actively volunteering to do extra work for studio classes, constantly fostering relationships with staff, faculty, and students. I have been reaching out during office hours, continually emailing about opportunities, and personally reaching out if any colleague needs support. I’ve also worked as an assistant for the Performance School this past summer, researching the rich history they have to offer. 

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

I think that every student’s voice and opinion is critical to acknowledge. I’m interested in putting extra time out of my schedule to connect with students and address their concerns. Especially during the pandemic, it is very easy to be disconnected from everyone at the school, so I hope to encourage engagement and participation from the program. I truly believe that strengthening our school community is of utmost importance. 

If selected, what idea will you bring to the union?

I have so many! Specifically for the role of a representative, I would hold a forum every month for every year in the Production Program so that students can address their concerns about the school, their thoughts on curriculum, and anything else. I will also allow this “forum” to be anonymous so that students don’t feel the pressure of having their names attached to possibly harsh opinions. The other ideas I have are super fun…but I won’t reveal them just yet! You’ll have to wait and see.

Jonathan Cestnick:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

I worked as a restaurant manager for 3 years at an Earls Downtown Vancouver. During this time I ran and managed a FOH/BOH team that would work successfully throughout busy work shifts in a chaotic environment. I also have been a Dance Captain for many theatre productions I have worked on leading a team of dancers through choreography and rehearsals. Currently I am an Academic Link for the Creative School in disciplines of Performance/Music/ProCom.

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

I am looking to become a representative within the program because I would like to be invested in the community at Ryerson, and bring a mature and experienced view into discussions about where the program is going in the future years.

If selected, what idea will you bring to the union?

I would like to bring methods of creation that could be more accessible in the school like Outdoor Programming. In Production the experience that has been missing due to covid has created a sense of inexperience to the industry. Since the Faculty is so stubborn about how unessential the production students are. I would like to bring potential ideas to make the students feel as though they are wanted and able to do performance based tasks.

Sofia A. Cazorla Bak:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

School Student Council

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

To be able to make a difference and to join a team that has the ability to do so.

If selected, what idea will you bring to the union?

More involvement in student virtual spaces such as discord.

Sofia Di Cicco:

What prior leadership experience do you have?

I have led many volunteer teams and charity events over the years. In addition to that I have led many stage management teams and my interest in the management side of theatre makes me very organized, good at communication and working with a variety of people.

Why are you interested in becoming a representative of your program within the student union?

I’m interested because I think unions do fantastic work and I have always been interested in working with one. I also love the work that the student union does and how they fight for the students. I would like to represent my program because I feel like I have a good rapport within my class and want to improve the experience for the students in the creative school of performance.

If selected, what idea will you bring to the union?

I feel like there could be more communication between the union and the people outside of the union including the future program reps so I have some ideas to bridge that gap (ie. putting a suggestion box or something to that effect on the website so people can bring up issues, and possibly allowing non union members to come to a meeting every once and a while).