Vandita's drive and support as an RHA president is unlike anything I have ever seen; it is completely unmatched. |
On a regular basis, since the very beginning of May. Vandita has been a tremendous leader and mentor, constantly
sharing with me her wisdom and allowing me to grow as a professional and a leader in a multitude of ways. She gives me
to be creative in all my marketing campaigns and planning and gives me room to grow individually while still being there
as a support. She always allows me to voice my ideas and will, more often than not, find a way to make them happen. She
has also been a phenomenal mentor to our eight area presidents (APs). Vandita makes it a point to check in on our APs
almost daily and is always available to answer questions or help take care of concerns.
For this entire month of November, I have been terribly ill, in and out of the hospital numerous times, unable to attend any
of my classes or meetings. Not only has Vandita helped me out as a professional on RHA cabinet by attending all my
Inter-Council meetings, printing out marketing material, reaching out to external parties on my behalf, and beginning to
look at logistics of our annual Residence Whistler Shuttle, but she has also been a tremendous help personally, as a
friend as well, by bringing me groceries, helping me write absence emails to my professors, and doing daily check ins.
She has been nothing but patient and understanding.
Something that really inspires me about Vandita is her passion about advocacy and positive change, especially when it
comes to issues surrounding mental health, sexual assault, and indigenous communities. There have been multiple
occasions since the start of her presidential term where Vandita has stepped up to speak out against injustices regarding
sexual assault on our campus. She also worked tirelessly alongside UBC Housing to plan a week full of events regarding
Indigenous culture so educate residents across campus and to spotlight the importance of the names in Totem Park, a
first year residence here at UBC which she used to be the area president of.
Our Cabinet meetings run extremely smoothly, and Vandita is always thinking of ways to make them more efficient and
productive. Recently, she has put forward "electronic free" meetings which have cut our meeting times by half an hour,
but still remain as productive prior to the change. She ensures everyone's voice is heard and that everyone feels
welcome. When an AP sends a proxy, she ensures that the proxy feels included and has every right to speak, just like
everyone else in the room. While chairing the meetings efficiently, she is also able to voice her opinions and give
guidance without taking over the discussion and without blocking anyone else's opinions. Furthermore, Vandita is not
afraid to table agenda items or cut meetings short if she knows that our members are having a difficult time. She takes
into consideration the well-being of both our cabinet and our advisor.
She is the IDEAL participative leader. As the RHA VPOL, I strive to be more like her and I look up to her an immense
amount. Even though she is definitely not afraid to "put her foot down" on certain occasions, she will always make the
time to listen and try to understand every side. She consistently is telling our members it's ok to make mistakes and that
we should "embrace how great [we] are".
The UBC RHA would not be what it is today without Vandita Kumar.
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