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By Julianna Cummins

Malindima ‘Mal’ Sampa may not be playing with the Rams anymore, but he’s looking to score with the student body.

Sampa is a former men’s volleyball player looking to become the newest VP of student life and events for the Ryerson Students’ Union in the upcoming elections.

“With the Master Plan on the horizon, Ryerson really needs to come together as a community now,” Sampa said. “I think that the VP student life and events position has the best portfolio for me to effect the most change for a renewed Ryerson community.”

Sampa decided to take a year off school to refocus on his academic career, after playing for the Rams for three years.

He returned to Ryerson this January but decided not to return to the team. “I stepped away from the team to focus on my studies. I felt that it was something that I needed to do to be responsible academically,” Sampa said. “I don’t feel like it’s an uphill battle.”

If elected, Sampa hopes to introduce initiatives such as a licensed section for of-age spectators, which he hopes will bring more people to Rams games.

“The University of Alberta has a licensed gym, and it fills up every single game,” he said. “It would bring out the rowdy fans to the games, which is always fun.”

Sampa was also involved in the creation of the men’s volleyball calendar with former team mates Mark Roe and Roger Marszalek.

The calendar features half-naked members of the team for every month of the year. The proceeds partially went to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada.

“We were in a team meeting and we were joking about making a calendar, and [Sampa] said ‘Don’t worry guys we can do this, I’ll take care of it,’” Rams player Nic Beaver said. “He really took the bull by the horns with that project.”

While Sampa has taken time off before to focus on his program, he understands the difference between being a volleyball player and an elected representative of the Ryerson student body.

“This is not a student athlete position where I am a student, then an athlete. I am an executive, and then a student. I have to put my representation of the membership above my studies, but I am not going to neglect my studies because of it.”

The candidates running against Sampa are Adam Hader and Siddartha Naidu.

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