Elections for Governing Council are currently on, running until Friday, March 12. Here is a quick look at the candidates running and what they stand for. All bios come from the Governing Council Web site. Voting is done through the online service ROSI.
Full-time Undergraduate Students, Constituency 1
Kerry Black (New College) – “I believe that every student has the right to fair equitable campus and student fees, a safe and inviting multicultural community, and access to a comprehensive curriculum and a highly personalized and supportive academic environment.”
Thomas Brown (Transitional Year Program) – “The University of Toronto needs a Student Centre for a number of reasons. Firstly, a place where students can feel they belong. In addition, a Student Centre will be a place for further personal growth outside of the classroom. Finally, it will promote solidarity, which will increase our effectiveness to mobilize on key issues like a tuition freeze, environmental issues, and the increased quality of student life on all three campuses, particularly the suburban ones.”
Blake Chapman (University College) – “I will work with others to develop and explore all alternatives before voting. This is important because the university MUST be financially and physically accessible to ALL and there MUST be alternatives to raising tuition. I will work tirelessly with SAC, college, and other groups to make your voices heard.”
Moses Choi (Victoria College) – “I wish to represent the interests of undergraduates on the Governing Council in conjunction with furthering the ambitions of the school.
I have tremendous academic international exposure and experience in student government and leadership and believe that combining these experiences will allow me to partake as an integral member of the Governing Council.”
Senai Iman (University College) – “With growing concerns over tuition, student life, equity, and quality of education Senai will be the candidate to represent his constituency. With a long list of experience, Senai wishes to carry his leadership skills to the governing council in 2004-2005. Currently, Senai is the President of UTYLA. He is also an executive member of the Young Liberals (Scarborough East), and an executive with the Eritrean Youth association of Toronto.”
Shaila Kibria (UTM) – “I have been with EPUS for the past two years…first as secretary, and then as president. I have attracted 130 class reps to EPUS. There were none when I joined. Class reps reach 3000 students on campus, and bring student concerns to the office, which our Executive takes to the appropriate places at U of T to solve. These concerns include asking for more evening courses, no incidental fee increase, tuition freeze, etc. I now know what students need.”
Ari Kopolovic (Victoria College) – “As Chair of the English Students’ Union, SAC director, and member of the Victoria Board of Regents, I know what it takes to get through to university administrators and to get things done for students. On GC I will continue to fight for: fully-funded tuition freeze, a greener campus, an accessible campus, a new deal for UTM, an independent voice for UTSC and shorter lines for Metropasses.
Ian MacMillan (Woodsworth College) – “Commuter students are not the focus of student life on campus, but we make up the bulk of the student body. This lack is somewhat inevitable, but it hurts the quality of the student experience, and in turn this costs the university millions when alumni are asked to remember their student days. This university should be trying to provide, among other things, a student services centre that will have the capacity and facilities to attract and energize student life for all students, both res and non-res together.”
Lester Milton (St. Mike’s College) – “Are you a full-time undergraduate student? Then you have rights! Exercise those rights by voting for Lester Milton I’m going to keep this short and simple. You should vote for me, Lester Milton, because I promise to act with honesty, good faith and in the best interests of U of T.”
Mubdi Rahman (University College) – “Mubdi Rahman is a first-year student pursuing a degree in Astronomy and Physics. Hailing from Toronto, he has been involved with the university for a number of years through his astronomical research interests. He is an active member of the Hart House Debates Committee, the Physics and Astronomy Student Union, the Muslim Students’ Association, and a number of other groups on campus. His diverse activities and interests give him a unique outlook on the direction of the university.”
Jasdeep Saluja (Trinity College) – no statement submitted.
Leo Trottier (University College) – “I have already successfully worked with most levels of University administration-as a past SAC Director, Residence Council Executive, and currently as President of the Cognitive Science and AI Students Association. If elected, I will 1) work to improve the quality of undergraduate teaching through better TA training and more rigorous instructor evaluations; 2) press for the immediate freezing and ultimate reduction of tuition fees, and 3) keep students informed of GC issues through an interactive web forum.”
Preet Virdi (UTSC) – “During my two-year commitment to the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) I have been representing the needs, concerns, and demands of U of T students to the university. I believe my unique position as a student leader at UTSC gives me a solid background to represent the diverse needs of the East and West U of T campuses.”
Full-time Undergraduate Students, constituency 2
Navine Aggarwal (Law) – “As a fellow student in a professional faculty, I appreciate the importance of issues relating to financial aid, tuition levels, and student services. Having sat on a number of boards and committees, I have gained the experience and knowledge to represent you well. I have the passion, commitment and motivation to effectively serve as your elected representative and be a strong voice for the students.”
Bruce Cameron (Engineering) – “As a past GC member, I have led initiatives ranging from financial aid reform to improved campus resources, and I have sought to foster more efficacious governance. I have advocated for quality of education, and if re-elected, will do my utmost to ensure that our education is responsive to student needs.”
Matthew Charlton (Engineering) – “Education should be accessible and affordable, so I will fight against any tuition increases as well as strongly oppose the deregulation of professional programs. Students also require more financial aid, scholarships, and bursaries, in addition to more co-operative opportunities such as PEY. All three university campuses need to be green spaces, safe and open environments for a diverse student population.”
Stefan Neata (Engineering) – “I plan on articulating the need for more combined degree programs. I would also strive to become a strong and direct link between students and administration. Furthermore, I would work diligently to ensure that students do not ultimately suffer for the actions of a government that inadequately funds post-secondary education.”
Andrew Pinto (Medicine) – “A widening gap exists between students and university decision makers. I bring experience in working with the administration and students, as an elected representative and an activist for peace, international health and reduced tuition. The promised and fought for tuition freeze must and can happen. Professional faculties can work together, supporting one another. Campus unity and diversity, such as through a multi-faith prayer space, can be nurtured. Environmentalism and community responsibility can be enshrined at our university.”
Alexandru Sonoc (Engineering) – “Improved teaching: one of the pillars of the staircase towards greatness which U of T is climbing, but how to achieve it?
Not with attitudes like ‘it will be better for next year’s class’ that most of our administrators have. I wish to introduce policy changes, like interim class evaluations and mandatory teaching training for those who fail them, that provide solutions for the future and the present.
Also, I strongly support diversity and believe in involving electors in governance; so I will organize frequent meetings to report and ask for feedback on Governing Council business.”