Binish Ahmed has packed up her desk and handed over her keys. Elected as vice president of university affairs at the University of Toronto Students’ Union this spring, Ahmed is resigning as of Sept. 8, the fi rst day of school.
Ahmed cited personal and academic reasons. “It was a really hard decision to make, but in the end I had to look after myself,” she said.
UTSU will not be holding elections to replace Ahmed. VP External Dave Scrivener cited UTSU by-laws, which require elections to be held to fi ll vacancies occurring in May, June, July or August but not after September 1.
Ahmed gave notice of her resignation on August 22. The succeeding VP of university affairs will be hired internally, in a procedure similar to the hiring of the VP of campus life, said Scrivener.
UTSU bylaws do not lay out a specific procedure for dealing with vacancies occuring after September 1 and before fall general elections have begun. At press time, UTSU VP internal Adnan Najmi could not immediately clarify what bylaws would be followed
The position entails working with admin and college councils. This year, the University Affairs Commission will be working extensively on the Code of Student Conduct, which has been under UTSU scrutiny since several students were charged for a protest in March. Another project is David Naylor’s planning document Towards 2030, which the university will vote on adopting as a guiding principle during the first round of Governing Council meetings this fall.
UTSU will decide on hiring specifics at their next exec meeting, scheduled for this Tuesday. According to Scrivener, the procedure will be according to precedents set by the last such resignation in 2006, where Emily Shelton was hired to replace Paul Bretscher.
As her biggest accomplishment over the summer, Ahmed named the Student Rights Handbook, which she said UTSU has been trying to complete for the past two years. Scrivener said the handbook is now almost complete, with UTSU officials working to make it more readable.
She also recalls her work organizing Frosh Week, especially the parade. “I have been working on Frosh for the last three years, so it’s something I love doing.”—