A year after a controversial campaign that saw a presidential candidate disqualified twice and protests that injured a chief returning officer, the 2019 election period for the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) has begun.
Two major slates are facing each other. Shine Bright UTSC, led by Chemi Lhamo, is campaigning on a platform of making the student experience “bright,” according to its Facebook page, while SCSYou, led by Anup Atwal, is running on implementing reforms within the student union.
Shine Bright UTSC
Lhamo, the current SCSU Vice-President Equity, centres her platform for president on hosting a career fair, lobbying the government to prioritize free postsecondary education, and creating a central calendar for all campus events. Lhamo cruised to victory last year as a part of Rise Up UTSC in an election that resulted in a split-ticket executive.
Raymond Dang, currently the Director of Political Science on the SCSU board, is running for Vice-President Academics and University Affairs under the Shine Bright UTSC slate, along with Leon Tsai, current Director of Historical and Cultural Studies, who is contending for Vice-President Equity.
Dang and Tsai made headlines in December last year when the SCSU Board of Directors voted to allocate $7,000 in additional funds to a Women’s and Trans Centre (WTC) conference, despite students rejecting the proposal and reducing the amount to $2,500 at the November SCSU Annual General Meeting.
At a following December board meeting, Dang motioned to give the WTC an additional $4,500 to complete the $7,000 that it requested, with Tsai, also WTC External Coordinator, supporting Dang.
In December, Dang also proposed a controversial motion to control media access to SCSU meetings.
Also on the Shine Bright UTSC slate is Kali Tadesse, the current Director of the Centre for French and Linguistics, who is running for Vice-President External. Tadesse is officially listed on the SCSU’s website as Kalkidan Alemayehu. UTSC students Kevin Turingan and Sarah Mohamed are running for Vice-President Operations and Vice-President Campus Life respectively.
Leading the SCSYou slate is Atwal, the President of the Scarborough Campus Union (SCU) Reform club. Atwal is campaigning on a platform of reforming the SCSU, implementing online voting for future elections, banning the slate system, and imposing a one-term limit on elected executive and director positions.
Also on SCSYou is Ray Alibux, who is running for Vice-President Operations. Alibux was a presidential candidate in last year’s elections, in which he placed second behind UTSC Voice’s Nicole Brayiannis.
Along with Rise Up UTSC’s Deena Hassan, Alibux was initially disqualified from the race, but was later reinstated. Hassan was also reinstated, but eventually disqualified for a second and last time.
Carly Sahagian, the President of the Armenian Students’ Association, is campaigning to become the next Vice-President Academics and University Affairs. UTSC students Tebat Kadhem, who ran and lost in the Toronto city council Ward 42 by-election in 2017, and Chaman Bukhari, are running for Vice-President Equity and Vice-President External respectively.
SCSYou did not put up a candidate for Vice-President Campus Life, Atwal confirmed to The Varsity.