A gross miscarriage of democracy for UTSC

Re: “SCSU board refuses to ratify incoming executive, directly contravenes union bylaws”

There’s something deeply disturbing about the recent Scarborough Campus Students’ Union decision to not ratify the election win of Vice-President Operations-elect Rayyan Alibux. This decision has only served the UTSC community a gross miscarriage of democracy.

Perhaps I’m mistaken, but last I checked we’re not living in a dystopia — this isn’t Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World or George Orwell’s 1984. It’s imperative that instances of guilt by association be considered cautiously and not naively.  

It does not follow from The Underground’s snippet to the inference that Alibux engaged with harmful intent toward any individual of the trans community.

Saying “I hope this chat is never leaked” can be interpreted as an expression of concern toward something someone else said, because it could bring harm to another.

I don’t know Alibux and perhaps wouldn’t like him. I certainly would not if he persistently engaged in activities with the intent to harm others. However, as per the snippet shown, any guilty verdicts to harm others and labelling of transphobe are unfounded, exaggerated and extrapolated beyond reality.

While he may very well be transphobic or racist, we cannot accept biased speculation as proof of such claims. In lieu of evidence, it’s preposterous to refuse ratification based on tense interpersonal relationships that are far too emotionally invested to be consistent with professional workplace rules of conduct.

For the record, I’m not at UTSC and have no association whatsoever with any of the individuals involved. Observing from UTSG, I find the situation sickening and unbecoming of any Canadian political institution and its representatives.

If you’re not under the banner of democracy, then you’re outside of it. If you’re not under the law, then you’re above it. Either way, you’re acting outside and against democratic interests of student society. It’s a brazen attack on U of T’s democracy, and perpetrators must be held accountable and responsible for any and all damages.

Oscar Starschild is a second-year Mathematics, Philosophy, and Computer Science student at Woodsworth College.

The proposed School of Cities building is justified

Re: “U of T proposing new building near Faculty of Law, Music”


The University of Toronto has announced plans to construct a new building at 90 Queen’s Park. The edifice will house the School of  Cities, a research institute that approaches urban issues. This proposal has been met with both hope and disapproval from university students. It is important to consider the opportunities it will provide to members of the U of T community.

Much of the criticism is aimed at the structure’s appearance. Some have denounced it due to its ‘ugly’ contemporary design. However, it is arbitrary to decry a building that begins construction in 2020, simply because it does not have the same aesthetic appeal as the university’s more renowned establishments many of which were erected in the nineteenth century.

It would be impossible to create a nine-storey structure that blends in with the older buildings in Queen’s Park Circle. This is due to the sheer size of the planned edifice in comparison to others, as well as the buildings’ age differences. The modern additions to UTSG pose no threat to the historical ones. The School of Cities’ architecture is designed with functionality in mind, which will ensure that it is practical and fulfills its intended purpose.

The new building’s recital hall, as well as its close proximity to the Faculty of Music, intrinsically link it to the music department. The Chief of University Planning, Gilbert Delgado, has taken into account the request for an interior passage between the building and the Faculty. This will allow musicians to transport instruments easily between the two facilities. This is proof that students’ requests are already being accommodated. As the venture moves forward, architects will continue taking advice from students.

Agata Mociani is a first-year Humanities student at New College.