Bryan Liceralde is a third-year Political Science student running to be the President of the UTSU. Liceralde, a Rotary Club member, also ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governing Council this year.
When asked why he was running for the position, Liceralde said that he hopes to “improve student lives” and leave a “political legacy where [he has] changed the lives of hundreds of students.” Calling his own ideas “visionary,” the presidential candidate said that he is running in order to win the Rhodes Scholarship.
Citing his Governing Council campaign, Liceralde said that because he was able to engage 116 people to vote for him, he should be able to engage a wider audience in his run for UTSU President.
He also noted that his experiences with the Rotary Club have helped to prepare him for the role. However, he declined to comment on the specific duties he fulfilled for the club, deferring to other members to speak on his role.
As part of his vision for the UTSU, Liceralde hopes to make the university more competitive internationally and improve the lives of students. He proposed holding a referendum on the breadth requirement for Arts & Science students, saying that it is “stagnating students’ academic success.”
In addition, he wants to review the controversial university-mandated leave of absence policy, lobby for a free tri-campus shuttle service and free Metrolinx services for students, and start a full-ride scholarship using 80 per cent of his salary as president — with approval from the Board of Directors.
“I hope that [U of T] President [Meric] Gertler, or whoever else succeeds him, continues on this [scholarship] legacy,” adding that “money, it’s just a secondary thing.”
When asked what the UTSU’s top priority should be, Liceralde restated his commitments to student advocacy and academic excellence on campus.
Liceralde also criticized Premier Doug Ford for his “reprehensible” changes to all levels of education and encouraged Gertler to invite Ford to a town hall in Convocation Hall.
He also proposed a three-step income bracket system for charging tuition in order to combat the Ford government’s proposed changes to student aid and postsecondary funding. Under his proposed system, students would pay either no tuition fees, 10 per cent of fees, or full fees depending on which income bracket they fall under.
Liceralde plans to resolve the delays in the Student Commons’ construction by reaching out to a few people who he knows would be able to draw up preliminary plans for the building. This may involve changing architectural firms in order to negotiate a cheaper price for construction.
Commenting on the separation of the UTSU and the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union, Liceralde admitted that he didn’t know why the two unions were separating. He remains hopeful that the two unions can work together to collectively improve student life across the campuses. During this conversation, Liceralde mentioned that he spent his first year at UTM, despite wanting to go to UTSG after high school.
“Why didn’t the Faculty of Arts & Sciences admit me? I was like, ‘Oh, okay, then work hard at UTM and you can move to St. George.’ Next thing you know I’m in St. George. But of course I still value UTM in the sense of their student lives,” Liceralde said.
He further said that his policies are designed for all three campuses, despite the fact that the UTSU only represents UTSG.