Christopher Chiasson is a fourth-year political science student at Innis College running for Vice-President University Affairs. He is a first-time candidate in the UTSU elections, with previous campus experience including serving as the Director of Operations for the University of Toronto Model United Nations.
As a candidate for VP University Affairs, Chiasson envisions the UTSU resolving universal issues such as implementing a transparent campus closure policy amid inclement weather.
He also cited accessibility to quality toilet paper, expanded breaks between class times, and a revised course cancellation policy as three major policies for which the union should lobby the university administration and faculties.
Chiasson said that the quality of toilet paper could affect a student’s perception of their student union, inevitably influencing their decision to opt out.
“Every single time someone goes to the washroom and sees that cashmere-like two-ply, they’re going to feel that and think, ‘Wow, UTSU is looking out for me.’”
When advocating for expanded breaks between classes, Chiasson noted that walking from one end of campus to another would take much longer than 10 minutes. “I’d love to see Meric Gertler attempt to make it from Bader to Sid Smith in 10 minutes. It just can’t be done.”
He further explained that other universities such as Ryerson University and York University have better policies in place in regards to course cancellation policies, giving the option to credit/no credit a course until the end of the semester.
Chiasson believes that autonomous student bodies can get much done while establishing a healthy relationship with the university administration.
When reflecting on the UTSU’s past year, Chiasson commended the efforts made toward diversity and inclusion, specifically focusing on accessibility in terms of campus spaces and events.
Looking toward the uncertainty of student funding amid the Student Choice Initiative — the provincial government’s plan to mandate an opt-out option for certain incidental fees — he also said that the UTSU should do more to advertise its services in order to maintain the support of students.
— With files from Adam A. Lam and Silas Le Blanc