Candidate Profile: Sharon Ma

Vice-President University Affairs

Sharon Ma is a fifth-year New College student majoring in Fundamental Genetics and its Applications with a double minor in Biology and Music History and Culture. She previously served as UTSU’s New College Director for two years.

If elected, Ma wants to address current university policies such as campus closures and the Credit/No Credit (CR/NCR) system. She would also lobby for student groups, specifically international students, affected by provincial tuition cuts.

Ma said that the university lacks a responsible campus closure policy, commenting on its inability to cancel classes and inform students in a timely fashion.

She added that the safety of students is put at risk when campus doesn’t close, and that they are especially disadvantaged when closures are announced late in the day.

“I just want to work with admin to create a fair and responsible snow day policy so students don’t get hurt,” she said.

On the topic of revising the CR/NCR policy, Ma wants to extend the deadline to the last day of classes from the current mid-semester deadline. This system is currently in place at UTM.

Speaking on the impending issue of provincial tuition cuts, Ma said she wants to advocate for international students so that they are not at risk of a tuition hike to make up for the university’s loss of revenue. She plans to lobby university administration and faculties to lower, if not freeze, international tuition fees.

When addressing the Policy on Open, Accessible and Democratic Autonomous Student Organizations, Ma acknowledged that although she is not very well-versed in the policy, she supports students’ ability to decide and advocate for themselves, as long as the university does not support hate groups.

Reflecting on the past year at the UTSU, Ma said that the union needs to improve campus engagement, with simple improvements such as updating the website and encouraging student groups to collaborate on events.

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