SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

Dermot Gordon O’Halloran is a second-year Comprehensive Studies student in the Faculty of Music running for UTSU Vice-President Professional Faculties.

O’Halloran is the managing editor of The Youth Journal, a non-partisan online publication about politics that is angled toward young writers. He was previously an administrative assistant for former Toronto city councillor Mary Fragedakis and is currently a volunteer for New Democratic Party MPP Peter Tabuns. He was a campaign volunteer for both representatives.

O’Halloran is running “to make sure that a representative who cared about the position and the continuity of the union was sitting on the executive committee.”

He believes that it would be good for the union to have an executive from the Faculty of Music, one of the “smallest professional faculties on campus,” which he notes is “not something that happens often.”

As VP Professional Faculties, he would aim to be “very open and accessible” for professional faculties students to “come and meet” with him in person. He hopes to learn about students’ concerns “in great detail” in order to “advocate them properly on the executive committee.”

His priorities would include improving student engagement with the union by “advertising the programs and benefits of the UTSU.” He cited low turnout in the previous UTSU election as motivation, as only 4.2 per cent of eligible students voted. He would address this by introducing “physical advertising materials” in the Faculty of Music, which he says are currently absent.

To further improve engagement, he would work on building relationships between the union and professional faculties professors, whom he believes may be willing to help by forwarding relevant email communications about the union to students.

On responding to controversial decisions affecting the professional faculties, such as this year’s proposals for a merger of the forestry and architecture faculties and for constructing a new building near the Faculty of Music, he said he would “listen and seek out” students of affected faculties through direct consultations and town halls to become better informed to address their concerns.

He also said that he would “seek to address” the “lack of a ban of sexual relationships between students and faculty.”

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