Tyler Riches is a second-year student majoring in human geography and minoring in women and gender studies and urban studies, and running for vice-president public and university affairs. He is currently the University College director for the UTSU.
Riches explained that his main motivation for running is that “students are facing an affordability crisis on our campus and in our city.”
His priorities for university advocacy are extending the credit/no credit deadline to the last day of classes and “further consultation and changes” to the controversial university-mandated leave of absence policy, which allows for the university to remove students from studies if they pose a risk to themselves or others. He also wants to work on creating more financial aid opportunities for students in financial need. “The current system does not recognize that tuition is not the only cost that students have to worry about in order to attend University,” wrote Riches.
For Riches’ external policy, he hopes to lobby for a six-month, interest-free grace period for provincial student loans, and for a free tuition program from low-income students.
As well, he will continue to lobby the TTC for affordable transit options for students.
Riches feels strongly that the UTSU should leave the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). Although UTSU executives cannot directly contribute to any defederation efforts, Riches wrote, “from the get-go I would support any students looking to organize a petition to call for a referendum on our CFS membership, in any way that I can.”