Opinion: Muntaka Ahmed’s equity-based platform lacks systemic change

Despite great experiences in student leadership, Ahmed doesn’t promise tangible progress
From left to right: Muntaka Ahmed, Arjun Kaul, Bryan Liceralde. Photos courtesy of candidates.
From left to right: Muntaka Ahmed, Arjun Kaul, Bryan Liceralde. Photos courtesy of candidates.

Muntaka Ahmed has robust experience in positions of power. She has worked as an executive assistant in the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU), vice-president finance for the Muslim Students’ Association, and a marketing co-director of the Bangladeshi Students’ Association. This strong resumé assures student voters that, if elected, she would bring experience and expertise to the position of UTSU president, for which she is currently running.

However, this confidence fades when you take into account systemic change. Ahmed has good points that would have been beneficial and electable — if our period of time was not so strongly defined by political unrest. Considering the fact that the last calendar year was dominated by protests — most notably student protests — a drastic change in various systems worldwide is a sentiment that does not elude the UTSU. 

However, I failed to see any considerable changes to the UTSU system within her platform. A glaring example is the lack of a clear political stance on sustainability initiatives on campus, as well as the fact that, while she did prioritize advocacy for better mental health services, she does not specify exactly how this is to be implemented.

Her ticket seems to centre itself on expanding the definition of the UTSU beyond a group of few executives with immense authority and into the hands of the people who it represents. However, her platform fails to do exactly that by not being transparent about how she will implement her goals.

I believe a racialized Muslim woman can create immense change in the role of president, but based on her platform, I’m not too confident about any notable differences to the UTSU’s operation and goals — something that voters like myself are looking for. 

Nadine Waiganjo is a second-year International Relations student at University College. She is an Associate Comment Editor.

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