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SCSU candidate profiles: Vice-President Academics & University Affairs

Waad Abdel Kader (Connect UTSC), Rimsha Rahman (MOTIVATE UTSC)
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From left to right: Waad Abdel Kader and Rimsha Rahman. COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATES
From left to right: Waad Abdel Kader and Rimsha Rahman. COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATES

Waad Abdel Kader (Connect UTSC)

Waad Abdel Kader is a fourth-year student double majoring in psychology and health studies. She is running for vice-president academics & university affairs in the upcoming Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) election under the Connect UTSC slate. 

Abdel Kader is currently the health policy coordinator of the Health and Society Students’ Association. Previously, she served as a first-year representative for the Students of Sociology. 

She is running because she wants to help support students working toward academic success, and she wants to ensure that there are “adequate accommodations” for students within their learning environments.

“I believe academic success can’t be looked at from one direction,” she said in an interview with The Varsity. Abdel Kader’s platform includes working with the registrar’s office to increase the number of credit/no credit course options from the current two credit maximum, at least until the end of the pandemic. 

She would also work with different academic and administrative departments to “better understand mental health barriers… and support the intersectional needs of every student.”

Abdel Kader hopes to lobby the university and all levels of the government to reduce tuition fees. She would also work with the UTSC Library to provide more physical textbooks and ebooks. “Everyone should be able to access textbooks that they need,” Abel Kader said.

Rimsha Rahman (MOTIVATE UTSC)

Rimsha Rahman is a fourth-year student majoring in city studies with minors in urban public policy and critical migration. She is running as part of the MOTIVATE UTSC slate. 

Rahman is the current vice-president academics for the Political Science Student Association and the SCSU Free Book Network coordinator. Previously, she served on the SCSU Board of Directors. 

If elected, she plans to create more financial support for students and expand some of the current systems to make them more sustainable. Specifically, she intends to put in place a post-pandemic academic support plan, focusing on extending credit/no credit supports, creating an academic relief form, and introducing funding supports for students who want to review or defer exams.  

In order to make academic success more financially accessible, she plans to expand the SCSU Free Book Network — a program she currently coordinates — to include a mentorship program and more student supports. In an interview with The Varsity, she described this plan as “very doable.”

“I’ve always been passionate about access to education because it’s such an important and powerful tool,” said Rahman. She’s committed to addressing the disproportionate barriers she sees in her community for racialized people, and to making education more accessible and affordable. 

The voting period for the SCSU elections will be held from March 24.