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UTSU candidate profiles: Vice-President Public & University Affairs

Micah Kalisch
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Micah Kalisch COURTESY OF CANDIDATE
Micah Kalisch COURTESY OF CANDIDATE

Content warning: this article contains mentions of sexual assault. 

Micah Kalisch is a second-year student double majoring in women and gender studies and sociology, with a minor in equity studies. She is running uncontested for vice-president public & university affairs of the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU). She is currently the president of Trinity Against Sexual Assault and Harassment and a general member of the Sexual Diversity Studies Student Union. 

In an interview with The Varsity, Kalisch said that she is running because she wants to press for “academic policy reforms” and “systemic structural reforms” by liaising with different external organizations and among various levels of government. 

Her priorities include pushing for a permanent increase in the number of credit/no credit options and ensuring that there is consistency among courses in terms of academic assignment extensions and deadlines. 

“There’s so many varying factors in individual students’ lives that impact their [academics],” Kalisch said. “The pandemic has highlighted that in certain ways. And so, I think it’s important we continue to have that flexibility and continue to support students [beyond the pandemic].”

Kalisch feels strongly about emphasizing the voices of racialized and LGBTQ+ individuals. She indicated that she would use UTSU funds to help students and groups to uplift those voices.  

She also wants to better support sexual assault survivors by using a “survivor-centred, trauma-informed approach” and making support on campus more accessible. Kalisch would also re-examine the university’s mental health policies and the university-mandated leave of absence policy to ensure that students are not “re-traumatized through [the] process of accessing support.” 

The voting period for UTSU elections will run from March 17–21.