Sarah Alam, a third-year Doctor of Education student at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education has served as the internal commissioner since November, during which time she chaired the Policy and Operations Committee.
Before working with the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU), Alam spent eight years working as the senior cultural affairs specialist for the US consulate, where she handled one of the world’s largest exchange programs.
If re-elected, Alam plans to continue filing for not-for-profit status for the UTGSU under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, a task which she is currently undertaking with the UTGSU’s legal counsel. She will also continue her work amending and strengthening UTGSU bylaws and policies to be “more equitable and anti-oppressive.”
In an interview with The Varsity, Alam said, “I have always believed in strengthening systems and continuing on institutional history.”
Alam added that she plans to enhance student autonomy and create more safe spaces for students within the union. Additionally, she will work to increase member engagement through activities and programming.
Delphine Ji, a first-year master’s student in the Department of Physiology has previous experience in student politics and governance, having served as co-president of the Human Biology Students’ Union, vice-president social of the Neuroscience Association for Undergraduate Students, and a student representative for the Medical Science Student Union.
In an interview with The Varsity, Ji said that her focus is on graduate student mental health. “It means a lot to me and I know it means a lot to other graduate students,” Ji said. She currently works as a mentor in the Graduate Peer Support Network.
If elected, Ji plans to increase student engagement across UTGSU social media platforms and host more student events. “I definitely think communication can be strengthened,” she said. Ji added that she plans to use her background in graphic design and social media to make information more accessible and clear for students.
Ji said that graduate school at U of T can be “very isolating, speaking from [her] own experience.” Her priority is to create authentic connections and a sense of community across the graduate student body.