The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) held its first Board of Directors meeting of the academic year on September 29. The board heard Andy Mai’s resignation from his position as vice-president operations and reviewed a report on the UTSC’s 2021 frosh week.
Vice-President Operations Andy Mai also announced his resignation at the meeting. He explained that he had both academic and personal matters which conflicted with his work for the SCSU.
“If I were to work on [the] SCSU… I should really put… all my efforts in [the] SCSU and not to focus on other stuff,” Mai said. He will, however, remain in his current position until the SCSU finds someone to take over for him.
Michael Sobowale, the orientation coordinator for Frosh 2021, delivered the presentation about frosh week to the board. Sobowale highlighted that COVID-19 restrictions led to certain changes in orientation programming, such as splitting incoming students into three houses.
Sobowale elaborated that, despite the fact that first-year students were divided into designated groups, orientation coordinators still had to reduce the number of first-years attending in person. Even though 377 first years registered for frosh, only 150 attended in-person events.
Aside from the effects of the changes made to ensure the health and safety of attendees, President Sarah Abdillahi noted that the event was a success and that she had “only heard positive and great feedback from all of the first years.”
Sobowale also criticized the SCSU executives on behalf of orientation coordinators, saying that the SCSU failed to contribute to planning frosh. They praised Abdillahi for being the only SCSU executive to attend the weekly planning meetings and encouraged executives to “actively take part in frosh” in the future.
Sobowale expressed particular disappointment in Vice-President Campus Life TJ Ho’s contributions to frosh planning. “The frosh event falls under the jurisdiction of the Vice-President Campus Life TJ Ho,” Sobowale explained. “It was very unfortunate that Campus Life had little to no involvement with the SCSU’s frosh this year.” Sobowale claimed that Ho did not attend Frosh 2021 senior leaders’ meetings, nor did he participate in logistical meetings with the university and external partners.
Though Sobowale mentioned that Executive Director Nicole Brayiannis and the president provided support to orientation coordinators, they suggested that executives should “try to get more involved with our orientation teams” in future years.
In a statement to The Varsity, Ho wrote that he provided support to orientation leaders and gave them “creative freedom to customize the orientation experiences.” He added that since the planning of orientation was a collaborative effort, most decisions about orientation were made collectively.