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SCSU Vice-President Campus Life TJ Ho resigns

After second executive resignation, new vice-president operations appointed
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The SCSU offices. STEVEN LEE/THE VARSITY
The SCSU offices. STEVEN LEE/THE VARSITY

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) held its October Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on October 27, where SCSU President Sarah Abdillahi shared with the board that Vice-President Campus Life TJ Ho had resigned. Ho will be replaced through an appointment by the current executive committee. 

Ho’s resignation is the second executive resignation of the year, after former Vice-President Operations Andy Mai resigned during the September meeting. Mai was replaced by Ghaith Hanbali at this month’s meeting. 

Board members voted on the appointment of a political science director, an international students director, and two first-year directors. The board also made changes to the SCSU’s Emergency Bursary, which will now allow students to receive funds through e-transfer. 

Executive resignations and appointments

At the October BOD meeting, Abdillahi shared the news of Ho’s resignation from his role as vice-president campus life. Ho, who was not present at this meeting, announced his resignation to the SCSU on October 25.

At the September board meeting, Ho had received criticism from Michael Sobowale, the orientation coordinator for Frosh 2021 — an event organized by SCSU with the overseeing responsibility falling under the jurisdiction of vice-president campus life. Sobowale said Ho had failed to contribute to event planning. 

In response, Ho claimed that he had contributed to the event’s planning but had allowed the orientation coordinators to have “creative freedom.”

In a statement to The Varsity, Ho wrote that he resigned to focus more on his studies and on applying to grad school. He added, “Moving on from my role in the student union, I will keep forging student communities that promote real human connections and support UTSC students as a mentor and a friend!”

Details about the now vacant role will be made available on the SCSU website and social media, and those interested in the position will be welcome to apply.

The position of vice-president operations had been previously occupied by Andy Mai, who announced his resignation at the September BOD meeting. Mai had remained in the role while the SCSU searched for an appropriate candidate to take over the position. 

The board members voted on and appointed Hanbali as the new vice-president operations.

Appointment of directors

Due to the large number of applicants for four out of the five available positions, the board members read through the letters of intent of each applicant and then voted on their preferred candidate.

Following this process, Kauel Rajeshkumar Brahmbhatt and Aaliyah Jaleel were appointed as first-year directors, Nafisa Nawal was appointed as the political science director, and Carlos Paez Gonzalez was appointed as the international student director. 

One of the five available positions — part-time student director — remains vacant, since there were no applicants for the position.

Change made to Emergency Bursary

The board also voted on changes to the Emergency Support Bursary, which is a bursary designed to aid students dealing with financial distress. 

“[The changes are] just about streamlining the process overall to ensure that we can help students the best way we can and get their funds out to them as quickly as possible,” said Vice-President Equity Isaiah Murray. 

He continued, “We wanted to make sure that the funds that were dedicated to folks that applied were as accessible as possible and we found the best way to do that was to not go through the Financial Aid office.”

Murray added that going through the Financial Aid office meant that funds could only be administered via Acorn. The changes discussed at the meeting will mean that students will have the option to receive bursaries through an e-transfer. 

Murray concluded that the changes allow SCSU to “acknowledge the vast amount of needs that the different students will have.”

Editor’s note (November 2): This article has been updated to include comment from Ho.