The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union’s (SCSU) Board of Directors appointed Michael Sobowale as the vice-president campus life at its December meeting. Sobowale previously ran as an independent candidate for the position in the 2021 SCSU executive elections.

Sobowale is in his fifth year and pursuing a double major in political science and international development. 

In an email to The Varsity, Sobowale shared his motivation and goals for the role. “I have always wanted to be more involved with [the] SCSU,” he wrote. Having been involved with the SCSU as a volunteer and in other positions, Sobowale applied for the position of vice-president campus life to further his involvement in a “more direct capacity.”

“I was previously SCSU’s orientation coordinator for the past two years, which allowed me to be involved in planning the hybrid model for frosh,” he continued. Additionally, he has also volunteered at the SCSU food centre and with the SCSU street team.

With two years of experience as a resident assistant at Centennial Place Residence, Sobowale has experience dealing with “students’ issues [and] being their first point of contact when they have problems.”

Sobowale hopes to “rebuild the campus life on campus” through his role. He believes that there is now a pervasive sense of disconnectedness between the SCSU and student clubs, owing to the virtual delivery of courses and events over the past two years. Therefore, he wrote, “I intend on working with clubs to rebuild their relationship with SCSU and to help support them in the future.”

Sobowale, who has been forthright about former Vice-President Campus Life TJ Ho’s alleged absence during the planning of SCSU’s 2021 frosh — of which Sobowale was the coordinator — referenced his predecessor’s contribution to “clubs not feeling supported by the SCSU.” He wrote, “This position was unfortunately vacant even while my predecessor was still in their position before they resigned.” 

Recognizing this, Sobowale explained that he plans to focus on having more events, both virtual and in person, in light of students’ concerns about returning to in-person activities. He plans to remain connected with all presently active clubs on campus, and provide support and resources to them. “We know that the transition to in-person events can be an adjustment for everyone and having that support within SCSU is essential.” 

Sobowale further affirmed his commitment to listening to students. He wrote, “I have an open-door policy, if any students or clubs have any ideas or suggestions you can always email me to schedule a meeting.”

His focus for the remaining semester will be on “helping clubs and creating a welcoming and accepting environment on campus for ALL students.”