Robin Abboud (Change UTM)

Robin Abboud, a first-year student hoping to pursue a degree in political science and economics, is running for the position of vice-president university affairs on the Change UTM slate in the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union’s (UTMSU) spring 2022 elections.

Abboud has studied leadership through the organization Maxwell Leadership for four years. She has also completed several management and advertising internships. 

If elected, Abboud hopes to collaborate with companies to offer more students paid internships and to increase the number of sports scholarships at UTM. 

Moreover, Abboud aims to extend UTM’s late withdrawal deadline from the last day of classes to the last day of each semester’s final exam period, and to allow students to remove up to one credit of late withdrawals from their transcripts over the course of their degree. 

She would also like to create an in-person and virtual platform on which students will be able to pose questions about campus. On this last initiative, Abboud said that she would like to offer students both delivery options because everyone will have a different preference.

“A lot of our life is going to [move] online,” Abboud noted. “But I know for me, personally, I’m someone that likes human contact… so I definitely think there should be a way to be able to connect with someone in person.”

Suraqa Noor (Inspire UTM)

Suraqa Noor, a fourth-year political science specialist with an environmental policy minor, is running for the position of vice-president university affairs on the Inspire UTM Slate in the UTMSU elections. 

Noor has worked as a volunteer for the union, and went on to be an associate to the vice-president external in her third and fourth years. During her time, Noor has worked on helping refugee students to come to Canada, as well as working to make the international student experience at the university more equitable and accessible.

She also believes that her work in the political science and pre-law association, as well as her work as a research assistant, has shown her how academic policies affect students and what kinds of opportunities students may be missing. Noor is hoping that she can guide students to these resources so they feel more secure in their career path.

For Noor, another big part of helping students is informing them of the university’s policies and their own rights. “It is really frustrating when you get into an academic offense… when you are not aware of the current policy,” Noor said, in an interview with The Varsity

Despite having worked with the vice-president external for the past few years, Noor believes that her perspective as an international fourth-year student can be valuable to other students. 

“Definitely one of the biggest goals I have this year would be making sure that campus groups feel more welcome,” Noor concluded.

The voting period for the UTMSU elections is from March 15–17.