Avreet Jagdev is a second-year student double majoring in political science and critical studies in equity and solidarity.
Jagdev founded a feminist-oriented pro-choice club, UofT Students for Choice, which advocates for the right of all individuals to make decisions about their own bodies. She is actively involved with the Ontario New Democratic Party and worked on the past provincial campaign.
In an interview with The Varsity, Jagdev said her campaign focuses on making U of T more student-centered while acknowledging issues like affordability, mental health, and equity. She highlighted the financial struggles many students face, the underfunding of mental health services, and the ineffectiveness of campus safety.
“Tuition costs are only a fraction of the financial burden that’s on students,” Jagdev said. She also said that tuition freezes and fighting Ontario Student Assistance Program cuts can help with the financial burden. Her campaign also involves tackling food insecurity.
Jagdev wants to make the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) more prominent on campus, so students know that they’re fighting for them.
Faiz Jan is a second-year Rotman student studying finance and economics.
In an interview with The Varsity, Jan described himself as a “policy buff.” He worked as a policy analyst for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, where he worked on improving climate policy. Jan is currently an executive assistant at the UTSU.
Jan said his campaign focuses on student advocacy through an “extremely idealistic” framework. He criticized previous advocacy work for being too limited and contained, and he plans to lead policymakers to work toward ideal solutions.
Jan aims to increase student engagement by having the UTSU expand existing services and create new ones. If elected, Jan would tackle a range of priorities including housing, transit, and peer mental health services. He also wants to offer network opportunities for students, saying that networking has been successful in helping students find jobs.
Additionally, Jan aims to address sexual and gender-based violence policies. He said that these policies are “lackluster” and that they are insufficiently enforced.
Finally, Jan believes that the vice-president public & university affairs position entails a lot of responsibilities for one position. If elected, he would split internal and external policy into two positions to more effectively work on advocacy.
Aidan Thompson is a second-year student studying international relations. Thompson has served as the vice-president of mentorship at the International Relations Society at U of T.
In an interview with The Varsity, Thompson said that he decided to run for this position because he feels that student unions are not doing enough to stand up to the university administration and that the role of vice-president public & university affairs is perfectly suited to make change.
Thompson’s campaign platform is built around the acronym TRACKS: ‘transportation,’ ‘resources,’ ‘accessibility,’ ‘cutting down the cost of living,’ ‘kindness,’ and ‘safety.’ Thompson said his platform “really keys in on the need to redesign our university space and lay those tracks for success.”
He would like to help students get to class safer and faster and work to improve the mental health and sexual violence issues on campus. Thompson’s platform also includes advocating for limits on grade penalties for late submissions within 48 hours of the deadline and measures to save on costs for commuter students, such as TTC fare integration.
James Wang is a second-year undergraduate student double majoring in political science and philosophy. He is currently a North Atlantic Treaty Organization intern, where he says he has gained experience communicating with officials.
In an interview with The Varsity, Wang said that his friends have encountered difficulties while navigating processes to get accommodations and mental health support, which inspired him to run for the position. His campaign is largely focused on simplifying the steps students must take to receive support — a change he characterized as “long overdue.” Although he believes that changes to bureaucratic processes can be made “very easily,” Wang acknowledged that getting the university to commit to such changes will be a “difficult” process. He also committed to lobbying the university to provide greater support for students experiencing homelessness.
In addition, Wang aims to build community within the UTSU and the broader student body. He hopes to bridge gaps between students and the UTSU by changing public opinion to increase cooperation between the union and students.