Jinze (Michael) Wang
Jinze (Michael) Wang is a third-year forensic anthropology specialist running on the It’s Time UTM slate. In an interview with The Varsity, he explained that he played hockey, soccer, and basketball throughout his elementary and high school careers. UTM’s decision to withdraw from the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and cancel all Varsity sports disappointed him.
“[Sports are] one of those things that helped bring the community together,” Wang said. “That’s such a shame that UTM can’t have that.” He aims to work toward reimplementing Varsity sports and better utilizing UTM’s gyms.
Wang noted that he couldn’t participate in many extracurricular activities throughout his first two years of university because of COVID. In high school, he served as treasurer of his school’s executive council and volunteered with different organizations, including the Senior Citizens Lions Club, a charity organization.
Wang reflected on his experience as a UTM student who was born and raised in China, and noted that the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) held no celebrations for Lunar New Year. He argued that the union should ensure it represents a variety of cultures.
Layana Alnabhan is a fourth-year student in biology for health sciences and sociology, running with the Thrive UTM slate.
“The reason I’m running for this position,” Alnabhan said in an interview with The Varsity, “is because in my first year, I have faced a lot of academic distress and hardships that have affected my academic journey.” Alnabhan strives to improve the social aspect of campus. “I want to… improve a lot of campus policies, so I can ensure that a lot of students don’t go through the same experiences and hardships that I went through,” she explained.
Alnabhan’s campaign will focus on lobbying the university for increased non-academic scholarships, bursaries, and grants. She said, “My main campaign point is the expansion of the Student Center, and that will have a lot of clubs to host events.”
“Our team doesn’t just focus on the academic aspects, but [also] services, events, and a lot of issues such as reduction of parking fees, as well as addressing the issue of women’s security on campus,” she said.
Kaustav Kochhar is a second-year economics and political science specialist with a minor in ethics, law and society. He is running with the United UTM slate.
In an interview with The Varsity, Kochhar highlighted that because he is a second-year student whose first year was impacted by COVID-19, he “felt that there’s a disconnect between the student union and the students.”
Kochhar highlighted that his various degree experiences will aid him with all of the university affairs duties. He has had numerous internships relating to economics and political science that have strengthened his skills in the field. He also has experience as the public relations and promotions associate at the Digital Enterprise Management Association.
“I have to work with so many people and to outreach with different groups and different communities. I feel like that strengthened me as well.”
Kochhar explained that he and his slate hope to focus on “just breaking down the barriers that exist between the UTMSU and the UTM.” He also hopes to work on the academic offence system and utilize the UTMSU funds to hire a lawyer for students accused of academic offences.
Eesha (Minal) Syed
Eesha (Minal) Syed is a third-year student specializing in neuroscience and majoring in biology for health sciences. She is running with the Elevate UTM slate.
Syed wants to offer opportunities that she wishes she had throughout her undergraduate experience. She said that she would like to advocate for lower cost for students, improved commutes, and “strengthening our sense of community.” She highlighted that she is eager to listen to students’ feedback and collaborate with different groups to find solutions to problems that may occur.
Syed has had experience as a mental health advocate for the organization WAYVE, a mental health awareness and bullying prevention group, as well as being a UTMSU Division Two Board of Director member. She is also a director of fundraising for MedLife.
As part of her campaign, Syed wants to lobby to extend the credit/no credit deadline, increase the late submission penalty to 10 per cent, and provide exam answer keys in the library. She explained that her slate wants to increase private, women-only fitness spaces and create a new booking system that allows students to book workout spaces for friends, similar to the library booking system.
With files from Tony Xun.