In the 2023–2024 term, the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) increased wages for 1265 Bistro staff and employees; held collaborative vigils, protests, and released a statement on the ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine; and advocated for free and accessible education

It also held a debate for the first contested union election in two years, and discussed and advocated for transit initiatives, such as a Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) and a potential UTSC shuttle bus.

While Hunain Sindhu prepares to take office as the union’s 2024–2025 president, The Varsity looks back at SCSU’s accomplishments under President Amrith David’s leadership. 

David’s last run 

In an interview with The Varsity, David highlighted SCSU’s work in engagement and advocacy. “I think we’ve expanded our services, our events, and campaigns in ways that the teams in the past really have not been able to do,” said David. 

During the September Board of Directors (BOD) meeting, the SCSU set wages for Bistro staff and part-time workers to one dollar above the minimum wage, at $17.55. 

David also mentioned the importance of hosting town halls, walkouts, and protests around ongoing violence in Israel and Palestine. SCSU hosted a “Shut it Down for Palestine” day of action protest on November 9, 2023, which more than 400 students attended. The union also collaborated on a vigil for people killed in Gaza on November 15. 

“This year, we took it on ourselves to make sure that we are providing the necessary resources for students that aren’t getting those resources from the university… we were filling the gaps that the university should have been doing themselves,” he said. 

SCSU also passed motions during its December 2023 Annual General Meeting (AGM), something it couldn’t do last year because the union failed to get enough attendees to reach quorum. At the 2023 AGM, Regenesis UTSC — an environmental activism club — submitted a motion to lower the proportion of eligible SCSU voters that must vote on a referendum for it to pass from 10 per cent to three per cent. The union kept the required turnout at 10 per cent. 

The union advocated for free and accessible education as part of its Fight the Fees campaign, joining the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) — a national organization established to lobby the federal and provincial governments on behalf of students — to organize a protest as part of the CFS’ Day of Action calling on provincial governments to fund free education. 

“We did a lot of events this year. And as seen through their engagement with students, I think we did a really good job,” said David. 


Abdulrahman Diab, before starting his term as vice president (VP) campus life, resigned in April due to personal reasons. Denise Nmashie — the previous VP equity — resigned in December, citing her changing academic goals. 

David told The Varsity that because Victoria Mata was able to take on the VP campus life role in May, the union didn’t have to contend with much adjustment. For David, “the big switch was with the equity [position].”

“Vyshnavi [Kanagarajamuthaly] was able to still take on the work that Denise left behind and continue the work, continue the advocacy… I would say there wasn’t a huge shift in the work that we’re doing,” he said.

Unfinished business 

Before the 2023–2024 SCSU elections, David wrote in an email to The Varsity that he would work to implement a U-Pass at UTSC, which would grant students unlimited fare-free rides on local transit systems.

During the March BOD meeting, executives went over transit advocacy they’d accomplished before the end of their terms. The executives highlighted transit plans they’d drawn up that they hope to present to TTC and municipal officials, which included heated bus enclosures, a shuttle bus to Kennedy station, and a pedestrian scramble at Ellesmere and Military Trail. While the U-Pass never came to UTSC, the work continues for the next set of union representatives. 

“Coming in for the new team, their goal is to take on that work — not start from scratch — and continue the work,” said David. 

Khadidja Roble, SCSU VP external, told The Varsity she was proud of the progress she made on the U-Pass. “I think the U-Pass was an idea that SCSU had for a very long time… I was able to take part in that progress.”

SCSU’s new impact 

IMPACT UTSC won all executive positions in the spring general elections, with a voter turnout of approximately 12 per cent. In an email to The Varsity, Akaash Palparthy wrote that he was particularly proud of the “highest ever election turnout, showcasing increased and strengthened civic engagement.” The last time the SCSU had a voter turnout higher than 12 per cent was in 2020, when it managed to receive a voter turnout of approximately 13.9 per cent.

The SCSU will decide whether to approve the unofficial election results during its April 8 BOD meeting.