By Keith Capstick
For the second time since campaigning began on Jan. 28, posters of Tranform RU’s candidate for vice-president operations, Obaid Ullah, a second-year engineering student, have been defaced with Islamophobic messages.
“I was walking around in the RCC building and I saw one of the posters,” said Ullah. “It was saying ‘ISIS for life’ and I got really upset, I was like ‘What’s going on?’”
This message, which was the least offensive of the two, struck Ullah at first, until he thought about it more. It is not known who is responsible for the defacing of his posters.
According to Ullah, another poster in Kerr Hall had his face crossed out and had “Fuck Muslims” scrawled on it with an arrow pointing towards his face.
“So, at first my reaction was, I laughed. And then I thought, ‘This is kind of sad.’ Just because I’m brown, I’m Muslim and I’m bearded, I’m being affiliated with ISIS?,” said Ullah.”
Despite feeling “very sad” about those defacing his posters, Ullah has a message for the people that defaced his posters.
“If they want to talk to me and see who I am, I’m always here, they can just approach [me] at random in the hallway. But it’s unfortunate that they have such a mindset and I hope that they can move on and become more open-minded,” said Ullah.
Ullah is part of the TransformRU slate that will be opposing the incumbent slate in the upcoming Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) election. Ullah says that one of the most important parts of his platform is to ensure lines of communication are open between the RSU and the students.
“I’ve been able to earn the trust of students through my hard work but again it is a big campus and now I want to have one-on-one talks with individual students,” he said. “I want to work together with my team on Transform and bring positive change to the campus.”
In addition to his plan for better communication, Ullah’s online platform includes further discounting metro passes, more student leadership training and to create more on-campus jobs for students.
With files from Jackie Hong