By Jake MacAndrew and Racy Rafique
This story has been updated with comment from Team Ignite and Team Revolt
The Faculty of Community Services Society (FCSS) at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) released a statement on its Instagram page urging its members not to vote for three slates in the Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) election.
“The Faculty of Community Services Society does not usually take a stance on Students’ Union, Municipal, Provincial, Federal or International politics,” the statement reads.
“Due to no active Community Service students taking part in this year’s election cycle, we want to inform you how important it is to vote for students who have been doing good work to ensure there is never a financial mismanagement scandal again in the Students’ Union.”
FCSS is the student society for community services students at TMU. According to their statement, they are an outside ratified student organization not associated with or a part of the TMSU umbrella.
In the statement posted at 9 p.m. on March 22, the FCSS encouraged students to vote “NO” for slates Team Revolt, Team Ignite and Team Revive. They allege that these slates have potential relationships to nine previous TMSU slates; Impact, Spark, Unify, Candor, Rise, Adapt, Forward, Revolution and Levitate.
At this time, The Eyeopener cannot verify these allegations.
Notably, Impact was involved in “6 Fest” in 2016 where the then-Ryerson Students’ Union did not provide refunds for 1,800 people and transferred $79,996.81 of refunds into the personal bank accounts of the vice-president student life & events, as previously reported by The Eye.
Unify was the slate involved in the spending of over $250,000 using the union’s credit cards in 2019, as previously reported by The Eye.
The nine slates mentioned ran in TMSU elections from 2016 to as recently as 2022.
In an interview with The Eye, Vitaliy Yushvaev from Team Revive said the slate name is associated with campaign goals of reviving trust and updating services and amenities in the Ted Rogers School of Management—such as a new student lounge for business students.
“It’s not associated with the TMSU’s past or present or the future. I don’t really like to involve myself too much with student politics like that, and I really am not that aware of what’s been happening with TMSU before,” he said.
“[Team Ignite is] in no way affiliated with Team Revolt or any other past teams that ran in the election in the previous years,” said The Creative School Faculty Director candidate Yanika Saluja from Team Ignite in a email sent to The Eye. “We both are completely new to the union with new ideas and fresh mindset to bring an actual change that have not been properly made in the past.”
Vice-president operations candidate Mahira Shoaib from Team Revolt also sent The Eye an emailed statement addressing allegations made by FCSS. “None of our team members were a part of the university when most of these scandals took place.”
She questioned how they would be related to past slates mentioned in the statement. “Just because we share the same skin color as the folks on the slates they’ve mentioned does not make us related.”
“We wish for the following year’s TMSU team to continue this movement on real accountability, stability, and action for another year within the TMSU,” the FCSS’s statement reads.
Earlier this month, the current TMSU announced an investigation into financial transactions that took place from May 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, as previously reported by The Eye.
More to come.