By Jake MacAndrew, Racy Rafique and Gabriela Silva Ponte
The Toronto Metropolitan Students’ Union (TMSU) is hosting elections for its 2023-24 term.
Voting began on Tuesday, March 21 at 10 a.m. and will last until Friday, March 24 at 5 p.m.
There are two director positions per faculty and one position for international student director.
There are 33 total candidates participating in the elections, with 12 students running for five executive positions on the Board of Directors—president, vice president equity, vice president education, vice president operations and vice president student life. There are 21 candidates running for 15 faculty and student representative positions.
Four of those positions are acclaimed, meaning there are no more than two people running in that faculty.
Two faculties—the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science and the Faculty of Arts—only have one candidate running, which means there will be an open spot to fill in those faculty positions after elections come to an end.
10 of the faculty and student representative candidates are running as part of one of six slates—Team Revive, Team Ignite, Team Breakthrough, Metropolitan Engineers, Team Empire or Ayub and Brandon. The other 11 candidates are non-slate candidates.
Vitaliy Yushvaev and Winston Ly are running under the slate Team Revive.
Their goals include implementing more prayer rooms for students of all faiths, increased tutoring in several languages to accommodate those whose first language is not English and a discounted TTC pass for commuter students, according to their email statements sent to The Eyeopener.
Vitaliy Yushvaev – Ted Rogers School of Management director
Vitaliy Yushvaev is a third-year finance student running for Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) director.
Yushvaev said he spoke with faculty, friends and other Toronto Metropolitan University students to ask what they would change about the TRSM.
“Being so involved, I started to notice some areas for improvement that can be addressed,” he said in an emailed statement to The Eyeopener.
Yushvaev said he is hoping to continue to provide Grammarly discounts to help students continue their professional development. The TMSU implemented a discounted Grammarly subscription for students at the Semi-Annual General Meeting in December, as previously reported by The Eye.
Yushvaev said in his statement that he is hoping to look back and see the difference he made.
“I think this year TMSU has a good potential to regain the public’s trust,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s up to the public to vote and I as the director of TRSM, will do everything I can to improve TRSM specifically, regardless who the executives are.”
Winston Ly – Ted Rogers School of Management director
Winston Ly is a second-year business technology management student running for the TRSM director position.
“Whether it is 40 dollars or 100 dollars every penny matters especially for students who may not be in a good financial situation with high rents, high cost of living and inflation making it more of a burden,” he said in an emailed statement to The Eye.
Ly added he would like to make international students more aware of the opportunities around campus, such as scholarships and awards.
“The international tuition is significantly higher than domestic tuition and some students may be struggling as a result,” Ly said.
He added he is hoping to implement discounts for paywalled sites like The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
This election, Aditi Roy and Yanika Saluja are running together under the slate titled Team Ignite.
If elected, they said they will pledge to push for more paid internship opportunities, host regular career fairs and create more school clubs by setting aside funds for development. They also want to increase funding for students’ mental health, according to their joint statement sent to The Eye.
They said they also plan to offer more amenities in the Rogers Communications Centre, such as vending machines and food outlets. Additionally, they stated that they want to start a feminine care project—offering menstrual hygiene products to students at a free or discounted price.
Aditi Roy – The Creative School director
Aditi Roy is a second-year journalism student who is running for The Creative School director position. She said she was a part of her high school’s student council which have helped her develop her leadership, communication, and teamwork skills that would come in handy as The Creative School director in an emailed statement sent to The Eyeopener.
Along with roles in debate club, the world’s scholars cup and other leadership roles, she said she is always working herself into positions of power.
“As an international student, I have sacrificed a lot to be here,” said Roy. “Therefore I understand the value of a university education and would like to make it more memorable for the students around me.”
Yanika Saluja – The Creative School director
Yanika Saluja is a second-year journalism student hoping to help create a better learning atmosphere for the students as a Creative School director.
She told The Eye in a written statement that she would like to give students the opportunities they need to thrive and provide them with the comfort and safety they need to feel secure.
“When I started second year I made a promise to myself that I will get more involved in student groups on campus to engage with people and also help make the campus a better place for students like me who come from various different backgrounds,” Saluja told The Eye. “I want to make a difference that counts. I don’t want to be one of those people who take part in the election just for power or money.”
Lara Loncar – Faculty of Arts director under slate (acclaimed)
This election, Lara Loncar is running alone under the slate Team Breakthrough.
Loncar said in her candidate profile that her goals include implementing funding for courses that specifically discuss Black history in Canadian politics, teaching arts students about financial literacy and introducing arts-specific award ceremonies.
Loncar is a third-year politics and governance student running for Faculty of Arts director.
She said she is part of several student advocacy groups, primarily in the special needs community.
Loncar said she has also advocated for women’s empowerment through her role as vice president marketing at female networking program, BoostHER TMU, as stated in her profile.
According to her candidate profile, she is hoping to create a safe and welcoming school environment for students.
Loncar said she wants to use empty lecture rooms in predominant art spaces for studying and to offer free Grammarly premium accounts to students.
Maaz Rashid – Engineering & Architectural Science director (acclaimed)
This election, Maaz Rashid is running alone under the slate Metropolitan Engineers.
Rashid is in his fourth-year of mechatronics engineering and has previously worked with the Mechanical Engineering Course Union, Peer Network Program and International Student Support, according to his candidate profile.
He said he plans to provide academic and career development support, organize industry fairs and help students gain more hands-on experience.
“My mission as Engineering Faculty Director is to empower engineering students to achieve their full potential by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed,” said Rashid in his candidate profile. “I am committed to promoting a supportive and inclusive environment that enables all students to thrive and pursue their goals.”
This election, Aneesh Katyara and Muhammad Muaz are running together under the slate Team Empire. Both candidates emphasize the importance of communication within the TMSU and with students.
Aneesh Katyara – Faculty of Science director
Aneesh Katyara is running for the Faculty of Science position under the slate Team Empire.
Katyara has previously been a part of Global Management Students’ Association at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM), the Corporate Social Responsibility Society and the resident council. In high school, he served as the badminton team captain and the IT society president, according to his candidate profile.
In his candidate profile, he said that through his prior experiences he has gained communication, teamwork, organization and problem-solving skills.
“If elected, I will work to address all of your unique objectives, projects, and worries, such as boosting student participation, fighting for better tools or regulations, offering emotional support, or enriching student life on campus, as I am aware of how demanding being a science student can be,” said Katyara in his profile.
Muhammad Muaz – Faculty of Science director
Muhammad Muaz is a computer science student running under the slate Team Empire. He said in his candidate profile that he will be committed to promoting clear communication and positive change.
“As a member of TMSU, I will be committed to promote clear and effective communication to bring about positive change and create a community full of joy and support for all,” said Muaz in his candidate profile.
Muaz said he is eager to use his voice and skills to connect students with the support they need.
Ayub & Brandon
This election, Ayub Mohammed and Brandon Lee Pack are running under the slate Ayub & Brandon for the Ted Rogers School of Management director positions. Both students are running on the platform of promoting diversity within TRSM.
Ayub Mohammed – Ted Rogers School of Management director
First-year business tech management student Ayub Mohammed is one half of the Ayub and Brandon slate. Mohammed is running for the position of Ted Rogers School of Management faculty director.
Mohammed told The Eyeopener in an emailed statement that he hopes to “help advocate change for students by trying to host more events and training sessions to help students get rid of social anxiety and learn how to network effectively.”
He said scandals from previous years made him unsure of whether to run for the TMSU, but he chose to do so anyway because he believes that if he stays true to himself and the TMSU, he “will be fine.”
“Representing Ted Rogers would be a privilege in itself and as a first-year student I couldn’t ask for more,” he told The Eye.
Brandon Lee Pack – Ted Rogers School of Management director
Brandon Lee Pack is a fourth-year business management major running for the position of Ted Rogers School of Management faculty director.
In his TMSU candidate profile, he said he was part of the Ted Rogers Sales Club, where he learned how to translate his sales skills and utilize various techniques to suit the North American Sales Environment through bootcamps and weekly lessons.
In his candidate profile, he also said he served as president of the TMU Toastmasters club, where he fused his communication skills and his creative Caribbean viewpoint to help plan events and coordinate with additional student teams, planning projects such as Talk It Out!—which he says made “history of having the most sponsors in a non-conference event.”