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 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.
Team Revolt is one of two slates in the executive positions category this year. Mahira Shoaib, Trevohn Baker, Abeeha Ahmad and Kareena Bhatia are running together this year to make the lives of their members easier, according to a collective statement sent to The Eyeopener.
“Every year students pay 100s of dollars to the Students Union in the form of a levy and see very little to no return for that money,” said Team Revolt in the emailed statement. “We want to run so we [can] help run initiatives that have real impact on the lives of every day students on campus.”
Team Revolt told The Eye they plan to make sure students have a university year they will remember, since they feel many students have not had a proper university experience since campus reopened post-COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are the product of years of volunteering and experiential learning at [Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU)]. We want to take those years of real-life student leadership experience and effectively operate a member-centred Student’s Union,” the statement read.
Team Revolt told The Eye they seek to implement initiatives including student capstone funding of up to $1000 for research projects, a design team funding pool to support student engineering and design teams, emergency bursary funding for international students and additional student group funding.
The team told The Eye they plan to have reimbursement payments completed in 10 business days.
They said they plan to promote mental health by raising TMSU part-time staff wages, additional benefits for students, fostering a better partnership with the Toronto Metropolitan Association of Part-time Students and religious and faith-based groups on campus, according to their emailed statement toThe Eye.
The team mentioned promoting accountability and transparency, citing the past five years’ financial audits made available to general membership, submitting the year’s budget within the first 100 days in office and publishing executive work hours on the TMSU website.
“We are very disappointed with how toxic and political things have become. At the end of the day, we are all student leaders who are trying to get elected to help improve the lives of students,” said Team Revolt in their statement to The Eye.
Trevohn Baker – vice president equity
Trevohn Baker is a fourth-year creative industries student running for the vice president equity position at the TMSU.
Baker has served as the BIPOC Students’ Collective coordinator for three years. He was also on Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) Anti-Black Racism Student Advisory Committee and the Black student lounge initiative, where he says he played a “fundamental role.”
According to his TMSU candidate profile, Baker has helped with Black History Month initiatives at the TMSU, designed initiatives such as an emergency food box for BIPOC students, a Black natural hair care package, a menstrual product donation in 2022 and “complimentary” trauma-informed therapy for BIPOC students in the BIPOC Students’ Collective office.
“As VP Equity, Trevohn aims to bring additional change to the resources provided for marginalized students on a much larger scale by actively working with TMU to address equity-related concerns voiced by the students,” his profile reads.
Mahira Shoaib – vice president operations
Mahira Shoaib is in her third-year of business technology management.
“Throughout my academic journey, I have gained a deep understanding of the importance of effective operations management in achieving organizational goals,” said Shoaib in her candidate profile. “I have also developed strong leadership skills through various team projects and extracurricular activities, which I believe will serve me well in this role.”
If elected, Shoaib plans to improve TMSU’s operations and streamline its processes.
“I believe that this is essential to ensuring that we can continue to deliver high-quality services to our members and create a vibrant and supportive community.”
Kareena Bhatia – vice president student life
Kareena Bhatia is a second-year professional communications student and a TMU Board of Governors student member for the 2022-23 term.
Her agenda includes making student life memorable by planning initiatives, investing in campus athletics and student groups, according to her candidate profile.
“I believe that student life is an important aspect of an individual’s time on campus. I vow to do everything in my power to improve campus experience for all,” said Bhatia in her candidate profile.
Abeeha Ahmad – vice president education
Third-year graphic communications management student Abeeha Ahmad is running for the position of vice president education.
“Now that we are back on campus, and have been since last year, there is a lot that can be done to make everyone’s experience much better,” reads her TMSU candidate profile.
Ahmad said she’s running to make sure students get to have experiences that they never forget.
“As a student who spent their first 2 years studying online, I felt that it was a huge loss for all of us because the university experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” her profile reads.