By Deven Knill and Jacqueline Tucci
Presidential candidate: Obaid Ullah
Impact Ryerson is led by presidential candidate Obaid Ullah, the current vice-president of operations in the RSU who ran with Transform RU in 2015.Impact’s platform consists of four main pillars: transit, mental health, experiential learning and access to education.
Ullah says: “We have urban planning students – these students are going to be the ones working for the city once they graduate, so why not get them involved while they’re students? We’re a 90 per cent commuter school; and it’s not just going to impact students, it going to impact everyone.”
- Impact proposes the creation of a committee of students to work on ways to improve transit, to be presented to the City of Toronto.
Ullah says: “A lot of students have been talking about mental health issues on campus. The counselor’s office has a slow response time, a lot of students don’t hear back for months. They also don’t have an online booking forum, you have to book in person, and there are a lot of barriers around that.”
- Impact wants to hire more counselors
- Create online booking
- Possibly set-up a counselor’s office in the RSU
Ullah says: “I want students to have access to experiential learning and get more value out of their degrees. Not something that’s mandatory and has to become part of your degree, but something that if you do it, you know how it benefits you and how it could be beneficial to your career.”
- Impact wants to introduce optional experiential-learning programs for students in all programs at Ryerson.
Access to Education
Ullah says: “Tuition is rising and becoming less accessible to students everyday.”
Impact wants to put more time into working on policy, and work with the government to find solutions to rising tuition.”
- Provide clear information for students on the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) application process, helping to simplify some of the complexities.
- Work on general student-awareness on available resources to help with costs of tuition.
- Work with Ryerson and the government to create more need-based scholarships, rather than merit-based.
Impact Ryerson Executive Candidates
- Obaid Ullah: President
- Victoria Morton: Vice-President Education
- Tamara Jones: Vice-President Equity
- Neal Muthreja: Vice-President Operations
- Harman Singh: Vice-President Student Life and Events
Presidential Candidate: Awo Abokor
RU Connected’s platform will address space on campus, campus life, advocacy, services and transparency.
Abokor wants students to decide the best use of spaces on campus and what sorts of spaces they really need and notes that, “when students are included in the decision making great things come of it.”
- Launch a student space taskforce that will audit and publish where and when student space is available for use.
- Expand multi-faith prayer space so that all students, regardless of belief system, have space to practice their faith.
- Lobby for more performance studio space for all groups and students who use performance to celebrate their culture, for class or just to have fun.
Abokor said that, “it’s important that students feel involved,” and wants to, “connect commuters to campus life in a way that’s fun and exciting.”
- Revitalize the Blue and Gold Ball so that students can celebrate the end of the year together in style.
- Organize a trip to the States for an NFL game, similar to trips that other schools in the GTA already take every year.
- Offer ‘healthy minds, healthy bodies’ events to help students relax and de-stress, and to support to students during busy times of the year.
Abokor said they want to make a service surrounding mental health to, “provide (students) with the tools (they) need.”
- Lobby for more mental health services to support students as they balance classes, jobs and their personal lives while studying at Ryerson.
- Lobby for Presto discounts for university and college students, recognizing that most students commute to Ryerson, often using multiple regional transit systems.
- Lobby for paid internships so that students, like other workers, are fairly compensated for their labour.
Abokor did not specifically say anything about RU Connected’s services platform but its points are as follows:
- Create a portable charger rental program for students to stay connected without the hassle of finding an outlet.
- Investigate discounts for arts festivals and programming in the city so students are able to engage in Toronto city life without breaking their banks.
- Implement a bulk purchasing program for clubs to use to purchase affordable and customizable swag.
Abokor said that the creation of the accountability cafe, “is the first time this is ever going to be done.”
- Hold open monthly budget discussions to get consistent direction from the membership on how money is being spent.
- Institute monthly accountability cafes to allow students time and space to ask questions and communicate issues directly to the executive.
- Upload minutes from board meetings online so individual students can keep up-to-date on the decisions being made by their elected representatives.
RU Connected Executive Candidates
- Awo Abokor: President
- Martin Fox: Vice-President Education
- Susanne Nyaga: Vice-President Equity
- Arman Adeli: Vice-President Operations
- Rumana Fardaush: Vice-President Student Life and Events
Presidential Candidate: Taspia Wahid
- Provide higher education for all by building taller schools
- Institute English, French and illiteracy as the RSU’s three official languages
- Eliminate student debt by abolishing Ryerson’s Finance office, thereby eliminating the bureaucrats that set tuition fees
- Promote transparency in RSU activities by replacing all structures in the SCC with glass walls
- Make Gould St. into Ryerson’s biggest slip n’ slide
Rhino Party Executive Candidates
- Taspia Wahid: President
- Edwin Philippe Gonzalves Alegre: Vice-President Education
- Andrew Maclean-Bownman: Vice-President Equity
- Tyler Nagata: Vice-President Student Life
With files from Alex Heck.