Author: Erin Calhoun

VUSAC elections 2017: Stephanie Spagnuolo, Scarlet and Gold Commissioner candidate

Photo provided by Stephanie Spagnuolo Scarlet and Gold Commissioner candidate, Stephanie Spagnuolo tells The Strand about her plans if elected, and future plans to maintain a successful Highball. The Strand: Can you tell us why you chose to run for this position?  Stephanie Spagnuolo: I really like getting involved on campus, I have been getting involved since my first year. I’ve never been on VUSAC before, its something I’ve tried to do in the past and I think now would be a good time to take on a position. I think that I found the position that spoke the most to me was Scarlet and Gold, based on prior experience, it’s something I really like to do – plan events– and I have experience doing that with orientation and WinterFest. It was something that I found I’m good at and enjoy doing at the same time. [Scarlet and Gold] is a way of staying involved in the Vic community and trying to improve it, and make it something that I can be proud of, and others can be proud of as well—and make events that speak to that.   TS: How do you plan to engage the Vic community more in the scarlet and gold commission?  SS: Our events are typically traditional, from the last couple years. Everyone typically knows what event is coming up if you’re an upper...

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VUSAC elections 2017: Shailee Koranne, Equity Commission, Board of Regents candidate

Photo provided by Shailee Koranne The Strand sat down with Equity Commission candidate, Shailee Koranne, after the VUSAC Townhall to discuss equity issues on campus.   The Strand: Within your position on the strand and writings outside UofT, your experience as a woman of colour is of strong focus. This narrative is an underrepresented one and clearly needs to be discussed. How can you make your advocacy for marginalized groups you aren’t a part of just as significant?  Shailee Koranne: I don’t think I represent everyone; in fact, I represent a very specific spot in social location—it’s so specific....

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VUSAC elections 2017: Isaac Khouzam, Board of Regents candidate

Photo provided by Isaac Khouzam The Strand briefly spoke to Board of Regents candidate, Isaac Khouzam, before the VUSAC 2017 Townhall.   The Strand: Why do you want to run for this position?  Isaac Khouzam: [being commuter commissioner] was basically my first experience with student governance. I had a blast, and learned a lot about leading an organization like VOCA, with the help of the exec team, and Karen, who is the co-chair. Also, about making these kind of decisions and working as part of a team and running with an organization—but I think going forward, as great as...

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UTSU slate’s poster dispute resolved through confessional letter

  On March 9, the CRO received two complaints related to candidate posters and campaigning in the Sanford Fleming building. The CRO had awarded 10 demerit points to Chris Dryden of the Demand Better slate for the alleged act of removing other slate’s posters along with a arms length party. The ERC later overruled the demerit points as a letter of written confession for the act of removing the posters was sent in.   The confessional letter explained that the individual had torn down the posters in the engineering building because they had the required stamps that are needed when posting in the Sandford Fleming building. The individual is a verified at arms length party.   The morning of March 8, students noticed the only slate to have posters up in the building was Demand Better. Posters belonging to Reboot UofT and other slates had existed in the same space as of March 7.   In response to the slate dispute rumours, Mathias Memmel, Demand Better’s presidential candidate, claims the slate did not take down the posters. Instead Memmel suggests, “we told the Reboot folks that the engineering administration were going to take down their posters because there was too many of them up. They know what happened.”   Reboot claims that Demand Better did not communicate with their slate about administration removing posters. Reboot also claims that the...

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UTSU Elections 2017: We The Students

The Strand talked to the We The Students slate about an accessible and active UTSU for students.   The Strand: How will you make a more transparent UTSU? We The Students: The fact that many students and clubs feel underserved by UTSU, and even more are unfamiliar with what a student union can do for them, is a testament to why we need new leadership in the UTSU. We The Students wants to increase transparency and accessibility of the UTSU by talking to students directly about issues that affect them—tuition fees, sexual violence, and mental health; making ourselves visible on campus so students can access us directly and making sure UTSU representatives are open about what they are working on, and advocating for, on students’ behalf.   TS: How do you plan to allocate funds/advocate for higher waged student jobs/paid internships? WTS: If elected, we plan to build on the momentum on campus and in the city for better wages by lobbying the Office of the Vice-Provost Students and the Governing Council to provide UofT students with meaningful jobs and wages on campus. We will need to work together with professional faculty councils and the University Administration to advocate for students—particularly those in professional faculties—to get better internship opportunities in their fields that pay them a decent wage to help offset the disproportionately higher costs of their tuition. Within...

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