On November 25th, 2017, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) Board of Directors voted in Adrian Huntelar as Vice-President University Affairs following the resignation of Carina Zhang on September 3rd, 2017 for personal reasons.
UTSU president Mathias Memmel forwent Section five, part B of Bylaw X, stating that board members are to be elected during the fall and spring election dates, more precisely noting that “[i]f the vacancy occurs on or after August 1 or once the Fall Session General Elections process has begun, the Executive Committee shall post the vacant position for no less than twenty (20) days, conduct an interview process and select no less than two (2) candidates to send to the board of directors for election.”
Earlier this year, UTSU rejected an amendment to the current by-laws that would combine the roles of VP University Affairs and VP External at the 2017 Annual General Meeting.
Huntelar, a third-year Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies and Political Science student, was previously appointed to the UTSU General Equity Director position in May of 2017, where he represented low-income students.
Huntelar explained to The Strand that he is “honoured and humbled to have been appointed VP University Affairs of the UTSU.”
Huntelar’s main focus is improving food security on campus, an issue he started working on before his appointment to VP University Affairs. Huntelar stated that “[i]t’s far too difficult to find food that is healthy, affordable, and accessible to commuter students and to those with dietary restrictions. I hope to create a stronger food security landscape by introducing new services, as well as lobbying administration to create a University-wide food security plan.”
Additionally, Huntelar wants to establish a “Student Bill of Rights that would lay out exactly what [students] can expect from the University when navigating their educational experience.” This legislation would clearly define and defend student rights so students can receive adequate support and be properly accommodated.
Huntlar plans to alleviate some of the financial burden that students face by “working to make the University more affordable by lobbying for the reduction or elimination of several compulsory fees, and promoting the financial accessibility of textbooks and digital learning materials.” Huntelar believes that these changes can be enacted by working with the Vice-Provost Students and the Vice-Provost International Student Experience.