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My name is Stephanie Lim and I am a third year student pursuing a double major in Peace, Conflict and Justice Studies and Contemporary Asian Studies. I currently serve on the Contemporary Asian Studies Student Union in an executive capacity. In this capacity, I have become well acquainted with the functions and responsibilities of a course union; as well as the symbiotic relationship between ASSU and the course unions. If elected, I intend to work to further ameliorate this relationship, as well as that between ASSU and the greater U of T administration. Another initiative I hope to focus on this year is improving the first-year U of T experience.
The first-year at U of T can be an incredibly academically and socially period; however, with the proper support it can also be extremely rewarding and an opportunity for personal growth. In order to provide this support for first-year students I hope to pursue several initiatives at the beginning of the year such as:
· Creating a pamphlet with study-tips and information on fairly unknown but useful academic and personal resources available on campus
· Hosting a panel breaking down U of T governing structures and how first-year students can become more involved
· Host first-year specific mixers and events
In addition to these initiatives, if elected I’d also like to:
· increase funding to course unions
· streamline the process for applying for funding
· continue hosting fun stress-relieving events with refreshments
As a wise father figure of mine said “I’ll be there for you, I will care for you.”
That father figure was Drake, and it’s one I share; champagnepapi meets UofTpapi. I’m here to take care of students.
Writing for The Varsity for years, I’m tired of watching people politicking instead of working for their constituents. What I want is to help, by improving the daily academic lives of Arts and Science students at UofT.
That means making information about our classes accessible. I’d require course dropping dates and criteria on the first page of all syllabi, and for independent studies to produce a syllabus-like document that outlines expectations on student and staff participants, so no one ends up stressing over a class they didn’t want. I aim to secure administration funding for a physical anti-calendar for years to come, and to work with course unions to make our support easy to navigate for even the most sleep-deprived. I hope to begin developing a central UofT grad school service, where ASSU can work with and push the administration to develop a single site through which we can learn about and apply to graduate programs at UofT.
Lastly, I want to enhance ASSU events, advocacy, and accountability, drawing on my experience with the Association of Political Science Students executive, Jewish organizations on campus and the BDS coalition.
I know that this faculty can be tough to navigate alone; vote for a UofTpapi who’s here to take care of you.
Interested in student activism? Passionate about the education experience? Want to make a difference in the Faculty of Arts and Science?
At the beginning of October, there will be a by-election for two executive positions in the union. If you’re passionate and can commit the time, why not consider running?
Executives are required to make executive meetings, work on projects, and hold 4 hours of office hours a week to run. You must be a full time Arts and Science student to be eligible to run.
Nominations are open until Sept. 25th at 5 PM and forms can be picked up at the ASSU office. Come into the office to pick up a form and find out more about the position.
The election will be held October 5th at 6:30 pm.
You can read the pdf version of this letter here.
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Hon. Chris Alexander, M.P
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, OntarioLetter to Minister Alexander
Dear Minister Alexander,
We are writing to you today as concerned global citizens. Day after day, we continue to watch heartbreaking images of families fleeing the civil war in Syria. Often, this is a treacherous journey – families pile up on dangerously overcrowded boats or trucks and risk their lives in seeking safe refuge. We have seen the human cost of this mass exodus, in dead men, women and children. Those who survive the journey are left in limbo in refugee camps that are overcrowded. As we see the world reacting to this crisis, we are left asking ourselves, what exactly is Canada doing?
The UNHCR and European Union have described the present situation as a crisis, and some EU member states have stepped in and accepted Syrian refugees. Sweden has accepted 40,000 Syrian refugees since the conflict began, totaling 20% of asylum seekers who have reached Europe. Germany has accepted close to 40%. In fact, just this past week, the German government announced that they expect to take in up to one million asylum seekers this year alone.
Canada, in comparison, has only committed to taking in 10,000 refugees over the next three years. This number is hardly proportional to the crisis, which has created over 4 million refugees according to the UNHCR. Instead of properly responding to the crisis, the Canadian government has been content to demonize refugees, attempting to deny them basic health care and use rhetoric that criminalizes people whose only crime is fleeing persecution. As Canadians, we can and must do better. We cannot ignore human suffering.
Today, we are calling upon the Canadian Government to accept more refugees from this crisis. As a students’ union whose membership includes Syrians and Syrian-Canadians as well as people from all corners of the earth, we cannot stand idly by as people continue to die seeking safe refuge.
Canada has a proud legacy of standing up for human rights in the international stage. Keeping this in mind, we hope your government acts swiftly in response to this crisis by accepting more refugees to our shores.
The Executive of the Arts and Science Students’ Union, University of Toronto