U of T Community Stands in Solidarity with Attawapiskat and #GroundZeroINAC

The Arts and Science Students’ Union recognizes that this land is the territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The territory is the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Confederacy of the Anishnaabek and Allied Nations to peaceably care for and share the resources around the Great Lakes.

To overcome systemic and institutional violence, we come together on this day and work to center the narratives, worldviews, and perspectives of Indigenous peoples in our collective decision-making for social justice, equity, and reconciliation.

As settlers on the Credit River, we directly benefit from the colonization and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land. In order to engage in resistance and solidarity against the past and present injustices inflicted on the Indigenous peoples of this land, it is imperative we constantly engage in acts of awareness and decolonization.

In response to multiple suicide attempts in the community of Attawapiskat, members of the Indigenous community have chosen to occupy the offices of Indigenious and Northern Affairs Canada – demanding that a) the demands of the youth of Attawapiskat be met and b) that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fly out to the community immediately and commit to working with the indigenous people and youth on a long term plan to tackle systemic issues that are affecting indigenous communities.

The executive committee of the Arts and Science Students’ Union and the undersigned are standing in solidarity with the indigenous people of Attawapiskat and Turtle Island. We and the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the occupiers and demand that their demands be met.

ADD YOUR NAME HERE: http://goo.gl/forms/q8ZGRL11Rq
Abdullah Shihipar
Ondiek Oduor
Stephanie Lim
Lisa Chen
Alexander Verman
Crystal Gao
Amy Yvorchuk
Jasmine Wong Denike
Anjum Sultana
Amanda Ghazale Aziz
Toby Keymer
Francesca Hannan
Alexandra Piatkowski
Ryan Gomes
Rashiqah Rizwan
Muhanad Ali
Elizabeth Quinlan
Shiaoshiao Chen
Victoria Reedman
Sydney Lang
Anah Mirza
Najiba Ali Sardar
Anne James
Sadia Awan
-Yasmine Kherfi
Cheryl Quan
Zakerie Farah
Isabell Gioia
Taylor Stark
Pri Sharma
Tamara Frooman
Alisha Harkness
Jordan Saroya
Bosibori Moragia
Marko Velimir Kobak
Iris Robin
Aayesha Patel
Benjamin Swadron
Eric Raju
Ellie Adekur
Jayun Bae
Lila Asher
Madeline Hancock
Fatima Butt
Micaela Pereira Bajard
Nicole Gumapac
Ramsha Naveed
Nabiha Chowdhury
Aakanksha John
Leena Halees
Alla Babushkina
Basil Southey
Lachina Tycho Mckenzie
Linda Bui
Madeline Jarvis-Cross
Adriana Cefis
Fatima Mussa
Rojda Erdemir
Karen Young
Laila Sha’ath
Katerina Mizrokhi
Teodora Pasca
Michelle Carranza
Giselle Wenban
Emily Taylor
Sarah Mack
Mathias Memmel
Mariam Jammal
Sandra Janjicek
Jasmine Gui
Sabrina Azwim
Amanda Harvey-Sanchez
Aqsa K
Aaditya Aggarwal
Klea Martini Vrapi
Narain Yucel
Ki-Sang Yi
Sinead Dunphy
Nasib Abokor
Monica Dairo
Sabrine Azraq
Joanna Dowdell
Zabikhulla Yari
Nadi Saadeh
Benjamin Fenech
Willem Crispin-Frei
Jade Wong
Vanessa Schirripa
Eden Hagos
Emma Delormier
Michelle Lee
Seiah Kim
Women & Gender Studies Student Union – University of Toronto
Alexa Waud
Maryam Khawaja
Emma Mills-George
Aneeka Sihra
patoni
Lauren D’Angelo
Hiba Alam
Hamza Syed
Clement C
Grace Guimond
Abtin Parnia
Fatin Tawfig
Claudia Dessanti
Emma Brommer
Sonia Sobrino Ralston
Aruba Ahmed
Rebecca Albers
Khrystyna Zhuk
Dany Ko
Chantel Cole
Adriana Menghi
Emma Wallace
Dede Akolo
Emily Posteraro
Madiha Turshin
Shirleen Datt
Fahamida Zahan
Emma Leckey
Christine Cullen
Alyssa Scott
Anelyse Weiler
Chandler Victoria Fitzpatrick
Alexandra Gardner
Abigail Ostrowski
Amy Jemmett
Paul Rhamey
Abdurahman F. Gureye
Zenab Kanth
Eszter Mucsi
Isabel Carlin
Shayna Sayers-Wolfe
Rowan C
Anne Rucchetto
Madison Cleary
Priyanka Pai Kochikar
james didier
Sarah Deir
Victoria Bury
Brittany Veljkovic
Jessica Sinclair
Megan Keogh
Akshata Nadakatti
Doaa
Nico Mara-McKay
Fady Shanouda
sarah aswad
Sara akram
Leila Atri
Edmee Nataprawira
Sophie Bourret-Klein
Samantha Summers
Diana von Schwerin
Tsukasa Kikuchi
Jonathan Bedoumra
Minusha De Silva Karunaratne
Rida Idrees
Lucinda Qu
Sima Atri
Marlo Forget
Melissa Murara
Julianna Campo

ASSU’s new 2016-2017 Executive

2016-2017 ASSU Exec

 

Congratulations to the incoming 2016-2017 ASSU Executive!

At our council meeting on March 23rd, Course Union representatives elected the first of their 2016-2017 ASSU Executives. Two more Executives will be elected at the first council meeting of the Fall 2016 term.

The President-Elect of ASSU is Ondiek Oduor, who ran unopposed. Ondiek was first elected to ASSU at the Spring 2015 council elections.

Both Crystal Gao and Lisa Chen return to the Executive, after having been elected twice and three times before respectively.

Joining the ASSU Executive for the first time are Priyanka Sharma and Amani Bosibori Moragia. They join an already dedicated team who are looking forward to continuing the work of the Union over the summer and into the next academic year. 

2015-2016 First Year Award Winners

ASSU is pleased to announce the winners of our awards for First-year students. These are just a few of the exceptional students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. These awards will be presented at the ASSU Spring Award ceremony, co-hosted with the Dean of Arts and Science, David Cameron.

First Year Award Winners

 

Angela (Min Yi) Hou

Jinwen (Molly) Cong

Marian Mendoza

 

2016 ASSU Candidate Statements

Here are the statements from the candidates for the upcoming ASSU Executive elections
Candidate for President

Ondiek Oduor

Hey Friends®,

I’m a fourth year student studying Social-Cultural Anthropology, Book & Media Studies, and Women & Gender Studies – and I am running to be your President.

Having the privilege of serving ASSU this year has taught me the importance of maintaining a unified sense of community. It has also opened my eyes to the structural barriers that impede our success. While we do have some of the most intelligent individuals in the world—both studying and teaching here—we must acknowledge that more work has to be done before we can have a reciprocal relationship with the University.

This year, we actively strived to increase student involvement within our exceptionally diverse community. In my term, I organized and advertised (re: Facebook lol) all three coffeehouses – including Ariana’s Grande which I considered iconic. Furthermore, I organized equity training for the executive members, participated in the Fall Reading Week Referendum, and re-launched the Arbor Journal as Co-Editor in Chief. I also brought my favourite podcast—The Read—to the University for totally unselfish reasons.

I believe that I have the necessary experience to continue our progress. I’ve held several roles including, but not limited to: being the Head of Non-Resident Affairs at Trinity College, interning for the Office of Student Life’s social media networks, co-founding Intersections: the Clapback journal, and being a regular contributor to the Salterrae and Gargoyle.

It would be a privilege to take on the presidential role, and I can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

Candidates for Executive

Tian Yi Bao – no statement

Nathan Chan

Hello!

My name is Nathan Chan and I hope to become an executive member of ASSU. I am currently in the third year of the Physiology Specialist and Pharmacology Major Programs.

Previous commitments have lent extensive experience that is applicable to ASSU. Having been both the Executive Administrator and Second-Year Representative of the Undergraduate Physiology Student Association, I have two-years’ experience collaborating with course unions and developing academic and social programming for students. Within Trinity College, I have served two years as Vice-President, Academic of LGBTQ+ support group “Rainbow Trinity”, two years as Co-Captain of student safety group “Sober Patrol”, and two years as a Member-at-Large of anti-sexual harassment advocacy group “Trinity Against Sexual Assault and Harassment”. I further have founded “People of Colour at Trinity College”, a social support group for racialised students.

Through my experience, I have interacted with hundreds of students from various identities. As an executive member of ASSU, I hope to improve student experience in three ways:

1) encouraging greater inter-course union collaboration to provide greater opportunity for student engagement

2) educating course unions to ensure campus-wide social and mental health resources are used and accessible

3) engaging in campus-wide student outreach to address issues of social and financial inequity

Above all, I recognize the diversity of our studies and the diversity of our lived experiences. By focusing on the aforementioned goals, I hope to improve the student experience for all students.

I hope you will strongly consider my candidacy for executive membership of ASSU.

 

Jia Chen

Hello,

My name is Lisa Chen and I am finishing my third year at U of T, as well as my third year as an executive on ASSU. If elected for a fourth year, I will work to bring more structure to the Budget Review Committee and Course Union Special Funding Request forms, as well as continue to push for improvement in the Faculty’s annual Course Evaluation.

In the three years that I have served on ASSU, I have helped the union push for Faculty-wide change such as Syllabi Regulation and an International Students Survey in 2014, and a referendum for a Fall Reading Week in 2015. Both with my team and as an individual, I have hosted internationally-renown speakers such as Wab Kinew and Ta-Nehisi Coates, in addition to fun de-stresser events such as a Nightmare before Christmas themed coffee-house, a ‘90s Themed Dance Party and cupcake decorating.

This year in addition to being an executive, I held the position of treasurer and worked closely with the Budget Review Committee to approve the Special Funding Request forms of Course Unions. I found that the Committee did not have a concrete set of guidelines to work from, and we had difficulty reaching consensus on which parts of a request to grant, and whether or not to grant 100% of the request. In 2016, I hope to create a solid set of guidelines based on precedent and approve SPFs in a fair and objective manner.

 

 

Crystal Gao

When I joined ASSU in 2014, I aimed to make an impact on the academic experiences of students in our faculty. Little did I know how this space would change me. Each of you play an important role on your course unions and engage with student affairs beyond… I am certain you can relate. Somewhere along the work we have been doing, this big campus began to feel a lot smaller.

Over the past two years, I’ve had the privilege to work on initiatives to support our first year and international students, Mental Health week and course evaluations. This week, I am proud to be hosting our first Transition Week to help first year students find their crucial next steps for off-campus housing, academic planning and program enrolment. On Election Day, I will share a more in-depth overview of my past and ongoing projects as well as what I hope to achieve with ASSU Council next year.

To the course union leaders here today, I want to say, thank you for giving me your trust for the past two years. I hope you will give me another opportunity to work with you and continue on the projects that I’ve begun!

 

Amani Bosibori Moragia

Hey y’all,

My name is Bosi and I’m running to be your next ASSU student executive. I’m looking forward to bringing a dose of consistent black excellence to the Arts and Science Students Union, as well as a wealth of activities and initiatives that cater to the diverse student body. It’s lit.

 

Harrison Perry-Daiter

My name is Harrison Perry-Daiter and I am running for election to the Arts and Science Students’ Union Executive. I am a second year student majoring in European Studies, with minors in Russian and Jewish Studies.

I have been a firm advocate of student activism throughout my academic career. Pursuing broad education reform, I presented my speech “Sexism in the French Language” before a forum of Ontario secondary school French Language Department heads, for which I was awarded the Emblem of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

I have prior experience in student governance, having served as Vice President-Academic of the Slavic Languages Student Union.   Acting upon our members’ right to efficient course evaluations, we are working with the Department to facilitate access to internal reviews, drawing from standardized year-end student feedback. Among my other student leadership initiatives, I served as Vice President of AFTER UofT. In this capacity, I co-organized a Professional Development Conference, a full day event that featured thirty guest speakers, and accommodated over three hundred students.

While building upon ASSU’s successes, my targets for 2016-2017 include efficient course evaluations, by offering accessible sessional feedback on professors, course instructors and teaching assistants. I would apply ASSU’s broad student outreach to promote engagement in Course Union events of all sizes.

 

Natalie Petra

I’m Natalie Petra and I’m running for re-election for the ASSU Executive. I am majoring in Ethics, Society and Law and Peace, Conflict and Justice, and minoring in Equity Studies. I am also a course union executive with the PCJ Society. I have served as an elected member of the Faculty’s Committee on Standing, on the UCLit’s Finance Committee, and as an orientation executive. Outside of school, I am a library board trustee, and serve as the Director of Communications for the New Democratic Youth of Canada.

Working with ASSU and the Faculty, I have learned and grown immensely. I had the pleasure of seeing the work of course unions and hearing student needs. Last year, I implemented an email system for ASSU, and ensured budgets, policies and minutes were accessible online. I was proud to work on the Fall Reading Week Referendum, and to advocate for an improved Course Evaluation system, better support systems for first years and international students, and mental wellness resources. I want to build on this by:

1) Implementing a feedback system for course unions, and providing resources to facilitate joint events.

2) Lobbying for nap spaces, improved mental wellness services, equity training and ending exam deferral fees.

3) Creating an open committee for students to get involved with the ASSU Executive’s work, and promoting ASSU’s services more widely.

4) Working to create a bursary for students in crisis.

Thanks for a great year – I sincerely hope to be able to serve again!

 

Priyanka Sharma

Hi there! I’m Priyanka Sharma (call me Pri!), studying Criminology and Psychology with a minor in English. As my second year comes to a close, I find myself at a place where I have gained enough experience to enhance my initiatives to the greater UofT community, and now am just awaiting the opportunity to do so – ASSU Executive is that perfect opportunity.

In the past two years I have been involved in my college and the university in almost every capacity. At Trinity College, my involvement ranges from being an executive member for organizing Frosh Week, Saints Charity Ball and Conversat Ball, to sitting on the executive panels for the Equity Committee, the Trinity Against Sexual Assault Initiative, Dramatic Society and more. As part of the larger campus community, I have had the pleasure to play on the St. George Tri-Campus Volleyball team, photograph for The Varsity, and represent the Pre-Law Society at competitions.

Through my interactions with the wide range of students at UofT, I have seen the possibility of creating a positive space, and how ASSU can expend it campus-wide to provide the healthiest and best academic and social experience to the largest faculty at UofT. I aim to focus on raising awareness of our student’s rights, varying from academic to other code of conduct policies (i.e. campus sexual assault). Through information empowerment and community events, I hope to foster an equitable space focusing on positive mental health, where every student can be engaged and supported.

Congratulations to our award winners

The Arts and Science Students’ Union is pleased to announce the winners of our awards for 2016. Every year the Arts and Science Students’ Union highlights some of the dedicated students, faculty, and campus groups working on the St. George campus through our awards.

Award winners will be honoured at a reception co-hosted by Dean Cameron and The Arts and Science Students’ Union later this month.

Urmila (Uma) Sarkar Service Award

Richard Chambers

Terry Buckland Award for Diversity and Equity in Education

Black Liberation Collective

Sanjeev (Sanj) Dewett Course Union of the Year Award

Cognitive Science & Artificial Intelligence Students’ Association

Ranjini (Rini) Ghosh Excellence in Teaching Award

Professor Hakob Barseghyan

Ali Saeed Memorial Award

Elizaveta Klimenko

Katharine Ball Graduating Award for Course Unions

Winners–

Taylor Stark

Emily Tsui

Runners up–

Jesse Berlin

Buchra (Bushra) Nassab

Priyanka Soundranayagam

 

ASSU Elections

ASSU will be holding elections for next year’s Executive.  ASSU Council will be electing a President and four (4) Executive Members.  The term of office will start on May 1, 2016 – so Executives must be available during the summer to participate in ASSU initiatives and attend meetings in person. Two (2) more Executives will be elected in September.

The ASSU Executive represents the academic concerns for over 23,000 full-time Arts & Science students on the St. George campus.  Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to – holding office hours every week in the ASSU Office, attending Executive meetings every few weeks, reporting at ASSU Council Meetings, sitting on various ASSU committees, representing ASSU at Faculty meetings, working with and helping Course Unions, working on ASSU projects and any other academic concerns affecting A&S students that might come up during the year.

If you have the time commitment and the passion, why not consider running for the ASSU Executive!  Any Full-time, Arts & Science Student registered on the St. George campus, or ASSU-fee paying student can run for a position.  Nominations open on Tuesday, March 1st at 10 a.m. and close on Tuesday, March 15th at 5 p.m.Elections will happen on Wednesday, March 23rd at 5 pm.  Drop by the ASSU Office, SS 1068 to pick up a nomination form.

Congratulations to our 2015-2016 Award Winners

ASSU is pleased to announce the winners of our 2015-2016 leadership award winners. These awards were created to honour some of the dedicated students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Every year, hundreds of exceptional students apply for these awards. The winners for 2015-2016 are:

 

William R. Gardner Student Leadership Award

 

Winner — Iris Robbin

Runner-up — Ese Makolomi

Runner-up — Sydney Lang

 

Gavin Nowlan Campus Leadership Award

 

Winner — Emily Tsui

Runner-up — Trillium Chang

Runner-up — Priyanka Soundranayagam

 

ASSU Campus Leadership Award

Winner –Lily Yuxi Ren

Runner-up –Yalinie Kulandaivelu

Runner-up –Novera Khan

 

 

 

 

 

VOLUNTEERS WANTED

freshstart

 

ASSU is looking for VOLUNTEERS for the Fresh Start Conference – a one-day conference for students who have experienced academic struggles at U of T – focusing on resiliency and developing skills for success.

The Fresh Start Conference is organized by the Academic Success Centre, the Arts and Science Students’ Union, the Career Centre, and the Faculty of Arts and Science Registrar’s Office and STEP Forward initiative.

• We need 10 student volunteers for the day
• There are 2 shifts: 5 students from 8:30am-1:00pm & 5 students from 11:30am-5:00pm
• Students will receive a $15 gift certificate to the U of T Bookstore (and breakfast + lunch OR lunch – depending on the shift)

If you can help out on Saturday, February 6, 2016 please email students.assu@utoronto.ca

 

CITIZENFOUR Screening

citizenfoureventphoto

Join the Arts and Science Students’ Union and Centre for Study of United States on Tuesday Jan 26th at 6:30 PM for a screening of the Academy Awarding winning film, CITIZENFOUR at Innis Town Hall.

Directed by Laura Poitras, it follows the story of Edward Snowden and the 2013 leak of NSA documents. A Q&A session will follow with Snowden attorney and Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, Ben Wizner. Moderated by Citizen Lab Director, Professor Ronald Deibert.

No registration required, film will begin at 6:30 pm sharp.  Seating is on a first come, first serve basis. Event is open to public. 

Ron Deibert, (OOnt, PhD, University of British Columbia) is Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development hothouse working at the intersection of the Internet, global security, and human rights.

Ben Wizner (@benwizner) is the Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project. For nearly fifteen years, he has worked at the intersection of civil liberties and national security, litigating numerous cases involving airport security policies, government watch lists, surveillance practices, targeted killing, and torture. He appears regularly in the global media, has testified before Congress, and is an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law. Since July of 2013, he has been the principal legal advisor to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Ben is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University School of Law and was a law clerk to the Hon. Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Munk school event page: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/csus/feature/film-screening-citizenfour-dir-laura-poitras/

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/213298499011426/

The City Series

The City Series

The Arts and Science Students’ Union (ASSU) is proud to present a series of seminars on issues pertaining to our city this semester.  From the Blue Jays, to references to the 6ix, to anti black racism, to the state of our transit system, we cannot escape conversations about our city. Join us, as we ask in our events, what makes our city unique and how do we make our city better?

Events:
SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE CITY with Shawn Micallef and Councilor Norm Kelly
Thurs. Nov 12th – William Doo Auditorium – 6:00 pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/1473064449667292/

We are in a State of Emergency: Anti-Black Racism in Toronto
with Desmond Cole
Tuesday Nov 17th – Hart House – 7 PM
https://www.facebook.com/events/1076242735720087/

TTC Town Hall with TTC CEO Andy Byford
Thurs. Nov 19th – Innis Town Hall – 6:30 pm
https://www.facebook.com/events/404590806400534/

Contest:

attendandwin


ASSU is committed to providing a space that is inclusive, accessible and accommodating to all people. If you have any concerns about the accommodations and accessibility of this event, please contact Abdullah Shihipar at president@assu.ca.