Welcome back, Humber.
Students returned from reading week on Feb. 23 to find the hallways littered with smiling faces and catchy slogans.
The campaign period for the Humber Students’ Federation elections began as of 8:30 a.m. that morning.
There are 20 candidates vying for the five executive positions: four for President, three for North campus VP of Student Life, four for Lakeshore VP of Student Life, three for North VP of Student Affairs, and six for Lakeshore VP of Student Affairs.
Campaigning ends on March 6 and students can vote for their preferred candidates from March 9 to 13.
The candidates are a representation of the Humber community, including diploma and degree students from a wide range of programs, spanning from first-year to final year.
Several have previous experience with HSF and clubs on campus, including current North VP of Student Life Ahmed Tahir who has laced his boots up to join the presidential race. Others are jumping into on-campus involvement for the first time.
Their platform points are diverse, including an online platform designed to facilitate collective governance, an inter-campus bicycle share program, and “game therapy”, which would allow students to play games to help them take a break from work.
There are five recurring themes that have been brought up by candidates: reducing financial stress on students, addressing health and wellness issues, highlighting the cultural diversity of the Humber community, making health and dental benefits more effective and alleviating the concerns of international students.
Lakeshore VP Student Affairs candidate Alexis Richards is proposing to advocate for a reduction in the cost of using the TTC.
“I would collaborate with other student unions across the Greater Toronto Area, approaching the TTC and saying as students, this is a cost that we can’t afford to pay,” she said.
Tahir points out it’s important that whoever gets elected is open to changes in their plans.
“Once you get in the position, you need to be flexible to realise that maybe your platform point didn’t make the most sense,” said Tahir. “And it happens – a lot of candidates come up with platform points from a place of not much knowledge and that’s fine that they’re trying to be ambitious, but you need to be flexible and realize, maybe this isn’t in the best interest of students.”
Tahir’s Lakeshore counterpart, VP Student Life Dylan Rudder voiced a similar sentiment.
“You never know until you’re actually in the position and have the connections,” he said. “You pick more than one platform point for that reason specifically, so that you accomplish at least 50 to 75 per cent of what you set out to do.”
Rudder said a lot of platform points are made up of long-term and short-term goals.
“If someone has a platform point and they don’t finish them all, I wouldn’t get mad,” he said. “They’re probably laying some sort of groundwork for it being initialized.”
For a full list of candidates and their platforms, visit http://www.humberlife.com/elections.