Every March, Innis College students have the opportunity to vote in their student representatives on the Innis College Student Society (ICSS). This year, the candidates for executive positions, namely President, Executive Vice President, VP Internal, and VP Finance, are running unopposed, whereas general positions are highly competitive. All candidates were contacted with questions regarding their platforms

Disclosure: Ashlee Redmond is the Online Editor for The Innis Herald.

THE EXECUTIVE CANDIDATES

Yolanda Alfaro, ICSS presidential candidate and a third year Life Sciences student, said, “I care about our students having equal access to all events and resources the ICSS provides, whether they are on or off campus. I also care deeply for the development of our students. I’d like to be able to foster a council that is accepting and welcoming.” Alfaro focused her platform on communication and accountability, asserting, “I plan to improve communication between council members as well as between council and the students. […] I also plan to implement working checklists for council members, so that we all remain accountable while tasks are being completed independently. In terms of student communications, I’d like to put more effort into receiving student feedback after larger events through surveys and reviews.”

Ashlee Redmond, candidate for Executive Vice President and a second year English student, spoke of her experience on the ICSS as a Director of Equity and Outreach, noting, “As an ICSS Executive I’ll get the opportunity to collaborate with and work alongside some of the key players that make the Innis community spirited and comfortable for the students it serves.” Redmond focused her platform around three pillars, namely equity and accessibility, availability, and communication, contending, “An equitable Innis College takes into account the diversiform needs of the Innis student body and demands student voices be heard in the discussion about what will happen at their college.”

Caroline Wrobel, candidate for VP Internal and a second year Life Sciences student, spoke of her experience with ICSS Equity and Outreach. She said, “I feel that it is important to be involved, but it is also very important to be involved in a place where you can find community, and I feel that ICSS is the perfect place to do so.” On her platform she contends, “As VP Internal I plan to ensure good communication, and clarity. I feel that good communication is important within ICSS as well as to all other students, as we are representing you. I plan to improve Innis and the Innis community by helping out wherever need be with the portfolios.”

GENERAL CANDIDATES

Kelsey Binger and Jack McCrossin are running for the Social Director positions. In her platform, Binger, a first year studying Anthropology and Archaeology, advocated to “hold a wider variety of events to be inclusive of everyone’s taste and interests.”McCrossin, a first year in the Urban Studies program wants to increase communication between Innis students and the ICSS, especially through post-event surveys to ensure changes are made every year.

Johnny Mastromarco is a third year Neuroscience and Biochemistry student running for Athletics Director. He is running for re-election after having served in the position for the past year. He “hope[s] to continue advocating for Innis students, as well as to try to increase student participation in all Innis events, especially athletics and intramurals.”

Paula Marino is the sole candidate vying for Clubs and Merchandise Director. Marino hopes to make the variety of clubs at Innis more known to all students in residence and commuters. She also wants to be able to create new and inspiring looks with the help of Innis students.

Danté Ravenhearst, Oreoluwa Adara, Sarah Chocano, and Andrew Zhao are up for the Equity and Outreach portfolio. Concerning her platform, Ravenhearst asserted, “I want students to feel as passionate as the ICSS members do about the events that we hold, and I think I can do that if I allow students to have more of a say in the events themselves.” Adara contended, “This past year the two equity and outreach directors have been excellent, but there are some relevant issues on campus that I feel were not addressed well enough and I would like to change that. My goal is to make the College inclusive and accessible.”

Chocano wants to expand the representation of International students and hopes to create a more equitable council that recognizes diversity and is more involved with the Toronto community. Zhao proposed that he would “refocus this portfolio’s resources towards ensuring equity within the college. This portfolio would continue its external charitable work, but its first priority should be making Innis more inclusive and welcoming for all students.”

CHALLENGE TO THE INNIS COMMUNITY

The candidates also responded to how they will face the lack of student involvement. Many candidates, especially Alfaro, Wrobel, Chocano, and Zhao emphasized the need to have an open and approachable council. Alfaro argued, “I strongly believe that having an open and approachable council is the first step to engaging new students. Having more diverse events will also encourage more students to involve themselves in the Innis community.” Wrobel stated, “I plan to avoid a lack of student involvement by listening to what the students want. I will then encourage the implementation of such events and ideas wherever possible. I also think that it is important to advertise all events, to all students. Making students feel welcomed will also encourage participation.”

All the other candidates interviewed highlighted the need for better advertised events, understanding what the students want, creating opportunities that appeal directly to students, as well as being open to feedback. “I believe a lack of involvement at Innis stems from events being catered to suit the wants and interests of only a handful of students. […] I want to create events which are appealing to students with all sorts of interests,” said McCrossin. Along the same line, Adara claimed, “I believe that when students do not feel like they are making any sort of contribution or being heard, there is often a lack of participation. In response to this I will give students the opportunity for feedback on events and general performance, and make myself open to criticism.”

Voting will take place Wednesday March 29 and Thursday March 30 in the ICSS office or online at voting.utoronto.ca.

Poll: What is the favorite Innis cheer of your ICSS candidates?

o Deep in the heart of the U of T jungle you can hear the Innis rumble! – 4 votes

o I-N-N-IS Innis, Innis, is the best! – 2 votes

o Dynamite – 2 votes o P-A-R-T-Y – 1 vote

o Hey Innis! How do you feel? – 1 vote

o Hey Innis! Show me how you get down! – 1 vote

Full List of candidates:

President:

– Yolanda Alfaro *

Executive VP:

– Ashlee Redmond *

VP Finance:

– Michael La Rosa

VP Internal:

– Caroline Wrobel *

Social Director: (2 positions)

– Kelsey Binger *

– Jack McCrossin *

– Scarlett Zhang

Athletics Director: (2 positions)

– Johnny Mastromarco *

– Lydia Ng

– Meghan Lees

– Leo Jiang

Equity & Outreach Director: (2 positions)

– Dante Ravenhearst *

– Oreoluwa Adara *

– Sarah Chocano *

– Andrew Zhao *

Clubs & Merchandise Director:

– Paula Marino *

Off-Campus Students’ Representative: (2 positions)

– Brandon Liu

– Reem Abughazaleh

– Jericho Allick

Graduate Students’ Representative: (2 positions)

– Lanson Van Dyke

UTSU Innis College Director:

– Amal Ismail-Ladak

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