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Elections 2019

Statements from Senate candidates

Meet your 2019 Senate candidates.



Eli Ridder | Report

While at least one Senate candidate has so far responded to The Avro Post giving an in-depth breakdown, some have only appeared to have given more details via the nominee statements attached to the ballots when voting.

Others have campaign social media accounts or post details via their personal Instagram or Facebook profiles.

Link: Elections 2019

These candidates are campaigning to get of four available seats the University of Guelph-Humber has on the main Guelph campus Senate — a body of student government focused on academics.

Nora Elgharbawy

This candidate did not yet respond to any of The Avro Post’s request for comment, but has this nominee statement:

“The students of Guelph-Humber deserve to have someone who can give them an opportunity to have control over their education and their university experience. Since I am now approaching my fourth year at the university, I’ve attainted a good grasp of what exactly Guelph-Humber needs.

“Some of what I plan to advocate for includes; reducing parking expenses, reducing food costs on campus, stricter deadlines for professors to submit grades on time and advocating for better accommodations to be made around the university.

“I realize that every program is different and I will do my best to tailor all changes that I want to make to align with every programs’ needs. By allowing me to become your Student Senator, I will ensure that every single student will have a chance to dictate their own journey at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Danya Elsayed

This candidate has answered requests for comment and The Avro Post is expecting more details as the week goes on. Here is her nominee statement:

“My name is Danya Elsayed, and I’m a third year Public Relations/Journalism student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

“I understand that a reciprocative dialogue between faculty, students, and board members is important for the success of our university. We pay tuition to receive a higher education, which includes programs and opportunities that enrich our lives both in and out of the classroom. It is important to me that all students are aware of policies and program adjustments that affect them.

“In my three years at Guelph-Humber I have been an active leader on campus with roles such as Vice President of Events at the Guelph-Humber Marketing and Advertising Association (GHAMA), Student Transition and Resource (START) leader, and Content Writer at IGNITE. All of these experiences have made me an active listener, empathetic worker, and creative thinker.

“My passion towards bettering the University is my reason for running to become your senator. If elected as a Senate member, I will continue to raise awareness for issues that affect our school by serving Guelph-Humber students with respect, integrity, and humility.”

Hooria Katal

This candidate just recently ran in the fall Senate by-election, where she came second last with 42 votes. She has not responded to requests for comment, is not finable on social media and appears largely unknown. This is her nominee statement:

“I would like to be a part of Student Senate for the University of Guelph-Humber for several reasons.

“As I understand, Student Senate are responsible for academic programs, policies and regulations related to both the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber.

“I would like to represent my colleagues to the best of my ability regarding making any changes to programs, determine/regulate the educational policy, and matters in connection to scholarship and bursaries.

“I would like to take on a leadership role on Student Senate to make changes where possible. I am very passionate about having opportunities and enabling others to be successful, and by creating more scholarships/bursary programs for students I feel that more students would be able to enjoy the same or more opportunities as others.

“With changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program, I feel that providing more opportunities for students is now a responsibility of all representatives of students. I would also like to be a part of Student Senate as it will enhance my social, communication and leadership skills. I will use these skills to best of my ability, to improve and implement any changes where need be for the betterment of all students.”

Jessica Lecques

This candidate agreed to an extensive interview and went in-depth with her campaign — here is her nominee statement:

“Hello U of GH students! My name is Jessica Lecques and I am currently completing my second year in the kinesiology program. I would be honored to represent the concerns, ideas and voices of our student population on the University of Guelph Senate for the 2019-2020 term.

“Due to my extensive on-campus involvement with student affairs, I have had the pleasure of connecting with many of you to discuss about the various ways that we can ameliorate the quality of life and educational experience for all undergraduate students here at Guelph- Humber. I possess a great fervor for the areas of professional and academic development, student autonomy and extracurricular opportunities as I believe that these components are central to student success both on-campus, and long after they have graduated.

“Having occupied positions as a peer mentor, student ambassador, co-founder of GH’s first Pre-Med society and KinSoc representative, I am certain that I am qualified to help establish a vital network between pupils, campus organizations and faculty to facilitate connections between students and the resources that they covet.

“If elected, my goal is to ensure that the voices of all students are heard and to implement and/or modify existing policies that will allow for greater student autonomy and ultimately enhance the university experience of all students.”

Justin Mihaly

This candidate has not responded to a request for comment yet, here is his nominee statement:

“Greetings, my name is Justin Mihaly. I will be a second-year business student following the 2018-2019 school year. I am running for Guelph Senate because I want the students of Guelph-Humber to have their voices heard and ensure that funding continues to be allocated to the University of Guelph-Humber.

“As a member of the Guelph Senate, I want to stay transparent and communicate with students about their needs and advocate for them at Senate meetings and group discussions.

“With new government policies approaching within the next school year, I aim to ensure that funding cuts from the University of Guelph don’t impact our school’s well-being. The new provincial government plans a 10 percent tuition cut to universities, meaning that schools will be looking for ways to cut back expenses and find alternative revenue streams. The University of Guelph is expected to lose over $20 million in tuition revenue because of the tuition cuts.

“I want to ensure that our school does not face major funding cuts because of the new government policy. To achieve this, I will find alternative revenue streams and try to receive money through fundraisers to ensure no cuts to scholarships and bursaries occur. Thank you.

Maheen Nazim

Maheen Nazim is currently the IGNITE vice president of the University of Guelph-Humber. She has not responded to requests for comment from The Avro Post since August 2018. Here is her nominee statement:

“By choosing me, Maheen Nazim, you are selecting an experienced, trustworthy and compassionate leader. As the Vice-President of Guelph Humber (IGNITE – student union of Humber/UGH) for the year 2018-2019, I worked closely with many stakeholders at the university including professors, program heads, placements coordinators, etc.

“I am very familiar with the Academic system at UGH as I’ve been an Academic Program Representative for the Justice Studies program. In this position, my partner and I pitched for summer placement opportunities in 2017-2018, and as of summer 2019, Justice will be offering this!

“As a senate member, the job requirements include understanding how academic management works at UGH and sitting on committees that make decisions in regards to course changes, additions, or deletions. As both VP and APR, I was able to partake in these committees – this means that I am experienced and knowledgeable and really looking to take the Senate role to the next level.

“I hope to be able to pitch the following changes: class start times for 9AM instead of 8AM to accommodate the commuter school and continue to work on getting summer placement for all programs. If you choose me, you will be choosing results and dedication for this role.

Genevieve Samlal

This incumbent candidate has not yet responded to requests for comment from The Avro Post. Here is her nominee statement:

“As a returning Student Senate candidate during the 2018-2019 academic year, being involved has truly enabled me the opportunity to view the campus through an alternate lens, develop my soft skills, act as a building block in terms of my individual confidence, enhanced my ability to interact with others on a communication and work ethnic basis as well as enabled me to play an active role the upbringing of policies, regulations and academic programs.

“With this being said, I aspire to continue this valuable experience to further aid in broadening and improving my inherent strengths. Supplementing this, I believe that by being re-elected as Student Senator representing the Guelph-Humber campus would be highly influential for the reason of the vast networking opportunities it provides and with this being said, would act as a pivotal opportunity for me to meet new student faces from Guelph-Humber, other post-secondary intuitions and many incredible faculty members.

“Moreover, being a part of Student Senate has given me another perspective on the impact I can do for the Guelph-Humber campus and how I can be involved with the process of making everlasting positive impacts of the student learning experience, academic program considerations, regulations and policies jointly related the University of Guelph and the University of Guelph-Humber.

“In addition, I highly feel that becoming a Student Senate representative will allow me to develop strong leadership skills that will prove invaluable throughout my undergraduate journey and future career pathway. I highly feel that becoming a Student Senate representative will allow me to develop strong leadership skills that will prove invaluable throughout my undergraduate journey and future career pathway.

Images of Senate candidates from files, their social media and The Avro Post.  ■

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IGNITE announces Shay Hamilton as North VP

Speculation is over.



IGNITE, the student union representing those enrolled at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber, announced Shay Hamilton on Wednesday as the new vice president for North Campus.

In posts shortly before noon, IGNITE shared a photo of the executive team in front of a sign for “The Backyard” on campus. It ends speculation over who the new executive was.

Earlier this summer, it was revealed that Simran, who was elected in the spring 2019 elections for the coming academic year, had quit due to personal reasons.

IGNITE’s Board of Directors, made up elected students, decided to unanimously approve a process to hire a new vice president ahead of September.

Executive Director Ercolé Perrone told The Avro Post earlier in July that when Simran stepped down, the Board had several options to replace her or choose to leave the position infilled.

The Board could have held a by-election or panel interviews starting in September, a process that would have required election resources and candidate approval from the Board of Governors. The candidate would not have likely been in place until mid-October with this process.

With significant changes such as the Student Choice Initiative and financial cuts by the province impacting campus this fall, a decision was made to get an executive in place with haste, Perrone told The Post.

Hamilton joins President Monica Khosla, Guelph-Humber Vice President Megan Roopnarine and Lakeshore counterpart Ryan Stafford.

The Post has reached out to Hamilton for comment. ■

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Elections 2019

Poor turnout could mean high opt-out: Student activist

‘The numbers speak for themselves,’ Hannah Derue says.



Staff | Report

Low voter turnout in the 2019 IGNITE elections show apathy around the student union that could result in many students choosing not to fund it to save when optional student fees come into play this fall, student activist Hannah Derue said on Friday night.

Derue, who co-founded the Pre-Medical Society at the University of Guelph-Humber and has been involved in campus politics in the past, weighed in on the election results, citing students’ inability to get to the polls.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Derue wrote on Twitter, saying “voter apathy got us the Student Choice Initiative, and now it’s given us an electorate voted in with only 24.5 per cent of the student population voting.”

“If IGNITE can’t get students active as their most fundamental services are put on the province’s chopping block, IGNITE better prepare to have students opting out in droves.”

The government under Premier Doug Ford in January announced the Student Choice Initiative which will allow students to opt-out of funding certain aspects of campus with their fees that accompany tuition.

National student organizations, student union governments and campus publications across the province have condemned the move, saying it threatens the existence of unions and the services they offer.

Monica Khosla was re-elected to the IGNITE presidency on Friday evening, beating challenger and Board of Directors member Margarita Bader by 330 ballots.

Link:IGNITE to Fight to Survive

She has been criticized for what some call weak transparency efforts but also praised for solid efforts towards a more accessible campus. Khosla largely vowed to improve on her last term without adding many new ideas.

Candidates respond

The Avro Post has reached out to several vice presidents-elect and directors-elect for comment on the low voter turnout and a few of the former candidates and newly elected soon-to-be representatives responded.

“I’m hoping for the best,” Vice President-elect Megan Roopnarine said in response to questioning regarding voter apathy concerns leading to students opting-out.

“I know many students are involved with IGNITE if not through the election season then through fun events or services like insurance,” she told The Avro Post.

Newly elected Board Director Camila Ruiz Tacha said that her opinion is “that students are free to voice their opinions on things”, explaining that if opting out of the student union is an option they desire, then that is a choice they want to make.”

“I am a board of director and I will not force anyone to make a decision they are not comfortable with,” Tacha added, noting that despite the voter turnout decrease, “there are individuals who are truly into their school politics.”

These students are more likely to engage and speak up about issues on campus as well as keep IGNITE funded, the director-elect explained, believing that they will “speak up about government grants and what change IGNITE will make with having a new team.”

On the low turnout, Dilshan Marasinghe told The Avro Post that he hopes there will be larger turnout next year and “student will see that the main reasons these elections take place is to help brighten their unique experience in campus and make it as comfortable as possible”.

Ameem Rahman, who ran for the Humber College North Campus vice presidency, said that, in his opinion, he believes that voter apathy in the election will translate to students opting out of funding IGNITE.

Image of elections conference from The Avro Post. ■

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Elections 2019

Monica Khosla is re-elected, others win IGNITE positions

The 2019 election results are announced.



Eli Ridder, Melissa Lopez | Report

Monica Khosla was re-elected to the presidency of IGNITE on Friday night with 52 per cent of those that voted on the president ballot, winning again with a majority.

Though President Khosla gained more than last year percentage-wise, she had just 300 votes short of the ballots she got last year, beating challenger Margarita Bader by 330 ballots in favour.

Megan Roopnarine won the University of Guelph-Humber vice presidency and candidates Erika Caldwell and Julia Ciampa elected to the two Board of Directors seats the university has in the student government.

Vice president-elect Roopnarine told The Avro Post after the results were announced that she will be pushing for more Guelph-Humber representation and working on the overcrowding issue.

“Being a Guelph-Humber student I know what it’s like to feel disconnected from Humber and I know that our population as a student body is growing for sure so I want to make sure we’re tackling those things,” said Roopnarine.

For North Campus, Simran won the vice presidency and Dishant Passi, Eden Tavares, Neto Naniwambote and Shawayne Dunstan were acclaimed to four seats on the Board.

Ryan Stafford is the vice president-designate for the Lakeshore Campus and Asiya Awan, Camilia Ruiz Tacha and Stephanie Fallico were acclaimed for the Board as the only candidates for three seats.

Navnit Sidhu — the first ever candidate running for an IGNITE position from Orangeville Campus, has been acclaimed to the Board of Directors, expanding its original size from nine to 10. There has reportedly been representatives in the past from Orangeville to the former Humber Student Federation.

There was a total of 7,811 votes out of 31,929 who were able to fill out a ballot, marking a decrease of 3.81 per cent in comparison to the last election — representing 24.49 per cent of the student population.

‘Continue transparency’

Khosla told The Avro Post in an interview after the results were announced one Friday that she worked hard on her campaign and that she will “continue to be transparent in her second term.”

“Whether it’s bad news or good news I really am honest with students and I think that’s something they appreciate because we’ve seen what’s been happening in other schools with the lying happening with other presidents,” said Khosla referring to the Ryerson student union budget scandal.

“I’m not like that, if there is bad news I’ll let you know if there’s good news, you’ll definitely know that as well but I don’t shy away from anything because there is nothing to shy away from.

“I’m open to having any type of conversation at anytime,” she added. Khosla has ignored requests for comment and interview from The Avro Post since coming into office.

Khosla largely vowed to continue her accessibility work and advocating on behalf of students on a range of issues during the campaigning period, even indicating several times that she would not change much about IGNITE.


On her loss, Margarita Bader said she “put in my best effort and tried to communicate the changes that I hoped to bring to Humber. Things don’t always go the way we plan them to, and this is definitely a huge learning experience for me.”

“This will in no way keep me from pursuing other opportunities,” she continued, saying that “all the candidates did an amazing job regardless if they got elected today and each indvidual will go on to do great things because it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there like that.”

Bader gained 48 per cent of the ballots that did not abstain in the vote for president, garnering the support of 3,465 students across Humber College campuses and the University of Guelph-Humber.

Many candidates across several campuses, including Erika Caldwell and Ameem Rahman, among others, gave their support to Bader during the heated campaign.

By the numbers


3,795 – Monica Khosla

3,465 – Margarita Bader

551 – Abstain

Vice President, North

1, 778 – Simran

908 – Ekmjyot Sohal

658 – Jason Hyatt

415 – Ameem Rahman

363 – Abstain

305 – Dilshan Tharusha Marasinghe

Vice President, GH

426 – Megan Roopnarine

267 – Saffiya Lulat

245 – Carmen Duong

Vice President, Lakeshore

1, 381 – Ryan Stafford

836 – Ostap Pavliuk

179 – Abstain

Board, North (Acclaimed)

1,288 – Dishant Passi

1, 217 – Shawayne Dunstan

1,093 – Eden Tavares

442 – Neto NaniwamboteA

Board, GH

368 – Erika Caldwell

201 – Julia Ciampa

172 – Afifa Abbaszadeh

136 – Drake Foo

55 – Jim Hung

42 – Abstain

Board, Lakeshore

1, 088 – Camila Ruiz Tacha

605 – Stephanie Fallico

488 – Asiya Bashir Awan

215 – Abstain

More details to follow. All images from The Avro Post. ■

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