2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

2023 SU general election: VP Student Life

The vice-president student life is in charge of student clubs, events like Orientation Week, Frostbite and Bermuda Shorts Day, as well as mental health and overall student wellness initiatives.


Photo by Dominic Magnusson

Ermia Rezaei-Afsah is a fifth-year history and anthropology student running for the vice-president student life position. His platform involves four main pillars: food security, affordability-inclusivity, wellness and housing. He believes these points to be essential for increasing the quality of life for students. 

Through Quality Money, Afsah plans to tackle food insecurity by introducing a nutritional hot meal program that promotes inclusive options including vegan food choices. In addition to supporting the established food security programs on campus, he aims to create a website that consolidates all the available resources for students. Either by working with the city or the university, Afsah also hopes to establish a bus route that would make it easier for students to access budget-friendly and more affordable grocery stores. 

In terms of student wellness, Afsah plans on reopening the post-alcohol support space that was discontinued. He believes that providing a safe, university-funded space for students struggling with alcoholism, or simply just needing time to wear off, is paramount to student safety and is thus an essential wellness service. The space would have nurses on site to monitor and assist students.

In promoting wellness within the campus community, Afsah also plans to introduce an annual club award to recognize student clubs that are dedicated to physical and mental wellness to incentivize clubs on campus — and eventually the entire student body — to prioritize self-care more.

With regards to housing, Afsah plans to re-establish the Residence Student Association to attain a more affordable, secure and friendly residence. He is also advocating for more affordable housing units reserved specifically for students within the University District.

Overall, he believes that a direct and proactive approach is necessary for dealing with both the government and the university to ensure that the quality of life of students is not being neglected. He believes in setting firm boundaries with the university by supporting increased student mobilization to oppose tuition hikes that in turn disproportionately affect the lives of students. 

Afsah has a lot he wants to accomplish if elected, but students can rely on this candidate’s passion to meet their goals.


Photo by Abbie Seto

Rachel Cabalteja is an eager fourth-year political science and philosophy student hoping to get elected as vice-president student life. With experience in the SU as a previous Faculty of Arts representative, along with outside experience, Cabalteja has had the opportunity to represent students and knows how to stay realistic.

Her platform consists of four main points: fighting for better mental health services, addressing food insecurity, improving the campus community, and highlighting campus diversity.

Regarding mental health services, Cabalteja wants to advocate for more available walk-in appointments and ensure that there is more than just one psychiatrist available for students who need support, saying it’s not fair for that one professional to handle the burden of helping the whole campus community. 

Food insecurity is a big issue students are facing right now, so Cabalteja also wants to implement community fridges in the volunteer services where the Campus Food Bank is also accessible, along with working with the Office of Sustainability to help create this initiative. For the long term, she wants to create an institutional strategy that addresses food insecurity after being inspired by the Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p. 

Cabalteja believes more can be done aside from Clubs Week to engage clubs with the campus community. She’s noticed a lot of very different clubs sometimes have a similar objective, so bringing those clubs together for events could open potentially draw in more students.  

In terms of highlighting campus diversity, Cabalteja wants to work towards empowering Indigenous students through the ii’ taa’poh’to’p and work with the Vice Provost of Indigenous Engagement, Michael Hart, to learn about how to find ways to walk together, not assimilate. Alongside this comes her plans to continue EDI advocacy, in addition to bringing awareness and creating accommodations and supports for all students.

A general theme on her platform is to support all students on campus. Overall, Cabalteja has a strong focus on internal issues that need addressing and is very passionate about improving the lives of students, making her a strong candidate for the vice-president student life role.

All undergraduate students may vote for one of the two candidates for VP STUDENT LIFE or ABSTAIN from voting.

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