Candidates for the 2020 Governing Council Elections - Full-time Undergraduate Students


Faculty of Arts & Science, University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), and University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC)
2 seats – 22 candidates


My name is Sophia Sainee Ayathurai and I am a third year student in the Mental Health Specialist Co-op Program at UTSC. Since starting my undergraduate degree in 2016, I have volunteered on and off campus and am currently the Vice-President of ShareNow, and a successful co-op student. I learned how to be a UofT representative both on and off campus and navigated UofT relations within the community. I am passionate about improving policies to aid students struggling with their mental health, female students, and minority students. I want to make being at UofT a fulfilling experience.

Andrea Chiappetta

Hi everyone! My name is Andrea Chiappetta, and I am currently a student at Woodsworth College, studying Political Science. With experience on our campus’ Academic Board, the UTSU, and my local college union (WCSA), I feel that I am ready to be a part of student voice as a member of Governing Council. As a member of Governing Council, I would push for reform to the credit/no credit mechanism, so that we can have clarity by having a large portion of a course mark prior to making these academic decisions. I ask for your trust to elect me to the Council!

Aisha Chohan

As a Forest Conservation and Environmental Studies student in my second year here at UofT, I believe I have the qualifications, but more importantly, the motivation to represent students on the Governing Council. I have previous experience working in clubs on campus such as the UofT B.E.E.S and have experience working in a community non-profit organization known as Youth Gravity. I hope to use this position to provide a student perspective based on student feedback and research. I also hope to promote policies in relation to awards, tuition, and grading practices that will benefit students the most!

Valerie Dawe

My name is Valerie Dawe and I would like to serve on the Governing Council because the University of Toronto is a large and great institution and it is important to maintain certain facets of our education. The aspects that are the most important to me are equity, inclusivity, accessibility, sustainability with regard to our environmental footprint, and supports for mental health. The University of Toronto has been making steps in this direction and I hope to foster these issues and ensure that everything that can reasonably be done to support our diverse host of students will be done.

Xiaoyi Du

Xiaoyi is currently doing PEY till Summer 2020. As a PEY student who also taking course at same time, Xiaoyi strongly encouraging Department of Computer Science and Faculty of Engineer setting up evening course office hour for PEY students. Besides that, as an international student from China, Xiaoyi realizes that not much international student participates in school political events though they are paying a gigantic tuition. Xiaoyi wants to become a voice of international students and will working with international student association to let international students knows what rights they have and how to defending themselves.

Joy Fan

To be a clear voice for students amidst within the Governing Council is a critically important role. There have been many calls for change within the past years I have been at UofT, yet few demands from students have been met, and even minor changes have taken much too long. Students’ problems need to be the university’s problems. UofT prides itself on being a first-class institution and needs to start acting like one to its students, rather than to just show the world. This is what I will champion and push for. This is our voice.

Lucas Granger

Over the past four years I have had the opportunity to serve three terms on the Innis College Council, and currently as Vice-President, External at the UTSU. Through these experiences I have been able to advocate on behalf of real student issues like housing, transit, and student aid. As a member of Governing Council, I would ensure that students are properly consulted on policy, that the effects of MLAP on students are heard, and that the University of Toronto Act is amended to reflect the current reality that although UofT has three campuses, it only has two full-time student seats.

Roofaidah Durdana Haque

I am a member of the undergraduate class of 2023. I would bring to this position many fine qualities; honesty, cooperativeness and etc. However, the most important one is being the voices of other peers at the University of Toronto. I have many things to share, but so do you. If I do get elected, my first goal is to let others share their experiences, opinions and etc. Make the sharing stage equal for all. I will work alongside my peers to bring focus to the needs of other students. Thanks so much! You can reach me via email at

Jimmy Issa

Jimmy Issa is a tall student attending the University of Toronto, Mississauga Campus, and sees his future in the sciences of molecular biology. He's really interested in the origins of civilization, has done a bit of dancing, and is as confident as he is tall, hoping to represent you on the Governing Council. Born in Quebec but living close to the campus today, his time for you is all the time, preferably Friday's. Vote Jimmy.

Laiba Khan

Singing out loud is my all-time favorite hobby and embarrassing myself is my forte, therefore if you see me singing, please sing along. Hey UofT, my name is Laiba Khan, I am a first-year student at University of Toronto, Mississauga pursuing Law and criminology as my major. I currently serve as the Division 1 Board of Director at UTM. For the past several years, I have been part of many organizations, clubs and currently serve as a Master Corporal in Cadets. I am running to be a part of the governing council to create a better university year for you!

Yufeifei Lei

I used to be a grade 12 Representative in the student council in my high school. I planned many school events, such as Walk for Hope, writing session, and so on. I also entered DECA which is a business contest in North America and successfully reached the second round. In addition, I used to be a math tutor. I helped grade 9 and 10 students do math questions. Furthermore, I was a member of swim team and badminton club in my high school. In conclusion, I really want to join in it and I will make efforts do it.

Brady Liu

Dear fellow peers, my name is Brady and I am an undergraduate life science student here at UofT. My primary motivation for joining this organization is to provide the Governing Council with the perspectives of students from the undergraduate student community. My qualifications for this role stem from my student service experiences as a Program Coordinator and Student Leader. More importantly, I possess an intrinsic passion for incorporating student voices into key decision-making processes, enhancing comprehensive support for mental health provisions, as well as improving the student experience overall. Feel free to connect with me at for any inquiries!

Daniel Mau

As a fellow undergraduate student, I understand the challenges we face. While I cannot propose policy, I promise I will represent our view and ensure I will post questions to policies that are not in the best interests of us. If elected, I will use platforms where I will engage all of you whenever possible. I will ensure you can contact me easily so I can represent your view. To address the issue of low student participation, I will use platforms like UserVoice to ensure easy discussion. Also, I will increase engagement by participating in different platforms, like Reddit AMA.

Nicholas Pagano

My name is Nicholas Pagano, a third year Mathematics and Neuroscience student. I have served in student leadership positions as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Vice President of the St. Michael’s College Student Union, as well as involvement in Orientation planning and execution at my college. I have sat on many administrative boards, and have spent extensive time interacting with students to best represent them. My goal is to provide a voice for the undergraduate students, to ensure their experience at the University of Toronto is amazing, starting from the top down. Vote for me!

Shayan Salesi

I am in my second year studying mathematics, computer science, and economics. I have had immense opportunity to learn leadership through starting numerous companies, student clubs, teaching, and mentorship. I am confident that the skills I have garnered in these positions will carry over in my ability to dutifully represent the university in regards to maintaining and advancing academic quality, and improving the student experience. I am dedicated to creating a connected student body, and creating a community of prosperity and personal achievement. With your trust in me, I will be tireless in creating a University culture embedded with excellence.

Ralph Sayegh

Having recently moved here from Lebanon I am eager to participate in our beautiful university community and give back to my society to the best of my ability. Having had model united nation experience as well as managerial experience through the Rotman Commerce FinTech Association, I believe I would be an excellent representative of the arts and science department as a member of this year’s governing council. As an international student, I believe I bring a new and fresh outlook to the table and the possibility of inspiring other intercontinental students that may be hesitant to voice their opinions.

Haolin Tong

Haolin Tong is a second year student at Victoria College studying Political Science. He previously studied at UTSC and achieved Dean’s List in his first year of study. He has actively volunteered for the UTSC Student Ambassador Program as a tour guide since the beginning of his university life, showcasing the university for prospective students. Studying at both campuses has given him opportunity to hear students’ concerns about their studying in both places. He is looking forward to the opportunity to speak on behalf of the students and bringing forth their concerns to the governing council. For more information, please visit

Marium Nur Vahed

After a year of personal loss and struggles, I know firsthand how many UofT policies are unnecessarily stressful and costly to our community. Through my background in policy reform and advocacy, I am eager to represent your voice by pushing for changes on the Governing Council. For years, I have worked to create spaces for marginalized voices to be heard, and I will continue to challenge people and systems that limit equitable representation. I believe that through academic policies that are more forgiving, trusting and empowering, we can move towards a positive campus culture that centres student wellbeing.

Manchen Wang

My name is Manchen Wang, a second-year undergraduate student studying nutrition and immunology. I am eager to help others from many different perspectives. As the president of IYSS, an NGO which I carried forward and raise more than $5000+ each year for local hospitals since 2017, I grow to listen, appreciate and take on actions to every voice. I am also a personal consultant who helps students manage extracurricular and have a fluent transition from high school to university. I want to share all positive thoughts to you and make our university a home away from home :)

Aloysius Wong

My name is Aloysius Wong. I am entering my fourth year studying Peace, Conflict and Justice and Computer Science. I am running to become your representative at the Governing Council to become an advocate for you and issues that affect us as students. The mental health crisis and fossil fuel divestment necessitate action by the university, and we must work in solidarity with each other and create a community of collaboration and communication. Speak up and vote, and may we never fall silent at the expense of those who need our help and support. More information at the following link:

Vishar Yaghoubian

As the Mental Health Director for Woodsworth College at U of T, I intend to represent YOUR VOICE. I have held roles leading and advocating for students for a consistent seven years, aided in community development in Ecuador, and am an advocate for student health and well-being. My goal as a member of the governing council at U of T is to ensure that student wishes are HEARD and mobilized into prompt ACTION. The U of T student experience should live up to the international reputation of our school, including mental health supports and value for our tuition dollars.

Ziqing (Justin) Zhao

Better Vote for Justin! I am a second-year student at St. Michael's College studying Economic, Psychology and Computer Science. I did my first year at UTSC, as an international student and having studied in both campus, I know what do we really need, such as smaller class scale, more food court on campus with affordable, delicious food, especially more Chinese food. I will push more scholarships and funds to help you with our high cost. I am passionate about making some real changes to our place UofT. Better vote for me, vote for your better life at UofT.


Professional Faculties
2 seats – 9 candidates

Hatem Abdalla

I have only been in University of Toronto for one semester, but I already feel at home. I want to give back to everyone by being their medium. As a high school clown, student body president, and a participant in the student council for five more years, I grew to listen and appreciate every voice in the room, no matter how loud or quiet. I plan on being easily accessible in person or through social media, so that I can forward your message. I want to be your microphone, but don’t yell pls :(

Abnash Kaur Bassi

Abnash Kaur Bassi is a first-year Engineering Science student within the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. She is interested in policy-making and previously served on the Constituency Youth Council for MP and Federal Cabinet Minister Carla Qualtrough for three years. Abnash is dedicated to representing the perspectives of students at the University of Toronto, and brings valuable experience from extra-curricular leadership within student clubs. Her community involvement in high school led to Abnash being named one of 35 national Loran Scholarship recipients in 2019. She is currently involved in Engineers without Borders and the University of Toronto’s Aerospace Team.

Charlie Chen

To my fellows, I am a third-year engsci in MI major. In the past years, I’ve led students to bring free, valuable events to AI students looking for opportunities and learnings. Now, I want to represent you in the governing council, where I will fight for personalized career planning guidance, opportunities to experience industry and research life as we study, as well as education on healthy and fruitful teamwork. I also care a lot about our mental pressure and will try my best to make mental health supports accessible to everyone in need regardless of their courage to speak up.

Spencer Julien

Spencer Julien is committed to building a more fair and just University of Toronto. A committed activist and community organizer, Spencer will be a fighter for equity and student concerns on Governing Council. Passionate about education, social justice, and community building, they previously served on the Minister of Education’s Student Advisory Council (2015-16), Nominating Committee, Board of Governors of Scouts Canada (2015-19), and are the Chair of the Coalition for Specialized Schools. Spencer supports climate-focused divestment, real solutions for the campus mental health crisis, and increased equity in university-wide hiring practices – they will always prioritize students’ interests.

Chris Kwon

My name is Chris and I’m a first-year engineering science student who loves interacting with people and helping them when possible. As someone with a longtime reputation of being energetic, creative and extroverted, I will put my strong interpersonal qualities to use in representing and serving my constituency. ‘Work hard, play hard!’ is the ideal that I personally embody in my own life and how I perceive my school community’s values, and I would love to contribute myself in keeping this a core spirit of our community. (It ain’t much, but it’s honest work)

Diana Li

As a member of the Governing Council, I pledge to represent and voice for students and student groups within the Professional Faculties, especially the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. I commit to improve student experience by contributing to decision-making from an international student’s perspective and being the go-to person for student feedback. I will act upon my experiences as Mental Health and Wellness Director and First-Year Mentorship Director with the Chemical Engineering Council to support students transition into university. I will also relentlessly advocate for experiential learning and more opportunities that bridge the gap between theory and industry practice.

Stephane Martin Demers

Hello everyone! I am a student at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. As a Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association (FMUA) board member as well as a Black Future Lawyers (BFL) Program Assistant at the Faculty of Law and a Toronto Pearson International Airport student ambassador for U of T, contributing to the intellectual and administrative growth of this university has been my primary goal and utmost pleasure. If elected, I will use my 3 years of experience on campus to be a trustworthy representative for the student body and a leader for change.

Sneh Shah

Sneh Shah is a first year Electrical-Engineering student at the University of Toronto. He has graduated from ABWA (Alma mater) receiving an International Baccalaureate® Diploma. Sneh was the captain of the cricket varsity team and has earned a scholarship training from a renowned club. Sneh has imbibed copious knowledge about leadership through the Ilead Troost Leadership workshops at his university. He loves taking up tasks that allow him to impact his surroundings. Sneh recently led a village adoption project in association with NGOs wherein his team managed to raise $1000 for the provision of sanitation kits for teenagers in rural Maharashtra.

Gary Wei

I'm an Engineering Science student dedicated to meaningful and impactful representation of the student body. I currently sit on the Engineering Society Board of Directors as a First-Year director as well as its Academic Advocacy Committee. Although I study in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, this isn't my first year at U of T; last year I pursued a degree in the Faculty of Arts & Science. As such, I bring a significant breadth of perspective to the table and the necessary experience to effectively advocate on and contribute to the Governing Council for our professional faculties constituency. Visit