UCDSB elects two new student trustees

Par Raymond Berthiaume
UCDSB elects two new student trustees
UCDSB student trustees

During the annual Student Trustee Election that was held February 28, the Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Student Senate elected two new student trustees for the 2023-2024 school year. Nominations were open from December 12, 2022 to February 13, 2023 for all UCDSB students, and three candidates were shortlisted for the election.

The three candidates were given the opportunity to address the senate and outline their goals and vision for their time in office. After hearing from all three, Student Senators voted by secret ballot to elect Afaq Virk from Cornwall Collegiate Vocational School and Merab Ali from Seaway District High School as the new Student Trustees.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity that has given me the chance to express the ideas that I have and to be able to bounce back those ideas and collaborate with a group of highly motivated students to work to create a lasting legacy in our school board, and ultimately elevate the experiences of every single one of our students,” said Virk. “I have two principles, the first one being to promote education and ensure that students are able to learn in a space where they feel they’re heard, where they have all the support they need, and I want to ensure that schools are able to have a sense of community with each other.”

“To be elected is an incredible opportunity and I cannot wait to use my position as a platform to promote positive change for equity, inclusion and mental health, as well as other initiatives that student senators and all the students at this board would like to see,” said Ali. “My goals for next year would definitely be equity inclusion, and promoting safe inclusive spaces for all students, regardless of whatever their background may be, as well as mental health and providing resources and removing stigma. I am also interested in environmental initiatives that benefit those of low socio-economic troubles or general enrollment and communities.”

Student Trustees attend regular meetings of the UCDSB Board of Trustees and provide brief reports to the board, serve as chair (Virk) and vice-chair (Ali) of the Student Senate, and have the opportunity to attend Ontario Student Trustee Association’s (OSTA-AECO) conferences. The senate is comprised of student representatives from each UCDSB secondary school, including TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education, and a representative from the Indigenous Leadership Program (iLead) and Akwesasne. Senators meet four times a year, plus monthly supplementary meetings to discuss matters related to school climate and culture.

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