Read Now: Spring Elections Candidates for TCSA Board of Directors 2019/2020

TCSA Spring 2019 Elections promotional material, courtesy of TCSA.

March 4 marks the beginning of the campaign period for candidates and referenda questions registered in the Association’s Spring Elections. It is going to be another exciting year with 12 candidates hoping to be elected to Executive roles of the Association. Eight other candidates are also seeking election to our various Equity portfolios. As a whole the TCSA’s Board of Directors works year-round to address student issues and enhance the student experience. Each elected representative takes on the responsibility of helping govern the Association through its Board of Directors. Through our Executive positions the Board is kept informed on the operations and services the Association provides, while our Equity roles ensure support for Trent’s diverse student constituencies that contribute to campus life.

If you would like to vote, please look for you ballot in your Trent University email account from March 12 to March 15. Keep in mind that once you open your ballot you need to be sure that you take the time to submit it – don’t close it before completing the survey, otherwise it may be spoilt. If you have any questions about our elections or Referenda, please contact us at Included below are your candidates for the TCSA’s 2019 Spring Elections.

Equity Commissioner Candidates

Environment & Sustainability Commissioner Candidates

Bradley Crouse

Bradley Crouse, candidate for Environment & Sustainability Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Welcome fellow Trent students. Let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve actually been on the TCSA before, during my time here working on my previous two Trent degrees, including a Biology honors BSc. I’m currently working on a Psychology degree, with a Sociology minor, with plans to go to medical school afterwards. When I was working on my other degrees I was a part of more clubs, groups, and special events than I could ever hope to count. One experience that stands out was my time on Trent rowing, the early mornings, and the hard work, and the sense of community.

I like to think of Trent as one big community: we have many things that make us different, but we all love this school, and want the best for it, and for each other.

I plan to raise awareness about environmental and sustainability issues here at Trent, through partnering with the school and as many student groups as possible, while standing up for students on any number of other issues that might come up during my term. I’d like to bring in guest speakers, hold educational events, and campaigns to help everyone reduce their impact on the earth, in ways as simple and inexpensive as possible, so that as many students get involved as possible. I believe in working together as a group, and finding solutions that will work for everyone, and grow us as a community. Thank you.

Duncan Johnson

Duncan Johnson, candidate for Environment & Sustainability Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

My platform is fairly simple, and rests on four pillars:

  1. Increase biodiversity on campus. This will mean an active planting of native plants, primarily perennials and underbrush, and removal of non-native species that do not benefit pollinators and foragers.
  2. Consult environmental experts more often and more thoroughly when discussing waste management and land development. We’re a university, we have experts everywhere!
  3. Enter talks with Peterborough labour unions to improve the sorting of recycling on campus, which doesn’t currently measure up to standards.
  4. Add composting bins on campus, especially near residences. There are a lot of people eating a lot of food here are Trent, and that means a lot of scraps. Composting bins about campus will cost next-to-nothing while providing high quality soil for the many gardening projects we undergo while reducing landfill waste at the same time!

I’m always happy to answer any questions or take any suggestions at I won’t keep you here for any longer, and I appreciate your considering me for Environment and Sustainability Commissioner. I won’t disappoint you!

Robert Gibson

Robert Gibson, candidate for Environment & Sustainability Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

My name is Robert Gibson. I am running for the Environment & Sustainability Commissioner at Trent University. I will advocate for more consistent consultations on development and an increase in community involvement in decision making. I will especially advocate for improved relationships with First Nations. Students care about preserving the natural environment and wetlands. In addition, students care about First Nations rights. I know this from attending meetings at city hall and attending events in the community regarding the Trent arena. As a potential Commissioner, I will recognize that I am a settler and build space for First Nations regarding concerns about the environment. I will work for you, if elected, to ensure your voices are being heard. My experience at OPIRG Peterborough and Transition Town Peterborough has shown me that environmental issues are local and effect social justice and equality, so as a commissioner I know there is work I will share with other TCSA members. In addition to this, I have served on Oshawa’s Environmental Advisory Board so I know what to expect in terms of meetings.

I have volunteered for Green Dishes. This program reduces waste which is important in reducing the chance of future landfill expansions. As landfill space is running out it is important to promote this and similar programs.

In Peterborough’s municipal election plastic straws became a political issue. I will review the social and environmental impacts on straw reduction policies while recognizing existing work at Trent University. I will also recognize the work of the TCSA on deep diversion. I will work to expand as well as review diversion rates.

As a potential Commissioner, I feel that you have the right to know what is being proposed by the TCSA and Trent University. You should have the ability to participate as much as possible in decisions that effect where you live and study. We can work together to ensure a more sustainable and informed campus.

Some things have a cost, but there are grants out there that will provide funding for key ideas around environmental sustainability. I want that to include local First Nations as far too often their rights and voices have been ignored. When it comes to students, I hope to create environmental proposals to reduce costs such as an outdoor clothesline for residence use which will have additional benefits such as reducing energy consumption.

The Environment & Sustainability Commissioner involves working with Environmental groups and sharing community feedback. I am currently involved in a few environmental groups and am currently volunteering my time. This makes me a great fit for this role. If elected I aim to be fair, but I will not hold back on environmental issues that impact you and will share your concerns about wetlands and other issues which I will listen for regarding sustainability.

On March 12, I hope you will consider Robert Gibson for Environment & Sustainability Commissioner. Thank you.

Gender Issues Commissioner Candidates

Daniel Marin-Arias

Hello, I am Daniel Marin-Arias and I am running for the position of Gender Issues Commissioner on TCSA. I am a first-year Social Sciences student looking to represent the trans and gender-variant students of Trent. I look to address day-to-day issues we face on campus from microaggressions and bathroom privileges, to discussing equal opportunity in the community. My focuses include sex health education, furthering gender education, helping trans and gender-variant students to connect to resources (both on- and off-campus), and aiding in the general accessibility in navigating the spaces we are a part of at Trent.

I look forward to working together with educators to bring light to intersectional issues, and further upholding equality in the safe spaces we create and deserve. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about either my campaign, or about anything concerning trans and gender-variant students’ resources on campus, please do not hesitate to reach out to me by email at

Mature & Transfer Students Commissioner Candidates

Alannah Trumble

Allanah Trumble, candidate for Mature & Transfer Students Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

I started my journey at Trent University as a Transfer Student, and while I am grateful for all the experiences I have had over the past year, there is room for improvement in the services that cater to transfer students. Further, many of the life changing words of wisdom I have learned during my time in post-secondary education has come from mature students. As the Mature and Transfer Student Commissioner I will work to develop more support services for mature and transfer students. I will also work to increase awareness for the unique struggles faced by these students.

Queer Students Commissioner Candidates

Sean Mestieri

Sean Mestieri, candidate for Queer Students Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

When people think of student government or helping students on campus, often times minority groups and certain demographics are overlooked, and that’s something I would like to change. My name is Sean Mestieri, I identify within the LGBT community as a bi-sexual cisgender male (he/him pronouns), and I am running for your Queer Student’s Commissioner within the TCSA for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Making students feel comfortable and safe on campus is my number one priority, regardless of sexual identity/orientation/expression as I came to Trent still “in the closet” and too scared to present myself as who I really was/am. With the help of my peers, the TCSA, and the many LGBTQ+ clubs, groups and organizations I was successfully able to express on the outside who I was on the inside. My main goal of acting in this position of Queer Students Commissioner is to inform as many people as I can, either LGBTQ+ or ally, that there are options for them on campus. Although I am running uncontested, I still plan on working as hard as possible to help get my message out, as if I were running against 300 people. I want others to feel like they can truly be themselves on campus, as so many students feel pressured to perform and act a certain way, with the fear of being judged. Mental health is another thing that is very important to me, as someone who identifies within the LGBTQ+ spectrum is 10 times more likely to have mental health issues, and are also more likely to attempt suicide at least once in their lives. As someone who has had mental health issues that have stemmed from my sexual identity, that statistic makes me unbelievably sad.

Being open about who I am and and living as my true and authentic self, makes every passing day easier, and that’s what I want to show students who are scared for whatever reason to be themselves. I want to reiterate that it gets better, and that is why my campaign slogan is “#UsTogether.” #UsTogether is not just a slogan. It goes to show that we are ALL in this together, as a group to help each other grow and succeed, not just individuals. As a group, WE make the difference that is needed to succeed. I plan on helping students in many ways, but comfort and a piece of mind is what is most important to me.

Thank you for taking the time and an interest in me and following along my journey as your TCSA Queer Student’s commissioner. This is the beginning of a great year and I can’t wait to see what it has in store for all of us. Remember, it’s not just you, it’s #UsTogether.

Women’s Issues Commissioner Candidates

Kavika Misra

Kavika Misra, candidate for Women’s Issues Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hi, My name is Kavika Misra. I’m a second year student pursuing Media Studies and Sociology as a dual major and I am running for the honourable position of the Women’s Issues Commissioner. On a campus as diverse as this, having women from all walks of life and from all around the world, I envision to see the women utilizing the resources and opportunities rightfully and equally as any other community.

I believe us women should celebrate the strength of the important roles we play in families, community, our countries and in this University where all of us stand together. The struggle for equality by women has won them the recognition of equally contributing to shape Canada. The women’s movements breathed life into the values of respect, diversity and inclusion, these values have come to define the country, and in turn Trent University.

My goal is to make our community in this University feel supported and loved at all times. I would do this by giving each individual the encouragement to progress with valuable conversations and a listening ear, and to continue just so equality becomes second nature in the university. To act as a liaison between the board and the public and to solve any matters pertaining to women’s issues. I will strive to work hard to achieve the goals mentioned, and to maintain them once accomplished.

To women of colour, women with disabilities, women of different faiths, I am here to give a voice to those who have difficulty being heard and to be the voice they want me to be. To end the barriers to equality and justice and to end discrimination, in the community and classrooms alike.

Thank you.
Kavika Misra

Students with Disabilities Commissioner Candidates

Teika Viducis

Teika Viducis, candidate for Students with Disabilities Commissioner in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

I’ve been disabled since birth, I’m the sitting Gender Issues Commissioner for TCSA, and I probably care too much. My name is Teika Viducis and I am running for the TCSA position of Students with Disabilities Commissioner.

So, who am I? Short answer: I’m a genderqueer, Pure Maths major, who has been working in anti-oppression activism for over a decade. Primarily I have focused on the intersection of Health and Queerness in theological, educational, and community-based contexts. However, I also like punk shows, bad movies, and recreational mathematics (the MAA says it’s a real thing).

What do I know? Living on-campus and navigating campus as a person with limited mobility is an adventure! First and foremost, I want to ensure every incoming first-year student is given the ability to understand how they can best navigate this space. It is curious that only through trial and error have I found the accessible routes through the buildings on the Symons Campus, and even when I have found said routes, they are often inaccessible to me because of locked doors or other types of physical access barriers. That’s not to even begin to consider the regularity that materials are published as PDFs or worse – JPEGs.

How can I make change? Sitting on committees such as Presidential Advisory Council on Human Rights (PACHREA) as a disabled student ensures that no matter what, folks cannot ignore my presence. More importantly this campus is lacking in disability-oriented events and resources; I want to change that. I’m from Toronto so I know disabled community and that’s something I miss in this place.

I know what I want but I need to learn what you want. So, please reach out. I can be emailed at Let’s grab a snack and have a chat.

Executive Candidates

Vice-President of Campaigns & Equity Candidates

Bethlehem (Beth) Bekele

Bethlehem Bekele, candidate for Vice-President of Campaigns and Equity in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hi, my name is Bethlehem (Beth) Bekele. I am a bicultural Canadian student; born here and raised by parents who immigrated from Ethiopia in the 90s. I’m currently pursuing a double-major in International Development & Environmental Science. In my free time I am an artist, a traveler and a heavy sleeper. As this my fourth year at Trent, I’ve had many opportunities to get to know the campus community. In this time frame, I’ve been heavily involved with a lot of groups and initiatives.

It all started with Trent African Caribbean Student Union (TACSU) in my first year. I started attending events, later performed in Afrobana, and eventually it started to feel like home. This year, I’m the President of TACSU, and we have been working hard to increase the community outreach. We’ve done this through collaborations with groups such as OPIRG, the Seasoned Spoon, and even the TCSA itself.

Outside of that, I’ve also been working with the Peterborough Coalition Against Cuts to Education. This group was started by the current VP of Campaigns & Equity in order to organize and work against the provincial government’s recent policy announcements. These policies threaten Trent’s levy system, as well as students financially reliant on OSAP for their studies.

At the provincial scale, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) has been putting together a campaign with similar purpose. If elected, I would be representing Trent (Local 71) at the provincial level of CFS and acting as a liaison between them and the TCSA. Through working with the Coalition, I’ve been able to make connections with some of the current CFS executives. I have attended their rallies and workshops, where I gained valuable knowledge about what goes into implementing an effective campaign.

If elected, there are a few things I would like to do. To name one, I plan on continuing to organize for the Coalition, in honour of seeing through the current VP’s work. I believe that this project is very important considering Ontario’s current political climate. In addition, I’d like to build further connections with campus and Peterborough groups. Through collaborations with organizations such TISA and OPIRG, I think that we can work towards a closer-knit local community.

I have endless ideas of different projects and campaigns that could be pursued, but at the end of the day it’s not up to me. I’m here to represent the voices of the students, and I am only one of these voices. If elected, I plan on creating as many platforms as possible for direct communication between executives and members. This is to make sure that I am advocating for your rights and needs as a student.

I am very passionate about advocacy and creating social change. This is the kind of work I see myself doing in the future, and this opportunity has the power to turn the future into the present. I would be honoured to be able to put my time and skills into making Trent a more accessible and united community.

Vice-President Student Health & Wellness Candidates

Brianna Campbell

Brianna Campbell, candidate for Vice-President of Health and Wellness in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hi, my name is Brianna and I am running for Vice President of Student Health and Wellness in this year’s TCSA election. I am currently in my second year of Psychology and Cultural Studies with hopes to go to teacher’s college and specialize in special education training. I have been a part of the TCSA for two years in commissioner roles and I believe that this year is my chance to step up and take on a position with a higher capacity. To me this position represents not only someone who is advocating for disability awareness and support but also provides a place for promotion of healthy living and healthy lifestyle, and with this platform I believe I will be able to achieve this. My entire life I have had to deal with mental and physical disabilities day to day, and in doing so have faced many challenges and difficulties. Having experienced so many aspects of life including health care systems, school, work and being part of a community I have had the opportunity to learn about the lack of accessibility in many of these institutions and have witnessed the stigma and taboo behind actually talking about any form of disability. After experiencing this I know that things need to change and I want to be a part of the movement to find solutions, fight for what’s right and represent those who are not able to speak up and talk about these issues. I want to start communicating with students in the health care stream such as nurses, psychologists, and social workers and allow them the opportunity to be a part of the change, because to make a difference we need to start learning now so we can apply later. Another reason I would like to be in this position is because recently in my life I have had the opportunity to develop and boost my lifestyle choices. In starting my journey to healthy living, I have learned so much about its importance and I have become an advocate for this lifestyle. I think that a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important pieces to overall health and every component of day to day life is important for healthy living. If elected I hope to run a series of campaigns and events focused around advocating for accessibility, promoting healthy lifestyles and partnerships between different groups of people in the Trent and Peterborough community. I hope I am given the opportunity to see my ideas through and help start real change in the position of VP Student Health and Wellness in the Trent community and beyond.

Ethel Nalule

Ethel Nalule, candidate for Vice-President of Health and Wellness in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello Trent Community! My name is Ethel Nalule, and I’m campaigning for re-election as TCSA’s Vice President of Student of Health and Wellness. It has been a pleasure to sit on the board of directors as TCSA’s first VP Student Health and Wellness for the 2018/2019 academic term.

Being the first VP health, I spent most of my year building this new position, building relationships on campus, learning about the association, our university and engaging with the campus community in an effective and positive way.

I built connections and collaborated with Student Accessibility Services, Peer Support, Consent at Trent, the Trent International Student Association (TISA), the Trent African Caribbean Student Union (TACSU), Arthur Newspaper, Active Minds, the Student Health promoters, and our Wellness Centre staff. I also sat on multiple wellness-related committees as a student voice, including the metal health strategy planning committee, grocery assistance and the sexual violence policy editing committee.

To start off my term I collaborated with TISA and the regional groups on campus to organize the first Mind your Mind mental health conference. Together we brought forth conversations on mental health and how to navigate them with respect to cultural differences. To end off my term, I started a new service that is now offered by the association called Mobility Access, where students and visitors can now use this service to take out a mobility aid when they need one on campus.

I am passionate about increasing well-being and community on campus. I have learned a lot about professionalism, conflict resolution and navigating conversations that involve a difference of opinion in a respectful manner. Because my year was spent mostly learning and building, I did not get a chance to accomplish all that I wanted to do. That is why one more year would allow me the opportunity to do more and to do better.

I want to further my work on increasing accessibility and resources for mental, physical and sexual health on campus. More importantly, I want to work with everyone because even with my own ideas, I know there are students out there with better ideas. I want to start an anonymous forum where students can share experiences that they’ve had on campus and what action they would like to take in terms of advocacy and change. I want to introduce bi-weekly wellness classes in the event space, organize mental health first aid training for TA’s, invite community organizations to provide sexual health workshops for LGBTQ2SIA+ students and much more. With the recent announcements from the government, next year is going to be a heavily political year navigating cuts. I would like to use the knowledge that I’ve learned this year, to advocate for our student body and our student union.

Health is more than just the absence of disease and when we take care of ourselves, we can take better care of each other. A vote for me is a vote for community building, health advocacy and health promotion. Thank you! #TogetherTheBetter

Vice-President Clubs & Groups Candidates

Alex Purdye

Alex Purdye, candidate for Vice-President of Clubs and Groups in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello! My name is Alex Purdye and I’m running for Vice President Clubs and Groups. As Co-director of the Trent Film Society, former Co-chair of the Student Association for International Development, and former Co-chair of the Community Movement Conference, I have organized events with the TCSA, the Peterborough arts community, as well as levy groups such as OPIRG and the Seasoned Spoon. I have heard the various challenges organizations face, helped establish best practices for our organizations in collaborative processes, and worked with some truly amazing people!

However, recent changes from the provincial government threaten the funding that allows for the continued operation of clubs and levy groups. To combat this, I have been working with the Canadian Federation of Students and the Peterborough Coalition Against Cuts to Education to prevent the fee changes and OSAP cuts from occurring.

Through working with these bodies and in past club and group experience, I have developed valuable insights into the obstacles clubs encounter such as high turnover, unpredictable funding, and unclear information. I think the best way to overcome these challenges is through the development of strong working relationships between the TCSA and clubs and levy groups so that they can be better supported with clear and regular communication.

To build these relationships, I would seek to schedule meetings with the executive body of every club and group the TCSA works with or represents. Through these meetings and the working relationships they would foster, an accessible point of contact would exist in the TCSA for clubs and groups to engage with. By way of these relationships and regular consultation, I want to collaborate in the creation of workshops that allow for people to continue developing the skills clubs feel are needed to handle the challenges they face.

With the provincial changes it will be a difficult time ahead, but with our amazing and dedicated community I believe that all of us together can maintain the culture and groups that make our campus so special!

Cydney Habraken

Cydney Habraken, candidate for Vice-President of Clubs and Groups in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello, my name is Cydney Habraken, and I am running for re-election for the role of Vice-President of Clubs and Groups at the Trent Central Student Association. Over the past three years I have served on the TCSA board in different roles: for two years as the Champlain College Cabinet TCSA commissioner, then as the VP of Clubs and Groups. During my term, I have made strides in organizing the clubs and groups processes like Clubs’ Funding, and Clubs and Groups Day to make them easier, more accessible and organized. I have been an aid for all Clubs and Groups’ questions or concerns through my continual office hours each week; being a primary support for new clubs seeking creation. It has been my goal to make more connections and to encourage organization and collaboration between groups this year. This started with the Club’s Calendar in the Student Centre and extended to an organized online calendar for De-Stress-Fests during both exam periods. I believe while lots of work has been done, there is more we can do. I am seeking re-election so that I can focus on continuing to support clubs and groups in their operations. I also planning on continuing my work with Trent University and our new app/website provider to create a digital and interactive calendar for clubs to post events. This will allow our large population of Clubs and Groups at Trent to continue their amazing work. I also want to give levy groups a designated time at the TCSA promotions desk, which would allow more connection between students and levy groups’ work in the community. I also want to continue to offer workshops and working sessions on budgeting, conflict resolution, and creating a club for existing and new clubs. Clubs and Groups are such a huge part of the student experience and our diverse Trent community. Due to recent government decisions regarding funding for Clubs and Groups at Trent is in jeopardy. I will continue to advocate for all clubs and groups and the amazing work they do on our campus. Please vote Cydney for VP of Clubs and Groups, because remember, Experience Makes the Difference.

Vice-President University & College Affairs Candidates

Ankit Tripathi

Ankit Tripathi, candidate for Vice-President of University and College Affairs in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello there! Before I go any further, thank you for taking the time to read these platforms! My name is Ankit Tripathi and I am thrilled to be running for this Vice President position of TCSA. I am an international student from India, majoring in Environmental Science and Business Administration and currently in my third year. Believing that if there is a concern that I have, voicing it to those that can help address it or working toward this change myself is a value that I bring with me to our student’s union and want to make it known far and wide.

My journey into being involved as a student started with being in different groups on campus. Starting off as an events coordinator at Trent University Music Society in first year and then co-founding the Cricket Association in the winter of that year opened me up to all the different avenues of involvement at Trent. Having been an off-campus student in first year really taught me the value of discipline and community on campus and the special place that my college (LEC!) held in it for me. I was an orientation Co-chair for Trent International this year as we underwent big changes – integrating with O-week for the first time ever and learning to be a part of big teams. Over the last two years, I have been an executive of the Trent International Students Association (TISA). TISA is a great platform to be directly involved in to advocate for students across various platforms on campus as well as organizing and managing big events like cultural outreach. In my contributions to the international voice, I have helped represent the interests of students at the Canadian Federation of Students and the Peterborough Coalition Against Cuts to Education as well as the orientation subcommittee of the Colleges and Student Services Committee (CASSC). Organizing student actions and movements has taught me the power of all of us as the masses.

Having done all this and then some, I know that I have the experience to learn the students’ concerns and voice them where possible. Given the current political atmosphere of the province and the attack on unions, it is vital that we keep the conversation going and mobilize. If elected, I want to bring this awareness to those that start in September as well as those of us continuing our education here at Trent. I want to help make student leadership more accessible and approachable so that student leaders take a greater role in spearheading mobilization without being stretched too far thin with academics. Orientation week was amazing, but not for everyone. The experience of international and bi-cultural students is something that needs a deeper look and to bring that experience to everyone else as well! Let’s continue to make this campus a better place for everyone as a community. If you have any questions or inquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch at me email at or just stop me in the corridors!

Iain Leitch

Iain Leitch, candidate for Vice-President of University and College Affairs in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello, my name is Iain Leitch and I am running to be your Vice President of University and College Affairs for the 2019-2020 academic year with the TCSA. I am currently in third-year heading for my fourth year and am majoring in Environmental and Resource Studies. I am affiliated with Gzowski College and had the pleasure of holding a position on Cabinet as Sustainability Ambassador. During my time on Gzowski Cabinet, I was part of the Sustainable and Fair-Trade Food Service Committee. Each year, I am a participant in the Relay for Life where I run in memory of my grandmother. I was also a member of Sustainable Trent. Being a member of these clubs and organizations has allowed me to develop my time management, event planning, leadership, teamwork, communication and organizational skills which I hope to use to my advantage as Vice-President of University and College Affairs. As a member of Gzowski Cabinet, I have been able to learn and gain an understanding of how student governments and the administration at Trent function. I think this is a key skill to have in this role as I will be engaging with many levels of student government and administration including the Senate and the Board of Governors.

If elected, I will use my position on TCSA to represent the students to the best of my abilities. I will set up online polls and discussion pages and engage on social media with the student body to see how the students feel about issues and how we should go about dealing with the issue at hand. I will use these tools to determine what types of events the student body wants. I will also work with orientation week co-chairs and the college offices to put on an amazing orientation week for incoming students. The committees that I will sit on, if elected, will be well represented and will work to improve student life across campus. If elected I will work with other members of the TCSA as well as the student body to do the best possible job and to represent the students well. I will also maintain good communication between the different college cabinets and will attend their meetings when possible. If you have any questions or want to get in contact with me, do not hesitate to email me at

Thank you for reading my platform and please vote for me as your Vice President of University and College Affairs.

Rachel Smylie

Rachel Smylie, candidate for Vice-President of University and College Affairs in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello Trent University! My name is Rachel Smylie and I’m running in the Spring 2019 Trent Central Student Association (TCSA) Elections pursuing the Vice President University and College Affairs position. I’m currently in my third-year majoring in International Development Studies with an Emphasis in Law and Policy. I am passionate about student rights, accessibility, environmental issues, and human rights, and I believe these key passions hold a strong place in my platform which students can relate to.

I am confident that I have the tools and skills to represent Trent University students on a grand scale considering my experiences throughout my studies. I have worked at the TCSA part-time for two years as a Brand Ambassador; background that is vital to this position. My employment has allowed me to form relationships within the organization and externally, understand the inner-workings of the organization, and learn what it means to represent the student voice. Moreover, I have been an Orientation Week Leader for two years, and this experience has given me leadership, collaborative, and problem-solving skills. This background is also integral to the Vice President University and College Affairs position. Furthermore, I am the Equality Commissioner for Peter Gzowski College Cabinet, a member of the Students’ Association for International Development, and have been a marketing and organization member of the Community Movements Conference for two years. All of these involvements have allowed me to engage with students on campus and build connections with students, clubs and groups, faculty, and departments.

All of these connections have taught me not only time management and organization skills, but valuable people skills. Not only do I possess a passion for people, I possess a drive to fight for what students deserve: transparency, access, and honesty. My main goal is to ensure that every student knows they have someone they can go to with concerns, and that person should be me. Considering my participation within the TCSA, Orientation Week, Cabinet, other clubs and groups, and an extensive knowledge of Trent University generally, I believe that I am the right fit for this position. I have multiple working relationships across the Trent University campus collegially and university-wide. I have answers to your questions and a platform you can relate to. We need a student voice that not only cares for student issues, but possesses a passion for bringing awareness and solutions to the forefront surrounding them. I will fight for students, alongside students, in favour of students. I have the experience, dedication, and the drive to fulfill this position above and beyond outlined expectations. Do not vote for me based on knowing me or hearing of me – vote for me because I will fight to make a difference for your lives as students and advocate for you. The answer is positive: vote Rachel Smylie for Vice President University and College Affairs.

Presidential Candidates

Ann-Majella McKelvie

Ann-Majella McKelvie, candidate for President in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Thank you so much for taking the time to follow along and participate in this year’s TCSA election. My name is Ann-Majella McKelvie (she/her pronouns) and I am one of the candidates running for president. I am so grateful to be given this platform to share why I should be elected for the upcoming academic year.

One of the most valuable skills, I believe ate important for the next president to have is direct and transferable experience. This is something that I would bring to the table. For four years I served on LEC Cabinet in various roles, including Prime Minister in my fourth year. These four years gave me the knowledge and skills to be a positive and effective leader in student government. This experience led me to take on the roll as the current Vice-President of University and College Affairs at the TCSA. Being your VPUC has given me the opportunity to have hands on and direct experience with the TCSA and working with students across campus. This past year has been met with many accomplishments such as running successful orientation programming, raising $2000 at the annual 5K Colour Run for the Peterborough AIDS Resource Network, and connecting with various clubs and groups to put together a two week long de-stress fest for both exam periods. All of these achievements have pushed me to be a better leader everyday, and this is something that I will bring if I am successful in this presidential election.

This leads to another important reason as to why you should vote for me as your next president, which is my never-ending passion and love for Trent University and all the students that make up this vibrant community. We cannot talk about campus issues without talking about the recent changes that have been made under the Provincial government. These changes have made it clear that this is a direct attack on the work that students do everyday to make our campus safe, welcoming and an all around great place to be. If I am successfully elected, I will work very hard to ensure that student voices are always at the forefront of advocacy and decision-making. I will always work hard to make the services that the TCSA offers better and more accessible than ever before. I want the TCSA’s financial assistance programs such as grocery assistance, the parking grant, and APPLE and PSE funding lines to receive much more publicity so students know that we are here to make education less of a financial barrier.

Collectively, the work that I have done over the years and the work that I will continue to do in the future all have one common theme, which is to make every student I meet and work for feel like they matter. If you have any questions or inquiries, please do not hesitate to send me an email at Thank you again for reading my platform and being engaged.

Jeffery (Mikey) Temple

Mikey Temple, candidate for President in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Hello Trent! After three years as an activist in Peterborough, I am excited to be running to be our TCSA President!

Trent is situated on the living territory of the Michi Saagig Anishnaabeg, subject to Treaty 20 and the Williams treaty, and I acknowledge and work towards my responsibilities to this territory and its First Peoples.

I began my community activism as one of the organizers of Solidarity Weekend, where 1000 Peterborough community members came together to denounce racism and white supremacy. This commitment to social justice has led to positions in multiple groups within the Trent and Peterborough community.

As the Voter Contact Organizer for the New Democrat campaign in Peterborough-Kawartha, I helped create a transformative electoral bid through a focus on community engagement and outreach. I have used these skills for progressive causes, including for our new Mayor Diane Therrien and city councillor Kemi Akapo’s campaigns.

Currently, Trent students are in a precarious position. 37% of Domestic Full-Time students have lost a tuition-sized grant. After two years of polarizing conflict with the TCSA, the levy community that we have worked so hard to build is being undermined by the Student Choice Initiative. Trent is making cuts across the board while expanding international admissions. Students are competing with Peterborough residents for housing, harming students while driving homelessness within the city.

These are issues that the TCSA cannot tackle alone. Instead, I have been organizing the Peterborough Coalition Against Cuts To Education, a grassroots group with 30+ diverse organizations represented, including unions, political parties, and Trent student groups. Through the work of the Coalition, we have become leaders in Ontario for opposing Ford’s reforms.

As President, I will:

  • Continue to mobilize our community against Doug Ford’s attack on student funding. I will defend our student union and stand in solidarity with the Levy community through coalition-oriented activism, as an equal partner.
  • Prioritize placing pressure on the administration for institutional protections for international students. Currently, there is no provincial legislation protecting international students from tuition hikes. Through a TCSA-lead campaign, I will fight for a commitment to freeze international student tuition and an institutional commitment to mechanisms preventing tuition hikes.
  • Collaborate with municipal government and community organizations to respond to the housing crisis in Peterborough. The 1% vacancy rate forces students to compete for inadequate housing. This disproportionately impacts our queer and BIPOC communities. As students, we have the power to affect positive change in the housing sector.
  • Introduce greater accountability within the Association, starting with the first fiscal audit in 12 years. As an association, we oversee $5.5 million in income per year, and it is necessary for us to introduce more robust accountability measures.

I promise to bring my experience and dedication to this position, so we can fight against Ford’s reforms and for progressive causes. Please find me on our Facebook page, Mikey for TCSA President, or contact me on Instagram at @MikeyTemplePTBO for info on upcoming events!

Julian Bowen

Julian Bowen, candidate for President in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

My name is Julian Bowen and I am running to be Trent Central Student Association president for 2019-2020 term.

I am not a TCSA insider. However, I feel I best represent the interests of the student body, including the silent majority who are often unengaged with student politics. My background lies chiefly in politics and law. I have worked in the past in labour and union law and have been engaged my whole life in the offices and campaigns of various candidates and movements, including social justice and the environment. Originally, I didn’t plan on running but the students I spoke with about their concerns changed my mind. l hope you will realize I am the best candidate in this year’s race. I grew up around university funding structures, politics, and the finer points of drafting and implementing lasting and meaningful policy. My experience working in union and labour law and campaigning on Parliament Hill combined with my study of politics and business grant me unique insights in policy, finance, law and negotiation that grant me a distinct advantage in the position of TCSA president. Too often, due to the yearlong mandate of TCSA boards, board members might lose sight of the ultimate goal and vote in their own interest, or that of their friends, such as the December 2 meeting approving a roughly seven-percent raise for executive honoraria for the second year running – a move that helps the TCSA without assisting students. While I like to meet and chat with so many members of the Trent community, my end goal is not just to make friends, but to put in place a system that operates in the lasting interests of the student body.

My goal is to preserve the TCSA and the services that it offers to best serve the student body at Trent in a year where we will no doubt face tough spending decisions, given the changes imposed by the provincial government. I am committed to representing the best interest of the student body in every decision that I make. To this end, I plan on supporting and encouraging the legal bylaw audit as ratified by the board December 10. I will collaborate with students in creating a more open democracy, including being open to feedback, and pushing policy to enfranchise students to participate in board meetings by reviewing who receives voting rights. The TCSA should be run in a manner that is open and full of integrity. I will bring my experience working in labour law and on Parliament Hill to meeting and representing the interests of students in a professional fashion, whether it be with members of the TCSA board, members of the Trent board of directors, or government representatives in the wider Peterborough community, to ensure that we can work towards a better future, one that puts students first. All of this while ensuring that essential services such as transit, student financial assistance, and myriad other services that the TCSA provides continue to serve the students of Trent. A vote for me is a vote for support for students, but I thank you for your engagement no matter who you choose

Ryan Sova

Ryan Sova, candidate for President in the TCSA Spring General Election during March 2019. Photo courtesy candidate via the TCSA.

Over my five years at Trent, I have participated in as many aspects of our vibrant student community as possible. I study Forensic Science, worked as a don in Residence Life, work as TCSA Secretary and Career Centre staff, support clubs, and represented the student voice on Gzowski College’s Cabinet for four years. I have always enjoyed the welcoming smiles and encouraging atmosphere that Trent students emulate. Every year I have gotten involved with a different aspect of student life and have developed all the necessary skills now leading to my nomination for President of the TCSA.

But that is just my story. I want to hear Your Story, because I want to help bring student voices together to build Our Story. I want to represent your perspective in conversations and interactions with Trent administration, with various levels of government, and with the Trent community at large. With your vote, you give me the opportunity to make your voice a part of Trent’s story, Our Story.

In the role of President, I will strive to provide opportunities for students to have their voices heard by the TCSA. Open forums, dedicated drop-in times at the office, and other mechanisms will be considered to ensure that the TCSA is accessible and available to its students. Once elected in as President, I plan to be both a leader and a friend through approachability. I want to make sure the TCSA listens to its students and acts with their voices in mind. I want to make sure Our Story is united.

The role of President includes running transit, benefits, and the Student Centre, overseeing the budget, updating policies, and being responsible for the functioning of the Association as a whole. Beyond my previous experience in student government, treasury work, and policy development, I intend to bring some ideas and changes to further the good work already being accomplished by the TCSA. The following are a few perspectives I plan to provide:

  • Transit: I plan to work alongside the city and Peterborough Transit to determine growth options in both time and location availability to provide accessibility to more areas for student housing.
  • Policies: I plan to update policies and by-laws to reflect the needs and desires of students as voiced by the student community in recent and upcoming years.
  • Developments on Campus: I plan to encourage the university to pursue environmental, indigenous, archaeological, and community consultation before beginning further development on Trent lands.
  • Finances: I plan to ensure spending is appropriate, accountable, and transparent.
  • Student Choice Initiative: The recent provincial plan to make most student fees refundable infringes on the democratic rights of students. I plan to advocate and ensure essential services are not at risk and encourage the government to restore faith in our democratic processes.Vote Sova for President to have your voice in the next chapter of Trent’s history. For questions, feel free to reach out to my campaign page on Facebook.
About TCSA 18 Articles
The Trent Central Student Association is the largest student association at Trent University, representing all undergraduate students (full-time, part-time, and Education students) attending classes in Peterborough.