“I hope the big thing I have going for me is the past experience with the TSCA, you can see what I’ve done and you can decide whether you have found the TCSA to be improved,” Spiwak started.
“Students can see that I worked hard.”
One of her crowning moments from this previous year was identifying that the TCSA paid for the snow removal as part of transit charges and ratifying it.
Sixty thousand dollars a year was taken out of the TCSA budget for snow removal, now it is taken from parking, which Spiwak believes is the proper way to pay for it, and also leaves the TCSA with more money.
Spiwak explained how she saved the student government the money.
“When I first came into office I went over the budget and in the transit budget $60,000 a year was under snow removal.
So when I asked about it, they said yes we do use some TCSA money to pay for snow removal, but under the understanding between it says the school has to ask every year before they use our money for different uses and that wasn’t happening. They were taking the $60,000 out before we got our cheque.”
Last year Spiwak managed to win with 53 per cent of the vote in a crowded race; there were three other candidates were vying for presidency.
Corey LeBlanc is the only other candidate this year, but he has been trying to challenge her on a variety of topics. In the debate, their difference in policy on four aspects, such as international students, transit funds, TCSA bursaries and levy groups, was brought forward.
“When I advocate for student tuition, I advocate for the international students every time.”
This statement was well received, earning Spiwak a round of applause at the debate.
LeBlanc, on the other hand, said he is more concerned about tuition increases on Canadian students.
When Leblanc challenged Spiwak to commit to a TCSA compassion bursary funded by 10 per cent of the president’s salary, Spiwak dodged and suggested it was against by-laws to make such a change in the budget.
This, along with a dispute over how her saved snow-removal money should be used, offered Spiwak to impress upon the audience her knowledge of the TCSA regulations.
The dispute over snow removal money came when LeBlanc suggested in the debate that it be used to support students in poverty. Spiwak felt it would be best served staying in transit.
“That money will stay in transit so that the next time the city raises the price for service hopefully we won’t have to charge our students more,” she reasoned.
Furthermore she said it was against by-laws to move that much money for the transit budget.
Above all Spiwak believes her work helps bring people together.
“A big accomplishment I was proud of was our Respect Indigenous Space campaign, as a Gzowski student, it was hard hearing about the vandalism because I knew how much those spaces meant to indigenous students,” Spiwak said.
“Then we were able to have our first TUNA social night, where it was nice to socialize and get closer to the indigenous student leaders on campus.
That was big effort of mine to recognize and bridge the gap with student groups that maybe don’t get enough attention.”