Last Thursday night, approximately 30 students attended the first UTM Liberals Annual General Meeting. The purpose of the AGM was to officially recognize the UTM Liberals under the Liberal Party of Canada.
Liberal candidate for Mississauga-Erindale Omar Alghabra acted as chair for the meeting. He started off by congratulating the members of UTM Liberals for their accomplishments in the last few months, and encouraged those in attendance to provide feedback and ideas on issues in order to ensure that student voices are heard.
One of the concerns involved the UTM Liberals and their ability to relate with students and get volunteers.
Member Saad Tauseef explained that campus apathy gets in the way of successful outreach initiatives. UTM Liberals president Deep Paul said that outreach requires funding to provide fliers and other resources for information.
I feel that we could be doing a better job at representing the demographics of the university, said student Munib Sajjad. Maybe the members of this club could do a little more outreach instead of just reaching out to their friends.
One attendee expressed his exasperation about the brevity with which the AGM was announced. Paul responded by telling the crowd that he was made aware in the middle of January that the final day to hold an AGM would be during the last week of January, leaving him with little time to spread the word.
During the AGM, candidates were nominated for executive positions. For the majority of executive positions, one sole candidate was nominated.
Nominees that acquired executive positions are Sumeer Sharma as VP federal, Hamza K as VP elections readiness, Asif Noorani as VP communications, Aamir Dada as VP treasurer, and Andalib Hossain as VP policy. As for Paul, he will continue to serve as president.
The position for VP executive nearly came down to an election, as both Saad Tauseef and Ashar Ali were nominated. Danya Saiyid was nominated for VP membership. And Tauseef, the first to speak during what attendees thought would be a round of elections speeches, withdrew from the running, explaining that he would prefer to leave the position in the hands of Ali, who he believed was more experienced.
Ali praised Tauseef for his potential. Its never about the position; its never about anything but support. If you show your support, then you will achieve what you set out to achieve. I still believe that Saad and I will make the same change, whether as a volunteer or as a vice president, said Ali, who was appointed VP executive after Tauseefs withdrawal.
The AGM was also used to fill positions in on the Mississauga-Erindale Federal Young Liberals (MEFYL), a group specific to the Mississauga-Erindale riding. Paul attained the position as president for that particular group as well. As president of the MEFYL, Paul and the other elected members will have the opportunity to work outside of campus.
Alghabra closed the formal portion of the AGM by inviting others to become involved and take interest in running for executive positions. I want to congratulate all of the office holders and I want to remind them of the awesome responsibility that they have. I also want to remind the rest of you that if any of you have aspirations in seeking positions, this is just the beginning, said the former MP.
Paul spoke of the future direction that the UTML will take.
The UTM Liberals will focus on promoting the values of the party by organizing events on campus and trying to do outreach, said Paul. My idea is to give youth the platform to make a difference in the world they are living in. I want youth to have the opportunity to talk about the issues they are passionate about with politicians.
As a fairly new edition to the UTM campus, the UTM Liberals has organized various events with guest speakers such as Chris Bentley, Justin Trudeau and Michael Ignatieff.