The UTMSU is becoming a family-run business.

Let us explain.

The students’ union hasn’t released its board meeting minutes since April 1, 2019. On the website, right above the minute packages, it reads, “UTMSU is all about transparency. We make sure that we present each and every information the students need to know.” That’s rich stuff.

Earlier this year, the UTMSU hired Nour Alideeb to be their new executive director. Who is Nour Alideeb? She’s the wife of the union’s previous executive director, Munib Sajjad. Sounds sketchy, right? Well, there’s a lot more you should know.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, Nour was the union’s VP internal—the following academic year she served as president. After her presidential term ended in 2017, Nour was elected as chairperson of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS-O). She held that position for two years before returning to the UTMSU at the beginning of this academic year.

The year Nour was elected as UTMSU president in 2016, Munib was hired as executive director. According to an article published in The Medium on October 3, 2016, Sajjad was the campaign manager for Unite UTM, the slate that Alideeb ran under.

Talk about a power couple.

Prior to his hiring as executive director, Munib served as the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) president in the 2013-2014 year. In 2015, Munib was hired by the UTMSU to be their executive coordinator, a role that did not exist previously.

It looks like Nour and Munib have made student politics a full-time career. How noble. If only they’d disclose their salaries. 

Not only is it bad that the UTMSU has become a family business—it has now solidified itself as a vocal extension of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS).

The union is clearly driven by the CFS’ mandate, to the point of losing its own autonomy.

Only recently, the UTMSU had a poster hanging above the CCT foyer calling for three priorities: the reversal of the SCI, free tuition, and respect for the CFS. Apparently, the union believes free tuition and liking everything the CFS does are equal priorities.

Over the past four UTMSU elections, virtually identical slates won. The slates that won involved the same people from the union’s ranks, with the same ideas. Moreover, each election saw the previous year’s president manage the campaign for the incoming slate. Last year’s UTMSU president has taken over for Nour as CFS-O chairperson, and The CFS has become so involved with the operations of the UTMSU that the organizations have become one and the same.

These problems are nothing new. Nour taking over is just a continuation of the status quo. The UTMSU will never change.

23 Comments

  1. It gets worse – one needs to also look at the Khogali dynasty to realize the connection to Mohammed Hashim, the true mastermind behind this whole operation. I remember on several occasions, as a Board Member, wjwre Khogali acted in appalling and inappropriate ways: the first when he copy/pasted UTSU onto a UTMSU resolution as was called out for it; he overruled it. Second a Muslim member of the Board made a remark about the “three white boys” (the three of us who were Caucasian) and everyone else laughed. Khogali explained that this was not racism because (and I paraphrase) “white people are the oppressor so any insult against white people is a fight for justice” despite the fact that two of the three “white boys” were from immigrant Polish families. This systemic racism and nepotism is not surprising given the behaviour exhibited by the UTMSU for the past decade. As the found of UTM/TV, I was continually questioned as to a) when will you become a club (therefore reliant on UTMSU funding and control and b) what “censorship” measures do you have in place? (i.e. How will you keep stories not flattering to the UTMSU from getting out?” Basically it has been a dictatorship of the million-dollar budget that the UTMSU has, and it is not surprising to me (or many others) at all that they would try to “keep it in the family” so to speak. Corruption at the highest level and my only hope is that one day some slate of candidates for UTM Board elections can displace this nepotistic dynasty.

    • Did you just accuse the board of systemic racism against three white boys? LMAO. Sorry, the non-whites aren’t kowtowing to you anymore. It’s bizarre that you’re in university and yet haven’t bothered to find out the definition of racism. And to the writer of this piece, this reads as a smear campaign. A pretty pathetic one at that. Pretty sure you only have to google Alideeb’s name to see all the impressive stuff she’s been doing that you conveniently failed to mention. If I wanted a tabloid article, I’d read the Enquirer.

    • What in this world is this nonsense?? I haven’t been anywhere even remotely close to UTM in 8 years!

      Additionally, this hit piece on Nour and Munib is incredibly irresponsible and undermines the Democratic will of students and the many valuable contributions Nour and Munib have made – leading to the legitimacy of their position.
      To infer corruption without any basis of fact is defamatory and harmful to their reputations. I would highly suggest the Medium take down this article and apologize to the parties named.

      And Andrew, I don’t know who you are but you clearly have your head up your ass.

  2. Unfortunately this is an organization wide problem. In first year, I ran for first year rep. My opponent, whose boyfriend was already on the board of director, decided to endorse me (which I never requested). As he was already on the board, he was not allowed to endorse any candidate and he knew this fact. I ended up with a strike against my campaign. I provided proof that I had never made such a request as I barely knew either of them and their “investigation” never concluded. The nepotism runs deeper than most students know.

    • What the f*ck do you know Ishmal. Where are your facts. The world runs on facts. Before you call someone a scumbag, have you seen a picture of your father before? Or does your mother not know who he really is?

  3. This is completely accurate. During my time at UTM it seemed like the student union each year would change in just the marginal of ways and it was always the same people running the show. Nothing really changed, and they’re just permeant fixtures getting a paycheck off of the backs of students. They have to give it up sometime.

  4. The UTMSU is absolute garbage. I have heard that they have even attempted to silence criticisms that appear in the student newspaper. I have unfortunately met Nour, a self-righteous entitled individual who believes that her shit doesn’t stink. Very few individuals dare speak out against them as they are aware that the UTMSU rigs it’s elections against dissenting voices.

    • I have had the opportunity to met Nour in person and talk to her and I can say she’s not a “a self-righteous entitled individual who believes that her shit doesn’t stink.” She’s one of the most caring, hardworking people I know. She genuinely cares about students and she’s there to represent students interest. So before you come for anyone, please at least have a conversation with them. You should not judge a book by what people say or what you heard.

  5. So, based off of 2 of the union’s representatives being in a marital relationship, the entire fucking Union is a family run business? Dkm bruh

  6. Dear cowardly writer, you have no basis or claims on any of your accusations here and now you are going forward by calling these people a “power couple”. Connecting dots on one’s employment history does not really create anyone into a power couple. Both of these individuals have been held accountable for to the union oath while serving their time their. Scandals and controversial work ethic is are from who they are.

    This writer poses the doubt that these two individuals are hand in hand working in the same Union and employed with similar roles or the same employment titles, nevertheless these titles were never employed concurrently nor were they handed off to each other with in favour yet they were held under highest amount of scrutiny throughout their careers. I implore this cowardly writer properly investigate as a writer and then clarify what the reader needs to learn, rather than wasting all of our timea with thia waste of space on the internet. This kind of suggestive writing is useless and baseless and deeply desperate search for a scandal for their dying newspaper The Medium to remain exsisting.

    These accusations that the medium is so infamous for on throwing on anybody, has now targeted Ms Alideeb and Mr. Sajjad…I have to ask .. how many of your newspapers have been going into the trashpiles before you decided to pick this subject up?  Corruption? Lack of transparency? I don’t see any proof here, so what you have baseless lies and obvious connections that these two are actually a couple. Whomp whomp.

    This really seems like a pathetic line of complaints for the sake of complaints. Their work is honest, clean their work is good and both equavilantly provided nothing but dedication and loyalty to the student Union and to the students themselves.
    The current executive director, Ms. Alideeb, was also part of a long strenuous vetting process, nor was she given any preferential treatment just as her counterpart so where do these doubts come from?

    Scandalizing such issues takes away from actual student matters and this is what has happened here. It’s quite timely that you post up an article at this point right before the actual AGM meeting November 27th, 2019.

    On top of that this is a rather sexist form of writing rather than referring to the current executive director and former chairperson of CFS as her own title she is referred to as “the wife”. This writer has failed to highlight any of her accolades and what she has brought to the table from her previous experience and highlighted the strong line of positive experiences of what she will be bringing forth for this role. What an obscene excuse of an OP-ED an article before questioning her abilities..

    My concern here is why hasn’t this writer been actually publicly been declared because it’s not right you can call out to people yet you actually are shamelessly hiding behind your words weak words on top of that while calling for “transparency”.

    Once again it’s a non-issue turning into an issue and if you would like to make this into one then actually bring out the points don’t be a coward behind your words.
    Ahh but yes.. that’s not the “truth telling” style of The Medium is it? Grow up. Stop your cowardly reporting for once and write something substantial.

  7. To the anonymous writer,

    Instead of implying such sexist, hateful and disturbing notions, I would encourage you to research the accomplishments and the success Nour has achieved over the years.

    The UTMSU has been extremely transparent about their hiring process, so I would suggest you rid yourself of these conspiracy theories.

    • Dear writers of the Medium,

      This was not only poor-quality writing and journalism but an active attempt to anonymously smear individuals they clearly know nothing about. Taking this sexist perspective on, ‘The Wife”, not only perpetuates the violence and oppression against women [in power], it highlights that my fellow students at UTM echo these patriarchal values. Furthermore, the author has shown very little evidence of their argument, making fallacious accusations of corruption with no proof to convince the reader. Freedom of expression is a right of autonomy and exercising power, however, when you are discriminating based on sex, religion, marital status, ethnicity, etc…. it is against the equity policies of the university and the human rights code of Canada.

      Therefore, The Medium should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such a distasteful and misogynistic article.

  8. To the writers at The Medium,
    This article, along with a lot of past articles shows why UTM needs another outlet to promote its news. None of your articles are backed with strongly supported evidence for your claims. They are just pieces written to solely draw in students that pay no attention to your garbage outlet. You did not mention anything about the hiring process, her qualifications, or proof that she got the job because she’s his wife.

    As per the campaign ran by her previously, and endorsed by the executive team of the UTMSU, this is not a new concept. They PROMOTED this during their campaigns, and WERE ELECTED because THE BELIEFS were similar to that of the MAJORITY OF STUDENTS. That means that this campaign is not just something they choose to endorse, but is something all of the students that elected them found important to them as well.

    Please write something that is supported with evidence, and not just to catch the attention of students just because you guys are really bad as a paper and no one finds your work interesting. I don’t think the writers are qualified to hold their positions at the medium, all of the papers are shit.

  9. This is incredibly sexist and there is absolutely no basis for your claims. Shame on you for trying to create a false narrative out of nothing.

  10. I got involved with UTMSU when i was a 2nd year student at UTM, I agree with this article and UTMSU is full of corruption and dirty politics. It’s nice to finally see that they’re being exposed.
    And thanks to whoever wrote this article.

  11. I got involved with UTMSU when i was a 2nd year student at UTM, I agree with this article and UTMSU is full of corruption and dirty politics. It’s nice to finally see that they’re being exposed.
    And thanks to whoever wrote this article.

  12. Interesting how people who agree with this piece were directly involved with UTMSU and have experiences from that. Seems factual enough for me.

  13. Thank you for this article @themedium, it’s a very eye-opening piece on nepotism in the UTMSU. And for the people saying it’s sexist, it’s not. This article is legit and if you still think its sexist, then you obviously don’t know what sexism is. We need articles like this to report on important issues that otherwise other people would refuse to acknowledge, so keep making these informed articles.

  14. For those of you who are saying this article is inaccurate, sexist, and misleading why haven’t any of you pointed out the inaccuracies in the article?

    Seems like the sexist card is being used by Nour in her FB post to avoid actual dialogue (in classic UTMSU fashion). Similar to how they hold protests and flash mobs instead of having productive conversations with the administration (who don’t even take them seriously because of their poor reputation on campus).

    From my time at UTM, I found the student union to be a group masquerading as students fighting for the students but without any real, meaningful change. They are also far from being transparent. I have nothing against the union and feel they have a place on campus, but when the same groups of people and their friends remain in control while claiming to bring about meaningful change you know something is wrong.

    Also, during my time at the school the executive directors (i.e Walied Khogali) and former presidents (Nour Alideeb and Munib Sajjad) were heavily involved in the elections to ensure their candidates would win. They had an army of student volunteers from CFS and other campuses to help them and any other slate didn’t stand a chance because of this. Why can’t these individuals move on with their lives like many other student union executives and get real jobs off campus ?

    If this isn’t nepotism, what is?

    Good on the Medium for covering this in spite of the pressure being put on them from UTMSU!

    Ask any alumni and they will confirm this is accurate.

  15. Dear writers of the Medium,

    This was not only poor-quality writing and journalism but an active attempt to anonymously smear individuals they clearly know nothing about. Taking this sexist perspective on, ‘The Wife”, not only perpetuates the violence and oppression against women [in power], it highlights that my fellow students at UTM echo these patriarchal values. Furthermore, the author has shown very little evidence of their argument, making fallacious accusations of corruption with no proof to convince the reader. Freedom of expression is a right of autonomy and exercising power, however, when you are discriminating based on sex, religion, marital status, ethnicity, etc…. it is against the equity policies of the university and the human rights code of Canada.

    Therefore, The Medium should be ashamed of themselves for publishing such a distasteful and misogynistic article.

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