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.