Skip To Content
Student Senate Elects New Student Trustees for 2023-2024
Student Senate Elects New Student Trustees for 2023-2024
Posted on 03/03/2023

March 3, 2023The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Student Senate held their annual Student Trustee Election on Tuesday, February 28 to elect the two new Student Trustees for the 2023-2024 school year.  

Nominations were open from December 12 to February 13 for all UCDSB students. Three candidates were shortlisted for the election and had an opportunity to address the Student Senate, outlining their goals and vision for their time in office. Speeches were followed by a question-and-answer period with student senators.  

Student Senate is comprised of student representatives from each UCDSB secondary school, including TR Leger School of Adult, Alternative and Continuing Education, and a representative from the Indigenous Leadership Program (iLead) and Akwesasne. Senators meet four times a year, plus monthly supplementary meetings to discuss matters related to school climate and culture.  

  After hearing from all candidates, Student Senators voted by secret ballot to elect Afaq Virk from Cornwall Collegiate Vocational School and Merab Ali from Seaway District High School as the new Student Trustees for the 2023-2024 school year.

“It's a wonderful opportunity that has given me the chance to express the ideas that I have and to be able to bounce back those ideas and collaborate with a group of highly motivated students to work to create a lasting legacy in our school board, and ultimately elevate the experiences of every single one of our students,” says Virk. “I have two principles, the first one being to promote education and ensure that students are able to learn in a space where they feel they're heard, where they have all the support they need, and I want to ensure that schools are able to have a sense of community with each other.

Virk adds that he is looking forward to seeing the inner workings of the UCDSB, how decisions get made, the various policies and learning from the student body.  

To be elected is an incredible opportunity and I cannot wait to use my position as a platform to promote positive change for equity, inclusion and mental health, as well as other initiatives that student senators and all the students at this board would like to see,” says Ali. “My goals for next year would definitely be equity inclusion, and promoting safe inclusive spaces for all students, regardless of whatever their background may be, as well as mental health and providing resources and removing stigma. I am also interested in environmental initiatives that benefit those of low socio-economic troubles or general enrollment and communities. 

Ali added she is looking forward to collaborating with others, gaining insight into how a school board operates and working to enhance student voice. Virk and Ali’s term of office will run from August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024. They will be replacing current Student Trustees Janevra Pier and Olivia Pereira. An honorarium of $2,500 is provided to each student at the end of their term of office.  

“As trustees, we are fortunate to be able to work with such dedicated and insightful Student Trustees. Each year, they bring that instrumental student voice to the Board table, backed by the thousands of students within the UCDSB. We look forward to working collaboratively with Afaq and Merab once their term begins, supporting their development, and learning from their unique perspectives and experiences. Plus, seeing them grow and succeed in their roles as student trustees," says UCDSB Vice-Chair Corina Parisien. In addition to her role with the Board of Trustees, Parisien serves as Student Trustee Mentor. Trustee Lynda Johnston joins Parisien as a mentor as well.

Student Trustees attend regular UCDSB Board of Trustees Meetings and provide brief reports to the Board, serve as Chair (Virk) and Vice-Chair (Ali) of the Student Senate, and have the opportunity to attend Ontario Student Trustee Association’s (OSTA-AECO) conferences. 

  For media inquiries, please contact:   

April Scott-Clarke   Manager of Communications   Upper Canada District School Board   [email protected] 

    Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.