Aloysius Wong on running for Victoria College Senate Representative
by Ann Marie Elpa
October 4, 2019
Published in The Strand.
The Strand: Why are you running?  
Aloysius Wong: I’m running because Victoria College was my first community at UofT and it continues to be the space and the community in which I spend most of my time and energy. Particular to Senate, I’m running because I and many other Vic students applied to Vic because of the amount of scholarships available and the guaranteed in-course scholarship. However, communication around scholarships and changes to them could use improvement, so I hope that in my role on the Senate I can advocate for Vic students in this way and improve our access to the financial resources that are available to us. 
TS: What makes you qualified for this role?  
AW: I’ve been the Co-President of VicXposure for the 2018-19 year and continue to be for the 2019-20 year. I was an Orientation Exec for Orientation 2018 and am a Transition Mentor for the 2019-20 year. I was and continue to be a student representative to the VCC (Victoria College Council), a role I’ve had since September 2018. I’ve also been a part of the Orientation Steering Committee, Cat’s Eye Subcommittee, Victoria College Ultimate Frisbee, the Student Projects Advisory Committee, and most recently the Dean’s Advisory Committee. Employment-wise, I’ve also been working with the Isabel Bader Theatre as a Front of House usher from June 2018 and a Front of House manager from June 2019. Outside of Vic, I’m also involved with the Peace, Conflict and Justice Society, the How Many Lives movement, and the UofT Mental Health Policy Council. 
TS: What goals do you want to achieve during your term?  
AW: I have two goals for this term. The first should be uncontroversial with the staff and relatively easy to implement. The idea for this is to create an online calculator on the Vic website that allows students to see if they’ll receive an in-course scholarship given their recent grades, or to see what marks they need to receive one in the courses they are currently pursuing. The calculation involves SGPAs, transfer credits, credits completed in versus out of Vic, CR/NCR courses, and when the last five credits were completed, so having a calculator would be a big help for students’ anxiety and financial security. 
 
The second requires a budgetary change in the Senate. This goal is to uncouple the guaranteed in-course scholarships and the participation in-course scholarships. At the moment, if you receive a participation in-course scholarship, you are not eligible for the guaranteed scholarship as well. Because many of the participation in-course scholarships have the same value as the guaranteed scholarship anyway, it sends the wrong message to involved students, especially those who are involved at the price of more work hours or study time. Indirectly, it also disincentivizes students who would otherwise apply to the participation in-course scholarship or who would get involved to receive one for their work in the past academic year. However, I would only pursue this goal if it does not come at the price of fewer Vic Bursaries or other in-course scholarships. 
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
You can vote now until October 4th at voting.utoronto.ca.
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