UMSU vice-presidential candidates

(Top left to bottom right): Carolyn Wang, Prabhnoor Singh, Rachhvir Dhaliwal, Adil Hayat, Bolu Akindele, Michael Prokipchuk


Rachhvir Dhaliwal, a third-year political studies student, is running unopposed for the newly created position of vice president university affairs.

Dhaliwal said she is running for this position to make sure that student voices at the U of M are “heard and valued.” Dhaliwal said she has heard concerns in conversation with peers over the past years, and that if elected, she will prioritize finding solutions for these concerns. 

Equity on campus is important to Dhaliwal. She said she will also advocate to expand students’ access to mental health services. 

“I believe that every mind matters,” she said. 

Dhaliwal hopes to “ease the financial burden” for students by working alongside the other executives to increase scholarships and bursaries for students. She also said that, if elected, she will “continue to prioritize Indigenous issues and amplify Indigenous voices.” 

She has held board positions in multiple student organizations, including the UM Pre-Law Society, University of Manitoba Punjabi Students’ Association and University of Manitoba Sikh Student Association. Dhaliwal also has worked with the governments of Winnipeg and Manitoba. 

Regarding another aspect of the university, Dhaliwal said she believes in the importance of building strong relationships with faculty and administration “in order to provide more support to students.”. 

When students need an advocate, Dhaliwal said “a strategy that incorporates collaboration, empowerment, education and active listening” is required, and that she will work to ensure that many points of view are considered during the advocacy process. 

Dhaliwal said her main priority will be making sure that “students’ concerns are met with solutions.”


Prabhnoor Singh is a second-year political studies student running unopposed for the position of vice president external affairs. 

Singh grew up not seeing people that looked like him in leadership positions, and he wants young people who look like him to come to the university campus and see him in a leadership role, and to know that they “are welcome on campus.” 

He said he wants to make the campus environment more diverse, inclusive and inspirational to leaders of any community. 

Singh was one of ten pages selected to work in the legislative assembly in high school. He believes his experience working with government would be an advantage to him in the position of vice president external affairs. 

Singh’s resume includes holding the title of founder and president of the University of Manitoba Punjabi Students’ Association, co-chief events coordinator for Racial Equity and Inclusion Alliance and director of external affairs for the University of Manitoba Sikh Students’ Association. 

When serving students, Singh said, if elected, he will be an active listener. He believes that being available for students and listening is important when trying to “provide solutions to their concerns,” and intends to listen to ideas students have. 

“At the end of the day, people won’t remember who we as executives were, but they will remember what we have done,” Singh said. 

International student health coverage is an issue Singh wants to highlight. He plans to lobby for “better and quicker implementation” of coverage for international students. An issue he hopes to collaborate with the city on is a more accessible transportation network for students. He said this would include bus arrivals in shorter intervals during “rush hours” so students are not passed by full buses.


Adil Hayat

Hayat is a second-year political studies student who is running for vice president finance and operations because of his interest in U of M finances and the number of questions raised about UMSU finances this year. 

This past year, Hayat has served as the director of finance for the U of M Undergraduate Political Studies Students’ Association and as the chief financial officer for REIA. He has also served as treasurer for the Winnipeg Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy program. 

Hayat said he is familiar with accounting as well as “the basics of business management,” and feels that he can succeed in these roles. For Hayat, being elected as VPFO “is the next step after doing finances for a community group or a faculty.” 

“I don’t want to be the VPFO that just promises accountability, or that just says, ‘I will be transparent with your money,’” he said. “I want to be the VPFO that provides guidance” for students to access the services they pay into with their fees.

Along with guidance, Hayat said he wants to “celebrate the resources” available for students through UMSU as a method of information. 

Hayat said financial guidance, clarity and accountability are the pillars of his platform. He said he wants to be able to guide students to monetary assistance and resources they are entitled to, as he believes that easing financial burdens can “lead to better academic results.” 

Hayat said he is committed to “being clear and consistent” with students’ money and discussing financial reports in open session for all students to hear, within the limits of the law. 

According to Hayat, financial accountability is key. He wants to diversify spending and to be held accountable for those expenditures in order to “make our businesses lucrative again.” 

“Accountability is visibility,” said Hayat. He said he plans on being visible to students so “anybody can come and ask me about their money.”

He said he plans to promote the participation of students in UMSU’s finance committee. With student participation, he says he will make sure that “budget decisions reflect a diverse range of perspectives.” 

“While it may not be possible to fulfill every request, my goal is to create a budget that meets the essential needs of all students,” he said. 

Carolyn Wang

Wang is a second-year student studying finance and accounting. 

She is running for the position of VPFO because she sees a demand for affordability in UMSU businesses. She also said students lack financial opportunities and are paying fees for services they do not necessarily use. 

“I want to make university more affordable and to aid the financial burden of students by making UMSU more affordable for all students,” she said.  

Wang acknowledged that many U of M students struggle with finances at the same time as prices rise across the board. She hopes to address that by reducing the price of services and foods on campus that she feels are priced too high for students, along with finding a way for students to opt out of fees for services they do not use. She also said she will hold promotions and menus at UMSU businesses that have options costing less than $5 and $10. 

She said her time spent as the Arts Student Body Council director of finance and chair of the finance committee allowed her to help manage a budget of thousands of for arts students. She has also volunteered for mental health and empowerment groups on campus. 

Wang said she believes that students should be electing someone passionate about student issues “instead of someone who wants something on their resume.” 

If elected, Wang said she will donate a portion of her salary to “a scholarship fund, or something like that.”

Another goal Wang has is to “revamp the UMSU spaces,” adding things like more microwaves and additional places for students to eat so they can connect with one another. 

Wang said she plans to invite students to meetings where budget issues are being discussed, and that she will seek opinions on where to allocate money from students before budgets are finalized. 

She intends to provide more funding to the student services that are used the most while “cutting down on expenses,” she said.

Wang also plans to create a reporting service for students to anonymously give feedback about what they need from student services.


Bolu Akindele

Akindele is an international nursing student from Nigeria who hopes that her friendliness and approachability shine as she runs for vice president student life. She loves having conversations with people and looks forward to speaking with voters throughout the election period. 

Akindele said she is “committed to enhancing student life” by creating an “engaging and vibrant” campus for all students, she said. By collaborating with various communities, groups and clubs, she hopes to “create a more diverse and inclusive” university experience. 

If elected, Akindele said she plans to increase student involvement by organizing events and initiatives that students “want and need.” She says there is currently a “concerning” lack of student engagement.

She said simplifying the process to start clubs on campus is an important goal for her. This includes better promotion of existing student clubs, so students are aware of the “diverse range of student groups” and how to get involved in them. 

Akindele is dedicated to “equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous reconciliation” on campus. She hopes to cultivate an “inclusive, supportive and anti-racism” university community. She plans to work with marginalized communities and meet their needs.

She is also committed to raising awareness of UMSU funds and financial resources for students. She also wants to make the UMSU food bank more accessible to students. 

“This would help a lot of students, particularly international students like myself,” she said. 

Akindele has held the position of vice president membership experience in the Black Students’ Community. 

Mental health is an important issue for Akindele. She said she will advocate for accessible mental health resources on and off campus.  

She said she will work to “foster an environment that prioritizes mental well-being, and empowering students to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”

Akindele believes campus safety is important. Two ways she proposed improving campus safety are opening sexual violence prevention workshops for all students, and raising awareness of the UM Safe program. 

She said she wants to ensure that each student feels welcome at campus events, and she plans to listen to the student body’s needs in order to “plan and execute events [that] align with the diverse interests of students.”

Commitment to inclusive events is also an important part of her platform. She said she will promote events “featuring a wide range of activities, performances and food options that reflect the diversity of” students to ensure “every student can fully participate” in campus activities.

Michael Prokipchuk

Second-year political studies student Michael Prokipchuk said he enjoys keeping busy and working with students. 

He believes he has the “experience and the skills and the network” necessary to do the job. He has been on the UMSU board of directors for two years as U1 representative and governance chair. He has also served as a constituency assistant for MLA Billie Cross, which involved attending meetings and working with officials at various levels of government. 

“I think my combined skills, time and experience will bode well for me in my candidacy,” he said. 

Prokipchuk said he wants students to know that although student leadership is young, “we’re all here looking to do our best.” 

“I’m not running for this position for the salary or the title or any type of personal benefit,” he said. “I know that my experience, my network and my skill set can be used to do this job right.”

Prokipchuk wants to hear from students. He said that each one of the over 20,000 undergraduate students on campus has a vision of what they want to see at the university, and he feels it is important to hear from students in order to “implement measures that support” all students. 

Prokipchuk hopes to continue to expand the hardship fund. He said that removing financial roadblocks and barriers is important, wherever that is possible. 

He also plans to implement treasurer training for all registered UMSU groups, which would have to be completed in order to be recognized by UMSU, similar to requirements to take the sexual violence prevention workshop. He argued this training could help to counteract issues around financial accountability for councils and clubs have faced. 

Prokipchuk said he is promising policies that are “inclusive and actionable.” He believes that students currently face barriers at events for reasons that could “range from ticket pricing, a general feeling of exclusivity or just not knowing what events are happening.”