Maleeka Thomas Presidential Candidate

Headshot of Maleeka Thomas

Oki! My name is Maleeka Thomas and I use she/her pronouns. I am a fifth-year international student from Portmore, Jamaica, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Anthropology and I am running for re-election to be your 58th Students’ Union President. I am an engaged and dedicated student who is passionate about advocacy, equity, and bettering the student experience; I wholeheartedly believe that it is only through bridging the gap between communities with proper advocacy and action that we can work towards building a better University of Lethbridge. A uLethbridge where all undergraduate students feel a sense of belonging in all parts of the institution and feel that all voices are included in the decision-making process. I enjoy playing netball, a sport I have played for 9 years; dancing and singing are also passions of mine that I enjoy. If I’m not working you can find me watching reruns of ‘fresh prince of bel air’ or ‘friends’. This past year, I had the honour of being elected ULSU President and fulfilled my duties as such. I’ve participated in and attended events, committees and discussions in so many rich and diverse facets of student life along with fulfilling my required obligations in an effort to broaden my view on the student perspectives and serve as a powerhouse for advocating for unique students’ needs. I also currently hold leadership and executive roles in bodies internal and external to the ULSU namely, Director of Equity Diversity and Inclusion for the Canadian Alliance of Students Association, Board Member for the Council of Alberta University Student as well as sit on internal committees in accordance with my role. Previously, I held the seat of Vice President External for the Pre-law Society, Events and Activities Coordinator for levy group, World Universities Service Canada (WUSC), Secretary, and Board Member for the Meliorist, Volunteer Coordinator for the ULSU, and Student Activities Coordinator for the Exchange student department. I have given my all and will continue to give 100% of my effort in the role of President. My experiences in all these positions have enabled me to recognize my capabilities as well as develop an understanding on how to effect changes and it is my intent to continue to do so as your ULSU President. I define my level of success by my ability to create and foster positive impacts and I aim to be the change you want to see. I believe that my passion for advocacy, fostering a community for all students, my experiences, dedication, drive, and skill set are the tools I will use to continue to amplify your voice.

What do you know about the position you are running for?

What are some of the initiatives you would like to implement if you are elected?

I lead through action and following ongoing conversations and discussions with students, as well as seeing first hand the systemic issues that plague students; I can confidently say that my platform is not one that is of a singular mind, rather it represents the collective undergraduate student population and is a compilation of ideas, thoughts, and concerns that we all have shared. My platform recognizes the intersectionality of each and seeks to ensure that not just one area of the student experience is highlighted but all areas are supportive of each other in order to bolster change on campus. I am driven by my passion for effective advocacy efforts and throughout my time here as your current President, I have continually sought your input and will use this platform to advocate for your best interest. My platform aims to address issues that reproduce notions of systemic barriers that exist within our institution. It is reflective of the array of communities that makes up the student body and is supported by four main pillars: Affordability Mobilization Equity & Accessibility Student Experience Affordability College life is one that is very expensive and many students like myself struggle to balance financial concerns with academic experience. There are so many additional, unexpected increases in costs such as textbooks, food, rental and housing costs, and tuition fees especially. I view affordability through many different lenses and hope to tackle this issue by working alongside the ULSU team to lobby both the institution, municipal, provincial and federal governments to work to improve the student financial aid system. Mobilization I believe all students want a university where the student leaders and their decisions are held to account. In an effort to ensure that this is fulfilled, there are two bases of the mobilization pillar, communication/ transparency, and engagement. Communication: My aim is to increase communication between the Students’ Union and the students to try and provide everyone with regular updates on what the Student’s Union is doing to improve the experience of all students. Engagement means seeking student opinion on crucial topics, but also creating casual, friendly connections as your student representatives. I aim to engage you authentically and bring each of you to the table in efforts to convey what we do for you. Equity & Accessibility Equity and accessibility are foundational values that guide my platform and goals, it is also what I believe should guide all decisions made in a university setting. The students on our campus come from a vast variety of backgrounds and lived experiences and while no student experience will be the same, it is my hope that we can work together to close the gap of inequities. In the efforts of Indigenization and the commitment to reconciliation, I intend to work with the Indigenous community of the Treaty 7 Territory in which our university sits to foster positive relationships that will ensure that the TRC 94 calls to action are actively being worked on. Additionally, I will advocate for international students in ensuring that the necessary support is increased and provided. Lastly, I aim to continue to advocate for students who have been historically excluded to ensure that the lack of academic support, funding, and resources issues that they disproportionately face are addressed. All in all, I wish to actively guide the ULSU in developing a campus culture that is equitable, accessible, and safe. Student Experience There should be a relationship with the university that recognises us for what we are- students paying for an educational service. But more than that, students need a relationship with the university and the ULSU that fundamentally works. Essentially, there needs to be a strong platform where students are able to bring a unified voice to the table to ensure a better student experience. Improving student life on campus requires a myriad of things, one being a student government with a strategic plan who ensures that measures are put in place to support students. This includes but is not limited to the development of the food services offered to students, more funding for mental health services that ensures cultural competency training, increased support for emergency bursaries, more accessible accommodated learning services. I will ensure that the ULSU does work that is directly in the best interest of all students it represents. This platform is not cemented nor will it ever be complete. I will make every effort to seek knowledge from the ULSU team and students. I encourage and remain open to making changes that are reflective of your voices, concerns, and needs. Throughout this election, campaign, and if elected, the presidency, I will continue to be that someone you can relate to, someone you can trust, someone you can count on, and most importantly, someone you can call a friend. As my pillars are centered on lessening student burdens, I will ensure that I communicate and cooperate effectively and efficiently with you as I aim to create a better student experience. Finally, I hold that it takes a shared commitment of all community members of our campus to build a BETTER NOW. Stay in Touch With Me! I am readily available for any comments, questions, and any feedback you may have to provide me. Please email at, or reach me through my social media on Instagram @maleekathomas Thank you and I look forward to the opportunity to serve you!