DHARAMSALA, Feb 13: Chinese students whine as a Tibetan woman has been elected President of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU) in Canada.
Chemi Lhamo, a fourth-year student of Neuroscience and Psychology student of the University and former SCSU’s Vice-President Equity who led the Shine Bright UTSC slate was elected the president of SCSU.
While Tibetans rejoiced and congratulated her for her victory, Chinese students were having none of it. Instead, they have launched an online petition to condemn her election and to question her qualification.
The petition titled, “We don’t want such person to be the student union president” cited two reasons alleging that she sold the miserable experience to students to gain sympathy vote and her too much political involvement with that outside group (her involvement in the political arena as a part of Free Tibet group).
Further, questioning how would international students feel if they have an SCSU leader criticising foreign countries, the petition calls for appealing the results.
At the time of reporting, the petition started by a Chinese student on Feb 8 has been signed by over 9000 people whose reasons for signing the petition include among other, calling Tibet an inseparable part of China, calling her liar and terrorist and calling her a separatist/splitist.
However, Lhamo has maintained that she ran for the president to prioritise student needs with a firm belief that her five years of experience at UTSC and her understanding of what student needs are will prove fruitful.
Born to a Tibetan refugee family in India, growing up, Lhamo ‘has gone through a lot of adversities in life,’ and now juggles three jobs to make ends meet in addition to keeping up with academic requirements and volunteering, reports the University’s newspaper, The Varsity.
Representation will now be her priority as the student union president. “I think I have emphasized this enough because representation is so important,” the report quoted her as saying on her priorities as the president.
“All my life I have been treated as an outsider. It’s not a sob story — it’s just a reality.”
Meanwhile, once ratified, she will take charge as the President of the University of Toronto Scarborough Student’s Union from May 1st.