This year’s TRUSU election saw a new president put in place by the student body. Brian Chiduuro took nearly half the votes to beat out incumbent president Melissa Gordon.
Chiduuro ran as part of a slate called the Student Advocacy Coalition, made up mostly of international students. After the dust settled, the new TRU board emerged split among the two biggest slates running, with the coalition holding the balance. But now that the campaigning is done, Chiduuro says that the path forward is in working together.
“That was trying to get the seats. But now, if we have a split, there’s no success for us,” he said.
Chiduuro has been in Canada for two years. Before he came here to study, he was a student in Zimbabwe and also worked for his father at a Steel Company and in real estate. He was preceded in Canada by his brother Blessing, who made his mark on TRU, as well. With Blessing’s help, he hit the ground running at TRU.
“I already knew what to do. I was already ahead. My brother helped me a lot. He was the one who made me come here,” he said.
Here at TRU, Chiduuro is working towards a bachelor’s in business administration, with eyes on a master’s or possibly law school beyond that. Once he’s finished, he doesn’t know what he’ll do, but returning to Africa is a real possibility, since he sees opportunity there.
“I believe Africa is actually the first world. You can make more money in Africa than here because it’s still developing. People don’t see this,” he said.
“That’s why international students tend to come a long way from back home. We have to get all this knowledge and then invest it back. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do. Some people find it better to stay here because it’s not hard – everything is already set up. You just work and go up the ranks.”
Chiduuro, 20 now, says his goal is to become “very rich” by the time he’s 24.
But with four years to go, he’s got TRUSU to worry about. The newly elected board is still learning the ropes, and Chiduuro is trying to take it all in.
He ran a campaign on reform and new ideas and against the establishment, but now that he’s on the inside, he says things look different.
“It’s a whole different picture from when you’re outside complaining to when you’re now inside. Now you actually know how things go and how things are supposed to go and how things are,” he said.
But he’s still got his eye on changes, and the ambition remains. Food service and entertainment are two things he’s preparing to deal with, looking to address concerns raised by students over the availability of campus food and the number of events put on by the union.
“The more student engagement we have, the more students we have for campaigning, the more we have for advocacy, for everything. It all starts with entertainment.”
Chiduuro doesn’t lack confidence. Although it’s early, he’s positive this will be a good year for the union.
“Everything that I plan for doesn’t end up how I want it to be, it always ends up better.”