It's him: our blogger during O-Week at NEW

A boss has the title, a leader has the people.
— Simon Sinek


I wonder if you know
How they live in that New Co.
All this leading and they mean it
Yeah you know have to go…

…okay I cringed even myself out there.


Hello dear Reader, and welcome back to The NEW! As you’ve read in the title, it is yet again time to return to the pantheon of our college. For those wondering why I chose to play on Tokyo Drift: it was a toss-up between that and Infinity War, and, well…

…we all know which was the more iconic threequel.

tokyo drifting

We’ve just ended the annual hiring season for a number of leadership positions at New. Residence Academic Programmers, Senior Peer Leaders, and Orientation staff from an exec to leader level have all been interviewed. Most have been hired, and teams have been born anew! On top of all this, our second ever RecogNEWtion Awards are this coming Monday 16th March.

With that, there’s no better time to further explore just who these New leaders are. From neuroscience whizzes to presidents present and future, these brilliant souls are the largest cohort I have yet profiled. It’s my last one, so I wanted to go big.

Without further ado, and for the very last time:

Let’s get into some hardcore origin stories.


Playfully Perplexed Powerpuff: Anjali Roy, our very own Blossom

Anjali Roy

Ah, another profile, another superhero reference. Don’t you love consistency?

Anjali is a second-year Criminology and Political Sciences student, which is no surprise given how often one can find her in an argument. These are normally over either Bollywood or how funny she [thinks she] is… I digress. A perfect start to this extra-sized edition of Leaders of the New, Anjali is one of our latest Orientation leaders. She also leads a First-Year Learning Community (FLC). A long and exciting road stretches before her!

The leader of the Powerpuff Girls fits Anjali in more ways than one. Both are confident young women, quick to play peacemaker. There is nothing but love for those under their care. They also both have a tendency to overanalyse damn near everything — and that’s coming from an English major. This tends to work in Anjali’s favour, though. Her analytical skills, among others, have only helped with and been sharpened by her leadership at New.

blossom the powerpuff girl

Anjali does what she does for the simplest of reasons: it’s fun! Leading is something to look forward to, she says. Be it from helping others or making myriad new friends, there is little that doesn’t make her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Among the list of her favourite experiences as a leader were numerous mentions of seeing friends from Orientation or FLC around New. Getting involved gave her a sense of community, which has grown with her.

On the note of getting involved, Anjali echoes the classic route: Orientation! “[It’s] literally for anyone and everyone, there is no one type of leader,” she explains. Much like this Powerpuff herself, each role in O-week is multi-faceted. No matter what you do, you’re bound to learn something New.


Brains Behind the Cowl: Lauren Levy, Batgirl of the New

Lauren Levy

On the note of learning, next up is a leader who has taught me more than a course’s worth of info in the short time we’ve known each other. Neuroscience student by day and paddler extraordinaire by egregiously early morning, Lauren Levy is one of the hidden gems of the New. She can be found either working out or leading an army of neuro students… If she can be found.

Lauren as Batgirl is a simple equation. Both she and Barbara Gordon could easily wipe the floor with you, but would likely leave you dazed with their intellect instead. Y’know, ’cause they’re polite that way. They also both rock dramatic windswept hair built for the limelight, yet somehow find themselves doing the most behind the scenes. Truly, a leader of multitudes.

Lauren co-leads Neurotech UofT’s neuroscience team, and is the Vice President of Academic Affairs on the Neuroscience Student Association. That… that is a lot of neuroscience. As you can see, she’s very focused on what she does! She is also a former O-week leader (who isn’t on these lists?) and House Rep for Kwant House.

Batgirl

Ultimately, she leads to serve. Lauren takes her responsibilities to others seriously. She does her utmost to help all members of her communities. Relishing this chance to help, and always eager to improve upon her skills, she leads also because she loves to. Lauren has polished up her event planning abilities, and learned so much about accomodating others…

…except a certain student blogger. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a wonderful friend, but there was so much in her responses to choose from! I had to skip ever so much. To end, then, here’s my favourite quote of many greats from Lauren:

“I used to think my leadership roles were a sort of prep for whatever the future held,” she tells me. But in her current roles, Lauren feels empowered. “I’m not waiting, I’m doing something now, and it’s so very exhilarating.”


Business and Barbeque: Boss Baby Emad Ahmed

Emad Ahmed

Okay so this one isn’t quite a superhero reference, but just look at him! Tell me Boss Baby didn’t immediately come to mind.

Before you call me harsh (and before my editor cuts this for being insulting), allow me to explain how this is actually a compliment! See, much like the Boss Baby, Emad is a young prodigy in his own right. Both are wise beyond their years. Both rock a suit like few others, and are undoubtedly born leaders. Boss Baby tries to take down evil corporations, Emad tries my patience. It’s the perfect comparison.

Plus, y’know… So smooth (*pinches cheeks*).

Boss Baby: a gif

Moving on.

Emad is a second-year student and citizen of the nation-state known as Rotman Commerce (well done if you get that reference). His leadership experience is all over the place, but let’s start with the one you’ve likely guessed by now: he’s an Orientation leader! Much like the leaders before him in this list, however, he is so much more.

He launched the UofT chapter of Angels Without Boundaries, a charity centred around underprivileged children the world over. He was a VP for the UofT DECA case competition team, and has been elected President for next year. Throughout all of these positions, Emad has grown as a leader in many respects. Time management, organisation, communication, all the standard fare you’d expect. Most intriguing, however, is the bettered sense of fulfilment he finds from leading.

To get involved, the Boss (Baby) has simple advice: search! The ULife website, upper-year students, and of course ORSL are just some of the many sources of information to look to. If Emad proves anything, it’s that there are near limitless opportunities for any of us brave enough to try.


In Brightest Day, In Newest Night: Green Lantern Lucy Zuo

Lucy Zuo

And now, the big one.

I know, they’ve all been bloody huge profiles so far, but like… This is Lucy Zuo. If you don’t know who she is by now, you undoubtedly will soon enough, whether you read this piece or not. Lucy has done… Actually, scratch that. If we’re trying to be concise, then the thing to list is what she hasn’t done. From Residence Council to Student Council to the front desk to Orientation to… I’m sorry what was I saying?

Right, superhero things. For me, Lucy perfectly embodies one Green Lantern in particular: Jessica Cruz of Sector 2814 (that’s the one with Earth!). Much like the lady Lantern, Lucy had to quickly come into her role as a leader. Daunting as it was at times, with academic and other pressures mounting with each passing day, she has managed to find a prominent place in this community of ours.

Green Lantern

Lucy’s motivations range from a love of student politics to being inspired by the women around her. When asked what she gained, Lucy had no shortage of heartwarming answers. “I’ve always loved people and getting to know them. All of these experiences allowed me to do just that,” she tells me. She’s made friends, learned lessons, and watched mentees grow before her very eyes. All the while, she’s given her all to make New a better place for us all.

Lucy is currently running for President of NCSC (am I allowed to say that? That’s not an endorsement I swear, the woman just does too much. ORSL pls). She is in but her second year of this gauntlet we call UofT. One can only imagine where she’ll go from here.


And that, dear Reader, is the final Leaders of the New.

From me, anyway. Future blogger, you better continue this series — I will be checking.

I hope you enjoyed the read! Thank you for taking the time to get to know these stars of our college with me. It has been a joy to learn more of them all and share that with you. I’m beyond excited to see what these gems of the New do next.

One thing I’ll note, consider reaching out to each of the people on this list if you’d like to learn more! They have so much to say! I had to cut a lot from everyone’s responses. UofT students simply cannot comprehend a task that doesn’t require egregious amounts of writing. With each installment of Leaders of the New, I got exponentially larger responses as we went on.

It’d be annoying if it wasn’t so bloody inspiring.

And that’s that.

Till next we meet,
Sarim