The University of Toronto Students’ Union appointed staffer Adam Awad as the new VP university affairs on Thursday. In a committee meeting at Hart House, the UTSU board of directors elected Awad over French Club president Antonin Mongeau. The number of votes for each candidate aren’t known, as The Varsity was asked to leave during the vote.
Awad is a former founding editor of a Woodsworth College magazine, the Ginger, and has been on the union’s payroll as executive assistant since last October.
The former VP UA, Binish Ahmed, is now an Arts & Science Student Union exec. Ahmed resigned at the beginning of the school year citing personal reasons. UTSU immediately announced that no elections would be held in selection of the new VP. UTSU bylaws states that vacancies occurring after the month of August may be filled by an appointment rather than by-elections. A hiring committee headed by VP internal affairs Adnan Najmi selected Awad and Mongeau out of the five applicants who had applied for the position. Nominations were open for 21 days and followed by a competitive evaluation.
During Awad’s four years at U of T, he has been closely involved with campus life. Awad has organized many USTU campaigns, his most recent being a demonstration for reduced tuition fees at Queen’s Park last Thursday.
Awad sees himself as a bridge between the student body and the administration. His priorities for the year will be the development of the student union’s equity, university affairs, Drop Fees, sustainability commissions, and reforming U of T president David Naylor’s Towards 2030 agenda.
Like his competitor Mongeau, Awad expressed his disappointment about the 2030 plan, commenting that students did not have any say in it. According to Awad, the synthesis report did not address any changes that require aligned consensus leading to intensified relationships between the students and the governing body. “It is a document that affects us all as students and faculty and we need to do something about it,” he added.