Unofficial results for the Scarborough Campus Student Union (SCSU) general elections show widespread victory for the Turn it Up UTSC slate.
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) students voted Tuesday through Thursday for the positions of president; vice-president, academics and university affairs; vice-president, equity; and vice-president, external; as well as 16 director positions. Turn it Up UTSC, the only slate in this election, successfully secured the position of president, and two vice president positions. Four independent candidates also put their names forward for executive positions.
The voting period directly followed an all-candidates’ debate Monday evening, where candidates for executive positions spoke to a robust crowd at the UTSC student centre.
Turn it Up UTSC presidential candidate Nicole Dionisio won the victory over second and third place candidates Dulaa Osman and David Tweneboah, respectively.
Dionisio is the only presidential candidate to currently hold an executive position on the SCSU. She is presently vice-president, academics and university affairs. Dionisio was also an SCSU director in previous years.
Dionisio says that she is pleased with the unofficial results, and looks forward to working with the new executive next year. “All unofficial[ly elected] candidates have had lots of experience in their field and I have no doubt this will reflect a very productive year to come,” says Dionisio.
Dionisio adds that she is disappointed with the low voter turnout however, and looks forward to spending her term improving student engagment.
Dionisio received 346 votes according to the unofficial results, while last year’s succesful presidential candidate Tahsin Chowdury raked in 1101.
Sixty-four presidential ballots were spoiled in this year’s race.
In a post on his Facebook campaign page, Osman suggested that he may take action against the unofficial results. “It not over yet since there has been great travesty in this year election which will be public shortly. I hope the Board makes the right decision when the CRO releases his report,” Osman says in the statement. As of press time, Osman did not respond to requests for comment.
The margins of victory for the positions of vice-president, external and vice-president, equity were much more narrow. Turn it Up UTSC candidate Yasmin Rajabi gained only 10 more votes than independent opponent David Shim in order to win the position of vice-president, external. Independent candidate Jessica Kirk also won the position of vice-president, equity with only 10 votes more than Turn it Up UTSC candidate Leandro Diaz-Matus.
Kirk says that she is proud of her accomplishment, especially since she was the only successful independent candidate. “I was most comfortable running elections alone, and I could stay true to myself throughout the process,” says Kirk.
Kirk also feels that this election period itself could have been more robust in order to attract a greater voter turnout. “I don’t think I campaigned nearly as much as I could have,” she says, adding that some of her attention was spent on organizing Black History Month.
Diaz Matus is the only Turn it Up UTSC candidate not to win his position.
72 and 76 ballots were spoiled in the votes for vice-president, external and vice-president, equity respectively.
Camille Galindez, the Turn it Up UTSC candidate who ran unopposed for the position of vice president, academics and university affairs, received 609 “yes” votes and 109 “no” notes. 43 ballots were spoiled.
Of the 16 director categories, eight positions were acclaimed and five remain vacant.
According to a notice released by the SCSU, the election results are unofficial until such a time that they can be ratified by the union board.