The Varsity has conducted a survey of all 11 candidates for the seven available University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) executive positions by asking them to respond to certain issues on a scale of 0–10 or a no/yes. The executive candidates rated the union’s current social progressiveness an average of 6.8.
Almost all indicated a strong desire for the UTSU to leave the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), with an average response of 8.4 out of 10 in favour of the union’s current efforts to leave. The Compass and 🅱️oundless slates were strongly inclined to leave the CFS, while independent presidential candidate Michelle Mabira and independent Vice-President Campus Life candidate Spencer Robertson were more neutral on the issue.
The Varsity also asked candidates to rate their endorsement of “a system of post-secondary education that is accessible to all, which is of high quality, which is nationally planned, which recognizes the legitimacy of student representation, and the validity of student rights, and whose role in society is clearly recognized and appreciated.” This is the “ultimate goal” listed on the CFS’ constitution. The data revealed that, on average, candidates rated this a 7.2.
Leave CFS: “The UTSU should increase its advocacy efforts to leave the CFS.”
Endorse CFS MS: Endorse the CFS’ mission statement.
The results of the survey also showed that, on average, the candidates favour a more cooperative relationship with the administration. Aside from its VP External candidate Yuli Liu, on average, the Compass slate said that the UTSU-administration relationship should be more cooperative. 🅱️oundless VP Professional Faculties candidate Gallop Fan also responded in favour of a close relationship with admin. Mabira, 🅱️oundless VP Internal candidate Alyy Patel, and Liu all indicated a strong desire for a more combative relationship with the administration.
With regard to position-specific issues, both presidential candidates Anne Boucher of Compass and Mabira noted that the needs of colleges, faculty organizations, student associations, and international students are of the utmost importance to the UTSU, ranking all issues a 10. They both indicated that the UTSU should not re-hire the two staff coordinator positions removed last year. On the other hand, Mabira strongly believed in the importance of a close relationship of the UTSU with the UTMSU, ranking the issue a 10; Boucher ranked it a five.
VP Internal candidates Patel and Compass candidate Tyler Biswurm both considered the attendance of Directors to Board meetings as important. Biswurm believed that 10 per cent of the union’s operating budget should go into the Student Commons, while Patel believed that 50 per cent of it should.
% of budget for Student Commons: “Percentage of the union operating budget that should go to the Student Commons.”
Importance of Directors attending board meetings: “How important is it for Directors to attend board meetings?”
VP Campus Life candidate Robertson responded that orientation is good as it is currently; Compass’ VP Campus Life candidate Yolanda Alfaro responded that orientation needs to be changed.
Uncontested Compass candidates Ammara Wasim, VP Equity candidate; Liu; and Joshua Grondin, VP University Affairs; also expressed their opinions on pertinent issues detailed in the survey. Wasim neither agreed nor disagreed when asked if the UTSU has internal issues with racism, Liu slightly agreed that the proposed U-Pass fee of $280 per semester is worth the fee increase for all students, and Grondin agreed that the needs of international students should be a top priority.
Compass has a candidate for each of the seven executive positions while 🅱️oundless is only fielding candidates for VP Internal and VP Professional Faculties.
According to the survey, most candidates are upper-year students. Boucher is in fifth year, while seven candidates are in fourth year. Liu is a third-year candidate and Biswurm and Robertson are second-year candidates.
In addition, the data revealed a pretty even distribution of the candidates from the colleges and professional faculties. There is one candidate each from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, Innis College, New College, University College, and Victoria College. There are two candidates each from the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design; St. Michael’s College; and Woodsworth College.