DOMINICK HAN/THE VARSITY

 

The unofficial results of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) elections were released on March 25 after a campaign period from March 12–22. The One UTM slate, which ran unopposed, swept all five executive positions.

Felipe Nagata, current UTMSU Vice-President Campus Life, was elected President with 1,482 ‘yes’ votes against 110 ‘no’ votes and 192 abstentions.

Andres Posada won VP University Affairs with 1,390 voting in favour, 129 voting against, and 221 abstaining.

Yan Li was elected VP Internal with 1,539 ‘yes’ votes, 98 ‘no’ votes, and 165 abstentions.

Atif Abdullah, this year’s associate to the UTMSU Vice-President University Affairs, will be the new VP External after garnering 1,353 votes ‘yes’ votes, 131 ‘no’ votes, and 241 abstentions.

Leena Arbaji, the current Sustainability Coordinator, won the post of VP Equity with 1,407 votes in favour, 117 votes against, and 218 votes abstaining.

One UTM ran on a platform of removing the $55 Student System Access fee, which the slate claims is unnecessary for students, as well as advocating for free postsecondary education and working on a U-Pass focusing on Brampton and Oakville.

The election had a low turnout rate of about 13 per cent of its membership. The highest number of voters was the election for VP University Affairs, in which 1,936 votes were cast, including spoiled ballots — in contrast, the UTMSU represents over 14,000 undergraduate students.

Voting was conducted in person using paper ballots. Although voting ended March 22 at 6:00 pm, unofficial results were not released to The Varsity until 9:00 pm on March 24.

The Chief Returning Officer (CRO), Sahab Jesuthasan, still needs to verify 47 “double envelopes,” which may slightly change the current election numbers.

According to Jesuthasan, “double envelope votes were cast when a student failed to provide acceptable ID.” One envelope has the voter’s name and student number. The second contains the vote. The latter are pooled so the CRO “will not know what vote the student cast.”

Pending this verification along with appeals and submission of finances by the candidates, the results will remain unofficial until ratification at the next UTMSU Board of Directors meeting on March 30.

The Varsity has reached out to Nagata for comment.

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