SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

The 2019 election period of the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) has begun.

Four current executives are running for re-election to their positions. Branden Rizzuto, Christopher Ball, Sophie McGibbon-Gardner, and Leonardo José Uribe Castano are running for Finance, Academics & Funding Divisions 1 & 2, Academics & Funding Divisions 3 & 4, and Civics & Environment Commissioner, respectively. Castano’s position is uncontested.

Executive-at-Large Maryssa Barras, who took up the duties of Internal Commissioner after the previous officeholder, Lynne Alexandrova, was pushed out of her position in November, is running for External Commissioner against first-year Social Justice Education (SJE) PhD student Jacqui Spencer.

Alexandrova is running for University Governance Commissioner against Lwanga Musisi, a second-year SJE PhD student.

Running against Rizzuto are Kim Borden Penney, an SJE doctoral student and former financial professional, and Julie Marocha, who has served as the President, Vice-President Membership, and Events Coordinator of the Toastmasters International Toronto Engineering Club of Speakers.

For Academics & Funding Commissioner Divisions 1 & 2, Ball is running against Jarir Machmine and Norin Taj, a PhD candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Vice-Chair of the UTGSU Equity and Advocacy Committee.

Gurdeep Singh, a PhD student in Cell and Systems Biology and the former co-president of the Cell and Systems Biology Graduate Union, is running for Academics & Funding Commissioner Divisions 3 & 4 against McGibbon-Gardner.

Two candidates are facing off for Internal Commissioner — Sevgi Arslan, a second-year SJE PhD student and former Ontario Public Interest Research Group Treasurer, and Adam Hill, a second-year PhD student who used to serve on the Society of Graduate Students and the Education Students’ Council of Western University.

The UTGSU represents more than 18,000 graduate students across all three campuses at U of T.

Voting will be exclusively online, and will take place from February 27 to March 5 at simplyvoting.com. Candidate statements can be found on the UTGSU’s website.

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