The results of the 2019 University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) elections are in: Joshua Bowman has been elected as President, Lucas Granger as Vice-President External Affairs, and Avani Singh as Vice-President University Affairs. All 10 Board of Directors candidates, none of whom were challenged, have been acclaimed.
A total of 1,602 people voted in the election, out of roughly 37,000 eligible voters, a turnout rate of 4.2 per cent.
Bowman won 686 votes, while runner-up Bryan Liceralde received 220 votes.
Granger won 567 votes, while runner-up Spencer Robertson received 213 votes.
Singh won her race on the third round of voting with 484 votes. Sharon Ma was the runner-up, Christopher Chiasson ranked third place, and Ramtin Taramsari came in last place.
Arunoshi Singh, Lina Maragha, Tyler Riches, Sing-Yan Ng, Tiffany (Tsz Wing) Tiu, Honesty Senese, and Disha Mittal were all elected to the board for their respective constituencies.
Incumbent University College Director Artur Khasanov was voted down, with 128 ‘no’ votes and 81 ‘yes’ votes.
Due to a glitch on the Simply Voting website, the elections for the two Director of Applied Sciences and Engineering seats did not show up on students’ ballots, which explains why the two candidates, Eran (Shankeran) Vijayakumar and Hasma Habibiy, received zero votes for their races.
According to current UTSU President Anne Boucher, the union is planning on holding a by-election for this seat, alongside one for the multiple other uncontested positions.
This UTSU elections season has seen the lowest engagement in recent memory — there were no candidates for three executive positions and 18 Board of Directors seats.
Due to this lack of engagement, the union will be holding a spring by-election for the positions that remain vacant. Nominations will open April 1, with an April 8–12 campaign period and April 13–15 voting period.
Crucially, there were no candidates for Vice-President Operations, Vice-President Student Life, and Vice-President Professional Faculties. The former two portfolios oversee important work during the summer — the VP Operations drafts the union’s operating budget and the VP Student Life runs orientation. In addition, as per the union’s own bylaws, a board of directors lacking most of its representatives would be inquorate and unable to function.
The election for Vice-President Equity has not been held yet due to ongoing discussions around whether candidate-hopeful Michael Junior Samakayi will be allowed to run. The Elections and Referenda Committee directed that the VP Equity election be held during the by-election period, but the UTSU’s elections notice does not include this position. It is unclear when the election for the position will be held.
Disclosure: Avani Singh served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Varsity Publications Inc. — the not-for-profit corporation that publishes The Varsity — from May 2018 to March 17, 2019. Singh has recused herself from the role of Chair and is taking a leave of absence from the board for the duration of the UTSU election period.
Editor’s Note (6:50 pm, March 25): This article has been updated to correct that Vijayakumar and Habibiy received zero votes. An earlier version of this article also incorrectly stated that Khasanov won his election. The Varsity regrets the error.
Editor’s Note (7:28 pm, March 25): This article has been updated to correct vote counts for the executive positions.