COURTESY OF MITRA YAKUB/UTMSU

The Connect UTM slate has won all five executive positions in the 2020 University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) elections — although there was only one contested executive position.

Students elected Mitra Yakubi for president by a margin of 1,720 votes — 1,927 for and 207 against. Yakubi’s election, which garnered the most overall votes out of all the races, at 2,134 ballots cast, had a voter turnout of roughly 14.7 per cent.

The only independent candidate was Med Kane, who ran for vice-president internal against Fahad Dayala from Connect UTM. Dayala won with 1,741 votes, while Kane received 334 votes.

Noha Farawi and Anushka Sokhi were elected vice-president equity and vice-president university affairs, respectively, both receiving over 1,700 votes.

Lily Pan, who was elected vice-president external, won with the second highest number of votes cast in her favour — she trailed Yakubi by 16 ballots.

The election saw a slightly higher turnout overall than last year.

Students also selected 11 Directors at Large out of 18 running, and all elected directors received 839 votes or more.

The Connect UTM platform

President-elect Yakubi promises to prioritize establishing a self-assigned sick notes program so that students will not have to visit a doctor every time they fall ill. She will also work to increase mental health support on campus by developing a peer support system.

For mental health advocacy, incoming Vice-President University Affairs Sokhi also hopes to implement mandatory mental health training for frontline university workers.

Vice-President Internal Dayala will seek to move the clubs funding and organization infrastructure online, as many records are currently required to be kept on paper. He also plans to work toward mitigating the risk of campus groups being defunded by potential budget cuts.

Both incoming Vice-President External Pan and Vice-President Equity Farwari want to do more regarding food available on campus. Farwari wants to improve the UTMSU’s food bank and work on the campus food garden, while Pan hopes to improve easy access to food on and around campus.

Additionally, Pan will seek to reduce parking fees and expand parking spaces for commuter students. She also plans to negotiate with university administration and the government to cap international student tuition.

During her term, Farawi will work toward relaunching the United for Equity campaign — a program created by the Canadian Federation of Students that seeks to “challenge all forms of discrimination and oppression on our campuses, in our communities, and in our student organizing spaces.” She also plans to draft a sustainability and climate justice action plan that takes UTM’s particular needs and circumstances into account.

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