At its Board of Directors meeting on March 25, 2022, the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) ratified the results of its spring elections. The results show that the Inspire UTM slate won all positions for next year’s UTMSU executive committee over the opposing slate, Change UTM. 

Inspire UTM also received two notices for violations of the elections code during the campaign and voting period while Change UTM received three, along with demerit points for each violation.

Ratification of the results 

Maëlis Barre, running with the Inspire UTM slate, won the presidential election. Wenhan (Berry) Lou claimed the Vice-President Internal spot and Alistair Kirk received the most votes for Vice-President External. The Vice-President University Affairs position went to Suraqa Noor and Vice-President Equity went to Reagan Roopnarine

The UTMSU is the second major student union to see one slate win all positions this election season, after the UNIFY UTSC slate won all positions in the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) election. 

Chief Returning Officer (CRO) Athisaya Satgururajah also clarified that ElectionBuddy — the online platform that was used to host the UTMSU Spring Election — had inputted an accidental entry under the name of “Anthony Walker” as a candidate for Division II director. Walker received 31 votes for the position, tying for third place. 

Satgururajah said that all ballots were accounted for at the end of the election and the board passed a motion to destroy all ballots. 

Demerit points

Inspire UTM received a violation notice for unapproved material on March 13. The violation explains that on March 13, while seeking the CRO’s approval on club endorsement graphics, Inspire UTM failed to inform Satgururajah that it was contacting three students’ associations for endorsements. They did not include Satgururajah on any requests or communications for endorsement.

Inspire UTM was given 15 demerit points per candidate for the violation. 

The second Inspire UTM violation notice was given on March 17. The violation states that Satgururajah witnessed an Inspire UTM volunteer with flyers campaigning to five to six students in the “no-campaign zone” at the polling station. All Inspire UTM candidates were given 15 demerit points for the violation, as candidates are considered responsible for the actions of slate volunteers. 

The first violation notice against Change UTM states that candidates were not enforcing the elections procedure code. On March 10, Change UTM’s presidential candidate participated in a live stream from a third-party student group, Transparent UTMSU. At the end of the event, Transparent UTMSU said that they endorse Change UTM. 

Screenshots of the livestream also show that Transparent UTMSU was instructing UTM members to vote against Inspire UTM. According to the CRO report, this is a form of sabotage against fellow candidates and “contradicts the spirit and purpose of elections.” Each candidate with Change UTM was then levied five demerit points. 

The second violation was based on an unintentional misrepresentation of facts. On March 11, Change UTM hosted a Q&A on their Instagram story for members to address concerns related to campus life. In response to a member’s suggestion of addressing “sexual violence on campus,” Change UTM noted that “the UTMSU currently has 6 million dollars in reserves that are waiting to be used!”

Satgururajah explained in the violation notice that the “UTMSU had $6,099,607 in cash and cash equivalents under ‘Assets’ as of April 29, 2020 as reported on the ‘Non-consolidated Financial Statements’ presented at the 2021 Annual General Meeting.” Despite this, the financial amount includes $4.8 million in reserves to be allocated toward the Health & Dental Insurance plan and U-Pass. The remaining cash amount, approximately $1.3 million, “is mandated by the University of Toronto to ensure that the Union can continue to operate in the event of an emergency.”

As a result, Change UTM received three additional demerit points per candidate.

A third violation notice was later added to the website for Change UTM, dated March 16. The notice states that the presidential candidate for Change UTM, Sam Aboul Hosn, was campaigning within the “no-campaign” zone in the William G. Davis Building. 

Each candidate was given ten demerit points for the violation. 

Additionally, Satgururajah explained that an election violation notice was issued 48 hours after the voting count concluded. They said that there was “substantial evidence” that the violation happened. However, the Elections and Referenda Committee nullified this violation. as it was past the 48 hours deadline where candidates could appeal violations.

Neither slate appealed any of the violation claims. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include an additional report of a violation by the Change UTM slate, the ratification of the election results, and information about the accidental candidate.