Omar Gharbiyeh, who has served as the University of Toronto Students’ Union’s (UTSU) vice-president public & university affairs (VP PUA) since January of this year, has won the union’s spring presidential by-election. The by-election was held after the position remained vacant in the regular election due to lack of eligible candidates

The results were ratified at the UTSU’s board of directors meeting on April 26.

Gharbiyeh previously noted in an interview with The Varsity that his work as VP PUA has given him a sense of the union’s strengths and weaknesses, which he will use in his term as president to continue the initiatives he’s worked on over the past four months. His priorities for the school year include combating gender-based violence on campus, as well as pushing for proactive responses to the pandemic and dining hall food security. 

The voter turnout was 3.1 per cent, as compared to 6.6 per cent in the original election, and this election saw a 11.6 per cent abstention rate. In the UTSU’s spring election, races for all five executive positions saw a greater than 30 per cent abstention rate. Students also voted on two referendums, the full results of which students can find on the UTSU’s Simply Voting website. 

Editor’s Note (April 26): This article has been updated to include that the UTSU ratified the election results.