On February 21, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) officially announced the results of spring elections for the 2023–2024 academic year. Voters elected Elizabeth Shechtman as President. Among the candidates for vice-president positions, students elected Fatima Sohail as Vice-President Equity, Samir Mechel as Vice-President Operations, Al-amin Ahamed as Vice-President Professional Faculties, Aidan Thompson as Vice-President Public and University Affairs, and Fiona Hewes as Vice-President Student Life.
With a 58.5 per cent approval vote, students passed a referendum to create a two-dollar levy financing the Community Housing and Employment Support Services, an initiative intended to help students navigate housing and employment. Proposed elements of the initiative include lease inspections, career-planning supports, a portal where students can post and find jobs and housing, and online guides to obtaining housing and employment.
The voting period lasted from February 14 to February 17. Within this time period, 4,464 students — approximately 11 per cent of those eligible to vote — cast their ballots. In comparison, roughly seven per cent of those eligible voted in the 2022–2023 election. For the elected positions, a sizable proportion of voters abstained, with abstention rates between 43 and 58 per cent.
In 2022, no student submitted the necessary materials to run for president within the nomination period, forcing the union to hold a separate by-election. The candidates for vice-president operations and vice-president professional faculties both ran uncontested, with thirteen candidates running for the five vice presidencies.
This year, 20 students ran for the five vice-president positions, with every position contested. Three students ran for president, with Shechtman — current vice-president student life — securing the position after receiving 42 per cent of the vote. The vice-presidents and president, which collectively make up the UTSU executive committee, will begin the onboarding period in the first week of May.
At the 2022 Annual General Meeting, students approved changes to the union’s Board of Directors structure, reducing the number of board members and introducing a student senate. Fourteen students ran for the ten board member-at-large openings, with Nelson Lee, Rayan Awad Alim, Helena Zhang, Serenity Bui, Eva Karulina, Nolan Chisholm, Tala Mehdi, Jane Lee, Isabella Gouthro, and Ron Ulitsky receiving sufficient votes to secure a position. These students’ terms begin on May 1, 2023.