Gulfy Bekbolatova

Gulfy Bekbolatova, a second-year student specializing in financial economics, is running for president under the Thrive UTM slate.

In an interview with The Varsity, Bekbolatova highlighted her experience as the associate to the vice-president external, as well as her experience with clubs and organizations in preparation for the role. This past year, she served as a junior analyst at UTM Capital Management and was involved in the Undergraduate Economics Council and the Innovative Business Association. 

She is running for this position as she spent most of her first year online, which didn’t give her many opportunities to interact with the university community. This prompted her to get involved on campus, and she said that being president is the best way to do that. 

If elected, Bekbolatova hopes to continue the UTMSU’s Education for All campaign because “education is a human right.” She hopes to lobby the university to introduce more non-academic scholarships and awards since she believes that active student members of the campus community should have access to financial aid. She also wishes to increase bursaries to support students in need of financial assistance. Additionally, she would like to increase the number of co-op opportunities and paid experiences for students. 

Sam Aboul Hosn

Sam Aboul Hosn, a third-year student double majoring in psychology and biology for health sciences, launched his candidacy for president as part of the It’s Time UTM slate. In an interview, he told The Varsity, “I’ve made sure that I serve my community one way or another.” Aboul Hosn is involved in the Lebanese Student Association and is a member of both the Erindale College Special Response Team and the Campus Affairs Committee. Aboul Hosn highlighted the skills he’s gained through these experiences, which in his view qualify him to run a campus organization. He has learned about the politics of lobbying and strategies to effectively discuss goals and initiatives with the UTM administration.

Aboul Hosn hopes to increase transit opportunities for students. He aims to work with Brampton and Oakville transit to create two major transit hubs, one in each town, with direct lines to campus. He plans to subsidize these hubs by increasing residence fees, thereby improving commuter accessibility.

Aboul Hosn also hopes to increase the union’s transparency by hosting biweekly town hall meetings where executive members can hear student ideas and concerns. Finally, he plans to redirect Student Centre expansion funds towards increasing bursaries and “work on initiatives that have a direct impact.”

Samm Mohibuddin

Samm Mohibuddin is a second-year student double majoring in economics and political science. Coming out of COVID-19, Mohibuddin noticed a lack of student engagement and social life on campus. In an interview with The Varsity, he said, “People come here [to university] to figure their life out… and to make lifelong connections.”

Mohibuddin aims to increase outreach efforts. “We are an extension of the students, we are working for them, so if we don’t know what their immediate problems are, how do we know… what we’re gonna exactly work on,” he said. He proposed setting up a table “with a poster saying ‘UTM is perfect, change my mind,’ because we want students to come with their problems.” 

Mohibuddin’s campaign also focuses on improving food quality across campus, ensuring clubs obtain sufficient funding, and bringing back Varsity sports. He also wants to keep the Blind Duck open on weekends. “We want to increase the social scene at UTM,” Mohibuddin said.

If elected as president of the UTMSU, Mohibuddin plans to reinvest his $30,000 salary into the student community. “Whatever I personally earn… I will resend it into an account for the students to see, and that money will go to whatever the students demand, [and] whatever their needs are,” he said.