Students will head to the polls this week to elect new members to the UTMSU board of directors, while also voting on whether students believe university access should be provided free of charge.

The referendum will ask students, “Are you in favour of the elimination of tuition fees in the province of Ontario as described in the preamble?” According to UTMSU president Ebi Agbeyegbe, the information will be used to understand student opinions on the issue.

“We’re taking advantage of students coming out to the polling station and establishing where students stand,” said Agbeyegbe. “We hope to take these stands and use it to help with our lobbying efforts as we carry on into the school year.”

Beginning last Monday at 9:00 a.m., the election campaign period ran with five available positions on the UTMSU board of directors. Two positions are available under UTMSU’s division 1 category allocated for first-year student representation, two positions are for division 4’s part-time directors, and one position is for division 5, for a representative from the Mississauga Academy of Medicine.

Candidate names were posted on the UTMSU website last Wednesday, and of the 17 candidates, eight candidate statements were posted online.

The Medium was able to reach two of the division 1 candidates for an interview.

Manuela Arbelaez, a first-year political science student, stated she would lobby for phone companies to provide better reception on campus, and would also lobby to make it easier for first-year students to go into the Student Centre, especially when it’s packed with upper-year students.

Carol Dinno, a first-year student planning on majoring in political science and philosophy, told The Medium her goal is to work with UTMSU to help reduce tuition fees.

Other division 1 candidates include Alexey Maevskiy, Bhajan Gill, Fathama Arshad, Juriza Via Nierva, Kristopher Ramsammy, Monica Victoria, Niye Khalil, Sarah Mohd Abdel Rahman, Lucas Shuangliu Wang, Victoria Jayne Ridley, Sarah Girgis, Zahira Tasabehji, Oliya Sina, and Zohra Rabail Shaikh.

Ahmed Zaki is the only candidate running for the single position available in UTMSU’s division 5 directors.

Voting begins 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
Voting begins 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday.

“I plan on working closely with the MAM administration and MAM MedSoc VPs to ensure your interests are brought to the attention of the UTMSU,” said Zaki in his candidate statement.

No division 4 candidates are listed in UTMSU’s website as of press time.

The voting period begins at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday and runs until Thursday at 6:00 pm. Polls will be open daily in Davis, IB, CCT, Deerfield, and HSC.

Election results are expected to be released by October 5.