Last year I wrote a letter to you when UTMSU had turned down the fee increase at the QSS meeting. That fee increase would have benefited the Health & Counselling Centre, among other services, allowing them to bring on additional staff to support the students on campus, especially a specific mental health nurse. This all happened prior to their campaign around the Student Centre expansion. Although students had voted it down, the actions of UTMSU still stood. They had turned down an approximate $11 fee increase while requesting a $50 increase. Now I know it’s a fair question to ask why I am bringing up the past. It’s because when it comes to UTMSU, despite a change in leadership every year the same one-track mentality seems to persist; fee increases are only acceptable if they benefit UTMSU.
This has been evidenced by the recent proposed hikes presented by the UTMSU to the Campus Affairs Committee. The increase they have suggested is around $10 per term for the summer U-Pass and around $7 for part-time students in the fall/winter term. On top of this there will be additional tuition fee increases to benefit other services situated under the UTMSU. I was not entirely shocked having read this in The Medium. Like last year, this increase has been requested after their rally against fee increases proposed by UTM. I was present in the Meeting Place of Davis when a large group of students, led by the UTMSU executives, entered the space chanting for no fee increases. They later proceeded upstairs and interrupted a council meeting to make their point.
I am in my fifth year now and by writing this letter to you now I am trying to make one definitive point. The UTMSU have, year after year, failed to capture the student’s needs. They have always put the benefit of their “organization” above that of others. If it doesn’t benefit UTMSU, then it can’t happen.
With the elections for next year’s executives approaching I would like to make one last statement to our current student body. No matter whose face is advertised on the posters, no matter what their platforms, current agendas, and ideas, they will forever adhere to one statement: UTMSU is not for the students, only for themselves.
5th year, biology