I’d like to begin by saying thank you to everyone who voted during the Student Centre expansion referendum. Whether you voted for or against the expansion of the Student Centre, you took time out of your day to speak up for what you believe in. It is apparent that you do not want the Student Centre to expand. But please, do not show any animosity towards each other. We are all students or alumni at this school and we all want what’s best for the students. However, it seems as if there is an extreme disconnect between the union leaders and its members. Students of UTM have spoken in regards to the expansion and to the way campaigning has been done. No one likes to be bullied into voting. No one likes to be pestered into doing something they really don’t want to do. The former president of UTMSU, Christopher Thompson, had a vision to expand the Student Centre. His vision was to create something for UTMSU which may be comparable to the amenities York students may have at their campus, amenities including theatres, barbershops, study spaces, club spaces, and more for the members of UTMSU. This referendum was not so we can just increase space for a few clubs. This was so we can have enough space to bring livelihood to the soul of UTM and expand the culture of UTM. I agree that this type of rogue campaigning is not right. I agree that the repetitive nature of pestering members to vote is bothersome and distressing. I want you to help us. UMentioned UTM is a fantastic tool for students to anonymously express their distaste for the way UTMSU campaigns. I wish to encourage it. I want more students at these ministry meetings. More students wanting to get involved with campus affairs. Why not change the whole culture of pestering others? Keep in mind, UTMSU is not your local government. UTMSU is not the administration. UTMSU is a union. It is a gathering of students working together to make sure their rights and services are protected. I ask that we all please work together in fixing this disconnect between union leaders and union members. And I am pleading for you all to just be a little patient. The current executive team at UTMSU is almost fresh. A lot of them did not have much experience going into this position and were leading the same way they were led in the past. Please do not lose faith in them. Criticize accordingly, but do not lose faith. If you as a student want other services, please say so. If you want lessservices, feel free to express that as well. Be patient. Things are changing. There has to be a different way to campaign. There has to be another way to get members engaged. We need to instill culture back into this campus. We need more programs for fourth-year students to find entry-level positions right after university. We need more campus news sources (TV, social networks, etc.), and we need unity. Without unity, there is no union.
UTMSU Division IV board
Letter originally posted on Spotted at UTM.