The first Campus Affairs Committee meeting of the year was held this past Wednesday, January 16. The meeting provided an overview of extra-departmental units (EDUs) and their ranking systems to distinguish their approval mechanisms and appointment powers. Some EDUs at The University of Toronto Mississauga include the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology.

The units are defined as “flexible and multidisciplinary entities, organized around emerging research and teaching areas that span departments and divisions.” The Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre and the Institute for Management and Innovation are up for EDU-status consideration.

The Bulk of the meeting was spent on discussions for the 2019-2020 UTM Ancillary Budget, which was presented by Chief Administrative Officer Saher Fazilar.

For campus parking, the projected revenues for the 2019-20 academic year is $4.5 million. Fazilar proposed parking rate changes, which entailed a 10 per cent increase in CCT underground permits and an increase of two per cent for all other permits, one per cent less than planned. Fazilar mentioned that the ten per cent increase for CCT parking was partially due to renovations.

She stated, “our underground parking garage is way cheaper than any other in competition.” A suggestion for lower rates for certain groups (i.e. staff or students) among those paying for parking has repeatedly been brought up during negotiations.

For Student Housing and Residence, the projected 2019-20 revenue is $16.8 million. Most housing units will be going up in price by 3.75-4 per cent. MaGrath Valley and Putnam Place skew this percentage upward. MaGrath Valley, which is in high demand, will increase by seven per cent to $10,644 for a single residency, and $6,919 for a double. Putnam Place will require a 15.63 per cent increase in cost to $10,947 to help offset the price of renovations.

SERVICES COST COME 2019-20 SEPTEMBER PERCENTAGE INCREASE FROM 2018-19
CCT Underground Parking $1,190.96/year 10%
UNRESERVED Parking – Annual – 8-month – 4-month   $9,598.11 $8,822.50 $9,925.00   5.88% 3.75% 3.75%
RESIDENCE Undergraduate Student Housing      -Average   Graduate Student Housing      – Average   Med Student Housing      – Average   Family Student Housing      – Average     $9,598.11     $8,822.50     $9,925.00   $1,794.50     5.88%     3.75%     3.75%   $3.76%
MEAL PLANS Group A – Average   Group B – Average   $4,025.00   $2,480.00   1.9%   1.75%

“These rates are comparable to the Scarborough campus, less than the downtown, and more than [McMaster, Brock, Guelph and York]. Family units are comparable to the outside market,” said Fazilar.

For food services, the revenue for the 2019-20 academic year is expected to be $13.4 million. Fazilar stated that the increase in food services is partially based on economic considerations such as the expected 2-3.5 per cent inflation for food.

Falizar stated that the Student Housing advisory committee, the Transportation and Parking advisory committee, and Food and Services advisory committee all played a consultative role in the price changes for the upcoming school year. These committees are composed of UTMSU representatives, staff, graduate students, faculty, campus police, and others depending on the committee.

The meeting also provided an update to the implementation of the university’s smoke-free policy. Dean of Student Affairs Mark Overton expressed his satisfaction at the smoothness of the implementation of this policy. The school is looking into reorganizing the designated smoking areas as new “hotspots” develop, as well as creating additional signs, webinars and on-site smoking cessation workshops to help students, staff, and faculty quit smoking.

The committee ended with a question regarding the alleged Doug Ford tuition policies. Last week, the Ford government has stated its plan to take OSAP, which has become “unsustainable,” and refocus it to benefit those who have the most financial need.

According to the Training, Colleges and University Minister Merrilee Fullerton, most grants will go to families making below $50,000 a year.

Principal Krull stated that a quarter of students at U of T are eligible for OSAP. With respect to the financial category of students with a family income of $50, 000 or less, “U of T has the largest population of students in that financial category of any university.”

“The question then becomes, ‘how does the university respond?’” Krull concluded.

The next Campus Affairs meeting will take place February 11th, 2019.