Campus Council approved fee increases to University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union and Association of Graduate Students. This final approval indicates that the increases will officially be implemented starting Fall 2018 as the Campus Council is UTM’s highest form of governing body. The council also provided updates on new real estate investment as well as the university’s mental health policy.
As previously reported by The Medium, UTMSU and UTMAGS were seeking an increase to their fee membership for the next academic year. According to the meeting’s agenda, “If approved, the total Fall/Winter UTMSU fee will be $151.66 per session ($129.15 part-time), charged to all UTM undergraduate students. The total Fall/Winter UTMSU fee for Mississauga Academy of Medicine students will be up to $224.31 per session.” The increase in the UTMSU Mississauga transit U-Pass fee consists of $9.43 per session for part-time students for the summer session, and an increase of up to $8.12 per session for the part-time fall and winter sessions. Other raises include minor increases of $0.22 in the society portion of the fee, and also minor increases for the first-aid response team on campus, and the academic societies portion of the fee.
As stated in the meeting’s agenda, “If approved, the total Fall/Winter UTMAGS fee will be $186.44 per session (full-time only) (Fall and Winter sessions), charged to all UTM-affiliated graduate students.” A representative from UTMAGS specified that the revenue from these increases will not be going to UTMAGS but will instead be going to MiWay for the U-Pass. The motion to approve the increase in Compulsory non-academic incidental fees for UTMSU and UTMAGS was carried.
Both Munib Saijid, UTMSU’s executive director and Jose Wilson, UTMSU’s vice president external were in attendance.
The council also approved fee increases to the UTM Health and Counselling Centre, as well as the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation.
According to the meeting’s agenda, “The sessional Health Services Fee for a UTM-registered or UTM-affiliated full-time student be increased to $46.06 per session ($9.21 for a part-time student), which represents a year-over-year increase of $1.34 per session ($0.27 for a part-time student) or 3.01% (resulting in a permanent increase of 3.01%).”
The Athletics and Recreations fee will increase to a total of $197.29 per session for a full-time student with a year over year increase of $18.58 per session. Part-time students would pay $39.46 with a year over year increase of $3.72. In addition, the Student Services fee will increase to a total of $189.90 per session for full-time students with a year over year increase of $22.24, while part-time students will see and increase of $37.98 and a yearly increase of $4.45.
UTM’s vice president and principal Ulrich Krull announced a newly established real estate deal on Mississauga road. UTM has purchased three housing properties across from Outer Circle road, which will be used for temporary faculty housing.
Krull announced that the real estate offer had been accepted at the end of the meeting. The three properties on Mississauga road across from the campus were listed for sale at the same time. The opportunity will allow the school to use the spaces as a way to accommodate new faculty from out of area, while they acclimate to the city and find their own housing. Krull stated that the properties will most likely be redeveloped over the next three to five years, but will be kept in their current state.
The chair of the committee also provided an update to the university’s mental health leave policy. As of now, the policy remains withdrawn following a complaint by the Ontario Human Rights Commission that alleges the proposed policy fails to comply with the university’s “duty to accommodate” student needs by placing them on a mandated leave, removed from the university environment.
According to the meeting Chair’s comments, U of T’s Vice President and Provost remains adamant that the policy does not breach the commissions’ standards and remains compliant. However, the university will withdraw the policy for further review in light of the board’s comments.
Student organizations such as UTSU have previously voiced criticisms of the policy. Main concerns depict the policy as being “punitive” by placing students on leave at the discretion of the university. U of T’s vice-provost students, Sandy Welsh, has previously denied in interviews with The Medium that the policy is meant to be disciplinary in any manner. Campus Council did not speculate when the policy might be reintroduced into the governance cycle.
Krull also stated that architect company Kieran Timberlake, has been chosen to construct and design the new science building. The company is largely known for their work on the U.S. embassy in London, England. The Science building is expected to help encourage more research in medicinal studies.
The next Campus Council meeting will take place on April 18th.