UTSU has made changes to the board structure proposal, to be voted on at its special general meeting this Wednesday.
At UTSU’s annual general meeting on October 7, members voted in favour of a board structure proposed by two UTSU directors, but failed to ratify the structure in a follow-up vote requiring a two-thirds majority.
UTSU must make changes to its board of directors in order to comply with changes made to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.
The proposal elected at the October meeting was put forward by Khrystyna Zhuk and Daman Singh and included six appointed equity directors responsible for racial, transgender, LGBTQ, indigenous, disability, and women’s issues. The proposal also introduced a clause that mandates VP equity candidates to run independently rather than as part of a slate.
UTSU president Ben Coleman said in an email to The Medium that among the changes to the Zhuk/Singh proposal following the AGM are that more equity directors have been added, such as for poverty issues, and that a “certain number of the interviewed equity directors [would] be from UTM […] to ensure a fair balance between campuses”.
Coleman also said that the VP professional faculties no longer has to be a part-time student, unlike the UTSU executives, so that students “in rigid programs” could be part of the UTSU executive.
Other changes to the proposal include the addition of two commissioners for international student affairs and mental wellness initiatives. It is also proposed that the Toronto School of Theology Round Table be recognized as a student society.
UTSU members, which includes all full-time UTM students, will vote on the revised proposal at Wednesday’s meeting. As previously reported by The Medium, the Zhuk/Singh proposal failed to reach a two-thirds majority at the AGM, with a vote count of 563 to 455.
“I think students will respond well to the proposal, as it is based on a large amount of consultation and the successfully elected Zhuk/Singh proposal from the last meeting,” said Coleman.
However, some concerns were brought up in a petition by Madina Siddiqui, the Afghani Students’ Association president at St. George, calling to postpone Wednesday’s general meeting until next semester.
“As a full-time student who commutes, works two jobs, and who is the president of a student club, I know not all UTSU members have the capacity to participate in multiple general meetings in a semester,” said Siddiqui.
According to Siddiqui, 500 students have signed the petition to postpone the meeting. “There was short notice for this meeting and it’s bad timing for a lot of students,” she mentioned.
Siddiqui also called on UTSU executives to consider the students’ needs and instead come back in 2016 with a completely new proposal.
“They need to prioritize the motions put forward by students on issues such as sexual violence and anti-black racism,” she added.
The special general meeting is expected to take place on Wednesday at the OISE auditorium from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m.