Along with reviewing the results of the fall 2015 election and passing changes in the union’s bylaws, UTMSU also examined the causes and possible solutions to the deficit incurred at the Blind Duck Pub during their board meeting on Saturday.
UTMSU bylaw changes
The UTMSU board of directors have approved four out of five proposed bylaw changes in their constitution ahead of their annual general meeting on November 12.
A major change to bylaw V was the removal of the VP part-time affairs position from the UTMSU executive effective May 2016.
According to UTMSU president Ebi Agbeyegbe, the move was in consultation with current and past VP part-time affairs and the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students, which represents part-time students at all three campuses.
The Medium is following up for details on the reasons behind the move.
Of the five bylaw changes proposed, the sole bylaw not voted on proposed a change to bylaw II, which defines what constitutes a UTMSU member. Under this bylaw’s second clause, to terminate UTMSU membership, a member “withdraws, graduates, is suspended or expelled from the University of Toronto”. An amendment to remove the word “graduates” was proposed.
“This bylaw contradicts another bylaw,” said Khogali, explaining the motive behind the proposed amendment. Currently, UTMSU’s bylaws state that anyone who is registered as a full-time undergrad in a UTM diploma or degree program and has paid the UTMSU membership fee “for the current session” is a UTMSU member.
Asked to clarify, Khogali, said the “contradiction” lies in the fact that under section 1c., the bylaws say that “membership is valid only for the session paid” yet “members of the Executive Committee during their respective terms in office” are also members, without specifying any course or fee requirement. The ambiguity is in whether a UTMSU exec can still be a member of the union even after graduating.
However, Abdullah Omari, a UTMSU director, argued that a further clause should be added to address the “vagueness” of bylaw II. According to Omari, removing the word “graduates” from the definition would allow anyone who has graduated from UTM to still have membership rights indefinitely.
The motion was struck down at the meeting, and according to VP university affairs and academics Nour Alideeb, the board moved to add say “Membership to the Union is terminated when a member withdraws, graduates, is suspended or expelled from the University of Toronto or upon graduation from the University, excluding members of the executive committee.”
Other motions passed at the meeting includes bylaw I, which addresses the interpretation of definitions. The board added the definition of the Medical Academy of Medicine to UTMSU’s bylaws and constitution. Following this addition, the definition of an undergraduate student was further added to provide a distinction between such undergraduates and MAM students.
Motions approved at the board of directors meeting on Saturday must now pass a two-thirds majority at the UTMSU annual general meeting on November 12.