UTMSU and the Quality Services to Students committee plan to hold a meeting one year after UTMSU refused to meet with them.
The QSS committee is responsible for offering advice on how to improve student services that are offered by the Career Centre, Health and Counselling Centre, Department of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation Department, as well as other services at UTM.
Since October 23 of 2015, the QSS committee has not met with UTMSU and have not been able to reach quorum on account of UTMSU’s decision not to engage with the committee.
In order to reach the quorum, one UTMSU representative has to be present among the other 11 members needed to hold the meeting. These members include a minimum of six students and a representative of two student councils who hold seats on the QSS committee.
“Although the Quality Services to Students committee didn’t meet in 2015-16 due to a lack of quorum, our services have had meaningful discussions on a variety of student services topics with UTMSU and other student governments who are also part of QSS, along with student users of the services,” stated Mark Overton, UTM’s dean of student affairs, in an email to The Medium.
Also in an email to The Medium, UTMSU’s president Nour Alideeb stated that although no meetings have been held since last year, there has been ongoing contact between UTMSU, Overton, and both UTM’s former principal Deep Saini and the current interim principal Ulrich Krull.
According to Alideeb, during those conversations, UTMSU usually discusses issues and ways in which they can improve the structure of the QSS to “ensure that students’ voices are heard and our suggestions are implemented”.
Overton informed The Medium that now that the academic year has officially begun, an invitation has been sent to UTMSU in hopes of setting up a meeting to discuss the concerns and issues that had been brought up.
“If quorum can be achieved, QSS should be able to meet reasonably soon, when issues identified at earlier meetings of QSS can be explored, along with new issues too,” said Overton.
The concerns put forth by former UTMSU presidents date back to 2013-14. Some of the issues are student representatives not having a voice in the council, and lack of transparency in the financial models.
“We are hoping that we can return to the administration and remind them that the space that QSS represents is a vital space for student majority decision-making spaces that should not be ignored,” said Alideeb.
“We are looking forward to the administration supporting our needs and ensuring that our voices aren’t ignored as often as they have been,” she added.
Alideeb also said that there are plans in progress to change the structure of the QSS for the improvement of both the council itself and the services to students.