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ASSU elections work just fine

Does every Canadian citizen vote for the Prime Minister of Canada? No, we vote in our representatives to Parliament and the leader of the party with the most seats gets to be the face for the country. Similarly students vote in the Executive for Course Unions and two reps from each elect the ASSU President. The structure of ASSU is different than that of other organizations at the U of T.

ASSU is an academic student union, giving a face to the students of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Our Faculty is broken down into 40 or so departments and numerous programs. ASSU has a Course Union set up for each department. Each student needs to sign up for a specialist, or a major and two minors, or two majors and hence directly belongs to one or more departments/programs.

This makes each student a member of the corresponding Course Union. Members of Course Unions are defined as anyone who is taking at least one course from the corresponding department/program in that academic year. Therefore this system ensures that all students in the Faculty of Arts and Science belong to at least one Course Union and thus is being represented by ASSU.

Faculty of Arts & Science students vote in their Course Union Executives. These positions are open to anyone in the area of study in question. The Course Union President and another designated Executive attend ASSU Council meetings and vote in the ASSU Executive. Any registered full-time student in the Faculty of Arts and Science, or any student who has paid their $11 ASSU fee can run in the elections.

Our system works. ASSU has over the past few years continued to run Faculty evaluations and publish the annual ASSU Anti-Calendar, opened up 24 hour Robarts Library Study Space, revised the Course Refund Schedule to give us more money back, got rid of interest on outstanding tuition for the months of October and November, just finished reviewing the petitions process and started the new tutorial project “Universal Mind.” We have worked well with Administration in order to bring ourselves all these services and have plans for other endeavours.

I challenge anyone to come to the ASSU Office and tell me that we are not representing the students of the Faculty properly. I openly ask anyone to challenge ASSU’s accountability.

Ms. Bonnie Huen, if you were involved in a Course Union, or on our Executive, then you would understand our structure and constitution better. Why don’t you come by the office one day and chat with me about the accountability of ASSU? I will be happy to meet with you.

Rini Ghosh
President of the Arts & Science Students’ Union (ASSU)

Sore over health plan

I’m just curious if anyone can help me in discovering why it takes six months to receive the money back from opting out of the health and dental plan. We are only given a couple business days during the first week of school to get our opt-out forms submitted, and then we are told that we will receive our money sometime in February. Well it’s March 5th and I still have not received a cent from the university. Lord help the students if we are at all late when it comes to deadlines, yet the administration has left us here waiting to receive our money at their convenience.

Harry Wenkel