The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) Board of Directors met on March 16 to address the finances of the Student Commons project and to announce the departure of Executive Director Tka Pinnock.
At the meeting, UTSU President Mathias Memmel presented the numbers of the most recent financial projections for the Student Commons, published March 12, that clarify how the UTSU will maintain a surplus. The union must avoid running a deficit on the space; if a deficit lasts more than two years after the first three fiscal years, with no solution found within two years following, it would result in the UTSU losing authority over the Student Commons and ceding it to the university, as per the agreement between U of T and the union.
Memmel said the union’s goal has been to structure the finances in order for surpluses to be occurring regularly enough that the university does not take over the Student Commons. “We’ve created a plan. It’s one that’s solid,” said Memmel.
However, he also indicated the importance of understanding that the UTSU has a “volatile” history, and that it will take “a few years of really solid and responsible and mature governance and fiscal management,” in order for these projections to be executed.
The other main item from the meeting was that Tka Pinnock, the UTSU’s Executive Director is stepping down from her position. “Our thanks to Tka for all she has done and the good counsel she has provided,” said Memmel. Pinnock began her position as Executive Director in 2015.
At the end of the meeting, Woodsworth College Director Max Xi added another item to the agenda: a motion that would keep the currently vacant board positions vacant until the end of the current board’s term, coming up in just over a month. The motion passed. The campaign period for the UTSU elections, which will see a new union executive and board of directors elected, begins March 19.