Tensions rose at a University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) General Council meeting on November 20 when Internal Commissioner Lynne Alexandrova was prevented from giving a report on the Policy and Operations Committee. The reasoning given was that she had been removed as chair of the committee.
The General Council is the main governing body of the UTGSU, composed of representatives from each of the course unions that make up the union’s constituency. Consisting of seven commissioners, the Executive Committee is the executive governing body of the union, implementing policy and pursuing goals set by the council. The Internal Commissioner is usually the Chair of the Policy and Operations Committee.
During the meeting, Finance Commissioner Brandon Rizzuto pointed out that because Alexandrova is no longer chair, it would be out of order for her to present a report on the committee. The point was carried by the speaker of the meeting.
Alexandrova officially objected to the decision on the grounds of accessibility, saying that she had wished to continue her “experiment in student governance.”
Executive Director David Eaton addressed Alexandrova’s concerns, saying that another meeting to be held on November 26 would specifically discuss the vacancy of the Internal Commissioner position.
On the agenda for the irregular meeting next week are items “3. Executive Committee – Vacation of Internal Commissioner (in camera)” and “4. Executive Vacancy (contingent upon outcome of item 3).”
In a statement to The Varsity, Alexandrova expressed her passion for restructuring the UTGSU.
“[If] the proposed re-distribution of [Internal Commissioner] duties gets legalized by Council on Monday, that would legalize the [Internal Commissioner] position erosion for the past couple of years that I’ve tried to slow down as benevolently as possible.”
The council also voted to donate $1,000 to the OISE Decolonizing Conference, ratified Moses Cook as Vice-Chair of the Board of Appeals, and filled vacancies in the Elections and Referenda Committee, Women and Trans People Caucus, and Professional Graduate Student Caucus.