The University College Literary & Athletic Society (UC Lit) used orientation funds to foot a portion of a vehicle accident repair bill, following a single-vehicle crash that occurred during 2019 orientation.
A member of the orientation team was behind the wheel of a rental car when the accident occurred. According to UC Lit President Danielle Stella, due to the “relatively high” cost of the repairs, and because the car was used for orientation-related purposes, it was decided that a portion of the costs would be paid by orientation and the rest by the individual responsible for the accident. The decision was made at an “orientation board meeting in an agreement between the individual involved, the UCLIT, UC Orientation, and UC Administration.”
Stella declined to comment on the specific cost paid by UC Lit because it pertained to the in-camera discussion.
“Council was informed of the decision during an in-camera discussion at our January meeting,” wrote Stella to The Varsity.
The UC Lit Council is made up of core executives, like Stella, as well as executives and representatives from across University College.
“Orientation Board equitably decided that the discussion would be in-camera in order to protect the identity and financial state of the individual involved,” Stella wrote, also noting that all parties involved were “informed properly and agreed upon the decision.”
Stella emphasized that the orientation budget is intended to break even, and that the UC Lit receives money from not only student fees, but also UC and U of T administration. This year’s orientation budget saw a profit and thus, after payment for the vehicle repair, there is still a “prudent surplus” for next year’s orientation. The UC Lit’s 2019 audited financial statements are not yet available on its website.
UC orientation faced controversy in 2017 when it was revealed that financial mismanagement in 2016 resulted in an unpaid invoice for breakfasts, costing $7,200. To remedy this, the UC Lit was forced to remove $8,000 from its contingency fund. In order to rebuild the contingency fund, money for a variety of events, including pub nights and All Night Fung — which offered the Howard Ferguson Dining Hall as a 24-hour study space during exam season — was cut.