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UTMSU holds 2020 Annual General Meeting, discusses financial statements, impacts from COVID-19

Duck Stop, Blind Duck Pub saw decrease in revenue due to pandemic
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The UTMSU AGM took place on November 16. MARGAUX PARKER/THE VARSITY
The UTMSU AGM took place on November 16. MARGAUX PARKER/THE VARSITY

The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 16. The meeting was held over Zoom, and executive members discussed events and campaigns that they have worked on so far in the academic year, including the Education for All, Me in Mental Health, and Consent is Mandatory campaigns.

The vice-president internal also gave reports on financial statements for the UTMSU, which showed an increase in investments, and the Blind Duck Pub, which saw a decrease in sales due to the pandemic. 

UTMSU president’s address

In her introductory address, Mitra Yakubi, President of the UTMSU, outlined the purpose of the meeting, saying it would include a reflection on the work done by the UTMSU so far in the academic year, as well as look at the future direction in which the organization will go in the upcoming months.

She noted the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying, “With the reality of the pandemic comes different challenges, but we’re here to remind our members that their student union is here to provide support and resources throughout this time.”

Yakubi highlighted past UTMSU events and services, most of which took place virtually, including Instagram Live sessions, the Pride art contest, and Academic Advocacy Week, among others. Yakubi also discussed campaigns that the UTMSU has launched, such as the Education for All, Me in Mental Health, and Consent is Mandatory campaigns.

Audited financial statements

During the meeting, Fahad Dayala, Vice-President Internal, presented the UTMSU’s audited financial statements from May 2019 to April 2020. Dayala noted that there was a slight increase in investments, explaining that the UTMSU decided to increase its short-term investments to “have adequate funding in the near future.” 

Duck Stop, the UTMSU’s convenience store, saw its revenue decrease from $32,131 in 2019 to $25,243 in 2020 due to COVID-19 closures that forced the UTMSU to suspend in-person operations. Some of the inventory, including snacks and chips, was donated to a local food bank. 

Dayala also discussed the UTMSU’s assets, a total of almost $6.5 million, which is an increase from last year.

Dayala moved on to the financial statements of the Blind Duck Pub, a pub on campus run by the UTMSU. Total assets in 2020 were $109,878, with $28,530 in property and equipment. He noted that sales were at $421,381 — less than previous years due to the pandemic.

“Again, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not have any events in the last month and a half,” said Dayala, highlighting the lack of campus group activities during that time.

Presidential executive report 

Yakubi discussed some of the UTMSU’s campaigns, including its Education for All campaign. “We’re calling our administration and provincial government for an immediate reduction of tuition fees for all students,” she said. 

She noted other priorities of the campaign as well, such as fairness for international students and more non-academic scholarships. Yakubi argued that tuition fees for students should not go up during the pandemic and highlighted the progress that has been made with the campaign so far. 

“We also had the opportunity to meet with the UTM administration, where we discussed the campaign in… detail,” said Yakubi. 

On the topic of the UTMSU’s mental health initiatives, Yakubi specifically pointed to the UTMSU’s Mental Health Peer Support Program. “I have been working heavily on it as part of the Me in Mental Health campaign,” said Yakubi, noting how the initiative aims to address the lack of support and resources at the UTM campus.