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UTSU Board of Directors makes changes to student clubs policy

Discussions on the union’s future plans, nominations for unfilled committee positions
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The UTSU Board of Directors meeting. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARMINA CORNACCHIA
The UTSU Board of Directors meeting. PHOTO COURTESY OF CARMINA CORNACCHIA

The University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) had its second board meeting of the 2021–2022 academic year on May 30. Topics included the presentations of the executives’ reports and changes to the union’s policies on club recognition and funding.

UTSU President Alexa Ballis also presented their priorities for the coming year, based on the executives’ campaigns as well as a series of town halls held by the union. The priorities were mental health, employment opportunities and resources for students, financial transparency, and the restructuring of UTSU bodies like the Appellate Board.

Clubs policy changes

Directors voted to ratify the results from the last election and the nomination of board members who had been nominated to unoccupied committee positions.

The board also discussed the union’s policies on club recognition to improve the process clubs use to access funding. Vice-President Operations Fiona Reuter said that due to issues with policies about student groups, some clubs didn’t get funding last year.

Maria Lin, vice-president student life, explained the clubs policy amendments, which covered three main initiatives: financial reporting, which would clarify how much money a club should expect to receive from the UTSU; an appeal procedure designed to democratize club recognition; and club recognition criteria which mandate clubs’ compliance with UTSU policies to increase accountability.

The board voted in favour of amendments to the UTSU clubs policy aimed at improving this issue. 

Appellate Board discussion

The UTSU’s Appellate Board — a quasi-judicial body that hears appeals regarding elections and grievances — was also discussed at the meeting. 

Reuter commented on several problems within the board, including a conflict of interest regarding how members are chosen. According to the union’s bylaws, members are chosen “by a simple majority of the Board of Directors.” 

Reuter questioned whether this is appropriate, asking whether “the Board of Directors should actually be appointing the body that’s overseeing [it].”