The University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) General Council met virtually on September 28. The board discussed progress on the union’s ongoing restructuring. The union is planning to hold a town hall to consult with graduate students about the restructuring proposal on October 14. 

The board also approved a request from the Applied Psychology and Human Development Association (APHDA) to formally join the UTGSU as a course union, and discussed the upcoming appointment of a new executive-at-large. 

Board restructuring updates 

At the July meeting, members of the executive committee proposed a dramatic restructuring of its board and executives, as well as amendments to its bylaws. The motivation behind these changes is to make the union conform to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act. 

Internal Commissioner Sarah Alam said that the union is planning a town hall consultation session on October 14 to go over the details of the restructuring and get feedback from graduate students on the plan. 

In an interview with The Varsity, External Commissioner Justin Patrick encouraged members to attend this general meeting. He made a note of the UTGSU’s historical tendency for low engagement, as their voter turnout in the last election cycle was the lowest at U of T. In the spring elections, only 4.5 per cent of potential voters actually voted. 

Approvals and executive-at-large election

The council also voted to recognize the APHDA’s request to formally join the UTGSU as a course union, as a division of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. This gives the association the ability to vote in meetings and request head grants. 

Lastly, the council held conversations about the upcoming appointment of a new executive-at-large appointment, which will occur at the next General Council meeting in October. The executive-at-large is tasked with assisting other members of the executive committee in working on campaigns and various events during the year. Any members of the council can run for executive-at-large.