The University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) General Council met virtually on October 26 for its October meeting.
Four out of seven executives failed to submit their reports by the deadline. They will include their written reports in the November meeting package.
The council also discussed changes to the Black Graduate Excellence Bursary subcommittee and discussed funding for the Centre for Women and Trans People. Elections for the executive-at-large position were also held, though no one ran for the position, so it will be filled at a later meeting.
UTGSU General Council meetings generally begin with the acceptance of monthly executive reports detailing what each executive has done that month.
However, for this meeting, only three of the seven current executives submitted their reports to be included in the meeting package by the October 22 deadline — Finance Commissioner June Li, Civics and Environment Commissioner An-Noûra Compaoré, University Governance Commissioner Lwanga Musisi, and Academics and Funding Commissioner Divisions 3 & 4 Danielle Karakas all failed to submit their reports.
Li, Compaoré, Karakas, and Musisi all spoke briefly on their progress during the month in lieu of a written report, some of whom reported technical difficulties with attaching the written reports to the meeting package.
Some members of the General Council expressed concern that the reports were not included, and put forward a motion for those executives to include their October reports in the November meeting package. The motion passed.
Changes to levies and bursaries
Li presented the UTGSU’s updated terms of reference for its Black Graduate Excellence Bursary this year. The change makes it so that the subcommittee is elected from the general graduate student population rather than the UTGSU General Council, and that the chair of the subcommittee will be someone elected from the finance committee. The motion for this change also passed.
The UTGSU attempted to pass a motion to cease the levy collected for the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP). Li said that in the last three years, the CWTP has failed to give any financial audits and reports. By distributing the money without getting these reports, she said that the UTGSU was essentially breaking its own bylaws and had no choice but to discontinue the levy.
The executive director for the CWTP also spoke, explaining the reasons behind the failure to send financial statements to the union. Recently, its former coordinator has taken an indefinite sick leave and failed to return to their post, the centre has been evicted from its former office in the North Gordon Building, and it has faced other administrative issues that have hindered its ability to function normally.
The CWTP’s representative then explained that the centre has now hired a certified accountant and has hired lawyers to help them through this process. They requested that the centre still collect the levy fees, but not use them until March 2022, when their finances and statements are all supposed to be organized. Their request passed instead of the original motion.
Each year at the October meeting of the General Council, the UTGSU elects an executive-at-large, and the executive’s election is held during the meeting. However, since no one ran at the meeting, the position currently remains vacant, and voting has been delayed until next month’s meeting.
Editor’s note (November 6): A previous version of this article omitted that Musisi spoke at the meeting in place of a written report. The Varsity regrets this error.