The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) held its final Board of Directors (BOD) meeting of the 2021–2022 academic year on April 29. The meeting was divided between reports by the outgoing and incoming executives.
The 2021–2022 annual budget report
The outgoing UTMSU executives shared their final reports at the meeting. Outgoing Vice President Internal Wei Lai presented the revised UTMSU budget for the 2021–2022 academic year.
Lai explained that net expenses increased in 2021–2022 due to fewer incoming sponsorships; not charging students for the virtual orientation; and a fee increase from softwares such as QuickBooks, Google, and Zoom due to UTMSU’s increased online operations under pandemic restrictions.
The Blind Duck, UTMSU’s restaurant, reported a loss of $38,300. Lai attributed the deficit to numerous factors including COVID-19, higher food costs, and slower sales.
She continued that although the expenses for UTM’s convenience store, Duck Stop, decreased from the estimated $56,600 in the operation budget to $28,400 in the revised budget, revenue also fell from $42,000 to $23,000.
The 2022–2023 budget proposal
Wenhan (Berry) Lou, incoming vice president internal, presented the preliminary budgets for 2022–2023. There is an expected increase of $153,500 in revenue from the previous academic year due to a predicted increase in service revenue and a decrease in events expenses. Therefore, union anticipates an overall profit of $299,150 in the 2022–2023 academic year.
For the Blind Duck’s operations, UTMSU’s total expected revenue is set at $639,500 while the total expenses equal $642,800. The UTMSU, therefore, expects to lose only $3,300 for operating the Blind Duck in 2022–2023.
This budget will be revised at a BOD meeting at the end of the 2022–2023 academic year.
Campus life proposals
The BOD also received presentations from two candidates for the position of vice president campus life. Sania Naqvi, the current Food Centre coordinator, presented a proposal that emphasized plans to host events that promote physical and mental health for all students. These would include frosh, campus orientation week, culture week, spirit week, a food festival, and monthly destressors.
Fatima Yakubi was the other candidate for the position. They proposed plans to host events for Indigenous History Month, Black History Month, and Pride Month. These events will be a part of the UTMSU’s bigger plan to create opportunities for community building.
To reduce accessibility barriers, Yakubi expressed their intention to provide breaks and closed captioning options for virtual events. As for in-person events, they pledged to create accessible spaces for wheelchairs and other assistive devices.
They also hope to increase collaboration with campus groups by having at least one collaboration event a month and advertising rental equipment services.
Following an off-camera deliberation, the board decided to appoint Yakubi to the position of Vice President Campus Life.
Editor’s note (May 17): A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the campus life proposals from candidates Sania Naqvi and Fatima Yakubi were presented on behalf of the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union. The article has also been updated to reflect inaccuracies in budgets and confirm Yakubi’s appointment as Vice President Campus Life. The Varsity regrets these errors.