On September 19, the Trinity College Meeting (TCM), Trinity College’s student government, held its first membership meeting, with attendees gathering in person at the George Ignatieff Theatre and online on a virtual call. At the meeting, the TCM elected a new slate of officers for the 2022–2023 academic year, gave reports of planned events, and approved a proposal for Saints, Trinity’s annual charity event.
The TCM is a direct democracy in which any student belonging to Trinity College can make proposals, move motions, and vote on how the college should utilize the almost $200,000 that it collects from its students through student society fees. The TCM has membership meetings roughly once a month, which are facilitated by the chair — a position currently held by Chelsea Tho.
The first TCM kicked off with reports from the heads of arts, heads of non-resident affairs, and heads of college. The various heads, who are tasked with facilitating social life at Trinity College, briefed attendees on the events that the TCM organized throughout the summer and highlighted a number of upcoming events. Some upcoming plans include study halls, movie nights, and field trips.
The TCM also announced a project, in collaboration with Trinity Against Sexual Assault & Harassment — a group based at Trinity College that advocates for supports for survivors of sexual violence — to send menstrual products and contraceptives to students.
At the meeting, the TCM and attending students approved a format and budget for the Saints’ ball, an annual charity dance run by Trinity College. The event, which is to be organized as a masquerade ball, will be held on November 18 at Arcadian Court and is projected to raise $3,492.
The Saints’ Executive Team recommended that money raised through ticket sales, raffles, and alumni donations go to Black Lives Matter Toronto. In explaining their choice of organization, the team referenced a 2021 report created by the Trinity College Task Force on Anti-Black Racism and Inclusion, which drew attention to systemic discrimination at the college.
The report, released in February 2021, was drafted in response to the murder of George Floyd in the US and the subsequent protests against systemic anti-Black racism. The report presented 44 recommendations on expanding supports for racialized students and working to diversify the college’s student, faculty, and governance bodies.
“We recognize that donating a few thousand dollars to BLM isn’t going to solve racism, and it’s not going to solve the problems that [Black, Indigenous, and people of colour] in this college face, but it will serve as a guiding light in our mission to reexamine Saints’ and create a more inclusive environment for Trinity students,” said Imran Koehnen, a member of the Saint’s Executive Team.
Koehnen’s presentation also stressed the Executive Team’s desire to make the dance itself more inclusive for students. Ticket prices were reduced to $40 from the $55 that students were charged when the event was last held in 2019.
The Executive Team also hopes to make the dance more welcoming. “We understand that a dance with lots of music and flashing lights can get a little overwhelming,” said Koehnen. “So we have a quiet room where people can go if they’re feeling overwhelmed.”
Additionally, the TCM will reimburse rides for all commuter students who live outside of the downtown core, to make the event more accessible and ensure safety.
Over the course of more than an hour, the TCM elected interested students to a variety of positions across the TCM governance structure.
Many of the positions must be held exclusively by first-year students, including first-year seats on the Equity Council, the Alumni Relations Committee, and the Student Capital Campaigns Committee. A full list of individuals elected can be found in the TCM 1 minutes.
Despite some technical difficulties with voting, 14 positions were filled. However, due to time constraints, a motion to have the remaining elections run on the Trinity election page at a later date was passed around 9:20 pm. The exact date is still to be determined. The unfilled positions included Members-at-Large for the Finance Committee, Heads of Fourth Year, and representatives for the Community Affairs Committee.
The TCM will hold its second membership meeting of the academic year on October 17.