On April 28, the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) held its first Board of Directors (BOD) meeting of the 2023–2024 academic year. The outgoing and incoming executives presented annual expense reports, and the board appointed Jasnoor Sandhu as vice-president campus life.
New vice-president campus life
During the meeting, candidates Jasnoor Sandhu and Isabel Borras delivered speeches as part of the appointment process for the vice-president campus life position. Unlike the other UTMSU executives, who are elected by the UTM student body, the union’s bylaws stipulate that the BOD appoints the vice-president campus life. After considering both candidates, the BOD voted to appoint Jasnoor Sandhu for the upcoming academic year.
Sandhu is a fourth-year health science and psychology student who previously served as an associate to the UTMSU vice-president campus life. In a speech to the BOD, she described organizing a number of major UTM events, including Frosh Week, multicultural week, and the end-of-the-year Block Party.
For Sandhu, improving the Student Centre is a top priority. She seeks to reestablish the centre as a hub for social activities. She also hopes to help students engage, connect, and build community with each other.
Sandhu proposed celebrating diversity on campus by organizing events for Indigenous History Month, Pride Month, and Black History Month, as well as religious holidays throughout the year. Through these events, Sandhu hopes all students will feel welcomed and represented.
Outgoing Vice-President Internal Wenhan (Berry) Lou explained that the UTMSU’s expenses in 2022–2023 exceeded those in 2021–2022 because The Blind Duck — a UTMSU–run restaurant located in the Student Centre — expanded its food and beverage sales. Increases in catering for UTM clubs and higher wages for UTM staff also contributed to rising expenses.
Newly elected Vice-President Internal Yongxin (John) Liang presented the preliminary budget for the 2023–2024 academic year, which includes an estimated $102,000 decrease in revenue compared to the previous year. The UTMSU expects to receive $1,538,500 in revenue and experience a net loss of $84,550.
For the 2023–2024 fiscal year, the executive team estimated that The Blind Duck will generate $658,500 in total revenue and $689,800 in expenses, resulting in a net loss of $31,300. They expect that increases in the charges for accepting TCards, the cost of serving supplies, and salary wages will more than outweigh decreases in the costs of advertising, repairs, and maintenance, resulting in overall higher expenses for the restaurant this year compared to 2022–2023.