At the UTM Campus Council’s October 11 meeting, members passed a resolution officially establishing two new fees that students voted on during the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union’s (UTMSU) spring elections. The UTMSU’s Board of Directors (BOD) had previously determined that the referenda in favour of the fees had failed because many students abstained from voting, but the union later reversed course.
Council members also discussed plans for new and existing buildings on campus and the campus’ long-term plans.
During their spring 2023 elections, the UTMSU ran referenda asking students whether they approved of a levy for Housing Our University Students Equitably (HOUSE) Canada — a national organization that aims to create affordable housing for students — and a levy for UTM Regenesis — a student group that promotes sustainable initiatives.
27.6 per cent of UTM students voted in favour of the UTM Regenesis levy, with 52.9 per cent abstaining. 28.4 per cent voted in favour of the HOUSE levy, while 48.4 per cent abstained.
At the union’s April 2023 BOD meeting, the board’s chair, Kayla Weiler, announced that the referenda had failed because the number of abstentions for each had exceeded the number of votes in favour of the HOUSE referendum. However, the BOD decided to ratify the results in favour of the levy increases on April 28.
At the UTM Campus Affairs Committee’s September 21 meeting, UTMSU President Gulfy Bekbolatova and UTMSU Executive Director Felipe Nagata said that the union sought legal advice given the large number of abstentions and decided to move forward with ratifying the results. Melinda Scott — the executive director of the office of the vice-provost, students — noted that student unions autonomously determine referenda standards but said that the office generally encourages student unions to consider what students wanted.
At the Campus Council’s meeting, members voted to establish the fee beginning in fall 2024, subject to approval by the Executive Committee. This will impose an additional $5.00 per session levy fee for full-time students and $2.50 per session fee for part-time students, adjusted each year based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index — a measure of price changes. This will bring the total per-semester UTMSU fee to $451.76 for full-time students and $176.27 for part-time students.
Meanwhile, the Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) students will also witness adjustments as a result of the levies, with fees now totalling $530.65 per fall session and $530.64 per winter session.
Mark Overton — dean of student affairs and assistant principal, student services — presented UTM’s goals and challenges for the upcoming year.
The university hopes to operationalize the new Student Services hub, which will offer expanded spaces and enhanced support for students across multiple departments. The hub will include offices for Accessibility Services, the Career Centre, the Centre for Student Engagement, the International Education Centre, Wellness Outreach, and more.
Additionally, UTM will relocate its health care services to the expanded Health and Counselling Center Medical Clinic, offering more exam rooms.
The university also aims to add new first-year residences and upgrade townhouses in line with recommendations from the UTM Housing Master Plan — a years-long plan released in 2017 that highlighted the importance of new residences. UTM plans to accelerate its timeline for creating a recreation zone that would feature outdoor fields and courts for diverse sports and wellness activities.
The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer at UTM is currently working on a climate-positive plan to attain a climate-positive model by 2050. The plan will outline specific targets for carbon reduction by 2030 and 2050, with a focus on optimizing energy production, distribution, and consumption on campus.
The Office of the Dean’s priorities include creating UTM’s upcoming Academic Plan for 2024–2029, which will chart the course for academic development over the next five years. The administration is also in the process of designing a comprehensive Strategic Enrolment Management Plan geared toward enhancing admissions, access, student retention, and overall student success.