The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) held its monthly Board of Directors (BOD) meeting on October 27. During the meeting, board members discussed plans for a collaborative vigil to remember Palestinians killed by Israel, and amendments to the SCSU’s referendum policy reducing the number of students needed to pass a referendum. The BOD also passed a motion making FROSH leaders eligible for an honorarium of up to $500.
Ongoing and recent violence in Gaza and Israel has continued to devastate Palestinians and Israelis, with more than 11,000 Palestinians and more than 1,200 Israelis killed as of November 10. Around the world and in Toronto, people have shown their outrage toward the violence, with students holding protests and vigils.
At the October BOD meeting, executives discussed an upcoming vigil to remember Palestinians killed by the Israeli military set for November 15 from 1:00–3:00 pm in front of the Student Centre.
UTSC’s Thaqalayn Muslim Association, alongside the UTSC Muslim Student Association and UTSC’s Palestinian Culture Club, reached out to the SCSU about potentially collaborating on the vigil. Denise Nmashie, the SCSU’s vice-president equity, told The Varsity, “We just needed to do something that actively acknowledges what’s going on in Gaza.” Nmashie mentioned that the event will feature a speaker, a reading of names of people who have been killed, a moment of silence, and tea light candles for attendees to light.
During the BOD meeting, Vice-President Operations Akaash Palaparthy highlighted the Policy and By-law Committee’s (PBC) October 26 meeting, where it proposed several motions to change the referendum process. Students will vote on the proposed changes at the SCSU’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 14.
A referendum is a vote among the entire SCSU membership to approve or reject a change to the union. Currently, the SCSU’s Charter for Referenda requires at least 10 per cent of the UTSC student body to vote, and for the majority of those participants to vote in favour, for a referendum to pass. However, the PBC recommended that students at the AGM vote on lowering the required turnout to three per cent.
The PBC also passed a motion for students to vote at the AGM on changing the amount of campaign expenses advocates can spend during a referendum. Currently, the Charter doesn’t allow advocates for a side in the referendum to spend more than $250 in their campaign. The PBC passed a motion that would have students vote at the AGM on increasing each advocating group’s allowed expenses to $1,000 per referendum.
FROSH leader honorariums
FROSH is an orientation event for first-year students. This year, the SCSU hosted FROSH on September 2 and 3 and reported that it sold 881 tickets for the event.
To run things smoothly, the SCSU recruited a team of 21 senior leaders to spearhead the event. At its meeting, the BOD passed a motion making each senior leader eligible for up to a $500 honorarium, based on their performance during FROSH. Campus Life staff and orientation coordinators will examine each senior leader to determine the amount they will receive.