Another insect reportedly found in Asian Gourmet food at UTSC

Similar incident occurred in March

Another insect reportedly found in Asian Gourmet food at UTSC

Another bug has apparently been found in food from Asian Gourmet, a restaurant in UTSC’s Student Centre. The discovery was made on October 14 by UTSC student Edison Liu, who was having a long study session when he found what appeared to be a larva in his food.

A similar incident occurred last March, when another UTSC student found a “large winged insect” on her bok choy from Asian Gourmet.

Liu posted about the incident on the “UTSC Bird Courses” group on Facebook, where he included a photo of the insect on his food. The insect also seemed to be on a piece of bok choy.

PHOTO VIA EDISON LIU/FACEBOOK

“I asked for a refund,” Liu wrote to The Varsity. “But the lady didn’t even say sorry. She said bugs from veggies [are] not bad for me.”

Asian Gourmet confirmed the incident. “It’s very difficult to control,” said Asian Gourmet to The Varsity. “We [buy] the veggies from the supermarket. Sometimes [the insect] is hiding inside. Even if we cut it very carefully, we can’t see… we clean two times, three times, but now more carefully.”

Asian Gourmet also said that many Chinese restaurants have a similar issue with their vegetables, and that students should always be careful when eating in particular Chinese greens like bok choy.

“Tell the students we’re so sorry, we’re so sorry for what happened,” said Asian Gourmet.

All food vendors in the Student Centre operate with the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) as the landlord.

The Varsity has reached out to the SCSU for comment.

Movement to reform Scarborough Campus Students’ Union emerges

Group of UTSC students create reform club, website

Movement to reform Scarborough Campus Students’ Union emerges

Transparency, a Canadian flag, and a stop to “self-righteous political correctness.” These are the beliefs of the Scarborough Campus’ Union Reform Club (SCU Reform), an emerging student movement against the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU).

Formed in early September 2018, SCU Reform is now a club recognized under Ulife and is comprised of an unknown number of students who want to change the culture of the SCSU.

SCU Reform President Anup Atwal, a fourth-year student, said that up to 300 students could be in his club. The Varsity was unable to verify that number.

SCU Reform claims that the SCSU lacks transparency on budgets, is not upfront about issues, and is not accessible.

In an email to The Varsity, the SCSU wrote that it “welcomes… and encourages students to become engaged in proposing new ideas for the upcoming year,” and that it “relies on member engagement to ensure that the diverse and ever-changing needs of students continue to be attended to, as [they] advocate for them to be met.”

The SCSU also noted that it is planning to change its outreach tactics to a more “on-the-ground” member engagement. It is hoping to better inform students about the SCSU’s services, campaigns, and events.

The SCU Reform website highlights that, while it does not want to end the SCSU, it also does not want UTSC students to be “tainted” with “petty identity politics” and “never-ending controversy.”

“My battle is not with any individual director or executive,” said Atwal. “It’s about the structure of the institution and [SCSU] not caring [about the student body].”

Atwal said that the ultimate goal of SCU Reform is to get more students engaged in student elections, to force the union to listen to them, and to discourage voter apathy.

“Voter apathy leads to this… bottleneck effect in which you have a small cluster of ideas operating on a $1.1 million budget.” He added that, of “13,500 students, less than 2,000 voted. That’s not acceptable.”

According to its website, dedicated SCU Reform members study SCSU documents, such as Board of Director packages and the SCSU Constitution and Bylaws. They also discuss ways to change the union.

In the works is an account of the 2018 SCSU elections and the controversies surrounding it.

Three candidates ran to head the SCSU in 2018. Nicole Brayiannis, the current president; Deena Hassan, who was disqualified twice; and Ray Alibux. Alibux is now a member of SCU Reform.

“The reason I joined SCU Reform was because I wanted to see more transparency within how the SCSU was being run,” wrote Alibux to The Varsity.

He complained about the lack of transparency when he entered the elections for the first time. “They don’t lay out anything. If you want to enter the system, you have to already be part of the system.”

The SCSU said that, this term, it has organized the “biggest Frosh available at UTSC.” They are also “looking forward to” opening the Chatime in the Student Centre, hosting a Mayoral Transit Debate, and campaigning for a more accessible education.

Colleges, student unions expand representation for international students

U of T welcomed 19,187 international students last year

Colleges, student unions expand representation for international students

Amid a rising international student population, student unions and the seven colleges are expanding their representation on campus and creating services catered to those demographics. The Varsity reached out to several student unions and college governments for a roundup of international student representation on campus.

UTSU

The University of Toronto Students’ Union does not have a specific committee geared toward international students. However, it does have positions which serve the international student population, such as Vice-President Student Life and Vice-President Equity.

UTGSU

The International Students’ Caucus (ISC) at the University of Toronto Graduate Students Union (UTGSU) aims to address the interests and concerns regarding international graduate students.

The caucus hosts social, academic, and professional workshops and meetings concerning governance and policy changes within the university community and the city at large.

“The ISC is a group under the UTGSU [that] mainly serves international students’ interests, including academic success, social interaction, and networking,” reads a statement on its website.

“Meetings will be held monthly and will focus on the needs of the caucus’ members and the needs of all international graduate students including social interaction, networking, and potential changes in programming and/or governance at the university, city, and/or provincial levels.”

The ISC’s elected positions include the chair, who oversees the caucus as a whole, and the UTGSU Executive Liaison.

UTMSU

The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) represents over 13,500 students across the UTM, with 20 per cent of students being international. While the UTMSU does not have a specific position or caucus dedicated to international students, they do provide several services.

“We endeavour to ensure that the rights of all students are respected, provide cost-saving services, programs and events, and represent the voices of part-time undergraduate students across the University and to all levels of government,” reads a statement on their website. “We are fundamentally committed to the principle of access to education for all.”

The UTMSU also has several campaigns in partnership with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) regarding international student issues, including Fight for Fees, Fairness for International Students, and OHIP for International Students.

SCSU

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) currently does not have a specific levy or caucus dedicated to international students; however, it has positions aimed toward serving the needs of domestic and international students alike on campus, such as Vice-President Campus Life and Vice-President Equity.

SCSU also provides specific services in partnership with the CFS for international students including the International Student Identity Card, which provides students with exclusive discounts such as airfare and entertainment.

Innis College

The Innis College student body provides a number of resources and services made available to international students. The Innis Residence Council has six positions for Junior International House Representatives who work alongside Senior House Representatives to coordinate events and foster a sense of involvement. An International Transition Advisor is also available on campus.

New College

New College houses the International Foundation Program, which provides conditional acceptance to international students whose English proficiency scores do not meet direct entrance requirements. The program guarantees admission to the Faculty of Arts & Science or the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering upon completion.

Madison Hönig, New College Student Council President, told The Varsity, “At New College, international students make up an important part of our student population. We are lucky to house the International Foundation Program (IFP) at New College. As such, we do have an International Foundation Program Representative to advocate for these students.”

“Additionally, we work closely with the New College Residence Council and the main governance structures within the College to ensure that international students are being advocated for and included in our programming, academic initiatives and support at New College,” continued Hönig. “We are working to see that international student representation and advocacy is considered within the portfolios of all of our members.”

University College

University College’s International Student Advisor aims to provide academic and personal resources to International students through their sUCcess Centre. Appointments can be made to meet with an advisor.

Victoria College

Victoria College International Students Association (VISA) is a levy funded by the Victoria University Students’ Administrative Council that aims to support the needs and interests of international students at Victoria College.

VISA is used to host social, academic, and professional events throughout the year and also funds a mentorship program for incoming students.

“Our program offered help to students from all backgrounds, in which the mentor would be providing both academic and moral support to the students transitioning into the new university environment, through a two-hour session every two weeks,” reads a statement from the mentorship program’s website.

Woodsworth College

The International Students Director under the Woodsworth College Student Association (WCSA) is the representative for international students at Woodsworth College. The International Students Director also coordinates events hosted by the association catered to international students.

“With this role, I hope to connect with not only incoming international students but also upper year students to bridge the gap between them. I look forward to continuing with some of the events introduced by last year’s director as well as introducing a few new ones,” reads a statement on its website from from Leslie Mutoni, WCSA’s International Students Director.

During the 2017–2018 academic year, the university welcomed over 19,187 international students from across 163 countries and regions, mainly from China, India, the United States, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

The Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students and student societies at St. Michael’s College and Trinity College did not respond to The Varsity’s requests for comment.

Scarborough student union apologizes for food quality issue at frosh

Student claims she saw dead, caterpillar-like bug in food

Scarborough student union apologizes for food quality issue at frosh

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) has issued an apology for a “food quality issue” that occurred during its orientation.

SCSU’s frosh week, which took place from August 29–31, apparently employed a deficient food vendor, though the union did not say what the problem was or how many people were affected by the food.

In a statement to The Varsity, the SCSU wrote that “upon receiving a food complaint the union stopped serving the food.”

“Since Frosh, the Union has met with the food vendor, and after inspection from Health and Safety, it has been confirmed that the issue stemmed from the food supplier for the vendor, rather than the vendor itself. The vendor has assured the Union that they immediately switched suppliers upon receiving the complaint.”

First-year student Ellen Eshenko told The Varsity that they were given Chinese food that contained broccoli, cabbage, and rice. As she was eating, she saw a dead, green, caterpillar-like bug on a piece of broccoli. Eshenko described the bug to be the size of her fingernail.

She added that the “SCSU executives were really nice about it and so worried about it they took my info down.”

The statement that the SCSU posted on Facebook on September 6 read, “We would like to reassure you that all food vendors at Frosh were fully screened in accordance to the appropriate measures of UTSC, as well as sampled prior to ordering for the event.”

“However, despite our best efforts, we are disappointed with one of the vendors of our event. In response, we have been taking thorough measures to investigate and resolve the matter.”

The statement was signed by all SCSU executives and it included a note to contact SCSU President Nicole Brayiannis at president@scsu.ca for any further inquiries.

The SCSU added that executives “would be attending Food Handling courses” in preparation for future events.

The union’s three-day orientation, which was called Infinity, cost $65–80 to attend and was open to all incoming first-year UTSC students. According to the event website, tickets are non-refundable.

The CR/NCR victory is an important development for student rights at UTSC

Re: “SCSU’s Academic Advocacy campaign secures credit/no credit extension”

The CR/NCR victory is an important development for student rights at UTSC

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) recently obtained a decisive victory through its ongoing Academic Advocacy campaign by securing an extension for credit/no credit (CR/NCR) options on courses. Compared to the previous deadline, which was two weeks before the end of the semester, the extension allows students to make a choice about whether they would like their grade in a course to appear on their transcript up until the last day of classes for the session.

The Academic Advocacy campaign has hinged upon making students aware of the importance of their academic rights, with posters and outreach extending across UTSC. Other changes the SCSU’s campaign are advocating for include the option of a self-declared sick note system, capping late penalties at five percent per day, and lifting the ban on laptops that is currently enforced in some courses.

Academic issues can be difficult to manage at U of T, with lengthy bureaucratic processes for academic appeals and petitions for re-grading coursework. It is even more difficult for students to navigate these issues during times of stress, such as while ill. However, following the recent campaign, it is reported that the SCSU has seen an increase in petitions and appeals this year, a possible reflection of the effectiveness of their current awareness tactics.

By advocating for the educational rights of students at UTSC, the SCSU is initiating an important dialogue. Many of these rules and processes are explained in syllabi or long documents on the university website, weighed down by heavy jargon and red tape. Some students are not aware of their options due to the inaccessibility of these documents, including the highlighted example of the right to refuse to use Turnitin, an online plagiarism checker.

As the SCSU continues to work towards its demands in its Academic Advocacy campaign, one would hope that this win is one of many to come for UTSC students in the fight for academic rights and accessibility.

 

Anastasia Pitcher is a first-year student at New College studying Life Sciences.

SCSU’s Academic Advocacy campaign secures credit/no credit extension

Students will now be able to Credit/No Credit a course until the last day of classes

SCSU’s Academic Advocacy campaign secures credit/no credit extension

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union’s (SCSU) Academic Advocacy campaign has successfully extended students’ ability to credit/no credit (CR/NCR) a course until the last day of classes. The CR/NCR choice allows students to opt for a pass or fail mark rather than a percentage grade on their academic transcript in up to two full credits. UTSC students can currently invoke the CR/NCR up to two weeks before the last day of classes, but the SCSU’s change will enter into effect in academic sessions after May 1.

The campaign aims to advocate for the academic rights of students and make education and information more accessible.

The CR/NCR extension was adopted by the university after the campaign submitted a report, supported by a petition, that included the extension as one of its ‘asks and recommendations.’ According to the petition, students are unreasonably expected to estimate their academic standing two weeks before they receive all their grades, and many students end up making uninformed decisions.

Beside securing the extension of the CR/NCR option, the SCSU campaign has worked to make students more aware of their academic rights and what infringements of those rights are. According to Christina Arayata, SCSU Vice-President Academics & University Affairs, the union has seen an increase in the number of students asking for assistance through appeals and petitions this year. Arayata said this increase of student awareness is a result of the information that the campaign has been promoting. “Students have been receptive to the campaign, especially now that a victory has occurred,” said Arayata.

The SCSU is also currently advocating for the introduction of self-declared sick notes, a five per cent cap on late penalties, and lifting laptop ban policies in classrooms. Arayata explained that the university has been supportive and is interested in the recommendations and pilot programs proposed by the union.

Students can expect this campaign to continue well into the future.“Academic advocacy and accessibility has moved from just conversation to actionable items that can be improved, expanded, and developed,” said Arayata. “The topic of accessible education and advocacy must not stop — it is an ongoing movement that needs constant care.”

The state of the Scarborough student union

UTSC students share their views on the SCSU in light of a rocky election cycle

The state of the Scarborough student union

The 2018 elections of the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) were marred in controversy. With the unofficial results now in, we reached out to UTSC students who wanted to share their opinions on everything that’s happened.

Confusion surrounding SCSU-related controversies leaves students at a loss

Coming to university, one of the things that fascinated me was the concept of a student council that had the ability to make a real difference. To the untrained freshman eye, the SCSU was ‘by students, for students’ and had the platform to influence decision-makers and advocate for my rights.

While these thoughts are valid in theory, recent events demonstrate this platform is not realistic in practice. Watching the controversy with this year’s SCSU elections unfold, the first thing that struck me was how unprofessional the whole situation is.

Allegations of misconduct in this year’s elections were first brought to attention on social media; they contained some very serious claims but no real detail as to what truly happened. To this day, most of us who don’t have the privilege of working in the SCSU office are still left in the dark with a frustrating pile of ambiguous statements.

After observing the protest at the all-candidates’ meeting and viewing the response from the official SCSU page, I have been forced to question how much of the battle is really for justice and how much is for personal gain. Do these people really care about me, or is the goal just to obtain another nice mark on an already impressive resumé?

While I do respect the amount of work and passion our current executive board displays daily, I can’t help but lose some respect for the union as a whole. As a campus that is not taken as seriously as it should be, we cannot present this kind of divided front. It is very easy for the powers that be to disregard student unions as childish, and I am afraid that this behaviour affirms those patronizing thoughts.

Deborah Ocholi is a third-year student at UTSC studying Neuroscience.

SCSU elections still primarily a popularity contest

Videos. Hashtags. Petitions. What began as two candidate disqualifications has mushroomed into a fierce backlash against the SCSU. However, this commotion is obscuring the fundamental causes of the student union’s downfall.

The foundation of this scandal is the student body’s woeful ignorance of the SCSU’s management. Unless you are a motivated individual with political aspirations or a desire to pad your resumé, you are probably unaware of the SCSU’s principles. What are the election rules? How is the budget determined? What values guide decision-making? This obliviousness stems from apathy on the union’s part in making its values widely accessible. To the layperson, the SCSU is a shadowy organization that can only be understood by those already inducted into its hierarchy. Lack of transparency facilitates the perception of corruption.

Furthermore, trust in the electoral process is eroded by focus on candidate popularity at the cost of policy. Walking through campus during election season guarantees being bombarded by brightly coloured posters or students canvassing votes. Slates are banking on the familiarity of their candidates’ faces as the path to triumph. And unfortunately, their methods seem to be working. While most students can identify candidates by face, they might find it harder to discuss any of their policies, and candidates rely heavily on this.

It falls on the SCSU to organize debates or town halls, where students can determine the feasibility of a candidate’s policies and decide who represents their interests. Yes, a candidate forum was held, but it was poorly advertised and even more poorly attended. Right now, friends vote for friends.

Meanwhile, a glance at the candidates’ proposals reveal wildly unrealistic suggestions, most of which are unlikely to be implemented. One wonders from what bottomless pockets would funding for bubble tea and a permanent ice rink be procured.

To the SCSU: don’t underestimate your student body’s intelligence. Give them the opportunity to engage in democracy. Until the electoral process is reformed, the SCSU will continue to be perceived as a nepotistic organization that does not embody the voices of the students it represents.

Maria Raveendran is a third-year student at UTSC studying Human Biology and Psychology.

Being a candidate means following the rules

I was an executive of the SCSU for two years, and during that time I saw the advantages and resources an incumbent has at their disposal.

Using office space to plan for the election and recruit other candidates, using the station of their power to sway the election by wearing SCSU paraphernalia during campaigning, and intentionally misleading the student population regarding the Elections Procedures Code (EPC) are just a few examples of how the EPC was violated this year by incumbent executive Deena Hassan.

Hassan was disqualified from the election twice this year. The demerit point system exists to ensure no candidate is able to win the election through unfair advantages like the ones I outlined above.

Inherently, incumbents have an immense advantage in rerunning — let’s not hand them the election by letting them violate the rules unpunished. Ignorance of bylaws and policies is no excuse. As a part of the board of directors, it is the duty of executives to not only understand but to also execute all bylaws and policies of the union.

In turn, it is the duty of the board, its committee, and the general student body to ensure that we hold the executives accountable. Do your due diligence and fact-check the campaign statements made by the candidates who were elected. Don’t just listen to the people who had a stake in the result.

Yasmin Rajabi is a fourth-year student at UTSC studying Public Policy & City Studies. She served as the SCSU’s Vice-President Operations in 2016–2017 and the SCSU’s Vice-President External in 2015–2016.

Limiting election-related conversation is a limit on free speech

The controversial events leading up to the SCSU elections this year have slowly come to light and have left many, including me, horrified at how deep the SCSU’s dishonesty runs. This year, one slate in particular, Rise Up UTSC, came under fire in the SCSU’s unjustified war for maintaining control over the council’s elected representatives.

I feel the members of Rise Up UTSC have a lot to offer in terms of concrete change, especially compared to the other slate. While Rise Up UTSC recommended the expansion of the existing Food Centre and academic workshops to equip students with employable skills, president-elect Nicole Brayiannis of the UTSC Voice slate spent too much of her time promoting opening a bubble tea place, even though a food place on campus already sells it. However, over the course of the week after the protest, Rise Up UTSC members warned supporters to keep their language neutral while voicing their opinions for fear of receiving demerit points. They were required to draft a cookie-cutter promotional message and have it pre-approved by the CRO before disseminating it to their supporters.

Even more troubling is that a recent ruling by the CRO resulted in students who were not connected to any of the candidates being limited in how they could express their opinions about the slate. Anyone who was outspoken about their support for Rise Up UTSC was a potential target for this restriction. I was personally asked by a member of Rise Up UTSC to amend my own opinions, which were posted as a Facebook status update, for fear of having the slate receive demerit points, even though they didn’t explicitly target any other group. And even with disclaimers that the opinions being expressed were not in any way encouraged by the candidates of Rise Up UTSC, the candidates on the slate were still penalized with demerit points for these posts.

We’re just beginning to find out the ways in which students’ free speech can be stifled at Scarborough, and it’s all the more ironic coming from a union allegedly committed to social justice and equity. Can the SCSU reconcile with this injustice? I’m not certain. What I do know is that I don’t pay the SCSU roughly $40 per semester for bubble tea.

Shiza Shaikh is a third-year student at UTSC studying Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.

Transparency and accessibility were in low supply this election period

From controversial allegations to poorly constructed statements, conflicts and miscommunication are not atypical of the SCSU elections process. While student politics are often manipulated to some degree, the lack of oversight, transparency, and the complete disregard for process this year is ridiculous.
It’s hardly inconceivable that slates are planned by outgoing teams. Why is it that we so often have repeat executives while other candidates are quickly voted down, have spoiled ballots, or are disqualified?
Aside from that, let’s talk about the fact that the Elections Candidate Forum was designated with a “TBA” for the date and time on all posters, and then the Facebook event was created the evening before the event was actually scheduled — and cross-promoted on the same day as another large-scale event. If more time to advertise had been needed, there was ample opportunity to shift the dates, especially given the current controversy and the hiring of the new CRO.
You would think that a student union would take pride in being able to share democracy with its members. Instead, it is common to find UTSC generally unaware of the details of the elections — or apathetic, as some would have us believe. Events such as the Elections Candidate Forum, whose purpose is to promote accountability and transparency in the elections process, often wind up doing the opposite. I have yet to see an adequately advertised SCSU election period or Annual General Meeting (AGM) in over four years of being a student at UTSC. A motion about adequate elections advertising was passed at this year’s AGM, but it was not enough to prompt the SCSU to reconsider how it carries out its promotions.

While it is nice to see the campus on the alert during the aftermath of the SCSU elections controversies this year, it’s more about timing than anything. It’s a shame that more students aren’t aware of what has been going on, but it’s more of a shame that the SCSU doesn’t seem to care either.

Katie Konstantopoulos is a sixth-year student at UTSC studying Sociology.

Scandals at other student unions reveal the importance of solving SCSU problems now

The controversies surrounding the SCSU are concerning, and given the even more serious scandals at other student unions in Canada, we should take care that they don’t escalate further. Before coming to UTSC, I studied for two years at the University of Ottawa. The Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), on a yearly basis, manages to make headlines for its clownery and corruption. The SFUO mismanaged its way to bankruptcy, all before increasing executive pay by 18 per cent.

Allegations of unfair disqualifications may be new to the SCSU, but they are commonplace at uOttawa. Reform-minded candidates are routinely pushed out, especially when the power of incumbent slates is threatened. In 2011, a winning Board of Administration member was disqualified after the election, and the SFUO appointed the second place finisher to take his place. In 2015, the President of the SFUO, who won on a reform platform, resigned. To the surprise of no one, the candidate was replaced by the VP Communications, who belonged to the previous year’s incumbent slate.

Another student union where mismanagement has been prevalent is the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU). Recent allegations made by executives describing a “boys club” environment and unpleasant working conditions have led one executive to resign outright. The VP Operations has also criticized the working environment, saying he and other executives were not consulted on important campaigns and initiatives.

While the SCSU does not compare to the SFUO or the RSU, the recent occurrences do represent a troubling trend. When student politics becomes an industry, and when there is little to no turnover in executive elections, the quality of representation decreases, while scandal and incompetence increase. Examples from uOttawa and Ryerson should present a warning to UTSC students and student leaders. Low levels of turnover and incompetence in both executive and staff members have serious consequences that must be mitigated before they reach the levels of other schools.

Andre Roy is a third-year student at UTSC studying City Studies.

 

SCSU AGM tackles food equity, gender-inclusive washrooms

Promotion of AGM called into question, motion passed to improve student awareness of future meetings

SCSU AGM tackles food equity, gender-inclusive washrooms

The Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) hosted their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 15. The meeting served as a platform to discuss the audited financial reports from the 2016–2017 academic year and motions presented by members. These motions included the promotion of future AGMs, support of the UTSC Food Equity campaign, and implementation of gender-inclusive washrooms in the Student Centre.

The meeting was called to order after quorum was reached.

SCSU President Sitharsana Srithas made the first motion to receive the 2016–2017 audited financial statements, provided with a review from an auditor from firm Yale and Partners LLP.

The floor opened to discussion, and many questioned the discontinued operation of KFC Express and Hero Burger in the Student Centre, concerned about the loss of student job opportunities that resulted when these companies were sold to private owners. Srithas addressed these worries by noting that the SCSU has tried to create more jobs for students in other divisions on campus, such as Rex’s Den.

After the audited financial statements were approved, with all voting in favour with the exception of two abstentions, the meeting unanimously voted in favor of appointing Yale and Partners LLP as external auditors for the 2017–2018 fiscal year.

The SCSU executives then presented their personal portfolios and all the work done by each member in the past year. After the executive report was presented, the floor was opened to discussion. Following a conversation on the purpose of the food bank and the progress of the Fight the Fees campaign, the report was approved.

The meeting then proceeded to the first agenda item: the motion to investigate the implementation of gender-inclusive washrooms in the Student Centre, which was moved by SCSU Vice-President Equity Nana Frimpong. According to Frimpong, the idea of the washrooms would be to have fully private single-stalled washrooms, which would only be brought into effect after consultation with trans and non-binary students.

Srithas said that not every Student Centre washroom would be made gender-inclusive, but there would be a gender-inclusive washroom on at least one floor so those not comfortable with the idea could still choose a gendered washroom. After the discussion, the floor was opened to voting, and the motion passed.

The final two motions were both moved and motivated by Katie Konstantopoulos, a student and volunteer at the food centre. While Konstantopoulos has never held an SCSU executive position, she has sat on the union’s board of directors and has frequently proposed amendments to the SCSU.

The first of Konstantopoulos’ motions addressed the lack of promotion surrounding this year’s AGM. She said that students around campus did not know of the event, and some of those who were aware of it did not know when or where it was being held.

The motion, which passed, stipulated that the SCSU would be expected to take measures to ensure that AGM promotion reached a wider berth of students in the future, including by looking into innovative forms of promotion like targeted, paid Facebook advertisements.

The third and final motion on the floor, the Motion for the Support of UTSC Food Equity and the Food Equity Campaign, resulted in an extensive discussion as students expressed enthusiasm for adding amendments to the motion.

Students proposed looking into the feasibility of developing gardens on campus as well as potentially providing cooking classes to increase food literacy.

The motion’s goal was to address the wide range of students at UTSC who cannot afford the school meal plan but do not have the time in their schedule to cook for themselves, as well as to address the 40 per cent increase in food bank usage in Scarborough reported by the Daily Bread.

Konstantopoulos created the UTSC Food Equity campaign in September following her initial involvement at the food centre, and she proposed the motion to get the SCSU involved because of the union’s platform and ability to address a larger range of students through their membership.

Konstantopoulos is pleased with the outcome of the meeting after both of her motions passed. The priority for her is to ensure that no students will “face food security alone.”