Campus services & student welfare

Widespread dissatisfaction with U of T’s lack of effective services for students with mental illnesses and for the survivors of sexual violence triggered several student-run campaigns and initiatives which aimed to create issue-specific policies and improve student access to resources. As the demand for support increases, students are beginning to work with and push the administration to better address these issues.

CAPS, Koffler Student Services Centre. Jennifer Su/THE VARSITY

CAPS, Koffler Student Services Centre. Jennifer Su/THE VARSITY

Federal Election

The country will head to the polls on October 19 to decide our next government. With the recent passing of the Fair Elections Act, an Elections Canada-driven initiative that will see special voting events held at up to 100 post-secondary institutions, and the new option of registering online, it remains to be seen whether students will vote in higher numbers than ever before.

Aerial view of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. TSAIPROJECT/FLICKR CC.

Aerial view of Parliament Hill, Ottawa. TSAIPROJECT/FLICKR CC.

UTSU Board of Directors structure reform

One of the UTSU’s biggest challenges this year will be to see the union through its legal transition from the Canada Corporations Act to the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act. The act involves passing a new structure for the UTSU Board of Directors. Students voted down a controversial board structure proposal in October 2014 and UTSU has until October 2015 to pass a new one. The debate over how best to represent marginalized students, UTM, professional faculties, and colleges, continues. Students will be able to vote on a new structure at the Annual General Meeting in September 2015.

Students vote at the 2014 UTSU AGM. Sarah Niedoba/THE VARSITY

Students vote at the 2014 UTSU AGM. Sarah Niedoba/THE VARSITY

Fossil fuel divestment

Local environmental awareness and activist group Toronto350 holds many of its open meetings at U of T and has attracted an increasing amount of student involvement. The university faces mounting pressure to sell their stock holdings in the 200 fossil fuel companies with the largest reserves, a move that Toronto350 argues is not only financially sound, but would uphold U of T’s values. Toronto350 has held Divestment Action Week events and circulated a petition at U of T as part of its on-campus campaigns.

A protest occurs at Simcoe Hall. Jennifer Su/THE VARSITY

A protest occurs at Simcoe Hall. Jennifer Su/THE VARSITY