Announcing the Launch of #UTSUwithU
RE: Announcing the Launch of #UTSUwithU
Several days ago, the Ontario government announced sweeping policy changes affecting student finance in the province. These changes are set to take effect in fall 2019. In brief, they would:
- Reduce tuition for most domestic students by 10%, making postsecondary cheaper, but undercutting institutional budgets;
- Shrink OSAP funding, increasing the debt burden of students receiving aid, and reducing some students’ eligibility for aid in the first place;
- Reduce the number of mandatory non-tuition fees charged to students, allowing them to make more choices about what they pay into, but damaging some of the services and the organizations that shape student life.
The UTSU believes that the bad outweighs the good, and it is not alone. Groups across our campus and the province have organized in response to the Ontario government’s plan. Students, student leaders, and student groups across our campus have spoken out against the changes with a message that is loud and clear: “This change is not for us.” We hear you, and we stand with you. The UTSU is committing itself to a plan that complements all of the important work happening on the ground.
The UTSU is bringing forward a set of initiatives aimed at fighting and defending against the negative consequences of the Ontario government’s plan. These initiatives will be unified under our new campaign, #UTSUwithU. We will be working to do five things:
- Advocate. To fight against the government’s proposed changes to OSAP and non-tuition fees, the UTSU is lobbying decision-makers directly at the government and university levels.
- Consult with you. To align our efforts with your interests, we will be consulting students across a range of platforms and settings.
- Inform. To make sure that you are getting quality information about recent developments and expected impacts, we will be publishing regular write-ups with clear, accurate, and up-to-date information.
- Build dialogue. To support all of us in developing a deeper understanding of the proposed changes and to exchange ideas on potential solutions, we will be organizing on-campus dialogues with experts and students alike.
- Bring students together. To amplify your voice and lived experiences, the UTSU will be collecting and sharing your diverse stories and perspectives.
The UTSU has a responsibility to students and we intend to deliver on that. You have an important role to play in this as well: please share your stories, thoughts, and concerns with us to guide our work. With your help and trust, we are confident that together we can make a positive difference.
Yours in service,
The UTSU Executive
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About the University of Toronto Students’ Union
Founded in 1901, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) is the official student government of more than 43,500 students at the University of Toronto. If you’re a full-time undergraduate student at the St. George Campus, you’re automatically a member of the UTSU. As a student government, we operate independently of the University and strive to be a democratic, member-driven organization.
The UTSU is led by a President and six Vice-Presidents, all of whom report to a council called the Board of Directors. The President, the Vice-Presidents, and the Board of Directors are all elected directly by the members.
The UTSU has two essential functions: (1) advocacy and (2) service provision. Our advocacy work includes lobbying the government and the university administration, organizing public education campaigns, and supporting student initiatives. Our services include grants for students in need, funding for student clubs, and the student health insurance plan. Finally, all of our work is guided by a commitment to equity.
For all press inquiries, please contact President Anne Boucher at email@example.com / 416-978-4911 ext. 223.