About the UTSU
Founded in 1901, the University of Toronto Students’ Union (UTSU) is the official student government for more than 38,000 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 and independent not-for-profit organization, we operate autonomously from the University of Toronto administration. We strive to be a democratic, accessible, and member-driven organization, and all of our work is done with a strong commitment to equity.
Your student representatives are elected each year as executives or directors to the UTSU Board of Directors. The Executive Committee, which consists of the President and five Vice-Presidents, reports to the Board of Directors.
The UTSU works for you in many ways, but primarily through advocacy, events, and programs and services. We advocate for you by regularly lobbying the government and university, organizing public education campaigns, and supporting student-led initiatives. We organize major events for students, including Orientation,, Unity Ball, XAO, and more. And most importantly, we offer services such as a Food Bank Student Aid, an annual Tax Clinic, Clubs Funding, a Resource Bank for Clubs, and of course, the UTSU Health & Dental Plan.
The UTSU has led or contributed to many successful projects at UofT that have improved the livelihoods of students. These have included:
- Granting undergraduate students access to Robarts Library Stacks (1972)
- Granting women access to Hart House alongside other groups like the Muslim Student’s Association (1972)
- Pushing UofT’s Divestment from South African apartheid (1980s)
- The creation of the Women’s Centre (1986)
- Ensuring a Sweatshop-free Campus (2000s)
- Approval of the Student Commons (2000s)
- Advocating for a Plastic Water Bottle-free Campus (2011)
- Pushed Health and Wellness to stay open later multiple days per week (2010s)
- Adding late night counselling services in Robarts Library during exam period (2010s)
- Organizing a referendum for a Fall Reading Week with the Arts and Science Students’ Union (2015)
- Participation in the first wave of Free Menstrual Product pilot programs (2018)
- Contributing $100,000 from the Accessibility Fund to help Hart House build a universal washroom to minimize boundaries and restrictions for occupants with disabilities (2019)
- Donating $100,000 to the U of T Muslim Chaplaincy to support them in fostering a meaningful Muslim identity and an inclusive space and community (2020)
As stated in the Letters Patent, the Mission Statement of the Union is:
- To safeguard the individual rights of the student, regardless of race, colour, age, mental or physical ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, personal or political beliefs, nationality, geographic or ethnic orientation, citizenship, class ancestry or status, including but not limited to marital, socio-economic, First Nations, Inuit or Metis;
- To foster the intellectual growth and moral awareness of the student in order to benefit them, the University of Toronto Student Community, and society;
- To provide facilities for the services and activities in which the interests of the University of Toronto Student Community are involved;
- To endeavour to bring about a fundamental redistribution of power so as to permit substantially greater participation by students in making those decisions which affect their lives;
- To engage in research and discussion of the broad educational philosophy and principles affecting the University of Toronto Student Community;
- To provide means of communication within the University of Toronto Student Community, among the campuses of the University of Toronto, with other members of the university community, with other universities, and with the general public;
- To engage in discussion with municipal, provincial, and national governments on issues that affect the University of Toronto Student Community;
- To encourage social action programs involving volunteer student resources;
- To press for such action as may be necessary to make higher education accessible to all classes of Canadian society.